We cover all the questions you will have on how to wash a weighted blanket in a washer or by hand. It can be tricky as they are heavy items and not too common. We also answer;
- What NOT to do!
- A look at fabric considerations
- The best way to remove stains
- What to do with a weighted blanket once it’s been washed by hand
Let’s dive in.
Use a Washing Machine
To begin with, carefully read the washing instructions on the label (usually on the inner blanket). When possible, follow the instructions. In case your blanket requires a unique technique.
Check the blanket and the cover. Try to spot any organic stains that may be difficult to remove, such as bodily fluids or food stains. If you have any please scroll down to the section for stains, as these may need removing before you use the washing machine.
Next, remove the cover from the inner blanket if your product has one. In most cases, the covers will have ties that need to be unfastened first.
There is a different method of washing the cover depending on the material. In general, we recommend machine-washing in cold and warm water depending on the severity of the stains. Bleach-containing detergents should not be used. For polyester covers, do not use fabric softeners.
Fill the washing machine with the inner blanket. Make sure you don’t put anything else inside because you don’t want the blanket to catch on anything and tear.
Also, mink covers should be washed separately. For best results, soak it in cold water and add two tablespoons of salt before washing it. Leave it to soak for twenty minutes. Go to the Covers section for more information.
See how much load the washing machine can handle (the normal load is about 7 kg). If your blanket is 7 kg or less, you can wash it on a gentle cycle in the washing machine—just use the preset that says ‘Gentle’ or ‘Delicates’, and set the temperature to 30 C. Heavy blankets should be hand washed.
If you have a heavy blanket find the information on handwashing below.
Important: Read Your Blanket Care Instructions –
Since not all weighted blankets are cared for the same way, first check the care instructions on the tag. You will learn what you can and cannot do with your weighted blanket, if the cover is removable, and if it is machine washable.
Detergents to wash your weighted blanket
It is necessary to use detergent to get that deep clean you desire, but make it as mild as possible. Don’t use bleach or dryer sheets. The less you do to your blanket, the more likely it will remain soft and cuddly after multiple washings.
Drying a Weighted Blanket
Can you use a tumble dryer? When it comes to drying clothes fast, they can’t be beaten. The same is true of heavy weighted blankets as well.
To prevent ruining the fabric or filling of your blanket, be sure to check the care label.
In order to speed up the drying process, set the dryer to the ‘Air Fluff’ setting since it doesn’t use hot air. There are spin cycles on most household washing machines that readily remove extra water before drying the laundry.
There are times when heavy and bulky items, such as a weighted blanket, require an extra spin cycle to get rid of excess water.
When the weighted blanket is removed from the washing machine, it should feel unusually heavy, or if water can be squeezed out by hand, it cannot be dried in the dryer.
When your blanket weighs more than 25 pounds, you should not use a tumble dryer.
Our recommendation is to visit a local laundromat to wash these particularly heavy blankets, as they usually have large, commercial-size washers on hand.
As much as you can, squeeze out excess water from your blanket (do not wring it out) if your blanket was not designed to be dried by a machine. The blanket should be laid out on a clean flat surface, such as a drying rack, preferably outside on a sunny day so that the fresh air and UV rays will naturally clean it. Rotate and shake it occasionally to help redistribute the beads evenly.
Can’t find a flat, clean surface? Dry the cover on a line, preferably in the sun. Ensure that it hangs evenly so that the weight is evenly distributed and that it does not lose its shape. You could lay the damp weighted blanket over a drying rack or a chair with the line to get a more horizontal surface.
Your blanket will dry in 12 to 24 hours (depending on whether you are drying it outdoors or indoors). It is now clean and ready to be put on your bed! Just slip the cover back on!
Note: hand-drying the blanket will extend the life of the fabric, as well as the filler.
Things to Avoid
Most washable weighted blankets currently available on the market can be used with these instructions. However, if you have an older blanket or a blanket you made yourself, they might not apply. Materials play a major role.
Hot water: Wash your weighted blanket in cold or warm water instead of hot. Warm or cold water is gentler on fabrics than hot water.
Bleach: Even if you get some stains on your weighted blanket, avoid using bleach on it. Spot-treat any stains with a gentle laundry detergent instead. No matter how diluted chlorine is, it will cause fabric fibres to break down. Weighted blankets will wear out faster if washed in diluted bleach.
Fabric softener: It is possible for fabric softener to build up in your weighted blanket, making it feel stiff or scratchy instead of as cosy as you would like. Fabric softener is not recommended, especially for mink or plush, due to the way weighted blankets are made. Fabric softener and bleach can also negatively impact the fillers in a weighted blanket, causing them to break down or clump together.
Iron: It is not necessary to iron your blanket, and it is not recommended. The fibres of the blanket can be damaged by iron, causing them to wear out faster. Iron heat will certainly melt and ruin fillers. While glass beads may not be damaged, a weighted blanket would be impossible to manoeuvre on an ironing board, no matter how iron-safe the fabric is. Don’t put heavy objects on it either.
How to wash a weighted blanket that weighs more than 20 pounds
We recommend taking a heavier blanket to a laundromat where they will have a commercial washer and dryer. This is to stop the wear and tear on your machine.
If it’s below 20 – 25 lbs you can follow the instructions in this article, but as mentioned it will take its toll on your washing machine. You can also hand wash and dry which is recommended.
How to wash a weighted blanket by hand
When handwashing a weighted blanket, we suggest you use your bathtub if the blanket is particularly heavy.
Follow these steps:
- Rinse your tub thoroughly before cleaning.
- Fill your tub half full with cold or lukewarm water and add half a cup of gentle detergent, mixing it thoroughly in the water.
- You’ll need to submerge your blanket and massage it well with your hands (you may wish to wear gloves if your skin is sensitive).
- You can rinse the blanket by draining the bath and filling it again with cold water.
- Make sure all detergent has been removed by draining and filling a third and final time.
- Then, to remove water, flatten the blanket, fold it in half, then roll it up. (don’t wring out)
- Continue this process until most of the water has evaporated, then hang up to dry naturally.
Here is a list of the most common fabrics used in making weighted blankets, along with instructions on how to take care of them.
Micro Glass Beads
Glass beads are small and have a similar feel to sand or salt crystals, and are virtually noiseless. In fact, glass beads inner blankets don’t melt, so they can be washed in warm water, but not in hot water.
As glass beads dry well and do not clump up, your weighted blanket will be perfect after it has been washed.
Plastic Poly Pellets
Plastic pellets made from ABS virgin plastics are usually free of toxins and chemicals, which is good for the environment. Washing them at high temperatures risks melting and clumping the pellets together.
Steel Shot Beads
Other weighted blanket fillers are lighter in comparison with steel shot beads. Generally, washers can’t handle the weight of blankets filled with steel shot beads. It is safe to wash steel shot beads at a slightly higher temperature because they do not melt. However, on aggressive cycles, steel-shot beads can rip the fabric and fall out.
Smooth Small Pebbles
This is one way DIYers keep costs low but are you really comfortable sleeping under rocks? The blanket will not hold up well in a washing machine, so hand wash it.
If you choose these affordable options (corn, beans, rice, etc. ), you need to be aware that you’re not getting a washable blanket. Although organic materials are cheaper, they are not a long-term solution. If you wash a blanket weighted with corn or rice, it will turn into a soggy mess, and you’re at risk for mould, yeast, bacteria, and insect infestation. Avoid getting these blankets wet as they will decompose.
Sand is a quiet, cheap, and small weighted blanket filler, but it’s not the best choice for washing. The semi-organic nature of sand (unless treated and processed) opens it up to insect infestation, mould, and yeast. Weighed blankets containing sand fillers should not be washed frequently. Wet sand expands. Furthermore, it causes clumps when not properly dried, resulting in uneven weight distribution on your blanket.
Mink & Plush
This is a great fabric for weighted blankets, as it is durable, washes well, and easily maintains its soft texture because of the long, thin fibres.
Polyester is usually used for modern mink and plush covers. You can machine-wash polyester in warm water, but you shouldn’t use fabric softeners if the cover is mink. Commercial softeners will bind the long fibres together, so the material will no longer be as soft as it was originally.
Cotton is one of the most commonly used fabrics in the world. They are great for all-season use and cooling blankets. Wash cotton blankets separately in cold water.
Make sure to wash the cover by itself. Washing too many cotton items in the washing machine can agitate the fabric, causing it to wear out sooner.
Machine-washable on a gentle cycle and will tolerate a majority of cleaning products. Avoid stronger detergents if the fabric is coloured. Cotton should be machine washed at 50 degrees Celsius or lower. Cotton can shrink if the temperature exceeds this point.
Handwash wool whenever possible since it is delicate and prone to shrinking. Detergents for delicates should be used. The delicate fibres of a wool blanket can be crushed if you tumble dry it. Dry it by blotting it with a towel.
Fabrics made of Flannel are popular among sensory-sensitive people. Like cotton, flannel is relatively easy to wash. Put it in a gentle cycle and set the temperature to cold or warm. Wash with a mild detergent. Unlike cotton, flannel can be dried in a tumble dryer or in the sun.
Not many blankets have silk covers, however, if you end up with one washing it can be complicated, which is why dry cleaning is usually recommended, especially for silk that’s coloured.
Rayon-linen fabric is a durable, medium weight fabric that is frequently used. It is made from wood that has been pulp-treated with chemicals and is classified as a semi-synthetic fabric. Due to its colour bleeding or shrinking when laundered, it is usually a dry-clean-only fabric.
If the blanket has stains, treat it by soaking it for at least 30 minutes to soften it. The fleece blanket should be washed in a warm wash with a gentle detergent. To prevent abrasion, it is best to wash the fleece blanket alone or with other fleece fabrics. Keep the water-repellent finish of fleece by avoiding fabric softeners. You can air dry fleece or tumble dry it on low heat.
A premium weighted blankets brand has materials that are easy to maintain and will last. Check out our Calming Blankets review where we cover them in more detai. We highly recommended the quality of their products!
How to Clean a Weighted Blanket with Stains?
Accidents do happen. At some point, something will unintentionally come into contact with a weighted blanket, resulting in an unwanted stain. The following are some of the most common stains with instructions on how to remove them.
Rinse out the stains as soon as you notice them – this will prevent them from setting in. It’s usually not a big deal if you missed a stain and it’s dry. Rub the spot gently with cold water, apply a mild detergent, and rinse.
Removing Coffee Stains from a Weighted Blanket
The following steps will help you remove a coffee stain from the fabric:
- Mix one ounce of liquid laundry detergent with one ounce of distilled white vinegar in 10 ounces of water
- Then apply it to the stain.
- Scrub the stain gently with a washcloth or toothbrush
- Allow the solution to sit on the stain for five to ten minutes
- Rinse well with water
- If necessary, repeat the steps until the stain disappears.
Removing Red Wine Stains from a Weighted Blanket
The following steps will help you remove red wine stains on the fabric:
- One to two ounces of distilled white vinegar should be applied to the red wine stains. Let it sit for five to ten minutes. Dry the stain next with a dry towel.
- Use an enzyme stain remover if vinegar does not help dissipate the stain. Apply the stain remover to the stain, wait 30 minutes, and then blot with a wet towel.
- After the stain has dissipated, wash the blanket in cold water. Heat will set any remaining stains. Do not dry it.
Removing Urine Stains
Because urine is highly acidic, it is difficult to remove set-in stains. While a stain is still wet, soap and water should remove the stain and pungent smell.
In the case of dried stains, an enzyme laundry stain remover will need to be added to the stain or diluted into the washing water. If the blanket still smells of urine after the first wash, wash it a second time before drying.
How often should you wash your weighted blanket?
The blanket should be laundered at least once a month if it touches your skin or if your pet sleeps on top of it. Spot treat stains and odours between washes. However, some people say wash it three to four times a year. Because you don’t want to wash it too frequently.
Make sure you check the care instructions from the manufacturer.
To avoid washing the whole blanket, spot clean stains on the weighted blanket instead. It is important to remove stains as soon as possible to prevent them from setting in and becoming harder to remove.
Weighted blankets are uniquely designed and require special washing. Heavy blankets won’t be able to be washed in household washing machines, so hand washing is probably the best option. There’s nothing worse than ripping your expensive weighted blanket!
Additionally, duvets are a great way to protect a weighted blanket, as well as being much easier to wash. Consult the manufacturer’s instructions if you aren’t sure how to wash a duvet.
Thanks for taking the time to check this guide out. Have a good wash day!