How To: Wash a Weighted Blanket
Your weighted blanket is meant to reduce stress, but the thought of figuring out how to wash it may fill you with anxiety.
Weighted blankets act as effective sleep aids, soothing anxiety, insomnia, and even some sensory disorders. In recent years, they have become more popular, resulting in more accessible price points. While weighted blankets provide a number of benefits, washing them can be intimidating. Read on for detailed instructions on how to wash your weighted blanket, as well as tips and tricks for increasing its longevity and making it look as fresh and clean as the day you purchased it.
BEFORE YOU BEGIN
While some weighted blankets come with removable covers, others simply feature an integrated, quilted shell. Consider investing in a cover in order to reduce the frequency at which you need to wash the blanket itself, especially if you sleep with it every night. Even with a cover, however, the weighted blanket will still need to be washed on occasion, which is where the following instructions come in handy.
STEP 1: Read your blanket care instructions.
Weighted blankets vary in their material makeup, weight, and filling, so cleaning instructions will vary based on the model. Their shells may be made from cotton, minky, rayon, or microfiber, all of which have different care requirements. While fillings like plastic poly pellets and micro glass beads are machine-washable, other fillings may require hand washing. Be sure to carefully review the manufacturer’s instructions before cleaning your weighted blanket so ensure you don’t inadvertently damage your washer and dryer or the blanket itself. Before you get started, be sure to take note of your blanket’s weight since heavier models have different care recommendations.
STEP 2: Tackle stains.
Before cleaning your weighted blanket, first check the fabric’s surface to see if there are any stains that require spot treatments. Depending on the stain in question, feel free to use your regular stain removal method, taking into consideration the material of the weighted blanket’s shell. For example, use an enzyme-based stain remover or simply coat an old toothbrush with a mixture of warm water and laundry detergent and scrub the affected area until the stain lifts.
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STEP 3: Use mild detergent to hand wash or machine wash.
Regardless of what the manufacturer’s instructions say, it’s prudent to avoid cleaning a weighted blanket of 20 pounds or heavier in your home washing machine to prevent wear and tear. Consider washing your heavier weighted blanket by hand in your bathtub or taking it to a laundromat to avoid putting unnecessary strain on your machine. Blankets that weigh less than 20 pounds can be cleaned on the machine’s gentle cycle using a standard, mild detergent. Avoid using fabric softeners (which will negatively impact the shell’s texture) and bleach (which will slowly eat away at the blanket’s fibers).
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STEP 4: Follow the recommended drying method.
While it would be easy to assume that a weighted blanket would take ages to dry, their fillings don’t absorb water, so they should actually dry in 12 hours or less. Blankets weighing less than 20 pounds can be dried on the low-heat setting of your dryer, while heavier models should be laid flat to dry or hung on a sturdy rack. If hanging your weighted blanket to dry, make sure the weight is evenly distributed so that it doesn’t lose its shape. It might be tricky to find a flat surface on which to dry your weighted blanket. Consider laying out a tarp or a piece of plastic sheeting in order to let it dry on the floor of an infrequently used indoor space like a basement or garage.
These tried-and-true methods should take the mystery out of washing your weighted blanket. For the best results, be sure to check the shell and filling material before getting started, and always read through the manufacturer’s instructions before using any detergents or cleaning solutions on the material.
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