Saturday, March 31, 2012

Notion alert! Orvus Quilt Soap

You may have seen my Tulip Tiles "Yes, I can" quilt, that ended up in the cupboard because of bleeding. Well, the quilt taught me how to wash a quilt. The damage couldn't be undone, but I hope it will never happen to me again!

During my journey to find out what happened, asking questions and getting advice from several quilters, I worked out a way how I treat my fabric and quilts during washing. And in that journey, Orvus Quilt Soap became essential for me.

Orvus Quilt Soap is not a soap although it says so on the bottle. Soap would mean it contains lye, which is aggressive to fabrics. It is a detergent, made of sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), with a neutral pH (means it is not a base or an acid) that is completely biodegradable.
Most important, it does not contain bleaches and does not discolor or fade dyes. It does not contain phosphates, optical brighteners or any other chemical that influences the color or the optical color of the fabric. Think about a quilt that would, due to washing, go slowly from a bright orange to a grayish pastel orange because of using a too aggressive soap?
So in that respect, with Orvus, my fabric is safe.

It does not contain fragrances or softeners either. Although I would love to have a great smell coming out of my washing tub when I wash my quilt, I understood those fragrances can be oily or aggressive and deteriorate the fabric. So I can deal with that.

There are some guidelines to deal with with Orvus. First, it is important to use Orvus on its own. Do not combine it  in the same water with stuff like synthrapol or vinegar to protect the colors. The Ph of the soap suds will be non-neutral anymore and effect the way SLS works. The SLS may then cause the fabric to attract dirt!
Second, although biodegradable, non-phosphate and all, working with Orvus may have influence on your skin, as human skin does not have a neutral Ph. I use household gloves to prevent dry skin.

There is also one other great advantage. As the Dutch are well known worldwide for their economical awareness  (;-)), I am very glad how little I need of the stuff. I only need a tablespoon for a full tub! There is a fluid form, I use the flake form, it is all the same.

I washed several quilts with this stuff, and I can safely say that all of them came out great. The soap is also used for silks, cashmere and antique quilts and textiles by the most famous museums of the world. I love this stuff. Although it does not prevent bleeding from silks. Sigh.;-)

Have fun quilting!


  1. Wat is het toch uitkijken met een quilt wassen.
    Altijd goede spullen gebruiken zoals hier getoond.

  2. Bedankt voor deze tip! Enig idee of Orvus Quilt Soap ook in Nederland te koop is?

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