How to Wash Blankets

Washing is necessary to keep your blankets clean and fresh.

After all, it’s bound to get dirty over time through constant use. A clean blanket helps you sleep peacefully throughout the night. Being comfortable during sleep is one of the main reasons why you decided to buy a blanket in the first place, right?

Learning how to clean them correctly is necessary so you can keep using them for years. Doing it the wrong way will hurt you financially, as you need to buy another one to replace your damaged blanket. The quality of your sleep will also be affected. As you can see, there are certain qualities that you need to maintain that makes your blanket the ideal sleeping aid.

Things like the texture, appearance, condition, softness, and the ability to keep you fresh or warm are all essential aspects that make your blanket useful.     

What’s the best way to wash blankets?

Your three basic options in washing your blankets are:

  1. Manual washing
  2. Washing machine
  3. Dry cleaning

All of them will get the job done but does not mean one is better than the other. The cost and the manufacturer’s care label instructions will determine your best option.

If you own a weighted blanket, check if the inner sheet that contains the filling materials are removable. If they are, remove them, so you only need to wash the outer cover. They’re designed that way to make them easier to maintain.

The general rule when it comes to washing blankets is always to check the manufacturer’s care label. Upon reading the care instructions, you will know the best way to care for your beloved blanket.

Certain types of fabrics tend to get damaged when washed with hot water temperatures. Be careful with choosing the right settings on your washing machine. Make sure that you’re following the manufacturer’s instructions. When in doubt, always select the delicate and cold-water temperature settings.

The first two options require more work than the last option. Sending your blanket to your nearest dry cleaner is already getting half the job done. The second and final part is to pay for the cost and claiming your item when it’s done. Having your blanket dry-cleaned is the most expensive option but offers the convenience.

Washing your blankets

Two things you need to clean your blanket:

Laundry detergent

It’s best to select a hypoallergenic detergent or the mild ones when choosing the right kind of laundry detergent to use. Using a mild detergent ensures you won’t experience any allergic reactions like skin irritations or sneezing.

When washing your blanket or clothes for that matter, make sure to use the right amount. Putting in more amounts of detergent than necessary will cause any fabric to feel rough or itchy. You will need to add one more rinse cycle to wash off any soapy residue left. Another adverse effect of using more than the recommended amount is it allows mold and mildew to grow on your washing machine.

Using the appropriate amount conserves water and electricity as it effectively shortens the whole washing process.   

Fabric conditioner

The use of a fabric conditioner is applied only during the rinse cycle to soften, add a distinct fragrance, and impart antistatic properties to the fabric. It ensures your blankets or clothes stay soft and comfortable by coating the fibers with chemical compounds to restore its hardened surface.

Keep in mind that they are not advisable for use on minky fabrics. Using a fabric conditioner on your minky blanket will damage its fuzzy texture and softness.

Drying your blankets

The next process after washing your blankets is to let them dry. Even if you have a fully-automatic washing machine, this step is still necessary to dry your blanket or other laundered items completely.

Your drying options are:

Air Drying

This option is the traditional method of drying laundered items. It is also the most efficient because nature does the work for you. However, it only works when it’s a sunny day, and there are no chances of raining. Living in an area with a subtropical climate will make this option your default choice. If it’s the other way around, you can only do this during spring and summer.    

Drying Rack

The drying rack is your alternative to air drying if you don’t have a clothesline in your home. This option works for best those living in colder areas and also those in warmer regions when it’s raining outside. They can just hang their blankets in a drying rack situated inside their home. The only disadvantage is that the drying time is much longer.

Dryer

A fully-automatic washing machine already incorporates this process in the entire washing cycle, but people also have an option to skip the drying or spinning part. Relying too much on the dryer can only hasten the effects of wear and tear. Use this option when you really need the item immediately where you don’t have the luxury of time. For drying soft blankets, avoid using dryer sheets as it can leave a layer of coating that causes it to feel rough.

Steps in hand washing your blankets

  1. Prepare the things you need

The laundry detergent and fabric conditioner, a basin that’s large enough for the blanket to fit in, water, a chair, the blanket itself, and yourself.

  1. Give the blanket a good shake to remove the dust or debris and place it aside to prepare for the succeeding steps.
  2. Pour the appropriate amount of laundry detergent.
  3. Pour the proper amount of water, or you can turn on the faucet to fill the basin.

It is advisable that the basin is half-filled with water. Filling it with too much water can cause it to overflow when you put in the blanket for washing. Give the water an extra swish with your hand to dissolve the detergent entirely and for bubbles to form.

  1. Put the blanket in the basin filled with soapy water and begin the hand washing process.

Wash it thoroughly by hand until you feel all the dirt and stains are removed from the blanket. When you’re done, squeeze it to remove excess water and put your blanket aside.

  1. Drain the basin with soapy water and rinse it with running water to thoroughly wash out the remaining dirt.
  2. Pour the appropriate amount of water in the basin, this time for rinsing your blanket.
  3. Rinse your blanket with clean water and move it in an up and down motion to remove the soapy residue.
  4. Repeat steps six to eight until you feel the blanket has been thoroughly rinsed.
  5. Squeeze the blanket to drain the excess water.
  6. Hang it in a clothesline to dry.

Handwash heavy blankets for spot cleaning only. Heavier blankets are more cumbersome to wash than blankets made of lighter and thinner fabrics.  

Steps in washing blankets via the washing machine

Make sure that the dry weight of your blanket does not exceed your washing machine’s load capability.

Find out the exact weight by weighing your blanket. This is very important if you're washing your weighted blanket. If the blanket's weight exceeds your washing machine's capacity, have it cleaned by your nearest laundry service provider like coin-operated laundry shop. It’s cheaper and logical instead of upgrading to a more expensive washing machine.

They have commercial-grade washing machines capable of heavier loads. You only need to clear your schedule to get this done.

When washing your blanket, mix it with your bedsheets or pillowcases of the same color and texture. Do not blend other pieces of clothing as the possibility of color discoloration will stain your blanket.

  1. Pour an appropriate amount of laundry detergent and fabric softener in your washing machine. Put them in the right compartments for the proper application when the washing cycle starts.
  2. Put the blanket inside the washing machine.
  3. Turn on your washing machine.
  4. Choose the gentle or delicate cycle.
  5. Set the water temperature to its lowest setting or cold temperature.
  6. Press the start button to begin the washing cycle.
  7. Wait for it to finish.
  8. Take out your blanket from the washing machine.
  9. Hang it to dry in the clothesline as putting it in the dryer will cause pilling or small balls to form.
  10. Once it’s completely dry, fold and store it for later use.

Washing no-sew weighted blankets and blankets whose weight exceeds your washing machine’s capacity.

Go to your nearest laundry service provider like coin-operated washing machines.

Prepare the same things you need to get your blanket washed such as the laundry detergent and fabric conditioner (optional). Set it to the lowest water temperature and delicate settings.

The delicate setting is excellent for the no-sew weighted blanket because there’s a tendency for the sheets to come off because they’re not sewn together. 

Washing blankets made of Minky fabric

Just the same as the steps in washing blankets via the washing machine or hand washing except for the use of a fabric conditioner.

The use of fabric conditioner on Minky fabrics will cause it to drastically lose its softness which is the main selling point or useful feature of a Minky blanket.

How often should I wash my blankets?

Check the label if the washing frequency is indicated. If not, washing your blanket at least once a month is ideal.

The regular washing schedule ensures you’re sleeping with a clean blanket. If once a month is too frequent because of your hectic schedule, wash it once every three to six months.

If you feel you’re blanket needs to be washed because you spilled your morning coffee on it, have it cleaned immediately to remove the stains. The stain is easily removed if it’s still fresh. The longer it stays on the blanket, the harder it will be to remove it.