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Weighted blankets can promote better sleep, relieve anxiety, and reduce aches and pains. Like all bedding, they also collect dust and get stained over time and therefore need regular cleaning. How do you clean a weighted blanket and retain its qualities?

In this article, we cover how to wash a weighted blanket and care for it properly to ensure it keeps its quality as long as possible. While you will find information on how to hand and machine wash a weighted blanket in this article, you still need to read the care label on your blanket to check if it can be washed in a washing machine and tumble-dried or whether it is hand wash or dry cleaning only.

What Are Weighted Blankets

What Are Weighted Blankets?

As the name suggested weighted blankets are heavier than regular duvets. They usually weigh between three and fourteen kilos (five and thirty pounds) with the aim of creating a relaxing feeling and deep pressure stimulation.

Can Your Weighted Blanket Be Washed?

Most weighted blankets have outer fabrics that can be washed. However, not all fillings used to add weight to the blankets are washable. Therefore, it is important to know what filling is used in your weighted blanket before you wash it.

Filling materials that can be hand-washed include micro glass beads, plastic pellets, steel shot beads, and smooth pebbles. Blankets with steel shot beads can also be washed in a washing machine. Fillings that use sand or organic materials such as beans, corn, or rice, to create the weight, cannot be washed at all and should be spot-cleaned only.

Most fillings are not meant for tumble drying. The only filling material that can handle the tumble drier is micro glass beads, which can be tumble-dried on a low setting. All other blankets should be left to air dry.

How Often Do Weighted Blankets Need Washing?

The frequency of how often you wash a weighted blanket depends on how often it is used. If the blanket is used rarely or occasionally, you should wash the cover seasonally for rare use and monthly if used occasionally. The blanket should be washed annually or seasonally.

If you use the blanket every day, it needs more regular cleaning. Wash the blanket itself every few months and the cover weekly or at least every two weeks as you would do with any other bedding.

How to Wash a Weighted Blanket

How to Wash a Weighted Blanket

If your blanket can be washed in a washing machine, only use your washing machine at home if it is a large-capacity appliance. If it is not, use a larger washing machine at a laundry service or handwash the blanket in a bathtub. Use gentle laundry detergent for washing weighted blankets. For air drying your blanket, you will need a large drying rack.

Remove the Cover and Wash Separately

You should always wash the cover separately from the blanket, so start by removing the outer cover. Often, the duvet-like outer cover has inner ties that you need to loosen before you can remove it. Unless liquid has been spilled on the blanket or there has been a urine accident, you do not need to clean the blanket every time you wash the cover.

Check the Blanket for Stains

If your blanket has a small stain but otherwise looks and smells clean and fresh, it may be better to spot-treat the stain rather than wash the whole blanket. All types of weighted blankets can be spot-cleaned, even those that have been labeled for dry cleaning only.

You can treat most stains with an enzyme-based stain remover. Apply just a small amount on the stain and work it into the fabric with a clean cloth, sponge, or toothbrush. Leave it to work for at least fifteen minutes before cleaning it using another clean cloth or sponge. Let the blanket dry completely before replacing the cover.

Machine Washing a Weighted Blanket

Before you use the washing machine at home to wash a weighted blanket, check the capacity your washing machine can handle. Some weighted blankets, particularly those that weigh over 10 kg, can be too heavy for domestic washing machines. Always wash weighted blankets on their own.

You also need to check the care label on the blanket to make sure it is machine washable. Follow the instructions on the label to set the water temperature (most likely cold to lukewarm) and the cycle on your washing machine.

Hand Washing a Weighted Blanket

Since you will need to use your bathtub to hand wash a weighted blanket, give your bathtub a good clean first so there is no grime or products left on the sides or bottom that could stain your blanket.

Fill the bathtub with cold to lukewarm water and add mild laundry detergent. Go easy on the detergent to avoid having to rinse the blanket over and over again and mix the detergent well with the water.

Lower your blanket into the bathtub and make sure the water covers the whole blanket. Press it down and gently squeeze so water seeps through it and the weight will keep the banket submerged. Leave it to soak for at least fifteen minutes.

After soaking, let the water out of the bathtub, squeezing as much water as you can out of the blanket as the bathtub empties. Refill the bathtub with fresh, cool water and squeeze it through the blanket. Drain and refill the bathtub again. Repeat this until there are no more suds left. Drain the bathtub for the final time and squeeze as much water out of the blanket as possible. Do not wring the blanket as this could damage the filling.

Do Not Use Bleach or Fabric Softeners

When you are washing your weighted blankets, do not use bleach or fabric softeners as over time they can damage the filling and surface of your blanket. Fabric softeners can build up in the blanket and make it scratchy. Bleach, on the other hand, can break down the fibres in the blanket.

Drying a Weighted Blanket

No other filling types other than micro glass beads should be dried in a tumble drier because the other types of filling could melt in the heat. However, you might like to opt for air drying even if you have micro glass bead filling since drying it in a tumble drier takes a long time and uses a lot of energy.

Dry all weighted blankets flat. If you have a sturdy, extra-large drying rack you can lay your blanket on top of that. Alternatively, lay it flat on the floor or outside during warm weather. Spread a plastic sheet or tarpaulin under the blanket. Once it has been laid flat, distribute the filling evenly in case it has shifted during the wash.

You can press dry towels on the blanket to soak up moisture and speed up the drying process. You can also speed the drying process up by turning your blanket over every four to five hours. Most weighted blankets will need 24 to 48 hours to dry out completely.

Note that you should never hang your weighted blanket to dry. This could cause the filling to shift and give you uneven weight when next using the blanket. It is easier to spread the filling out evenly while it is wet and lying flat.

Weighted Blanket Repairs

When you are giving your weighted blanket its regular clean, it is also a good time to check it for any rips or tears that could let the filling escape. If you notice any rips or tears, repair these by sewing before you wash the blanket.

If you notice any rips or tears on the cover between the washes, it is always a good idea to check whether the tear is just on the cover or on the blanket, too. This way you can address the issue before the tear gets any bigger. Sew the cover and blanket separately so that you can still remove the cover for washing.

Can You Iron Weighted Blankets?

You should not iron the blankets themselves because ironing can damage the filling. However, many of the cover materials can be ironed. After washing, iron the cover alone before butting it back on the blanket.

Let the cover cool fully before you put the blanket back inside. Cover materials such as cotton, linen, wool, and polyester among others can be ironed. Ensure you check the recommended iron setting from the care label before ironing and ensure you iron the cover inside out.

How to Store Weighted Blankets

If you do not use your weighted blankets regularly, storing them properly will help them stay in good shape until the next time you want to use them. Either fold or roll the blanket gently and place it in a storage bag or a shelf in your closet. You can store them in a similar way to quilts, duvets, and comforters.

Tips For Caring for a Weighted Blanket

You should not use a weighted blanket as a bed cover but roll it up and store it away when you are not using it. You should not sit or lie on top of the blanket as it could shift or damage the filling. If you get any spills or stains on the blanket, clean them as soon as possible as fresh stains are always easier to clean before they soak into the blanket and dry up.

Avoid eating or drinking on a weighted blanket to prevent stains and spills. If your blanket does not have a separate cover, you can also use a regular duvet cover on the blanket to protect it. If you have pets, remove their hair and dander off the blanket weekly with a lint roller.

Conclusion

Caring for your weighted blanket will help it last longer and retain its shape and other important qualities. How often you clean it, depends on how often you use it. In regular use, wash the blanket every couple of months and the cover every couple of weeks. Wash the cover and blanket separately.

Before washing, check the care labels for both the cover and the blanket. Most covers are machine washable but many of the blankets are not. Often you have to hand wash or spot-clean weighted blankets. Some need to be dry-cleaned.

Never iron the blankets, only the covers, and blankets with other than micro glass bead filling should not be tumble dried. When your blanket is not in use, store it in your linen cupboard or in the storage bag it came in.

Frequently Asked Questions

Whether you can wash weighted blankets depends on the filling used to create the weight. Some fillings are suitable for machine or hand washing, others should be spot cleaned only. Generally, blankets with organic fillings such as rice, corn, or beans, and sand cannot be machine or hand washed.

Weighted blankets are large and heavy and should not be washed together with other items and that includes your bedding. However, you can wash the blanket cover together with other items that are of similar colour. Remember to check that the blanket can be machine washed before washing as many should only be hand washed, dry cleaned, or just spot cleaned.

Most weighted blankets cannot be tumble dried as the heat can damage or melt the filling. The only filling type that can go into a tumble drier is microglass beads. All other types need to be left to air dry which can take up to 48 hours.