Weighted blankets use a weighted material as filling, thus the name. They’re also quite heavy at around 12 to 15 pounds. But with this size comes a deep pressure that helps put you to sleep. This type of bedding is said to have calming effects.
So, if you want a stress-less slumber, you can use a weighted blanket instead of a traditional one. This entails commitment, though. Learning how to wash a weighted blanket should be high on your priority list now. You need to make this a habit to keep your blanket clean, safe, and comfortable for a long time.
For all the benefits it gives, this is just one tiny bump on the road. And if you do slay this task, you’ll have built muscle memory and repeat it without difficulty. That said, are you ready to take on the cleaning and washing a weighted blanket challenge?
Table of Contents
- How to Wash A Weighted Blanket
- Washing A Weighted Blanket
- Washing A Zipped Weighted Blanket
- Machine-Washing A Weighted Blanket
- Hand-Washing A Weighted Blanket
- Drying a Weighted Blanket
How to Wash A Weighted Blanket
Washing A Weighted Blanket
There are several ways to wash a weighted blanket, depending on the design. Here are some general steps to remember:
Read the Label
Most bedding items come with cleaning instructions. They tell you how to care and wash the product. Weighted blankets should have this kind of information on their labels. The directions may differ based on the brand. The fabric may also require special care. For instance, see if it needs different treatment from the typical gentle machine wash in cold water.
Check For Damage Or Stains
You may have missed stains on your blanket before. This is the time to pay attention to every spot. Pre-treating stains are necessary, as these can already be too set into the fabric during the washing process. Old stains can still be removed using methods specific to their kind.
How about recent debris from spilling a drink, food, or oil on the blanket? Use dish soap to spot-clean such problems. Do not pour bleach on the fabric, as the chlorine may cause discoloration and further damage. Stick with the gentle, non-chlorinated alternative.
Damages, of course, should be fixed prior to cleaning to prevent them from getting worse.
Rinse the Stains
One way to treat the stains is to place it under cold running water. Moisten the spots where the dried or fresh stains are found. This technique should help loosen the fabric, allowing the dirt to be lifted. To avoid it from trickling down the rest of the blanket, have the fabric face toward the running water and downward.
Use A Spray Stain Remover for Fluids
If the stains are caused by spills, like bodily fluids, try using a spray cleaner that does not use harsh chemicals. Look for one that is specifically designed for blankets. It could be a spray stain remover that is hypoallergenic, bleach-free, and safe for soft fabrics.
Follow the step regarding rinsing before spraying on your blanket. Rub the affected areas with your finger or a soft brush.
Wash Your Blanket
After pre-treatment and rinsing, wash your blanket in the machine or by hand right away. If this isn’t possible, leave it in cold water instead.
Washing A Zipped Weighted Blanket
Some weighted blankets have an outer layer that can be unzipped and washed. You need to wash it, so it can continue protecting the filling. Here are detailed steps on how to do this:
Take Off the Outer Layer
So your weighted blanket may be the zip-off type. It has an outer layer that you can peel off the filling. If the outer part does not come with a zipper, it probably comes with snaps. Carefully unzip or detach the snaps to take out the weighted material inside.
In this case, you will wash only the outer layer and keep the inner material somewhere clean and safe.
Wash the Outer Layer
Per the general rule, you should wash your weighted blanket in cold water using a gentle cycle. Avoid hot water as this may cause permanent damage to the product. For special instructions, refer to the label. Now, you can wash the outer layer by itself if it’s thick. Otherwise, you can mix it with other sleep accessories or towels.
Do not even consider bleach or any whiteners. Instead, pour a drop of liquid detergent into the appropriate slot of the top loader or front loader. Are you washing the blanket for the first time? Does it have colors that run or are too bright? Add some salt to allow the colors to set into the fabric.
Tumble Dry On Low Heat
You can then tumble dry the outer layer on low heat. Take it out before the drying process is finished. This is to keep the material from looking crumpled. Hang it outside to completely dry. If you have a rack or a clothesline, spread out the sheet for easier drying.
Machine-Washing A Weighted Blanket
Identify the Fabric Used to Make Your Blanket
As emphasized earlier, know the construction and materials of your blanket. Does it have an outer layer? Or is it just the full blanket as is without a zip-off cover? These two have different methods of washing. You can also check for the instructions applicable to the fabric the blanket is made of.
Know the Size And Weight Of Your Blanket
Now, take note of the size and weight of your blanket. If it weighs more than 12 pounds or 5.5 kilograms, it has to be washed in a large-capacity, commercial washer. This may be beyond your washing machine’s capacity, so double-check that detail as well.
If it is indeed beyond the load your washer can handle, better take it to a laundromat or a professional laundry service provider. Communicate the requirements for your blanket’s material. This can be as essential as the correct temperature and detergent for its fabric. Dry cleaning is not recommended for this bedding.
Know Which Washer Is Right For Your Blanket
On top of this, make sure that the right care and treatment is applied to your blanket. Depending on the fabric, you can run a warm or cold cycle. When washing, stick to the lightest setting. Use a gentle detergent, avoiding bleach or whitening cleaners.
Here are some details you need to know about the different materials used in weighted blankets.
- 100% cotton (inner) – wash in warm or cold water, delicate cycle, and with gentle detergent;
- Fleece or Minky – cold wash only, with gentle detergent, and without fabric softener, as this can ruin the short fibers;
- Flannel – cold or medium cycle, with fabric softener; 1 cup of white vinegar can be added during rinse for softening and anti-pilling effects (pilling refers to loose threads that cluster on the surface of sheets and blankets);;
- Chenille (ultra-soft) – cold or tepid water with gentle detergent;
- Bead or poly-pellets (inner) – warm water cycle is advised, but do not use hot water;
- Waterproof – warm or hot water is fine, given the material is hard to wash, but do not use bleach or vinegar
Hand-Washing A Weighted Blanket
If the fabric is sensitive, you can wash the blanket by hand instead.
Wash It In A Large Basin or A Tub
You will need a large basin or a tub, and tepid water, to wash your weighted blanket. The container should be large enough to submerge it. When filling up the basin or tub with water, leave some a few inches of space from the brim. You will want to have room to move the blanket without spilling water over the container.
Wash With Gentle Detergent
Like in the machine-washing method, use only a mild detergent. Bleach, whitening agents and other harsh chemicals can damage the fabric and filling of your blanket. Pour up to half to full cup worth of detergent depending on the size of your blanket. Mix it with water thoroughly to create soapy water. Distribute the froth to ensure your blanket is covered evenly during washing.
Knead the Blanket
Push the blanket into the water enough to submerge it. You need every part to be covered in soapy water. When this is so, knead the blanket section by section, so you won’t skip any areas. Once you’re sure every part is cleaned, leave it lying in the tub or water. And then drain the water from the container.
Rinse It Well
Fill the tub or basin again with water. This should remove the froth from the blanket. Drain the water again from the container and repeat it. Rinse until there are no traces of soap left on the blanket. You can also use a showerhead to remove soap off the sheet faster. You will know you have rinsed it thoroughly when the water is clear.
Remove Excess Water
Next, squeeze the excess water out of the blanket. You can do this by rolling the bedding tightly instead of wringing. The latter can damage the material and shape of your blanket. Keep squeezing until you have removed most of the water. Don’t worry if you can’t remove all of it, though.
Dry It Out
Now it’s time to dry the blanket. Take it out into the sun. Lean it on a rack or a banister, or hang it on a clothesline if you have one. But be wary of the latter. Then, every 30 minutes, shake it out to remove excess water and even out the fabric.
You will learn more about drying in the next method.
Drying a Weighted Blanket
Last but not least, learn how to properly and completely dry a weighted blanket:
Use A Machine Dryer
As with your washer, you have to match the capacity of your dryer to the size of your blanket. It should be able to handle and spin the weight of your wet blanket, which tends to be heavier. Not all household dryers are designed for this job.
Once you’ve determined it’s all right to dump it in your dryer, use low heat or air fluff setting. Choose a lower setting if you are machine drying. To add or restore fluff, include a towel in the dryer while drying your bedding.
To get the best results, use low heat to dry cotton, fleece, and chenille. The latter is especially sensitive and high heat can shorten its fibers if repeatedly exposed.
Low or medium settings work for poly-pellet blankets. While waterproof ones are okay with warm or hot water during wash, it should be dried only in low heat.
Air- and Sun-Dry It
Place your blanket on a wide, open space. Let it lean on a banister or a rack. You can bring kitchen chairs outside, line them up, and use the seats as a flat surface for the bedding to lie on. Do this to distribute its weight properly, which helps in keeping the blanket soft and comfortable. The air can circulate properly and sunlight can touch all areas well, too.
If you have a clothesline and want to use it, make sure it is strong enough to handle the size and weight of your blanket. Hanging may damage your blanket. But if you take precautions, this can also help dry it completely. Shake out the blanket every 30 minutes to remove excess water. Also, redistribute the weight so it’s even across it.
Paying close attention to details has to be practiced. This is to ensure it will stay comfortable and relieving for a long time. It also contributed toward a generally comfortable bedroom setup.
In this guide, we shared 5 methods on how to wash a weighted blanket. We hope that these steps can you think the task is doable. You don’t need to know rocket science to successfully wash and dry your weighted blanket. But you do need commitment if you are to do it well.
For more tips on cleaning, read our guide on How to Clean A Mattress.