How to Wash an Electric Blanket
Have you ever wondered how to wash your heated blanket? It’s easier than you think.
We all love a heated blanket during the winter months, but like the rest of your seasonal bedding, keeping it clean and fresh is a necessity. Whether you’re giving it a good launder at the end of a busy season or need to refresh the fibers after a long summer packed away in the linen closet, take the time to learn how to wash and dry it so it remains your cozy, comfortable cold-weather companion.
Before you get started, check the manufacturer’s guidelines on your product. We’re including directions for how to spot-clean, how to hand-wash and what you need to do if you’re going to put your electric blanket into the washing machine. Wait, what? Whether you realized it before or not, many newer electric blankets can go right into the washing machine without harming the electrical components; however, you should always dry the heated blanket laying flat and avoid using the dryer to protect those elements.
You’ll be shocked (not literally) once you realize how easy it is to wash an electric blanket!
- oxygenated stain-remover spray
- large basin or bathtub
- absorbant towels
- washing machine
- large drying rack or clothesline
How to Hand-Wash a Heated Blanket
If the electrical cord on your heated blanket doesn’t fully disconnect or you have an older electric blanket, handwashing is your best option.
- Disconnect and unplug the blanket (if possible). Some electric blankets have wiring that will disconnect from where it attaches to the blanket. Others have detachable remotes. If you can remove any of these components to protect against water damage, this is a great time to do it. If you can’t remove the cord, just leave it and the remote dangling outside of the basin as you wash it. Do not submerge them.
- Pretreat stains. Saturate stains with a stain-removing spray and allow it to soak into the fibers. Avoid harsh stain-removing solutions like bleach.
- Prepare your washing basin. Your bathtub is a great place to hand-wash an electric blanket because you can submerge it easily without having to crumple or fold it and disturb the electric components. Fill the tub with warm water and add a small amount of liquid detergent.
- Fold the blanket once or twice and submerge it into the water. Gently press the blanket into the tub, allowing the sudsy water to fully saturate the material.
- Drain the tub while the blanket is in it. Press on the blanket to expel the soapy water and let it go down the bathtub drain.
- Plug the drain and fill the tub with clean warm water.
- Rinse the remaining soap from the blanket by pressing the layers gently into the fresh water. (You might need to do this step a few times until the water in the tub is no longer soapy.)
- Drain the tub again.
- Flat-dry the blanket. Start by preparing a large flat-drying area for the blanket. Place several layers of towels on the floor to absorb extra moisture. Lay the wet electric blanket flat on the towels and gently roll up the blanket and underlying towels and press on it to extract excess water. Return it to a flat-dry position.
- After its initial flat-dry, you may choose to line-dry the blanket. Putting your blanket in the dryer can put the electrical elements at risk, but draping the blanket over a clothesline works well as long as you avoid using clothespins, which can risk damaging the wiring. It may even be convenient for you to drape the blanket over the shower curtain rod in your bathroom.
- Clean the controller and the wires by hand. A lightly dampened cloth or disinfecting wipe can be used to gently wipe down the cord and clean around the buttons on the controller.
- Reassemble the electrical components. If you removed the cord or remote, you can reattach them once the blanket is dry.
How to Wash an Electric Blanket in the Washing Machine
If your manufacturer’s cleaning instructions green-light use of the washing machine, cleaning an electric blanket will be very easy for you. Front-loading and top-loading machines without agitators are the safest machines to use as they are less likely to damage the electrical components. Follow these steps to avoid accidental damage.
- Unplug and disconnect. The cord and remote for your electric blanket will likely unplug from a port right near the edge of the blanket.
- Pretreat stains. Apply a stain-removing spray, if necessary, and allow it to soak into the fibers.
- Load the blanket into the washing machine all by itself. Keep it loosely placed and evenly distributed. Avoid putting anything else in the washing machine with the blanket as it can tangle and put added stress on the wires.
- Use a mild liquid detergent and the delicate cycle. Using your machine’s most gentle wash settings such as little to no spin and one to two rinses will limit agitation. While electric blankets can be washed in the washing machine, the less time spent getting roughly laundered the better. You can use cool or warm water, but avoid using hot water during the cycle.
- Remove the blanket after the cycle completes. The blanket will still be wet, maybe even a little drippy since you chose a cycle that limited the amount of spin. Carefully lift the heated blanket out of the washer without stretching or yanking at the electrical components.
- Air-dry the blanket. While some blanket manufacturers might suggest that a low-heat setting in the dryer will be OK for your product, limit the amount of time and opt for air-drying instead. Lay the blanket flat to dry or drape it over a clothesline or a shower curtain rod.
- Reconnect the wires and test your blanket. Once the blanket is dry, you can safely reconnect the cords and remotes. Spot-check for damage by feeling the wiring throughout the blanket. You’ll want to test the electrical components at this point, too, just to make sure all the coils heat as expected.
Tips for Spot-Cleaning an Electric Blanket
Spot-cleaning your heated blanket is similar to spot-cleaning other bedding in your home. If you fumbled food while snacking in bed or spilled your morning coffee across your bedspread, simple spot-cleaning efforts will help you keep your electric blanket stain-free.
- Unplug the blanket before cleaning.
- Clean spills early. Both polyester and fleece are really easy to clean if you catch the stain early. Use an absorbent cloth to blot at the spill or stain; no need to rub it in.
- Choose a powerful oxygenated laundry stain remover. Most electric blankets are made from a super-soft polyester or fleece material, and laundry cleaning sprays can often lift dirt and spills right from the fibers before your eyes. When you spray it on the spot, use a clean towel to blot it up and absorb the stain and moisture.
- Let it air dry.
Is your down comforter feeling less than fresh? Learn how to clean it in a washing machine without damaging it.
Don't forget about the pillows during your next cleaning spree.