cedar stains

Old 01-25-09, 04:40 PM
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Unhappy cedar stains

Does anyone have an idea how to get cedar stains out of quilts which have been stored for a long time in a cedar chest. I remember reading something about butter at one time, but I suppose I could haave dreamed that. Please let me know. Thanks.
Old 01-25-09, 05:28 PM
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The cedar stain is known as a lignin stain. Lignin is a noncarbohydrate ingredient of the cedar cells that binds itself to the cellulose fibers and makes the cell walls strong, making up the woody fiber. www.dictionary.com

Lignin is an organic stain. Cedar also contains cedar oil. Thus, you have an combination of an organic stain and an oil stain.

Assuming fabrics are cotton, pretreat the stains with heavy duty liquid laundry detergent and let set to work on the stains. Gently hand agitate the detergent into the stains.

Success of washing a quilt depends on if fabrics were washed before the quilt was made. This preshrinks the fabrics and removes any excess dye. If fabrics were not prewashed or if quilts have not been washed in the past, then you may expect some changes in the appearance of the quilts.

Here are some tips for washing quilts from Quilting 101: How to Wash a Quilt

Fill washer with warm water while adding a little detergent and BIZ, a powdered enzyme detergent, and then the quilt after detergent and BIZ appear to be well mixed in water. Agitate for a few moments. Stop the washer. Let soak for about 20 minutes. Then, turn on the washer. Do not use too much detergent, as double rinse may be required. After washing, check for stains. Do not put in dryer if stains remain. If stains remain, pretreat stains and let set. Wash again in detergent and all fabric bleach.

When storing fabrics in cedar, they should not come in direct contact with the cedar. Quilts are best rolled and put in old pillow cases or rolled in fabric so they can breathe and be protected. As an extra precaution, drape an old sheet as a liner for the cedar sheet and place the quilts in their pillowcases into the chest, then pull the edges of the sheet up and fold over top the quilts.

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