How to Wash a Weighted Blanket, According to Sleep and Laundry Experts
Weighted blankets began as therapeutic tools, but are now in the mainstream because of their cozy, comforting qualities. It’s often recommended you get a blanket about 10 percent of your overall weight, making them cumbersome to clean, even in children’s sizes.
If you have a weighted blanket, you may be wondering how to wash these five to 20-pound comforters without damaging the blanket or your washing machine. Here’s what sleep and laundry experts had to say on the best methods to take care of your weighted blanket.
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What you’ll need:
- Gentle detergent
- Dish soap
- Soft rag
- Dryer balls
How to wash a weighted blanket
Before you begin the process of cleaning your weighted blanket, make sure that you check the tag for care instructions, shares Lindsay Jones, new product brand manager at Maytag. Find out if your weighted blanket is machine washable or if it needs to be dry cleaned, spot cleaned, or if it has a cover that can be cleaned with a removable inner layer.
If there’s a cover that can be removed, you can follow the cleaning instructions, but likely you can wash it like any duvet cover. You can also cover your weighted blanket with a duvet cover if you want to try to reduce washing this way. If you cannot find care instructions on your commercially produced blanket, you can look on the packaging or online for more information.
“Most common weighted blankets are filled with glass or plastic poly beads and come covered in different fabrics like cotton, fleece, linen, and polyester — which all fare well during a machine wash cycle,” says Jones, however, “if you own a weighted blanket that’s stuffed with organic fillers like rice, corn, or beans, it’s best to avoid saturation and machine washing all together. Rather, I recommend spot-cleaning this type of blanket to help prevent natural fillers from turning soggy or decomposing. Spot cleaning is also a great way to keep traditional blankets clean in-between washes.”
No matter the material, there are methods to keep these cozy comforters clean.
How to spot-clean a weighted blanket
For weighted blankets containing organic fillers or for minor drops or spills on your non-organic weighted blanket, Jones recommends the following:
- Step 1: Pretreat stains. Wet the area with hot or cold water, depending on the stain. Then drop dish soap or gentle detergent onto the stain. Jones says that “it’s best to avoid using detergents with fabric softener or bleach additives” for pretreating.
- Step 2: Scrub. Using a toothbrush or soft rag, scrub at the stain in a circular motion for one to two minutes.
- Step 3: Rinse. Wash out the treated area.
How to machine wash a weighted blanket
If your blanket can be machine washed in its entirety, you need to make sure your washing machine can handle the weight and size of your blanket. Look in your owner’s manual for these parameters. Do not wash a weighted blanket in a home washer if it is too heavy or large for your machine. Go to a professional cleaner or laundromat with bigger washers. Most home washing machines cannot handle a single item over 15 to 20 pounds, which is often the weight of an adult-sized weighted blanket. Here are the steps for machine washing your entire blanket:
- Step 1: Pretreat. See the spot cleaning instructions above on pretreating stains.
- Step 2: Add blanket and soap. Add the blanket to the washer without any other laundry. Choose a gentle detergent and add it according to the instructions.
- Step 3: Use a delicate or gentle cycle. Jones recommends washing weighted blankets with cold water using a delicate or gentle cycle and finishing with a spin cycle to wring out any excess water.
How to handwash a weighted blanket
If you want to wash your weighted blanket at home but cannot put it in your washing machine, you can follow some steps to do it by hand. Robert Pagano, the founder of Sleepline, gave some advice on how to wash your weighted blanket without a washer.
- Step 1: Choose a vessel. Fill the bathtub or a large container with cold water. Make sure you leave enough room so that the blanket will not cause the displacement of water to overflow.
- Step 2: Add soap. Add ¼ cup gentle detergent to the water. Swirl it around to disperse.
- Step 3: Bring in the blanket. Slowly lower the blanket into the cold water, being careful not to splash or overspill. Gently press down to soak up the suds.
- Step 4: Soak. Leave the blanket to soak for 30 minutes.
- Step 5: Rinse. Pull the plug or begin to drain the water. Rinse the blanket under cool water until the soapy suds are gone and the water runs clear.
- Step 6: Wring. Before removing the blanket to dry, wring and squeeze out as much water as possible. Then remove the blanket and proceed to dry.
How to dry a weighted blanket
Again, make sure you follow manufacturer labels about weight and size restrictions before putting your weighted blanket in your home dryer. Jones says a concern with drying some weighted blankets is that the materials inside can overheat, so it is always important to read the tag regarding drying as well as washing.
- Step 1: Prepare the dryer. Make sure to clean the lint trap.
- Step 2: Add the blanket. Do not add other laundry items. If you like, you can include dryer balls to help improve movement and speed up the drying process.
- Step 3: Dry it. Jones recommends drying weighted blankets, unless otherwise specified on the tag, on the low heat or air setting. You can also air dry your weighted blanket if it cannot go in the dryer. Make sure if you’re laying it over an object such as a shower door to dry it that it can accommodate the weight of the blanket when wet. Or, lay it on a flat surface to dry.
How often should you wash a weighted blanket?
“Just like a normal comforter, it’s best to wash weighted blankets a couple times a year,” says Jones. However, if you have pets or allergies, you may want to increase your washing.
“Dust mites are tiny creatures that thrive in environments with high levels of humidity, so a weighted blanket is the perfect place for them to live,” adds Pagano. “By regularly washing your blanket, you can help reduce the number of dust mites that live on it and thus improve your indoor air quality.”
You should also wash your blanket before storing it to avoid bacteria or other growth. If you notice a stain, try to spot clean it right away to avoid it setting. By taking care of your weighted blanket and following all care instructions, you will extend the life of this cozy, therapeutic tool.