How to Wash a Weighted Blanket: A Guide For Owners and Buyers
Posted By Syju John on Nov 25, 2020
How to wash a weighted blanket: Having a weighted blanket is like having your hugging machine. You’re gonna wanna sleep in it, watch movies while being wrapped in it, and sometimes even (try) to work while snuggled up in it.
While weighted blankets are ideally known to help people with anxiety, PTSD, insomnia, and other conditions, it is also picked by those who are just looking for good quality and deep sleep.
Like any other bedding accessory, this too needs a thorough clean up. But washing a weighted blanket is a tad bit different from other blankets. Some are easy to wash, while some can be a handful. This guide will help you understand how you can clean your weighted blanket without compromising on its quality.
Important Note: Do not skip reading the blanket care instructions. Not all weighted blankets are made the same and cannot be cared for in the same way. Check for the manufacturer’s instructions before moving forward.
How to Wash Your Weighted Blanket
Step 1: Get Rid of the Stains
If you have spilled greasy food on your clothes, you might have noticed that a tumble in the washing machine is not enough to clean it out? Something similar happens when you drop something on your weighted blanket, and instead of pretreating the stain, you directly throw it in the washing machine. You can use the following unique pre-treatment methods you can do before giving the entire blanket a thorough wash.
Use a chlorine-free stain remover: Do a spot treatment with chlorine-free stain remover for liquid spill stains or swear. Pour out a spoonful of this remover directly onto the stain and scrub it out gently with a toothbrush.
Run it under cold water: Sometimes, pretreating does not require soaps and other solvents. All you have to do is run that stain directly under cold water and erode any dirt matter matting on the fabric. Steer clear of warm water in such cases as it can lead to the stain setting in further.
For grease stains, use soap: Oil-based sauces and gravies can leave a permanent color on your weighted blanket. Lather it up with bleach-free soap and wash it out with your fingers or a toothbrush.
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Step 2: Washing the Weighted Blanket
Let us turn back to the manufacturer’s instruction for this one.
Depending upon the instructions mentioned in the care label, you will first determine whether your weighted blanket can be hand washed or it works with a washing machine.
When you are using the washing machine: Depending upon the care label, use hot water or cold water while washing your blanket in a washing machine. Set the machine to gentle cleaning and use mild detergent for the process. You also have to remember that a machine can only wash a blanket that weighs 12lbs or less. If you have a heavier blanket at hand, it is best to approach a professional laundromat.
Pro Tip: Some stains are more stubborn than others. In case you are a wine lover and a weighted blanket owner, the chances are that both might end up meeting one day. Follow these steps to remove the stubborn wine stains:
- Apply two ounces of white vinegar directly to the stain and let it soak for 10 minutes.
- Blot the stain with a wet towel, followed by a dry towel.
- In case the vinegar does not work, go for an enzyme stain remover, apply it for 30 minutes and blot it using a wet towel.
- Once the stain starts to lighten up, wash the focus area under cold water. Do not dry it directly under the sun, as the stain might set in permanently.
Hand washing your blanket: This is an elaborate process but essential for a select few. Fill up about half a bathtub with clean water, add ½ cup of mild detergent to the water. You can also increase the measure depending upon the size of the blanket. If you have any stubborn stains, do a spot treatment, and later dunk the blanket in the bathtub. Let it soak for a while and give it a gentle scrub to remove any superficial dirt particles. Follow up the process by dunking it in clean water and remove any residual soap.
Step 3: Dry Your Weighted Blanket
Drying your weighted blanket usually comprises two methods – dry tumble in the washing machine or line/air drying.
Machine drying your blanket: Refer to the instruction tag again. Set your appliance on a low or medium setting, based on the fabric.
Pro Tip: While machine drying your weighted blanket, throw in a dry towel. This will fluff up your blanket and give a more cozy texture once out of the dryer.
Air drying your blanket: Air drying your blanket is a safe bet. When drying the blanket on the line, ensure that it is hung proportionately. Disproportionate alignment of the blanket while line drying can stretch the fabric and impair its quality and shape. If that’s too much effort, you can spread your blanket out evenly on a chair out in the backyard. However, do not dry it directly under the sun as it can shrink the fiber and make the texture more coarse.
Since the weighted blanket is a heavy material, you can also simplify your job by tumble drying it in a gentle cycle to squeeze out the extra water. This makes the process of air drying faster and more efficient.
Factors to Consider Before Washing Your Weighted Blanket
Your weighted blanket washing process also depends on the following factors:
Cotton: Cotton is one of the most common materials out there, especially for weighted blankets. These blankets can be hand washed or washed in a machine set on a gentle cycle.
Pro Tip: When washing a cotton blanket, it is advisable to do so at 50 degrees Celsius or even lower. This helps maintain the quality and texture of the fabric, as going beyond the number can lead to shrinkage and low durability.
While washing a weighted blanket made from cotton, you do not have to worry about specific cleaning products since this is a sturdy material and probably tolerates most products. However, it is advisable to give chlorine a miss. Moreover, ensure that your weighted blanket is not dried directly under the sun or tumbled dried in a dryer – it can lead to shrinking and brittleness as well.
Mink: This type of fabric is easy to wash and is washing machine friendly as well. While washing this fabric’s weighted blanket, it must be cleaned separately, away from the other laundry pile. To maintain its quality, it is best to pre-soak it (in case of stains) in a non-chlorine bleach and later wash it in cold water with a gentle softener.
Pro Tip: While it is good to use a gentle laundry detergent to wash this blanket, skip the fabric softener as it will gel the soft fibers of your mink weighted blanket.
Fleece: In case of a stain, you can pretreat it in a non-chlorine bleach, followed by a warm wash with a gentle laundry detergent. Again, it is recommended that fleece blankets are best washed alone or with those of the same kind. This is to avoid friction and abrasion of the fibers. Fleece is water-repellent, so it is advisable not to wash fabric softener on it. Finish off the process with a tumble dry on low heat.
Wool: Wool is soft and delicate, more prone to brittleness. Therefore, it is better to approach the washing process without a washing machine. Hand-washing is ideal, albeit time-taking, but it helps maintain the soft-texture. Since wool-fibers are easily abrased, dry tumble is not the right way to go. However, blotting it with a towel and letting it air dry is the ideal process for a wool weighted blanket.
The Filler Material
Your filler material is your weighted blanket’s identity. What it comprises has a considerable role to play in its washing process.
Micro Glass Beads: These tiny glass beads with a structure similar to salt or sand crystals are lined inside the blanket. While washing in warm water poses no threat of melting, a hot water wash should be avoided.
Sand: Sand is a naturally procured material available in abundance. However, it is not the ideal filler for a washable weighted blanket because it expands while in water, and when dried, it gets clumpy, leading to an uneven surface.
Plastic Poly Pellets: These are round plastic beads fashioned out of ABS pure plastic. Since it is made from virgin plastic materials, washing them in hot water can either melt the pellets or, worse, clump them together.
Steel Shot Beads: Since these beads are made out of steel, they are heavier than the plastic poly pellets. These pellets will not melt when in contact with hot water, but you might need to keep an eye on the washing machine washing these metal beads weighted blankets.
Organic Fillers like Beans and Rice: Organic materials like corn, rice, and beans are used as fillers for organic weighted blankets. However, these blankets are not ideal washable weighted blankets as these natural fillers can absorb water, and as a part of the natural process, get soggy and start to decay.
Rules for Washing Weighted Blankets
- Always consider the filler material before washing the weighted blanket.
- Check for stains and pretreat them before the complete wash.
- Check if your weighted blanket can be washed in hot water or cold water.
- Remove the blanket cover first before washing the blanket.
- Do not heap wash the weighted blanket with the rest of your laundry to avoid fiber abrasion.
- Remember – not every weighted blanket is amicable with a fabric softener.
- Never iron your weighted blanket.
- Go for natural options like line/air drying for your weighted blankets.
- Read the manufacturer’s note/instructions before washing your weighted blanket.
How to Keep Your Weighted Blanket Clean?
While washing is a crucial step, prevention is always better than cure. Here are few things to keep in mind to keep your weighted blanket clean for longer.
- A weighted blanket is not meant to be a bedspread but a proper encasing for therapeutic measures. After using it, fold it and keep it in your wardrobe to avoid dirt and grime exposure.
- Avoid eating in bed. The food stains are hard to clean and can sometimes set in permanently.
- Do not carry your weighted blanket around from one room to another as it may displace the filler materials inside and disturb the even distribution.
- Clean the spot stains immediately with bleach-free cleaner and cold water to avoid the stain from settling in.
- Use a mattress cover if possible to keep the superficial dirt away from the blanket’s surface.