Weighted blankets have proven themselves to be highly beneficial for folks with insomnia, anxiety, PTSD, and many other conditions that might keep someone from falling asleep at night. Odds are you spent decent money on your weighted blanket, so it’s important to keep it in good shape to make it last as long as possible. Some weighted blankets are easy to clean in the washer, and others might take a little more TLC. Keep reading to find out how to wash a weighted blanket.
Important: Read Your Blanket Care Instructions
You can’t assume all weighted blankets are cared for the same way, so first things first, always check the care instructions on the tag. It will tell you what you can and can’t do with your weighted blanket, if it has a removable cover, or if it is or isn’t machine washable.
If you decide to play a guessing game with how to wash your blanket, you might not love the results. So as a rule of thumb, make sure you know your blanket’s proper care instructions before you move forward.
Step 1: Tackle Stains
Have you ever noticed a nasty stain become permanently imprinted on your t-shirt or sweatshirt after you ran it through the washer and dryer? If you have, you’re like a lot of people who don’t treat their stains before the wash, and the dryer sets the stain into your clothes. The same could happen to your weighted blanket. So before you wash the entire thing, concentrate on the special stains that could require different “special” treatments.
- Run cold water over the space where you spotted the stain to remove any dirt that can be matting the fabric down. Remember to avoid warm water to prevent setting in the stain, and try to hold the blanket far away from you so you don’t make a big slippery mess on the ground.
- Use a bleach-free stain remover for any liquid spill stains or bodily fluids like sweat. You should be conscious of your blanket’s fabric when you choose a stain remover, and bleach usually isn’t recommended. Many items found in your laundry room probably contain bleach, so make sure to check the label. Gently scrub the stain with your fingers or a toothbrush.
- Use soap for grease stains after you drop anything like pizza, pasta, or basically anything oil based — you get the gist. You’ll want to follow the same instructions as above; avoid any soap containing bleach, and use your fingers or a gentle brush to scrub the stain away.
Step 2: Wash Your Weighted Blanket
Depending on what the care label says, you’ll want to determine what method you’re going to use to wash your blanket. It’s also possible that you’ll want to machine wash your weighted blanket’s duvet cover, but hand wash the blanket that’s zipped inside. Below are the instructions for both approaches.
- To machine wash your blanket, follow the instructions given to you on the label. It’ll tell you to wash in warm or cold water depending on the type of fabric it’s made from. You should use a mild detergent, again that’s free of bleach, and run it through a light wash setting. If your weighted blanket is over 12 lbs, you might want to take it to a professional location with commercial machines to avoid messing up your expensive laundry machines.
- To hand wash your blanket, clear out your bathtub and fill it up about halfway. Add a ½ cup to a full cup of mild detergent (you guessed it, a detergent without bleach) to the water, depending on the size of your blanket. Mix the water around until it’s lathered, and dunk the entire blanket underneath. Once you’ve washed it thoroughly, empty the tub and fill it up again with clean water, then rinse and repeat this process until your blanket is free of soap. Ring out the extra water, and your weighted blanket is ready to dry.
Step 3: Dry Your Weighted Blanket
Keep in mind that your weighted blanket will be much heavier when it’s wet, especially if you washed the entire blanket together. So with that being said, you should decide if you want to throw it in the dryer or if you want to hang it out. Again, consult the instructions on the tag if you’re stuck.
- To machine dry, make sure it’s either on a low or medium setting, depending on the fabric of your blanket. You can also run it through a tumble dry setting, and throw it in with a dry towel to fluff your blanket up a bit.
- To air dry your weighted blanket, try not to hang it over an old school clothes line, or else it might make the beads or poly-pellets inside become dispersed unevenly throughout the blanket. You can hang it over an even and open surface like a banister, or lay it out to dry in the sun. Just make sure you shake it out every half hour or so to make sure the weight stays evenly distributed.
If your weighted blanket has reached its expiration date and washing it won’t do the trick, you always have the option to purchase a new one. Feel free to take a look at our reviews of the BlanQuil Weighted Blanket and Layla Weighted Blanket, where we go in depth on their features and discuss who they may or may not be best for. You can find weighted blankets in a range of prices online, or you can have a DIY moment and look at our blog post to learn how to make a weighted blanket on your own.
What to Avoid When Cleaning Your Weighted Blanket
- Hot water: Avoid washing your weighted blanket in hot water and instead opt for cold or warm. Hot water is a bit too harsh on the fabric, whereas cold or warm water will be gentler.
- Bleach: Bleach can damage your weighted blanket, so it’s best to avoid using it, even if you get some stains. Instead, spot treat any stains with a gentle laundry detergent.
- Fabric softener: Fabric softener can cause buildup in your weighted blanket and make it feel stiff or scratchy rather than cozy like you want it. It might feel counterintuitive, but because of the way weighted blankets are made, fabric softener isn’t recommended.
- Iron: You shouldn’t need to iron your blanket, and it’s recommended not to do so. An iron can damage the fibers of the blanket and make it wear out more quickly.
Specific Instructions for Different Fabrics
- Cotton: Cotton is the easiest fabric to wash. It’s super durable. You should be able to throw a cotton weighted blanket in your washer on a cool rinse cycle and either put it in the dryer on low or hang it to dry. Opt for your standard gentle laundry detergent for cotton.
- Flannel: Flannel is very similar to cotton, so you can follow many of the same washing and drying instructions (unless the care tag says differently). Put it in the washing machine with your standard gentle detergent on cool or warm. Either hang it to dry or put it in the dryer on low.
- Silk: Silk is a pretty uncommon fabric for a weighted blanket but in the case that you have this, it’s best to dry clean it. You can spot-treat stains carefully, but for the most part, silk requires dry cleaning.
- Wool: Similarly, wool isn’t typically a machine-washable fabric. Wool requires either hand-washing or dry cleaning. Check the care label to be sure, but most likely, you’ll have to gently hand-wash a wool weighted blanket and hang it to dry to prevent shrinking or damage.
- Rayon: Rayon typically also needs to be hand-washed, but, again, check the care label to be sure. It’s easy to damage or shrink, so hand-wash it carefully and lay it flat to dry.