Cleaning 101: How to Wash an Electric Blanket

how to wash an electric blanket

Investing in an electric blanket can be an excellent way to keep yourself comfortable and warm in any season. Electric blankets are great for snuggling up in front of the television or just warming up your bed. However, you don’t need to be a scientific mind to know that electrical wiring and your washing machine probably shouldn’t mix.

The good news is that modern electric blankets come with a range of washing options, so you can keep your investment clean and fresh for longer. Today, we’re going to cover how to wash an electric blanket without causing unnecessary damage.

Can You Wash an Electric Blanket in the Washing Machine?

As great as electric blankets can be, they wouldn’t be great investments if you couldn’t wash them regularly. The last thing you want is for your electric blankets to have a sweaty smell or stains you can’t get rid of. The cleaning process for your electric blanket will often differ depending on the kind of product you buy. For instance, if you can remove the cord from the blanket and any electric components, you’ll probably be safe putting it in the washing machine alongside your other laundry.

To determine whether you can put your electric blanket in the washing machine safely, check the tag or instructions. The label should provide information on washing by hand, how to dry the blanket, and whether you can safely use machine washing. If your blanket is suitable for the washing machine, make sure you follow the washing instructions carefully.

Putting Your Blanket in the Washer

Step 1: Remove Electricals

Start by unplugging and disconnecting the blanket from all electrical power sources. If you can remove any electric components within your blanket before you put it in the washer, like the cord, then do so.

Step 2: Place in the Washer

Place everything carefully in the machine. Make sure your blanket fits into your washing machine. Otherwise, it won’t wash properly.

Step 3: Wash and Dry

Set your machine on a gentle or delicate cycle rather than a standard wash cycle, and use a mild laundry detergent to protect the materials. Some instructions also recommend leaving your blanket to soak in the water for a while before you wash. Allow the blanket to sit and let it soak for about 15 minutes, use the spin dry, then completely air dry.

How to Hand Wash an Electric Blanket

If you’re worried about the wiring within your electric blanket, or the instructions tell you not to put the blanket in the washing machine, the best option is to hand wash the fabric. Hand washing clothing and bedding can take longer, but it does mean you have more control over the process and where the water goes.

Step 1: Remove Electrical Wiring

Before you do anything, once again, make sure that the cord and wiring for your electric blanket are unplugged from the power supply.

Step 2: Prepare the Tub with Water

Once you’ve double-checked everything, fill a tub with just enough lukewarm water to allow the fabric to move around when you’re washing it. The amount of water you need will depend on your blanket’s size and how much moisture the fabric will absorb as you soak it.

Step 3: Add Detergent and Let Soak

Add some mild laundry detergent to the tub and swish the blanket around in the warm to cool water until the soapy water has foamed. Leave the blanket to soak in the detergent and water for about 15 minutes. When you’re ready, pull your blanket out of the bath and rinse it, if you can, with your shower. This rinse will get rid of any excess detergent.

Step 4: Air Dry

Squeeze the blanket for a minute, then hang it to dry somewhere safe. You may be able to hang the blanket outside or use equipment indoors, like a rack to hang the blanket over the tub. Remember, gently squeezing your blanket a small amount can remove excess water. However, you should not wring your blanket out.

Electric Blanket FAQs

Can You Put an Electric Blanket in the Dryer?

Despite what people often assume, you can actually dry your electric blanket in a dryer in some cases. Once again, it’s best to check the instructions on your electric blankets before you do this. Some recommend only using the rinse and spin mode in a washer.

Even if you’ve filled a tub with cold water to clean the blanket by hand washing, you can dry it partially in your dryer if the instructions allow it. Simply remove the blanket from the cold water and place it in the dryer on a very low setting. Only allow the dryer to work for a few minutes, then remove the blanket and place it on a drying rack where it can air dry the rest of the way.

Is There an Alternative Way to Dry Your Blanket?

Your electric blanket doesn’t recommend machine drying on any heat setting, but simply leaving it to dry naturally will take too much time. What can you do? You could consider using a low heat hairdryer to help if it’s taking a while but stay away from high heat products. Don’t place your bedding back in any covers or on your bed if it’s still damp.

If you are washing your electric blanket with an electrical appliance like a washing machine, ensure you know how to handle the heating components before washing.

How Can You Air Dry Your Blanket Properly?

When drying your electric blanket, stretch the blanket out properly to dry faster and retain its original shape. Do not use cloth pins, and be cautious about using any commercial dryer equipment or dry-clean options that might harm your electric blanket’s wiring and power. Do not use your electric blanket again or attach it to any power source by the cord until you know it’s fully dry. The combination of heat and electricity is very dangerous for the wires.

Can You Spot Clean Your Blanket?

Figuring out how to wash an electric blanket might seem complicated, but many modern electric blankets are easier to maintain than you might think. Even if it’s not safe to put your electric blanket in the washing machine, you can often clean the fabric by hand without having to soak it entirely.

There’s the option to carefully scrub spot stains and odours from an electric blanket with a sponge and a mild detergent. Using a sponge to scrub the stains in spots can help you work around the cord and wires and ensure you gently avoid any electrical or heating components within the blanket.

Tips for Cleaning Your Electric Blanket

Air Dry the Blanket When Possible

An electric blanket is often better off being dried on a clothes horse, although a clothesline might not be strong enough depending on how large your blanket is. A drying rack will often be a better choice.

Be Gentle

The heating elements within electric blankets, as well as their wires and cord elements, are often strong enough to withstand being washed, but you still need to be gentle. Stick to gentle wash cycles, and don’t squash or crush your blanket. Rinse and wash your investment gently.

Don’t Place Electric Bedding in Commercial Dryers

Avoid using dryers with very high heating standards. Heating the wires and other components within your electric blanket can cause more damage and mean it doesn’t work after being washed.

Always Be Careful

Unplug your electric blanket to avoid shock and ensure the heating elements have cooled down before you begin washing. Carefully follow the instructions provided when washing your blanket. Additionally, it is best to avoid any harsh chemicals.

Don’t Submerge the Controller

Try to avoid placing the control panel in the water, particularly if you can remove it from the blanket before washing.

Storing Your Electric Blanket

Learning how to wash your electric blanket is just the first start. You might also need to know how to store these products carefully when they’re fully cleaned. If you want to store your electric blanket during the summer, unplug the device and make sure all the heating elements have cooled down. Check for any damage, rips, or scorched areas, and toll the blanket carefully.

Most experts recommend rolling a blanket to store it rather than folding, as the harsh folds can damage the internal electricals. Store your product in a dry area where it won’t be exposed to insects or rodents that might chew through the cables.

A Cosy Slumber

Naturally, the thought of washing something electrical can be quite alarming for some, but now you know how to wash an electric blanket, you can do so confidently. There’s no need to sleep on dirty bedding, so follow our guide and rest assured your blanket will be as good as new.

Do you own this kind of bedding? How do you clean it? Tell us below.

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