Weighted blankets are heavy and bulky. With the heaviest washable weighted blanket weighing about 30 lbs and the largest at king size, how can a standard home washer handle something that heavy and big? But are all weighted blankets machine washable? Find out how to wash and care for your weighted blanket with this guide.
Washable Weighted Blanket: Washing and Care
Weighted blankets are designed to be washable just like regular blankets. However, washable weighted blankets are not all the same. Weighted blanket fabrics are cotton, flannel, fleece, wool, and minky, among others. Some weighted blankets have glass bead fillers while others have poly pellets. The washing procedure of weighted blanket depends therefore on its construction and material. Let's explore and see the cleaning procedure of each type of weighted blanket.
How to Laundry Your Washable Weighted Blanket
How to wash a weighted blanket? The washing procedure of your washable weighted blanket depends on the following factors:
Cotton - Cotton can be hand washed or machine washed on a gentle cycle. When machine washing cotton, do so at 50 degree Celsius or lower. Going beyond this temperature can shrink the cotton. Cotton can tolerate a majority of cleaning products, but it is better to use non-chlorine washing powder or liquid on it. Don't dry cotton under the sun or in a tumble dryer to prevent it from shrinking.
Flannel - Just like cotton, flannel is relatively easy to wash. Place it in the washing machine at a gentle cycle and set it to cold or warm. Use a mild washing powder/liquid. Unlike cotton, you can dry flannel under the sun or in a tumble dryer.
Minky - Minky is a fabric that washes easily and can also be machine washed. When washing minky, it is best to clean it alone so as not to create friction with other fabrics. Pre-treat any stubborn stains using non-chlorine bleach. Place the blanket in a cold water machine wash with a gentle softener. Don't use fabric softener as it can gel the soft fibers.
Wool - Wool is delicate and prone to shrinking so handwash it as much as possible. Use detergents that are for delicates. Do not tumble dry your wool blanket as this can crush the delicate wool fibers. Instead, blot it with a towel and hanging it to dry.
Fleece - As with the other fabrics, e-treat the blanket if there are stains, soak it for at least 30 minutes to soften the stain. Wash the fleece blanket in a warm wash with a gentle detergent. It is best to wash the fleece blanket alone or with other fleece fabrics to avoid abrasion. Avoid using a fabric softener on fleece to maintain its water-repellent finish. Air dry fleece or tumble dry it on low heat.
Plastic Poly Pellets - Plastic poly pellets are round plastic beads usually made from ABS virgin plastic. Do not wash blankets with plastic poly pellet as fillers on high temperatures to avoid the risk of the pellets melting and clumping together.
Micro Glass Beads - Micro glass beads are tiny and have a similar feel to sand or salt crystals. Glass beads inner blankets don't melt, so it is safe to wash them in a warm water cycle, but avoid hot water.
Steel Shot Beads - Steel shot beads are heavier compared to other weighted blanket fillers. Use a washing machine that can handle the weight of the blanket with steel shot bead fillers. Just like micro glass beads, steel shot beads do not melt, so it is safe to wash them on a slightly higher temperature.
Sand - Sand is small, quiet, and cheap weighted blanket filler, but they are not ideal filler especially for a washable weighted blanket. Do not wash weighted blankets with sand fillers frequently. Sand expands when wet. It also causes clumps when not appropriately dried causing uneven weight distribution on your blanket.
Beans, rice, and other organic fillers - Organic weighted blanket fillers like beans, rice, and corn are not ideal for a washable weighted blanket. Natural fillers can turn soggy and will decompose when wet. There is also a risk of mold, bacteria, and insect infestation for these organic fillers.
When machine washing weighted blankets, consider its weight and bulk. You can wash weighted blankets below 20 lbs in your laundry room. However, take note that frequent washing can take its toll on your washing machine.
Use a commercial-size washing machine in your local laundromat for weighted blankets above 20 lbs. Going to the laundromat will save your washing machine from the damage a heavy weighted blanket can cause.
Covers for weighted blankets are not that heavy compared to the inner duvet, so washing them at the comfort of your room is possible. Cleaning the cover also depends on its material. Refer to the fabric section above for instructions on how to wash each type of fabric.
General Guidelines for Washing Washable Weighted Blankets
- When buying a weighted blanket, it is essential that it is easy to wash. It is, therefore, best to choose a washable weighted blanket. Washable weighted blankets have either poly pellet, glass bead or steal shot fillers. Avoid fillers that are organic as they decompose when wet and will create mold inside your weighted blanket.
- Before washing the weighted blanket, inspect it thoroughly. Check any stains that might require pre-treatment before washing. Pre-treating the stains before washing can prevent them from being baked into the fabric during the washing and drying process. Check also for damage or tears on the blanket. If there is a tear, mend it first before placing it in the washing machine. Placing a torn sheet on the washer can further tear the fabric.
- When machine washing your weighted blanket, always consider its weight and size. If it is too heavy to clean on your washing machine, take it to the laundromat or a professional laundering service. Laundromats will spare your washing machine from wear and tear.
- Versus washing machine, hand washing a weighted blanket is more recommended. Hand washing will not put the weighted blanket to the wear and tear caused by a washing machine. Hand washing heavy bedding seems daunting, but it is doable. When hand washing, use a mild detergent and avoid using bleach or other harsh laundry chemicals.
- If your weighted blanket comes with a cover, separate the removable cover and the weighted blanket first. Unzip and untie it from the inner blanket before tossing it in the laundry.
- Check what type of fabric your weighted blanket has. Each material has its laundry instruction. Follow each weighted blanket cleaning procedure to keep the blanket in top shape.
- Frequent washing of weighted blankets can not only damage your washing machine but the blanket itself. To cut down on the washing frequency, use a weighted blanket removable cover. If you need to wash the blanket because of a stain, consider spot cleaning using a soft brush and detergent.
- Wash your weighted blanket separately or with other similar fabrics. Washing it with other laundry items can cause abrasion and can potentially damage or tear the blanket.
- When using a fabric softener, dryer sheet, or bleach, make sure that it is safe to use on the type of fabric your weighted blanket have. However, it is best to avoid using fabric softener or bleach altogether. Fabric softeners can affect the softness of the bedding and bleach can break down the fibers over time.
- Not all weighted blankets are safe to tumble dry on high temperature. Plastic poly pellet fillers are prone to melting so do not use high temperature on them. If possible, air dry your weighted blanket or dry them at low-heat temperatures.
- If you choose to hang dry your weighted blanket, do not hang it on one edge. Hang it evenly over your clothesline to maintain its shape. Shake it now and then to redistribute the fillers. It will take up to 24 hours for your weighted blanket to dry depending on weather conditions.
- Do not iron your weighted blanket. Putting your weighted blanket under any heat treatment can shrink your blanket or melt plastic poly pellet fillers. If keeping your weighted blanket wrinkle-free an issue to you, it is best to use a cover to hide the wrinkle. It is perfectly safe to iron a weighted blanket cover on a low heat setting.
- Some weighted blankets have covers that are not removable. In cases like these, it is crucial to consider the internal materials of the blanket before washing.
- Always inspect your weighted blanket for stains. Spot clean them using a gentle cleaning agent like baking soda. Never use bleach. Blot the stain with a small white cloth. If the stain remains, brush it with a toothbrush and detergent. After rinsing with a small amount of water, air-dry the blanket or use a blow dryer in the low-temperature setting. Clean stains as soon as possible to avoid the stain from setting in which makes it more difficult to remove.
- All weighted blankets come with washing instructions from the manufacturer. The manufacturer knows best when it comes to the care and wash of their products so make sure to read the washing instructions before going to the laundry.
6 Ways to Keep Your Weighted Blanket Clean
It is recommended to wash your weighted blanket three to four times a year. However, due to stains, dust, and musty odor on the sheet, we can't avoid washing the weighted blanket frequently.
But frequent machine washing can cause damage on the weighted blanket – it can shrink the blanket's fibers, cause uneven distribution of weight due to clumped fillers, affect the softness of the fabric, and possibly tear the blanket. Here are some ways to avoid frequent washing of your weighted blanket.
- Do not use the weighted blanket as a bedspread. Weighted blankets are meant to cover and induce therapeutic effects on the person, not the bed. After using the weighted blanket, fold it up and put it away. Through this way, you can keep the weighted blanket from daily activities that can damage and dirty your blanket.
- If possible, do not allow dogs to sleep in the bed with you and your weighted blanket. Pets can shed, leave dirty footprints on the weighted blanket, and can cause the blanket to smell. If you can't do without your pet sleeping with you, make sure then to clean their paws before they step on your blanket, or provide a separate, easily washed sheet where they can sleep.
- Avoid eating on your bed with your weighted blanket. Meals are the most common causes of stains. You do not want your weighted blanket to smell like an egg or bacon, don't you?
- Weighted blankets should be used on the bed only. If you want a weighted blanket to use as a lap blanket on your couch or in your work office, use a smaller weighted blanket. Smaller weighted blankets are more comfortable to wash than full size weighted blankets. Transporting a smaller weighted blanket will be easy as they are not burdensome. By using a smaller sized weighted blanket, you would not need to worry about accidentally spilling coffee or dropping food on it as they can be easily machine washed.
- Use a removable cover for your weighted blanket. A cover will protect your weighted blanket from damage, dust, and stains. By using a cover, you can wash the inner blanket less often. The inner blanket is more expensive and susceptible to the wear and tear caused by machine washing. A removable weighted blanket cover, on the other hand, is much cheaper to replace and more comfortable to wash.
- If possible, spot clean stains on the weighted blanket to avoid washing the whole blanket. Stains should be removed as soon as possible to prevent them from setting in and harder to remove. During spot treatment, avoid using bleach as it can shrink the blanket material.