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How To Clean Your Bump Blanket - Repost

May 05, 2018

How To Clean Your Bump Blanket - Repost

Note: I'm re-posting this article after losing all my blogs due to operator error earlier this year.
Have you ever had a newborn leave its mark on your Bump Blanket? Did you think that your gorgeous fluffy pile of Merino or Alpaca was ruined forever?  No need to panic, here's how to clean a Bump Blanket when the worst happens!

Bump Blanket in use by BeccyRose Newborn Photography

At The Prop Fair January 2017 one of my bump blankets was used during a presentation by BeccyRose Photography for that beautiful image you see above. 

During part of the proceedings the baby was naked and decided to leave her mark (in a very large way!) on the Bump Blanket. As this occurred during the morning at the day-long event the Bump Blanket was folded up on itself to contain the mess, and placed in a plastic bag. When I got home I placed the bag in the laundry intending to deal with it later that evening; however I completely forgot about it - for two days - during a heatwave! Suffice to say the brown mess has well and truly dried onto the fibre.

When I eventually found the Bump Blanket again I wondered whether it would be rescue-able after all this time, but I gave it a try anyway. I filled a tub with cold water and added a teaspoonful of "Soak Wash". (Note: plain cold water, water with white vinegar, or any wool-friendly washing liquid may be used - I just like the fact that Soak requires no rinsing and leaves no strong smell.) Wearing disposable gloves for hygeine purposes, I pushed the bump blanket into the water – gently pushing out the air trapped between the fibres so that the entire blanket was wet. Other than that I did not move or agitate the blanket at all.

Merino Bump Blanket soaking
I planned to leave it soak for an hour or two and check to see if it was clean. However, life got busy, as it tends to do when you run your own business, and the bump blanket ended up soaking for two days! (Are you noticing a pattern here within my brain?) By this time any mess had well and truly dissolved, so I tilted the tub to one side holding the blanket out of the way with one hand while the water drained out. Although rinsing is not required with Soak Wash the water was looking a little brown so I filled the tub again with cold water (while holding the blanket out of the way of the running water) and added about half a cup of white vinegar to act as an antibacterial. (White vinegar is also a mordant and will help set colour.) I left the blanket to soak in the vinegar solution for another hour or two, then repeated the draining process. I left the blanket pushed to the raised end of the tub for a while so that excess water could run out.
Bump Blanket drying after washing

Once water was no longer trickling out of the blanket I laid it flat on a towel on top of the clothes airer in the shade. This is probably the point at which you panic and think you have wrecked it! The blanket looks like skinny string with big holes and has lost all its fluffiness. The reason for this is that the air which was previously trapped between the fibres has now been replaced by water which makes the fibres stick together (think what happens when you dampen a cotton wool ball to take off your make-up). As long as you have not agitated or wrung the blanket, and the fibres are all still running in the same direction and not matted, all will be well!

Bump Blanket drying after being washed

I left the blanket to drip and dry for 24 hours, before going back and turning it over and placing it on a dry towel. It took almost 3 days to dry. If you have one of those mesh panels that comes with some airers that is better to use than a towel as it allows the air to circulate underneath resulting in quicker drying. When it was almost completely dry I moved it into the direct sunlight for about half an hour before turning it over and giving the other side half an hour. Sunlight helps kill any remaining bacteria, however the blanket should not be left in the sun for too long or colour may fade.

Once completely dried I picked it up by one side and gave it a few gentle shakes to loosen up the fibres and get a bit of air back in them (a bit like shaking crumbs off the tablecloth but gentler).

 

To restore the blanket to its full fluffiness all that is now needed is to sit and tease the fibres apart gently, allowing the air back in returning the loft.

Fluffing up the fibres of the Bump Blanket once it is dry

Using thumb and forefinger of both hands gently pull the fibres of each loop apart to loosen and restore fluffiness. To see a short video of this please visit my Youtube channel here.

Bump Blanket loops before & after fluffing up following washing.Left: Dried blanket before fluffing up – notice the gaps between the loops. Right: The same section of the blanket after the fibres have been separated and fluffed. There are now no gaps between the loops.

I did not fluff up the whole blanket this time as I am intending to use is as a demonstration sample at trade shows in the future, but to go over the whole blanket back and front would take about 10-15 minutes sitting in front of the TV.

The washed Bump Blanket with a piece of the original fibres, one side of Bump Blanket fluffed up, the other not yet done.

  
The 3 or 4 rows of loops on the right of this picture have been fluffed up, those on the left have not. You can see the difference in the thickness of the wool and the size of the gaps between the loops. I included a scrap of the unwashed rovings the blanket was made from so that you can see there was no loss of colour as a result of washing.  
I have a huge selection of new Bump Blanket colours coming soon, so keep an eye on the web page, or join my Facebook group to be the first to know! 
Remember:
Avoid washing as much as possible
Spot clean small areas in preference to washing the whole blanket
Only use cold water
Do not rub, wring or agitate
 

If you have any questions about caring for your Bump Blanket, or any of your Bumblebee Boutique products, please send me a message via the contact page, or contact me through Facebook.  In the meantime, enjoy using your Bump Blanket! 
 
 

Header Image credit: BeccyRose Newborn Photography, Ormeau Qld.

All other images Copyright Bumblebee Boutique.

Disclaimer: The above care instructions are applicable for Bumblebee Boutique Merino Bump Blankets only. If you have purchased from another vendor you should contact that vendor for care instructions for their products.

     

     

     





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