Anyone who’s ever owned an electric blanket knows that they’re pretty much the greatest thing since sliced bread. They just make cold winter nights so much warmer and cozier.
However, many people wonder how to wash their electric blankets properly – it’s not like your usual bed sheets, after all. So, can you wash an electric blanket?
If you’ve ever wondered or been afraid to wash yours, hopefully, this guide will help you out.
I’ll go over what kind of detergent to use and how much, I’ll cover water temperature and how to dry it properly. I’m also going to discuss how to wash a heated blanket by itself, or with other items. And finally, I’ll go over some electric blanket care tips so you can keep it lasting longer.
I know there are a lot of steps in this article, but don’t get overwhelmed! It’s very easy to do and shouldn’t take more than 30 minutes at most.
Step-by-Step Guide on How To Wash an Electric Blanket
Types of Detergent to Use
There are special washes for electric blankets, but don’t worry – you probably already have something that will work at home. All-fabric or gentle detergents are your best bets, and if you’re washing it by itself then you should be fine with just about anything.
If you’re washing a heated blanket with other items, you might want to avoid regular detergents as they can cause buildup and may interfere with the material. Also try not to use anything too strong – it doesn’t need to be bleach or anything like that.
Pre-Treating Stains and Odors
Many people find that their electric blanket gets odors and stains over time. If this is a problem for you, there are several things you can try before washing your blanket:
For regular stains such as food, oil, dirt, etc., use regular laundry pre-treater spray (you’ll probably find this at your local grocery store) directly on the stain before putting it in the wash. You should let it sit for about 15 minutes before washing.
For more stubborn stains such as urine and vomit, try vinegar. You should put some on a washcloth and then let it sit on the stain for about 15 minutes before washing. If that doesn’t work, you can always use something like hydrogen peroxide instead of vinegar – just follow the same steps.
When washing your blanket, don’t add too much pre-treatment spray or liquid to the water – this may cause residue which will get onto your electric blanket and can damage it over time.
Washing by Itself vs. Washing With Other Items
Blankets are pretty resilient so if they’re washed alone then there’s really no problem with doing so. However, if you’re planning on washing a blanket with other items then it will be more important to read labels and pay attention to fabric content.
Remember that some fabrics can’t handle heat or agitation, so it’s best to stick to what the manufacturer recommends for this type of care.
How To Wash an Electric Blanket: Putting It in the Machine
Once you’ve figured out what kind of detergent you’ll be using and whether it should be diluted or not, the next step is putting your electric blanket in the washer. Before washing, remove the blanket from the mattress pad and unplug it.
You should also make sure that all of the connections are tucked under the fabric – you don’t want anything tangling with the agitator once your wash starts.
Use the short or gentle washing cycle – the blanket doesn’t need a lot of agitation to get clean.
An electric blanket is generally safe for any water temperature, however I’d recommend using cold or warm water rather than hot. Unless your washing machine has a specific “wool” setting then it’s best not to use anything hotter than warm because hot water may damage the material over time.
Drying Your Electric Blanket
Once your blanket is clean and rinsed well, make sure to spin out excess water before moving on to drying it. If you don’t do this step (letting the blanket sit while still wet) then it can get mildewy faster once it dries, and this can damage the heating wires.
You’ll need to use your washer’s spin cycle for this (it should be fairly self-explanatory) or you can wring it out manually by turning the blanket inside out and rolling it up tightly (you might want to do this last part in smaller sections). If you’ve let it sit for a while then I’d recommend hanging your electric blanket outside or over a railing if possible – just make sure that nothing heavy will fall on it.
Finally, once the blanket is mostly dry (but still feels damp) take it out of the washer/hanging area so that air can circulate around it. It may take several hours to fully dry, but that’s fine. If you try to dry it too quickly then you run the risk of damaging the heating wires since they’re quite sensitive.
Remember that your blanket is made of fabric that can shrink if it’s washed on too hot of a setting or dried on high heat. If this happens, do not put your electric blanket in the dryer again – instead hang it outside until it dries. I’d recommend doing this with all blankets before using them anyways to make sure any potential damage is visible and can be fixed beforehand rather than after buying.
Can You Wash Heating Blankets: Storing Them Safely
An important thing to remember is not to store your electric blanket folded. This can cause damage to the internal wiring, which may irreversibly ruin your blanket.
Once you’ve washed and dried (or aired out) your electric blanket, make sure it’s completely dry before storing it. If there are any wet spots on the fabric itself you should air them out until they’re dry, but putting a towel over top while storing won’t cause any harm if drying isn’t possible.
Store your blanket in a large plastic bag or trunk with a tightly-woven fabric covering – this helps keep dust off your blanket and prevents anything from tangling up in the wires. It’s also best to store it somewhere cool and dry (not too hot or humid) – this will make sure your blanket lasts as long as possible.
Hopefully, you’ve learned how to wash an electric blanket without causing any damage. Let’s cozy up and keep warm this winter.