Everything You Need to Know About Machine-Washing & Hand-Washing a Weighted Blanket
Like regular blankets that keep you feeling warm and cozy, their weighted counterparts do all of that, and more! Proven to help you sleep better, relieve stress and pain in the body, and reduce anxiety, these heavy quilt-like blankets are quickly growing in popularity which, in turn, means that there are more and more people looking for the best way to clean their weighted blanket. Well, if that’s what you are in search of, you’ve come to the right place!
Today, Maid For You is sharing all-important information pertaining to the dos and don’ts of washing a weighted blanket by hand and in a washing machine, as well as the necessary steps to take in order to carry out both cleaning methods safely and efficiently. So, without further ado, let’s begin!
Things to Consider Before Cleaning a Weighted Blanket
As much as we love our weighted blankets and the benefits they offer, the only downside to them (if you can call this one) is the fact that they require special care as far as cleaning is concerned. Due to their fill, weight, and large size, washing a weighted blanket is not as simple as loading it into a machine, adding detergent, and hitting ‘start’; there are factors that must be taken into consideration to ensure safe and efficient cleaning. These are as follows:
Read Care Labels
Weighted blankets generally come with cleaning and care instructions on the tag which will reconfirm whether or not you are going about cleaning the item in the correct manner
Consider the Fill & Fabric
Depending on the type of material your weighted blanket is made of, as well as the fill (pellets, beads, etc) inside, it will require appropriate cleaning and care (instructions for which should also be mentioned on the label)
Weight & Size
This does not matter if you are washing the blanket by hand in a bathtub; however, when machine-washing a weighted blanket, you must ensure that your washer can handle the weight and size, otherwise, you may have to take it to the laundromat to make use of a commercial washing machine
Level of Cleaning Required
In some cases, your weighted blanket needn’t be washed but rather spot-cleaned (especially where surface-level stains are concerned); deep cleaning with a thorough wash should be considered once in six months while the cover can be cleaned more frequently
Many types of fill in weighted blankets, as well as fabrics, cannot handle high heat; therefore, you should always use warm or cold water to wash these types of blankets
The care tag should also mention how to dry your weighted blanket – whether in a dryer or by air-drying it
Type of Laundry Detergent
Again, due to the blanket’s fill and fabric, cleaning experts recommend using a mild laundry detergent (consider products used to clean baby clothes and linens)
With the information above in mind, you may now proceed to the cleaning process.
Steps to Clean a Weighted Blanket
The overall method of cleaning weighted blankets is pretty straightforward. Whether you are machine-washing the blanket or cleaning it by hand, we’ve got all the information you need in this step-by-step guide below.
Step 1: Clean the Outer Cover
Most weighted blankets are fitted with a removable cover that needs to be cleaned separately. The good news is that they can be machine-washed regularly with mild soap and cool water. Be sure to check the care tag on the cover before washing it as the fabric in question may have specific washing instructions. If you cannot pull out the weighted blanket from the cover, check for fasteners or ties on the inside that must be opened in order to release the blanket.
Step 2: Pre-Treat Stains
While most mild stains will come out during the washing process, it is recommended to pre-treat old or severe stains on your weighted blanket as this will increase the efficacy of the cleaning process in removing them. To do this, simply apply an enzyme-based laundry stain remover to the affected area and use a soft brush to work the product into the material. Wait at least 10 or 15 minutes before moving on to the next step.
Step 3: Follow Machine-Wash Instructions
If the weight limit of your washer permits washing a blanket as large and heavy as the one you have, take a second look at the cleaning or washing instructions on the care tag as you load it into the washer. Pay special attention to the type of cycle, water temperature, and laundry detergent required to safely clean your particular weighted blanket’s fabric and fill.
NOTE: If you are cleaning your weighted blanket by hand, skip ‘Step 3’ and go straight to ‘Step 4’ below.
Step 4: Prepare for the Hand-Washing Method
In order to hand-wash a weighted blanket efficiently, you need to prepare the space you are going to use; considering the size of a standard queen or king size blanket, you will require a bathtub for this. For a smaller-sized blanket, a large enough basin will suffice. To prepare for this method to hand-wash the piece, scrub and rinse the tub/basin thoroughly to ensure that there is no grime or soap buildup left on the surface.
Next, fill up the tub/basin just over halfway with normal-lukewarm water, and add in a small amount of mild laundry detergent. For a single-sized weighted blanket, you will require ¼ cup of detergent while larger sizes call for ½ - ¾ cup detergent. Stir the water to mix in the soap; don’t worry if the water does not appear too sudsy as excess product tends to leave soap buildup on the blanket, thus making the material stiff. In this case, you will need to spend a lot more time and water to rinse the fabric thoroughly.
Step 5: Hand-Wash the Weighted Blanket
Place the blanket inside the water slowly to prevent the water from spilling over; then gently push it down until fully submerged. While it is soaking, agitate the fabric by gently squeezing different areas of the blanket before leaving it in the cleaning solution for 15-20 minutes. For a deeper clean, it helps to go back and agitate the blanket every 5 minutes.
Step 6: Rinse the Blanket
At the end of the soaking time, drain out the water completely and rinse the tub or basin thoroughly to remove traces of soap and dirt (you will need to take out the blanket in order to do this). Fill up the tub/basin halfway again, this time with plain room temperature water. Dunk the blanket in the fresh water, and gently press down on the fabric to release soapy water that the material has absorbed. Drain the water and repeat this process until all traces of soap have been removed.
Step 7: Dry the Blanket
If you have a weighted blanket with microglass beads filled inside, it can be tumble dried using the lowest heat cycle of the dryer. For weighted blankets with other types of fill, the best and safest way to dry the fabric includes the following steps:
- With a pair of extra hands to help you out, hold all four corners of the blanket horizontally (e.g. one hand up, one hand down); stretch it to its full-length and width, and shake off excess water.
- Lay down a plastic sheet or tarp, and spread the weighted blanket over it.
- If some of the filling has shifted, even it out with your hands.
- Grab a few bath towels, lay them flat over the blanket, and gently press down on them to soak up as much moisture as possible. Lift the towels and hang them to dry separately.
- Leave the weighted blanket to air-dry completely but flipping it over every 5 or 6 hours so that both sides dry evenly. When you do this, you might want to consider having a spare plastic sheet/tarp so that you aren’t turning the blanket over and laying it down on an already damp surface.
It generally takes two full days and nights to air dry a weighted blanket, however, this may differ depending on climate and the amount of ventilation in the room. Only after the blanket is completely dry should it be placed back into the clean and dry weighted blanket cover.
And that’s everything you need to know about when and how to clean your weight blankets! Remember, in order to enjoy the benefits of using a weighted blanket, you need to keep it clean, sanitary, and smelling fresh, too!
Adriana Aziz is the operations manager at MaidForYou. With over 6 years of experience managing cleaning operations, she knows all the best hacks when it comes to cleaning residential and commercial buildings. With expert experience in managing house cleaning operations, interior design and logistics. She spends her free time with her family and as a freelance food critic.