Weighted blankets are the latest trend in the bedding industry. They use deep pressure touch therapy to provide a hugging effect that helps us fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.
Originally used for autism, PTSD, Insomnia, and other anxiety-based disorders, these blankets have proved to be extremely beneficial in fighting off stress and anxiety.
Weighted blankets are, however, heavy and costly. As such, proper care and maintenance is required.
One way to maintain these comfort partners is by washing them. This guide looks into how to wash a weighted blanket the right way.
Check the manufacturer’s instructions
You should always check the manufacturer’s instructions before cleaning your blanket.
Weighted blankets are made out of different materials. Some are made with glass beads, plastic pellets, or even dehydrated foodstuffs.
The fabrics that make these blankets differ too. Some blankets spot cotton, fleece, Minky, or linen outer covers. As such, it’s important to read the blanket’s care label to determine the best practices when it comes to washing it.
Once you know the manufacturer’s instructions, it’s time to do the actual cleaning.
Deal with the spots first
Weighted blankets are known for their incredible hugging sensation. It’s no wonder we use this blanket a lot even on non-sleep related activities.
You might find yourself using these blankets on the couch while reading, working, or watching something. Hence, food stains, bodily fluids, and even liquid stains are bound to get on your blanket.
To ensure you have a clean blanket after the wash, deal with the spots first. Thoroughly inspect your weighted blanket for spots. Once detected, wet the spot with cold water. You can do this in two ways…
- Hold the stained area under a running tap, or
- Spray the affected area with cold water
Running water over the stain is mostly done when the stain is fresh. If you decide on this method, ensure you hold the rest of the blanket away from the water to keep the stain from spreading.
Do not use hot water to remove stains unless specifically directed to do so by the manufacturer. Hot water helps set the stain and worse, it could damage the blanket’s inner fillings.
Once the stained section is wet, apply a gentle detergent, preferably one without bleaching agents in it. Then scrub the stain with a soft brush, your fingers, or a cloth. Depending on how deep the stain is, use an appropriate removal method.
Sometimes scrubbing the stain with a brush only causes the stain to spread deeper into the blanket’s fibers. Discretion is advised when spot cleaning a weighted blanket.
Dealing with greasy stains
Greasy foods will give you a couple of oops moments when bits and pieces fall onto the blanket. Similar, to liquid and protein-based fluid stains such as sweat, you can start by wetting the stained area.
Grease stains are best dealt with using dishwashing soap. Only ensure they don’t contain any bleaching agent.
After scrubbing and removing stains, rinse the spot. Now that you have done spot cleaning on your blanket, it’s time to wash it.
Washing a weighted blanket
Weighted blankets, as the name suggests are heavy and not easy to clean. Due to the weight of weighted blankets, they often come with removable covers, for easier maintenance.
The ability to add a removable cover to your weighted blanket is one of the must-look-out-for features in these blankets.
To wash a weighted blanket, first, remove the duvet cover and toss it into the washing machine. Depending on the material, you can wash it normally. Or do a gentle cycle with a gentle detergent.
Once the cover is off, there are three methods to wash your blanket. You can either hand wash, machine wash, or dry clean your weighted blanket.
Unfortunately, unless your blanket’s manufacturer specifically allows for it to be machine washed, machine washing weighted blankets is not recommended.
Should you machine-wash your blanket?
To start with, machine washing a weighted blanket wears and tears the blanket faster. Depending on the materials and inner fillings, the blanket might rip during the wash and leak its contents.
Steel shot beads, for example, are rather heavy and increased friction with a weighted blanket’s outer fabric could lead to tearing and cause spilling- ruining your expensive blanket.
Secondly, these types of blankets are exceedingly heavy and are capable of ruining your washer.
For this reason, manufacturers who produce machine washable blankets advise against many washes and actually refer you to the laundromat if your blanket weighs more than 12 lbs.
Some manufacturers mention that their weighted blanket should be hand-washed only.
If that’s the case of your blanket, fill a tub with cold water and submerge the blanket. As mentioned before, use a gentle non-bleaching detergent to lather the water up before adding the blanket. Then continue to hand wash the blanket gently.
Dry cleaning a weighted blanket is a matter of the materials used. Lately, the need to sleep green has increased, leading to the rise in the use of green materials such as bamboo rayon, viscose, and lyocell.
Weighted blankets featuring these types of fabrics as well as linen, need to be dry cleaned only.
Drying the blanket
Now that your blanket is clean, it’s time to dry it. But please note that heat and weighted blankets are not friends.
Most manufacturers advise against using excess heat to dry your weighted blanket. That’s why you find terms such as do not dry clean, iron or microwave the blanket.
So how do you dry these anxiety blankets? There are two ways:
If your weighted blanket is still too wet after washing, you can roll it to remove excess water or run it through a ringer. Next, place the wet blanket into the dryer and set it on low heat.
Remember, however, that weighted blankets are even heavier when wet. If your dryer is too small, consider using a commercial dryer to dry the blanket.
When tumble drying, toss the blanket in with a dry towel to help fluff it up.
The best way to dry a weighted blanket is by air drying. The fact that glass beads or plastic pellets used to make such blankets don’t hold water makes drying such a blanket surprisingly quick.
Spread your wet blanket over a clean surface. Or hang it outside and leave it to dry. Ensure you hang the blanket over a wider surface area than that of normal hanging lines to ensure the inner fillings are not unevenly distributed.
Try shaking out the blanket from time to time, to allow an even distribution of the inner fillings.
As mentioned before, weighted blankets are made of different fabrics. Some of the most common fabrics include:
Because of their makeup, these fabrics have different washing requirements. We detail these washing tips and best practices below. To help you take proper care of your weighted blanket.
Cotton is the most popular material used to make weighted blankets. Cotton is easy to wash in cold or warm water.
When washing a cotton weighted blanket use cold or warm water and a gentle detergent. You can add a bit of vinegar in the first wash to help set the colors of the blanket.
Cotton can be machine dried in a low to medium setting or run in a tumble dry setting. Always wash the blanket alone, to avoid agitating its fibers. Remember, if the blanket is too heavy for your washer, visit the laundry mart.
Fleece is also a very popular weighted blanket fabric because of its soft cuddly nature.
When washing this type of blanket, soak it in the washer for up to 45 minutes, before washing, to ensure you get all the dirt out. You can wash fleece in warm or cold water.
Do not use fabric softener on this kind of blanket as the outer fibers will matt and cause it to be rough and scratchy. Best to air dry as tumble drying could lead to pilling.
Minky, similarly to fleece, is a nice, soft, cuddly, and highly durable material used to make weighted blankets. Wash this kind of blanket in warm water using a gentle non-bleaching detergent.
Avoid the use of fabric softeners if you can. They make this kind of fabric rough and scratchy.
Do not wash Minky fabrics in hot water. They are made out of polyester, which is easily damaged in high heat.
Flannel is good fabric, especially for people who are sensory sensitive. Wash in cold or warm water but never hot water.
Hot water damages the fibers of this blanket, leading to faster wear and tear. Flannel can be dried in low heat settings or tumble dried. You can also use dryer sheets when drying flannel.
Weighted blankets are the newest best things to add to your sleep environment. Given their size and price, though, proper care has to be taken when washing these blankets. Now that you know how to wash a weighted blanket. Remember that following the manufacturer’s instructions is very important.
Since we have determined that weighted blankets are best hand-washed. Use the proper care and maintenance strategy for your blanket to increase its longevity and usefulness to you.
It’s also important to clean your weighted blankets in cold water, using a gentle (non-bleaching) detergent to avoid destroying the blanket’s fillings and covers.
Using this guide on the proper ways to clean weighted blankets you should be able to take care of your blanket. Ensuring it lasts long and gives you the clean comfort you need.