For those experiencing their very first weighted blanket, life is about to get very comfortable. We won’t blame you if you decide to spend all of your free time snuggled in a cocoon made of your weighted blanket, a cup of coffee, and a steady stream of Netflix. Of course, the more time you spend under your weighted blanket, the more frequently you will end up needing to wash it. Not only will your blanket gather crumbs, dust, and other debris, it will also absorb body odors over time.
Washing your weighted blanket is pretty simple.
- Wash with cold or warm water.
- Use the gentle setting.
- Pay attention to the detergent you choose for your weighted blanket.
- Always use a low setting to tumble dry your blanket.
It is important to learn the right way to care for your weighted blanket to ensure it lasts as long as possible. One of the most important care tips is proper washing and storage. Thankfully, we have put together an easy-to-follow guide that will help you keep your blanket as fresh as the day you brought it home.
Why You Should Wash a Weighted Blanket
A weighted blanket will need the same care and attention as any other type of fabric bedding in your home. Linens, comforters, throws, and weighted blankets all absorb oils from the skin each time you use them. While minuscule amounts may not exert much effect, over time, these can cause smelly odors to develop.
Depending on where in the house you typically use your weighted blanket, it may also gather food debris, pet dander, and more. Washing your weighted blanket will keep it free from odors and also dust or other common allergens. It is also critical to wash your blanket to prevent the spread of bacteria and germs that may lead to illness.
Can You Wash a Weighted Blanket in a Washing Machine?
Most weighted blankets can be washed in a washing machine. It is important to check the label before you wash it to ensure that it is in fact, machine washable.
There are a few brands that are not washable due to the type of beads used inside of the fabric as weights. Depending on the size of your blanket and your washing machine, you may also want to consider visiting a laundromat to use a commercial washer.
A cotton weighted blanket is the easiest to clean and does not need any special treatment other than a bit of white vinegar to prevent bleeding.
Fur-style weighted blankets need a specific type of soap, and to be washed alone.
Fleece weighted blankets just need low heat and warm water.
Linen and linen blends should always be dry cleaned. They all require a gentle cycle for the best results.
How Do You Wash a Weighted Blanket?
Before washing your weighted blanket, check the materials and the care instructions. Different blankets will have varied instructions based on the filler material.
#1 Gauge The Weight
Before you do anything, you need to make sure you know where you will be washing your weighted blanket. Residential washing machines can easily manage weighted blankets that are as heavy as 12 pounds, but anything heavier should be washed in a commercial washing machine.
#2 Check The Care Label
Every brand has a slightly different method of care for its weighted blankets. Some use metal weights while others use plastic. It is critical that you check the label to ensure that you are not planning to clean your blanket in a way to will cause harm.
- Linen – this type of fabric can be washed in cold water by hand, or sent for dry cleaning.
- Cotton – this type should be washed on a slow regular cycle in cold water.
- Minky– this polyester blend should be washed in cold water on the gentle cycle.
- Fleece – this type should always be washed on its own in a slow regular cycle in warm water.
- Wool – this type should be hand washed with gentle detergent in cold water. It also needs to air dry to prevent fabric damage.
- Flannel – this type should be washed in lukewarm water on the slow cycle.
- All materials should be washed with a gentle detergent and then tumble dried on very low heat.
#3 Spot Treat & Pre-soak
If you have any stains on your weighted blanket, spot treat those areas using a mixture of a few drops of dish soap and water before you wash your blanket.
You can also pre-soak your weighted blanket for half an hour in a mild detergent. For fleece blankets, fabric softener is okay. Minky fabrics that have stains can be treated with diluted non-chlorine bleach and a bit of gentle hand scrubbing.
#4 Washing Your Weighted Blanket
Your weighted blanket should be washed on its own to prevent damaging the blanket and overloading the machine.
Always use the gentle cycle and choose either warm or cold water according to your blanket material.
Use a gentle detergent, and specifically one that has no bleach, fabric softener, or chlorine. All of these have the potential of breaking down the fabric and also leaving behind residue that will age your weighted blanket faster than usual. Unless your weighted blanket is fleece, do not use fabric softener.
#5 Drying Your Weighted Blanket
Once your weighted blanket has been washed, the next step is getting it dry and fluffy. Some blankets have glass pellets, while others have metal or plastic pellets. The filler type will determine the best way to dry your blanket.
For most weighted blankets you can tumble dry them on low heat. The gentle setting will prevent the filler pellets from damaging the blanket or your dryer. Never use high heat as this can destroy certain filler beads, or in worse situations, break your dryer. Always dry your weighted blanket on its own.
You can also air-dry your weighted blanket. This will help reduce any peeling that some fabrics may be prone to. Never hang your weighted blanket, instead, find a large flat surface and allow it to air dry. Turn the blanket periodically to ensure it dries evenly.
Things to Avoid
Caring for and cleaning a weighted blanket is pretty simple as you can see from our guide above. There are a couple of things we feel are worth mentioning that you should avoid.
Always avoid using high heat both in the wash cycle and the drying cycle. Gentle, non-bleach detergents are the best, and bleach should be avoided at all costs. Also, as tempting as it may be to allow your weighted blanket to air dry, it should never hand on the line while wet. This can cause the weights to shift, and the blanket may end up looking and feeling lumpy.
Avoid ironing your weighted blanket regardless of what type of filler pellets are used in the blanket. Plastic pellets may melt and glass or metal pellets have to potential to damage your iron. In some cases, you can even get serious burns if your skin comes in contact with the superheated pellets before they had a chance to cool.
Unless there is a pressing need for sanitation, don’t over-wash your weighted blanket. This can cause the fibers to shrink leading to a reduction in softness and an uneven distribution of filler pellets.
How To Care For a Weighted Blanket?
It is a good idea to make a habit of washing your weighted blanket five to six times a year to keep it fresh and crispy. Regular washing will also ensure your blanket always stays soft and plush for each use.
You can protect your weighted blanket and increase its longevity by covering it with a duvet and storing it in a sealed plastic fabric bag when not in use.
Keep in mind that your weighted blanket is a therapeutic device good for anxiety and insomnia, it is not a comforter. Instead of using it to decorate your bed, always keep it stored properly when not in use.
Keep pets and small children off of your weighted blanket. This will reduce the number of times you need to wash it. The last thing you want is foul odors when you snuggle up under your blanket, so keeping it clean is the best way to improve its longevity.
On that same note, it can be tempting to enjoy your favorite snack or beverage while lounging under your weighted blanket but to reduce the chance of spills and stains, you should avoid eating while bundled up.
Weighted blankets come in various sizes, you can choose one that is large enough to sleep in, and one that is smaller that can be used while sitting in a chair. Regardless of the size, use a specialized blanket cover or a duvet to protect the outside of your weighted blanket. Keeping a smaller-sized weighted blanket on hand will also reduce the number of times you need to wash your larger blanket since you will use it less frequently.