Tips & How To’s

Washing Instructions: How To Wash An Electric Blanket Safely

Tim Parry


Washing Instructions: How To Wash An Electric Blanket Safely

If you're always too cold, then your electric blanket is definitely your BFF- at least, until you realize it's starting to stink a little bit and needs some washing. The sound of needing to wash an electric blanket might sound a little risky because of the wiring through it. But it's actually not as hard or risky— sure, it gets a little tedious, but definitely, worth the feeling you get from a fresh and clean blanket. So here's how to wash an electric blanket safely.

Modern electric blankets, throws, weighted blankets, and mattress pads were designed to offer that extra warmth, especially on chilly evenings or as you're recovering from an injury or illness. An electric blanket is specially made with people who are always cold in mind. But what happens when it becomes a little dirty?

Generally, since the late 1990s, most modern electric blankets and heated mattress pads that are sold in the United States are safe for machine-washing, hand washing and machine drying. The key here is to carefully wash them in a wash cycle with minimum exposure to water and heat.

Is It Safe To Put An Electric Blanket In A Washing Machine?

Here are some tips for a safe machine wash:

  • First, before you wash an electric blanket, you need to unplug and disconnect it from all power sources
  • Always check whether it's labeled "Safe for machine washing" as a washing option on the tag or user manual. If it is, you're all good to load it up
  • Before loading it up, check and ensure that your blanket can fit inside your washing machine. If it can reach the top of the machine or just barely fits, then you're better off taking it to the local laundromat, where they're likely to have larger commercial machines

Is It Safe To Put The Electric Blanket In The Machine Dryer?

Yes, it's safe! Here's are some tips on how to:

  • Just ensure that your dryer is set to a low heat setting
  • Set the timer for roughly 10-15 minutes
  • After this, you can take the blanket out to fully dry on the drying rack or clothing line.
  • After the wash, always spread out the blanket evenly and check for any wires that are out of place that might have shifted during your cleaning
  • Alternatively, if your dryer doesn't come with a low heat setting, just hang it out to air dry out in the open right after washing it. High temperatures will damage the electrical wiring inside

Is Dry cleaning Safe For An Electric Blanket?

Unfortunately, that's a no-no. The dry cleaning process uses chemicals that might damage the internal wiring and heating wires in the heating system, so it's best to avoid dry cleaning, despite all the convenience that comes with it!

How Often Should You Clean Your Electric Blanket?

It's okay to wash your electric blanket every couple of weeks or once a month at least, especially during the cold season. Just remember to treat it gently, and consider alternating between machine-drying and hanging it outside to air-dry. This extra measure will help keep the blanket's heating elements and interior connections in great shape.

Tips On How To Properly Wash An Electric Blanket

  • If your home washing machine isn't large enough to hold your heating blanket, then you can carefully hand wash it in the bathtub
  • Always use cool water, only a small amount of a gentle laundry detergent, and then squeeze soapy water out gently. Never wring out your electric throw or pad
  • Generally, electric blankets or mattress pads with heating components should never be dry-cleaned. The chemicals that are used in the process will damage the wire heating elements and insulation
  • Don't put your electric bedding in a commercial dryer, especially since they use very high temperatures, which will damage the wiring system
  • Unlike the older electric blanket, modern electric blankets can be machine washed because they have an electrical wiring that's completely encased in a fireproof and waterproof insulation case. That said, you still need to treat it with some care; for instance, don't crush it. This helps keep the heating grid intact and safe
  • Other than mild detergent, don't use bleach or any other cleaning fluids
  • Don't iron the electric blanket
  • Don't dry clean heating pads or electric blankets since these solvents can damage the wiring system
  • Don't use a mothball spray on your electric blanket
  • Never submerge your blanket's control cord in water

1. How To Safely Wash An Electric Blanket At Home?

A) How To Wash An Electric Blanket By Hand Washing?

  • First, before doing anything, always ensure that your blanket is unplugged and that you have disconnected the power cord from your blanket to avoid any damages
  • Once you've double-checked and made sure that all the cords have been fully disconnected, fill up the tub with some lukewarm water or cold water. Fill the tub until it's enough to move around it freely. According to experts, how much water you add usually depends on the size of the blanket
  • Add a mild washing detergent, then swish it around by hand until the water is a little sudsy. Finally, put in your electric blanket soak it for roughly 15 minutes before you stand the hand wash.
  • When the electric blanket is done soaking, gently squeeze soapy water out of the blanket for a minute, then take it out and rinse it
  • Gently squeeze to remove excess water, just don't wring it out

B) How To Wash An Electric Blanket Using A Wash Machine?

What You'll Need

  • Washing machine
  • Dryer
  • Clothline or a drying rack
  • Laundry detergent
  • Mild detergent
  • Water temperature - Cool or warm
  • Spin cycle type- Gentle cycle
  • Drying cycle- Cool or air out to dry
  • Special treatments - None
  • Iron settings- Don't iron

i) Prep Your Blanket

Shake out your blanket to get rid of the loose debris as much as possible. Before you toss your electric blanket in your washing machine. Be sure to remove its power cord and controls. Also, you may need to use a lint roller to help you remove any pet hair or any debris that might have stuck to the fabric.

ii) Tossing The Blanket Into The Washing Machine

If you have a high-efficiency washer, then you might want to loosely load the electric blanket in. Alternatively, if you have a standard washer, that comes with a central agitator, just evenly spread the blanket around the washer's drum. You should also consider adding a couple non-lint-producing sheets or towels, just to help balance the load.

iii) Select A Low Water Temperature and Mild Detergent

Washing your blanket is best done in cool water or warm water with the regular detergent. In this case, don't add any bleach or fabric softener, since these could spoil the interior components.

iv) Choose A Gentle Spinning Cycle

You can choose the short or gentle cycle or single standard spin cycle setting. If you have the option of setting the final spin speed, you should reduce it to the lowest setting possible to prevent excessive force on the inner wiring.

v) Wash It Quickly and Switch It To The Rinse Cycle

Let the machine spin it for like 2-3 minutes, then skip right to the rinsing cycle. Once this is done, remove your blanket immediately. Gently remove the excess water, just dont wring it.

vi) Dry It Gently

You can either use the cool or air-only setting on the dryer. It's best to partially dry it in the dryer for roughly 20 minutes. Remove the blanket while it's still damp and allow to finish off air-drying on your clothline or drying rack. High heat in the dryer, might shrink your blanket and damage the internal wire insulation. Ensure that your dryer is large enough to allow the it to tumble freely. If not, you can use the laundromat dryer, set it on cool or air-dry only.

c) Spot Treatment

So you're all snuggled with your electric blanket up on the recliner, enjoying a warm drink , then you happen to spill some. With a localized stain, you don't have to throw the whole blanket into your washer. There are many spot treatment methods for blankets but here's one simple method for an electric blanket. Here's what you need:

  • Butter knife (optional)
  • 2 soft white cloths
  • Mild fabric detergent
  • Cold water

Step 1

Before anything, make sure that the blanket is also unplugged. Once everything is safely turned off, gently scrape away any excess of whatever spilled, this also works for stains that have dried off.

Step 2

Dip one of the white cloths in water, then add a little detergent. Rub gently on the stain, in circular motions until it comes off. Once this is done, rinse it out.

Step 3

Dip the second cloth in water, then rub gently over the spot to remove leftover detergent. Repeat until all the detergent is gone.

Step 4

Layout your electric blanket on a flat surface and allow it to air dry completely. Don't fold while it dries to avoid damaging the wires inside.

d) Removing Tough Stains and Odors From Your Electric Blanket

If your electric blanket has some tough stains or strong odor from your pet, its always best to do some pre-treatment before the hand or machine washing. Since harsh chemicals will damage the delicate wiring and components, always try using gentlier alternatives. One of the gentle alternatives include using vinegar.

Start by filling a small spray bottle with equal parts of distilled white vinegar and some water. Liberally, spray the mix on the spots, let it sit for a couple of minutes before starting the washing. If you're dealing with greasy or oily stains, spot clean using dish soap and a slightly wet sponge before tossing it into the laundry machine.

Always treat the stain on your blanket as quickly as possible, while following the guidelines set out for a specific stain. That said, spot-cleaning an electric blanket is generally quite simple. Just ensure that the blanket is unplugged first. Blot out the excess using a towel, and then use either a butter knife, or an old credit card, or fingernail to remove any dried up food, drink, or any other substance that might have spilt from the fabric.

Rub on some mild laundry detergent to loosen and lift up the stain. Once youre done, remove the rest of the laundry detergent using a moist clean cloth until its fully rinsed. Let it air-dry completely before using the blanket.

2. Can You Iron?

An iron's heat will probably damage the wires'encasing, so electric blankets should'nt be ironed. If it gets wrinkled, you can hang the blanket from your shower rod, hand smooth it and let gravity workl it out for you, by pulling out all those wrinkles.

3. How To Best Store An Electric Blanket?

During warm seasons, electric blankets and heated mattress pads will be probbaly stored away, so here's a checklist to ensure that your electric blanket is stored away properly and ready whenever you need it:

a) Check for any tears, loose wiring or scorching

After unplugging the power cord and controls from both the blanket and wall, check for any exposed wiring, any scorched areas, tears or rips. This will determine whether the repairs will help or whether its easier to replace the blanket.

b) Store A Clean And Dry Blanket

Before storing your blanket, wash and dry it carefully. Be sure that it's completely dry before you store it away. Check whether the controls and cords have any cracks or have any darkened areas. If you find any of these, the blanket should just be replaced.

c) Roll Just Don't Fold

Once its clean and completely dry, roll your blanket gently. Try not to create any sharp, hard folds since this will damage the wires inside. Store it in a dry, insect- free and rodent-free space.

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Tim Parry

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