How to Wash an Electric Blanket - Bob Vila

How To: Wash an Electric Blanket

There's nothing cozier than snuggling up with your electric blanket on a cold day—but, eventually, there comes a time where it needs to be cleaned. If its cords seem to complicate the process, this guide has you covered.

How To Wash An Electric Blanket

Photo: istockphoto.com

Cleaning an electric blanket can seem intimidating, even hazardous. Mixing water with electricity? No, thank you. But an electric blanket should be washed every month, prior to being stored away, and anytime it gets soiled in order to keep it soft and cozy—it’s time to stop pretending you don’t notice that ice cream stain and learn the proper way to launder it.

Chris Galas, the marketing manager of Sunbeam, a major manufacturer of electric blankets, is here to help demystify the process. His first assurance: It’s actually not as hard—or as dangerous—as you think!

“While there’s a natural instinct to keep water and electricity away from each other, it’s a common misconception that it can be a safety hazard to wash an electric blanket,” Galas says. “The biggest concern is not that the blanket will catch on fire or electrocute you, but that you’ll actually damage the heating components by using harsh chemicals, high heat, or a drying technique that will pinch or warp the wires,” says Galas. With that in mind, we’ve rounded up three different (equally safe) methods for how to wash an electric blanket.

How To Wash An Electric Blanket

Photo: istockphoto.com

SPOT TREATMENT

You’re snuggled up on the couch under your electric blanket enjoying a warm drink and…spills happen. Here’s how to address a localized stain without having to throw the whole blanket into the wash.

MATERIALS AND TOOLS Available on Amazon
Butter knife (optional)
Soft white cloths (2)
Water
Mild fabric detergent

STEP 1
Before even addressing the stain, make sure you unplug the blanket. Once it’s safely turned off, gently scrape away whatever excess (or, if you’ve waited too long, hardened) debris using your fingernails or a butter knife.

STEP 2
Dip a white cloth in water and add a little mild fabric detergent to it. Rub it gently onto the spot until the stain comes up and transfers to the cloth. Once you’ve pulled up as much stain as possible, rinse it out.

STEP 3
Dip a second cloth in clean water, then rub it gently over the spot to remove any detergent. Repeat this until the detergent is gone.

STEP 4
Lay out the electric blanket flat and let it air dry completely before using it again. Do not fold or bend the bedding while it dries to avoid pinching or damaging the internal wires.

 

How To Wash An Electric Blanket

Photo: istockphoto.com

MACHINE WASHING & DRYING

If you’re dealing with more than a stain or your electric blanket is just due for a clean, you can put it in the washer and dryer. Just use short times and the coolest possible settings to make sure the wires are not damaged during the process.

Is your blanket too large to fit in your machines? Don’t take it to the laundromat, because those machines get too hot—instead, jump below for how to wash an electric blanket by hand.

MATERIALS AND TOOLS Available on Amazon
– Washing machine
– Dryer
– Mild fabric detergent
– Drying rack

STEP 1
Detach your electric blanket from the heating controller per the manufacturer instructions.

STEP 2
Place the blanket in the washer, add detergent, and fill the tub with cold water. Before running a cycle, let the blanket soak for 10 minutes so that the water and detergent can saturate the fabric.

STEP 3
After the 10 minutes, choose the gentle or delicates cycle and let it spin dry.

STEP 4
Place your electric blanket in the dryer and select the coolest possible setting. Let the blanket gently tumble dry for 10 minutes, while monitoring the machine to make sure it doesn’t get hot, as that’s one of the biggest hazards for the wires.

STEP 5
Take the blanket out while it’s still damp and hang to air dry completely. Avoid folding it over a clothesline and do not use clothespins, because they could pinch the electrical wires and damage them; it’s better to spread the electric blanket out over a drying rack.

 

How To Wash An Electric Blanket

Photo: istockphoto.com

HAND WASHING & DRYING

If you don’t have a washer and dryer at home that’s okay—follow these next steps for how to hand wash an electric blanket.

MATERIALS AND TOOLS Available on Amazon
– Large plastic bin
– Mild fabric detergent
– Drying rack

STEP 1
Detach your electric blanket from the heating controller per the manufacturer instructions.

STEP 2
Place the blanket in the plastic bin or tub, add mild detergent, and fill it with cool water. Let it soak for about 30 minutes, agitating the water occasionally.

STEP 3
Drain the tub and gently wring out the electric blanket to remove excess water, being careful not to pinch the wires.

STEP 4
Hang the blanket out to dry completely. Avoid folding it over a clothesline and, again, skip the clothespins. You wouldn’t want your electric blanket to survive the water and suffer actual damage from having its electrical wires pinched with a clothespin.

 

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