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how to wash a heated blanket

how to wash a heated blanket

There’s nothing better on a cold winter’s night than snuggling up on the couch with an electric blanket. The difficulty of having an electric blanket arises when it comes time to clean it, although it is not difficult at all if you know the proper steps.

How to wash an electric blanket

The main concern with washingan electric blanket does not damage the wiring. Most companies provide specific washing instructions with their blankets, so your first step should be to follow them. However, if you do not have the original information that came with the blanket, follow these steps:

  1. Obviously, the first step is to unplug the blanket so that it is no longer receiving electricity.
  2. Look to see if you can unplug the power cord from the blanket. Most models allow you to do this, and you can leave the cable out of the way.
  3. Take the blanket outside and shake it to remove any loose dirt and debris.
  4. If the blanket has a lot of pet hair on it (because what dog or cat doesn’t like to snuggle in there with you), you should do what you can to remove the hair before washing it. You can use a lint roller, pet hair roller, or rubber gloves work well to remove hair.
  5. Now turn the blanket on each side and look for a manufacturer’s label. If you can find one, look to see if it has cleaning instructions on whether it can be used in a washing machine or should be washed by hand.
  6. If you are using your washing machine, choose the gentlest setting your washing machine has and use cold water. You also want to use a mild laundry detergent and keep the amount of soap small. Do not use bleach with an electric blanket.
  7. If the blanket is very dirty, it’s a good idea to soak it before washing it. Once your washing machine has finished filling all the water and after you have added the soap, turn off the machine. Lay the blanket down and make sure it is completely submerged and set a timer for up to 15 minutes.
  8. Check the blanket for any stains that concern you. If they are still heavily soiled after soaking, you may also consider pre-treating the stains with a stain remover.
  9. Turn the machine back on and let it run through its full cycle.
  10. While it is safe to let the machine run through a full cycle, another method is to shorten the cycle by letting it run for up to five minutes, then skipping the rest of the cycle and going directly to the final rinse and spin.

how to wash a heated blanket

Putting an electric blanket in the dryer

You may be concerned about the effect of the dryer’s heat on your electric blanket’s wiring, but it’s actually pretty safe, if only with home dryers. Do not take your blanket to a laundromat to use a commercial dryer, as they will be too hot.

  1. Put the blanket in the dryer and set it to the lowest possible temperature. Avoid high temperature settings, as they can damage the blanket’s wiring.
  2. Set a timer for five to ten minutes.
  3. Remove the blanket after the timer ends. After this, you will either air dry it using a clothesline, outdoor clothesline, or find an area where you can safely place the blanket and allow it to dry, such as on an uncarpeted floor or on a large table.
  4. When laying the blanket out to air dry, you will need to gently move and stretch the blanket with your hands to fix any areas that have become misshapen or appear to have shrunk.
  5. Make sure the blanket is not placed in a position where the wiring will slip out of place. Also avoid using paper clips or clothespins unless you are sure they are not putting pressure on the wiring.
  6. The blanket may take up to 24 hours to fully dry. Be sure to run your hands all over it to make sure there are no wet or damp spots before plugging it back in.

Drying an electric blanket without a dryer

If you can’t put your blanket in the dryer or prefer to air dry it 100%, just make sure you lay or hang your blanket so it lays flat. You don’t want it drying out with the wiring pinched or bent due to the position of the blanket or hanging tools like clothespins. You should also make sure to handle the fabric of the blanket so that it is in its correct position before drying it.

Hand washing an electric blanket

If you have an electric blanket that requires hand washing, or if your washing machine is too small for the blanket, you can follow similar steps to clean it. Do not take it to a laundromat to use a commercial machine, as they will be too rough for the blanket.

  1. You can wash the electric blanket in a large plastic tub that fits your blanket or use your bathtub.
  2. Fill the tub with cold water and some mild laundry detergent.
  3. Shake the blanket to remove loose dirt and do your best to remove pet hair from the blanket.
  4. Place the blanket in the water and press down to make sure it is completely submerged. Set a time of approximately 20 to 30 minutes.
  5. From time to time, you should check your blanket and move it around in the water with your hands to help remove any dirt.
  6. Remove the blanket from the water. Use your hands to remove excess water. Do not twist the blanket too forcefully, as this can damage the wiring.
  7. You can follow the same steps above to dry the blanket.

how to wash a heated blanket

Electric Dry Cleaning Blankets

While dry cleaning might seem like the way to go with an electric blanket, it can actually seriously damage them if the chemicals aren’t used correctly. However, don’t automatically rule out using a dry cleaner. Many dry cleaners are well versed in how to safely clean electric blankets and may have alternative methods that do not involve dry cleaning chemicals. Talk to your dry cleaner first to make sure they have experience with electric blankets and a successful cleaning record.

Keeping your electric blankets clean

It’s a good idea to give your electric blankets a thorough cleaning at least once a month, especially if you use it frequently. Cleaning should also be done before putting it away after winter ends. Don’t be afraid to run your washing machine, as all it takes is a few simple modifications to the regular washing process to safely clean your electric blankets.

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