Weighted blankets have gained popularity for their potential benefits in improving sleep and reducing anxiety. As these cozy companions become an essential part of many people’s bedtime routines, it’s important to know how to properly care for and wash them to prolong their lifespan and ensure they remain effective.
In this article, I’ll delve into how to wash a weighted blanket the right way – no damaging its materials or losing its comforting qualities.
Proper maintenance of a weighted blanket not only ensures its continued ability to deliver a good night’s sleep, but also keeps it clean and hygienic. As with any bedding, regular washing prevents the build-up of allergens, dust mites, and other unpleasantries. Luckily, most weighted blankets are designed with ease of care in mind, often featuring removable covers for easy cleaning.
Before getting started on the washing process, you should consult the blanket’s care label and follow its specific instructions, as different materials and weights may require particular attention.
This article will provide a general but comprehensive guide for washing most types of weighted blankets, allowing users to maintain their blankets in their best possible condition.
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Before You Begin
What Are Weighted Blankets
Weighted blankets are a popular aid for better sleep and relaxation. They typically contain various filler materials like glass beads, plastic poly pellets, microglass beads, steel shot beads, or even organic materials to provide a gentle, soothing pressure. Because of the heavy weight, weighted blankets are said to help with anxiety and leave people sleeping better all around.
While it’s important to keep your weighted blanket clean, you should be careful, as washing it too often can end up damaging the fill and fabric. If you only need to address small spills or stains, spot cleaning the affected area is the way to go.
- Check the care label: Locate the care label on your weighted blanket, and follow the recommended washing and drying instructions.
- Duvet cover: If your weighted blanket has a removable duvet cover, remove and wash this separately.
Here’s a brief overview of cleaning methods based on fill type:
|Recommended Cleaning Method
|Machine washable on gentle wash cycle
|Hand wash or machine wash
|Machine washable on delicate cycle
|Steel shot beads
|Hand wash only
|Check care label instructions
Keep in mind that these are general guidelines. Always stick to the washing instructions on your specific weighted blanket.
Washing Your Weighted Blanket
Washing a weighted blanket requires proper care to ensure it maintains its quality and effectiveness. In this section, we will discuss two popular methods: machine washing (the easy way!) and hand washing (needs a little more effort).
Machine Washing Process
If machine washing is an option for your particular weighted blanket, follow these steps:
- Preparation: Remove any covers or duvets, and check for any damages or loose stitching.
- Mild Detergent: Choose a gentle laundry detergent, preferably a liquid one, to avoid damaging the blanket’s materials.
- Washing Machine: For smaller weighted blankets, use your home washing machine. For heavier blankets, consider taking them to a laundromat with a commercial washing machine which has capacity to handle the weight.
- Settings: Set your washing machine to a gentle cycle with cold water to prevent shrinkage or damage to the fabric.
- Special Care: If possible, place your weighted blanket in a laundry bag or add a towel to the machine – this can help to protect the blanket during the wash.
- Drying: Air dry your weighted blanket, as heat from tumble dryers won’t do the materials any favors.
Hand Washing Method
If your weighted blanket isn’t suitable for machine washing or you prefer a more gentle approach, hand washing is a great alternative.
- Preparation: Remove any covers and check the blanket for damages or stains.
- Fill the Bathtub or Sink: Fill your bathtub or a large sink with cold water, ensuring there’s enough space for your blanket to be fully submerged. You may be tempted to use warm water, however cooler water is better..
- Add Detergent: Use a mild dish soap or gentle detergent and mix it into the water.
- Submerge and Soak: Place your weighted blanket in the water and gently press it down to ensure it’s fully soaked. Let it sit for a few minutes to loosen up any dirt or stains.
- Gently Wash: Avoid wringing or twisting the blanket, instead gently agitate it in the water to clean it. Use a soft brush or cloth to carefully dab at any stubborn stains.
- Rinse: Drain the soapy water and fill the bathtub or sink with clean, cold water. Press the blanket into the water to rinse out the detergent, repeating the process until the water runs clear.
- Dry: Carefully lift the wet blanket, supporting its weight evenly, and gently squeeze out excess water. Avoid wringing or twisting. Lay the blanket flat on a clean surface or hang it to air dry, making sure to occasionally shift its position so that it dries evenly.
For blankets labelled spot clean only, avoid submerging the entire blanket in water. Instead, focus on cleaning specific areas with a damp cloth, then let the blanket air dry. And if the blanket is labelled dry cleaning only, don’t attempt to wash it yourself. Instead, bring it to your local dry cleaners and they’ll know exactly what to do with it.
Drying and Storage
When it comes to drying a weighted blanket, there are several methods available.
If your blanket is suitable for machine washing, you might be able to machine dry it as well. Make sure to use a low heat setting or opt to tumble dry on low, as high temperatures will likely cause damage the blanket. To maintain even distribution of the weighted materials, consider adding dryer balls to help fluff the blanket during the drying process.
Air drying is a more gentle alternative, especially for blankets with delicate fabrics or unique fillers. Lay the blanket flat on a clean surface, or hang it up, ensuring proper support to avoid stretching or sagging. Keep in mind that air-dried blankets may take longer to dry than those in a machine.
Storing Your Blanket
Proper storage is key to keeping the quality and lifespan of a weighted blanket. There are a couple of practical options to consider:
- Shelf: Fold the blanket neatly and place it on a clean, dust-free shelf. Avoid stacking other items on top to prevent creases or damage to the fabric.
- Bin: Store the blanket in a breathable bin or container, with consideration to the size and weight of the blanket. Ensure the bin is large enough to accommodate the blanket and allows air to circulate.
Remember to always store your weighted blanket in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight and moisture.
Weighted Blanket Maintenance
Proper care is essential to prolong the life of a weighted blanket and maintain its efficacy. Follow these routine care tips to ensure your weighted blanket stays in top notch condition for longer.
- Always check the blanket’s care tag: Before washing, make sure to read the care tag for specific instructions, as care requirements may vary based on the materials used in the blanket. If a care tag is not provided, refer to the manufacturer’s recommendations (you can usually Google this if you can’t find a label).
- Use a removable cover: Adding a machine-washable duvet cover to your weighted blanket is a great way to minimize the need for frequent washing. Duvet covers also add a layer of protection against allergens for allergy sufferers.
- Spot cleaning: In case of minor spills or soiled spots, use a mild stain remover and a damp cloth to spot clean the area. This helps to avoid unnecessary washing of the entire blanket.
- Machine-washing: If your weighted blanket is machine-washable, ensure you use a gentle cycle with cold water. Avoid using hot water, bleach or fabric softener, as these can damage the materials. For larger blankets, consider using a commercial-sized washing machine at a launderette to prevent potential damage to your household machine.
- Drying: Whenever possible, air-dry your washed blanket to preserve its integrity. If you must use a tumble dryer, opt for a low-heat setting.
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By implementing these routine care tips, you can ensure your weighted blanket remains clean and effective, maximizing its benefits for better relaxation and sleep.
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