Learn how to wash blankets properly. It might sound easy, but washing blankets can be a very involved task. Not all types of blankets can be easily tossed into the machine to let it do all the work. Other blankets will need your care and attention to be properly cleaned.
How to Wash Blankets
There are several different methods of how to wash blankets. These methods include hand-washing, spot cleaning, or dry cleaning among others. Let’s dive deep into how to wash blankets properly and efficiently.
The two biggest factors to consider when trying to wash blankets are their material and fabric weave. These two will dictate which type of cleaning method you should use to avoid damaging the blankets.
Before deciding which cleaning method to use, you should always refer to the manufacturer’s laundry symbols and care instructions. Each blanket, if bought from reputable manufacturers, will have its specific care instructions. This will instruct you on how to wash blankets properly without damaging them.
If you can’t access your blanket’s care instructions, you may follow the practices listed below for each type of blanket.
Plenty of people use washing machines to wash their blankets because it’s very convenient, just toss them in and let the machine do its thing. However, using the washing machine for your blanket might ruin it. This is where handwashing comes in handy. Follow the directions below on how to do so.
How to Wash Blankets by Hand
- WATER - Find a sufficiently sized plastic container or tub and fill it with cold water.
- DETERGENT - Then, add the liquid detergent of your choice. Wool blankets will need specialized wool detergents. Combine both the detergent and water well.
- SOAK - Submerge your blanket in the liquid and knead it one section of the fabric at a time. Soak for 10 minutes or less. Leaving your blanket soaking for a long time could lead to shrinkage.
- REMOVE EXCESS WATER - After thoroughly cleaning your blanket, remove it from the water. Pressing the excess water out of the blanket with your hands. Make sure you avoid wringing the fabric to avoid your blanket from becoming misshapen.
- RINSE - Next, you’ll want to repeat steps 1 to 3 using clean cold water. Do this until all soap is removed.
- DRYING - After all of the above steps are done, we’re going to speed up the drying process by placing the blanket between two dry fabrics or towels.
- HANG - Finally, you should hang the blanket dry to keep its original shape. For knitted blankets that may stretch, lay them flat on a drying rack instead.
How to Wash Blankets - Crochet
Washing a crochet blanket can be a very tricky endeavor as you need to be extra careful not to stretch out the yarn. Stretching will distort the blanket's shape and structure.
The best way to wash crochet blankets is by hand washing them. Hand washing will ensure that the overall shape of the fabric stays the same.
However, if you don’t have time to hand wash your crochet blankets, you can still put them in the washing machine. If you opt for this method, make sure that it is inside a protective material such as a mesh bag. This will protect the crochet blanket while it is spinning inside the washing machine.
To know how to wash crochet blankets via a washing machine, follow the steps below.
- PROTECT - Place the crochet blanket in a protective mesh or garment bag.
- CYCLE - Before turning on the washing machine, make sure that it is in the permanent-press or gentle cycle.
- LAY FLAT - After washing the blanket, lay it flat and reshape it back to its original form.
- DRYING - Air drying is highly recommended to properly dry a crochet blanket. This results in a longer drying time. However, there will be no shrinkage.
How to Wash Blankets - Sherpa
Sherpa Blankets are one of the blanket types that can safely be placed in the washing machine. However, do note that Sherpa blankets should only be washed using front-load washing machines; or those washing machines without a center agitator. It is also highly recommended to use non-detergent soap when washing your Sherpa blankets.
Detergent soaps will damage the durable water repellant (or DWR) feature of the Sherpa blankets. The DWR is a special treatment that shields your Sherpa blankets from allergens.
Finally, never place your Sherpa blankets in your dryer. Heat can cause severe damage to the fabric, some even melting it. The best way to dry a Sherpa blanket is to line dry it. You can also opt to tumble dry it, but make sure to set it on low.
How to Wash Blankets - Weighted
Most people wouldn’t recommend washing a weighted blanket. This is because the protective cover responsible for keeping the weighted stuff inside can rip open. When it happens, your washing machine can get severely damaged.
One of the ways to safely clean your weighted blankets is to do spot cleaning using a clean wet towel or cloth with some mild soap detergent. We recommend doing this weekly.
However, there are types of weighted blankets that can sort of be cleaned via the washing machine. Some weighted blankets feature a detachable cover, separate from the weighted blanket itself. You can take this cover off and throw it in the washing machine to clean safely.
There are also weighted blankets that have plastic pellets or glass microbeads inside that can be cleaned in a washing machine safely. However, you should always consult your weighted blanket’s manufacturer care instructions to be on the safe side.
Weighted blankets that weigh up to 20 pounds are generally safe to be cleaned in a household wash. Make sure that the machine is on a low or gentle cycle. Use a gentle detergent and avoid bleach; it can severely damage the fabric. Fabric softeners should also be avoided as they might create unwanted buildup that might cause your blanket to become scratchy.
You can hang your weighted blanket to dry. Make sure that it sits evenly while drying, to not lose its original shape. If you own a weighted blanket that’s more than 20 pounds, it's best to take it to your local laundromat. They have the appropriate equipment to handle large loads.
How to Wash Blankets - Duvets, Quilts, Comforters
Each of these blankets requires specific care procedures.
The duvet is relatively simple as it comes with a detachable cover that collects all the dust and grime. This can be safely washed in a standard washing machine.
For quilts, and comforters, it’s a different story. Both of these are too large to be washed inside a home washing machine. Quilts can be taken care of by your local dry cleaners. This is to preserve its beauty while not affecting its longevity. Finally, comforters can be safely washed inside a commercial washing machine in your local laundromat.
To properly wash and dry a large comforter, follow the steps below:
- WASHING - Place your comforter in a commercial washing machine. Make sure that the wash settings are on the gentlest cycle option. Use either warm or cool water with a mild soap detergent.
- DRYING - To dry the comforter properly in a tumble dryer, utilize tennis or dryer balls on low heat. Why use tennis balls? Well, it will help fluff up the comforter during the drying process. You can also use a normal dryer for this.
- SPOT CLEANING - An easy method to lengthen the lifetime of your quilts and comforters is to occasionally spot clean them with a damp clean cloth. This will minimize the washing needed which in turn will increase their longevity.
How to Wash Blankets - Wool
Before washing your wool blanket, make sure that it isn’t the dry-cleaned only type of wool blanket. One of the biggest risks when washing your wool blankets is severe shrinkage and pilling.
To know how to wash blankets made from wool, make sure to follow the steps below properly.
- CHECK LABELS - First and foremost, make sure to verify whether your wool blanket is washing machine washable. If it isn’t machine washable, refer to the handwashing portion of the guide or my article on how to wash wool.
- DETERGENT - Once you’ve verified that your wool blanket is machine washable, place the mild detergent of your choice at the bottom of the machine. There are detergents specifically made for washing wool.
- CYCLE - Next, place your wool blanket on top. Set the washing machine to a gentle cycle. Make sure to use cold water.
- STOP - Let the machine do its thing for s few minutes. Once done, stop the wash and remove the wool blanket. This is to ensure that the fabric does not stretch. For most wool blankets, leaving it for the full cycle risks damage.
- DRYING - Hang the wool blanket to dry on a rack. Never place your wool blanket in a heated dryer or anywhere with significant heat. This will cause significant shrinkage.
How to Wash Blankets - Electric
One of the trickiest types of blankets to wash is electric blankets, also known as heated blankets. Electric blankets contain numerous wires under the fabric which is very hazardous if you don’t properly wash it. Most people will highly recommend spot cleaning your electric blanket to avoid any moisture reaching the wires.
CAUTION - Only wash an electric blanket if recommended on the products care label.
Carefully follow the steps below to properly wash your electric blanket and avoid any serious accidents:
- SAFETY - Before you even think about washing, disconnect the blanket’s cord. Make sure that you also check the wiring inside the fabric for any damages. If your electric blanket features a detachable cord, remove it. If you haven't already, double-check that the care instructions advise that washing is possible and safe to do so.
- WASH - You can then place the blanket in the wash. Let it pre-soak for around 5 - 15 minutes. You can safely use either warm or cold water. If your electric blanket doesn’t feature a detachable cord, you’re going to need to carefully hand wash the fabric. See to it that the control cord doesn’t get wet. As for hand washing, refer to the hand wash section of the guide.
- DRYING - Finally, you can safely tumble dry your electric blanket for around 5 – 10 minutes maximum on low heat if the care label says this is safe to do so. Once done, hang dry the blanket.
How to Wash Blankets - in Conclusion
A freshly washed and cleaned blanket will not only protect you from allergens and other skin irritations but will also improve your quality of sleep. Make sure that you follow the steps provided on how to wash blankets properly to avoid unwanted damages and increase the longevity of your blankets. We hope that you’ve learned something useful about how to wash blankets and make them stand the test of time.
More Washing Articles
Now you know all about how to wash blankets, it is time to learn more washing techniques. Here are some related articles:
- How to Wash a Quilt – The Right Way
- Types of Detergents – You Need to Know About
- How To Wash Bras – The Right Way
- How to Wash Linen – Without Damaging It
- How to Wash Pillows – The Right Way
- What Is Dry Cleaning – A Better Understanding
- Washing vs Dry Cleaning: What Are the Differences?
- How To Clean Curtains – The Right Way
- Laundry Symbols – Best Guide to Washing
- How to Wash Jeans – The Best Method
- How to Shrink Clothes – Smaller Clothes on Purpose
- TUMBLE DRY – How to Tumble Dry Correctly
- How to Wash Lace – The Right Way
- How to Wash Silk – The Right Way
- How to Bleach Clothes
- Washing Whites
- How to Wash Faux Fur
- How to Wash Polyester
- How to Wash Wool
- How to Wash Blankets