On a chilly day, there’s nothing better than putting on fuzzy socks and curling up in a nice, warm blanket. How gross would it be, though, if the blanket you’re using is covered in dirt or pet hair? Talk about a cozy time buzzkill!

Luckily, it’s really not that difficult to clean your blankets. In fact, most can be thrown directly into the washing machine. Use this guide to help you clean every type of blanket.

Can I Wash a Blanket in the Washing Machine?

Can I Wash a Blanket in the Washing Machine?

Can I Wash a Blanket in the Washing Machine?

Great news! You can put many types of blankets in the washing machine, including any made from cotton, polyester, and fleece. Always read the care instructions first and wash the blankets separately whenever possible.

*DISCLAIMER: Quality Logo Products® is not responsible for any damage caused by washing your blankets. Always check the care tag, and be sure to reach out to the manufacturer for specific cleaning instructions.

How to Wash a Blanket

How to Wash a Blanket

How to Wash a Blanket

Every blanket is a little bit different for cleaning. The cycle, water temperature, and detergent you use largely depends on the type of blanket you’re washing and the material it’s made from.

Acrylic Blankets

Acrylic Blankets

To wash acrylic blankets, you should first treat stains with a liquid dish soap. Use cold water and a gentle detergent. Hot water is too harsh and may damage the material. For this reason, you also shouldn’t put acrylic blankets in the dryer.

Afghan Blankets

Afghan Blankets

You will follow the same process for washing an Afghan as you would for washing a knit or crochet blanket. Throw it in a mesh laundry bag first to prevent the yarn from unraveling, and use a gentle cycle and detergent. Always air dry since the heat is too harsh for the material.

Baby Blankets

Baby Blankets

Infants often have an emotional attachment to their blankie, so don’t destroy it while cleaning. Keep it soft and cuddly by washing it alone with a gentle detergent. You should use a small, short cycle and air dry at the end.

Cashmere Blankets

Cashmere Blankets

Cashmere blankets shouldn’t be washed as often as other blanket types. When it is time for a cleaning, place them in a mesh laundry bag and use cold water. You should only use about a tablespoon of laundry detergent and lay flat afterward to dry.

Chenille Blankets

Chenille Blankets

It’s pretty simple to wash a chenille blanket. Just use your washing machine at home! Set it to a normal cycle, use your regular detergent, and air dry at the end to avoid heat damage.

Comforters

Comforters

As long as the comforter isn’t too heavy, you can wash it in the machine on a regular cycle using cold water, low heat, and a mild detergent. Wash it alone since it will take up most of the machine. At the end, dry the comforter on a low heat setting with a few dryer sheets.

Cotton Blankets

Cotton Blankets

Cotton blankets are some of the easiest to wash! You can put them directly into the machine with other cotton clothing. Add a mild liquid detergent and wash on a gentle cycle. Use the coldest water possible since this prevents the cotton from shrinking. Dry for half the time in the dryer with a low or normal heat. For the rest, hang it up to air dry.

Custom Blankets

Custom Blankets

Do you have a blanket printed with your name? How about a throw featuring your favorite team’s logo? Either way, hand wash custom blankets in the sink with cool water and detergent rather than placing them in the machine. This helps preserve the life of the print.

Electric Blankets

Electric Blankets

As long as the cords and controls are disconnected, some electric blankets can be washed in the machine. Check the care instructions, use cold water, and a delicate cycle. Dry normally and make sure it’s 100% dry before plugging it in for use. If the cords are not removable, hand wash instead using a clean towel and soapy water.

Embroidered Blankets

Embroidered Blankets

Did your grandma make you an embroidered blanket? Care for it properly by washing it by hand rather than in the machine. This prevents the threads from getting snagged, especially if the stitching isn’t very tight.

Fleece Blankets

Fleece Blankets

You want fleece blankets to always be soft and cuddly. To wash, start by treating any stains with a drop of regular detergent and blotting with a clean washcloth. Let sit for 10 minutes and then put in the machine with detergent and fabric softener. Prevent pilling by washing the blankets separately with cold water on a gentle cycle. Do not use the dryer since the heat can be damaging.

Knit Blankets

Knit Blankets

The yarn may get snagged in the machine when washing knit or crochet blankets. Avoid this issue by putting them in a mesh laundry bag or even a pillowcase beforehand. This will protect the blanket during the gentle or permanent-press cycle. Air dry afterward. If you’re at all worried, just hand wash your knit blanket instead.

Linen Blankets

Linen Blankets

Linen blankets and sheets can be washed in the machine with cold water and a gentle cycle. This material is very similar to cotton since it tends to shrink when exposed to hot temperatures. For that reason, you will want to hang to dry instead of putting in the dryer.

Microfiber Blankets

Microfiber Blankets

When washing a microfiber blanket, use warm or hot water with a mild detergent and no fabric softener. Do not wash with cotton since microfiber attracts lint. This material dries quickly, so go ahead and air dry to avoid any heat damage.

Mink Blankets

Mink Blankets

Mink blankets are very fluffy, and to maintain that quality, they shouldn’t be washed in the machine. Hand wash them instead using cool water and a gentle detergent. Hot air will make the acrylic fibers melt, so do not put in the dryer.

Mohair Blankets

Mohair Blankets

Because the fibers are so delicate, it’s strongly recommended that you hand wash a mohair blanket. If you’re pressed for time, you can wash it in a front-loading machine with cool water. Do not tumble dry since this can damage the material.

Nylon Blankets

Nylon Blankets

Nylon is a bit more delicate than acrylic, cotton, or polyester. With that in mind, you should wash nylon blankets using cold water and the gentlest cycle. Do not use the dryer since the heat causes the material to lose its texture.

Photo Blankets

Photo Blankets

Photo blankets are prone to color bleeding if you’re not careful. To avoid this, hand wash these blankets using a mild detergent and cold water. Do not use fabric softener or stain removers. Do not iron the blanket or put it in the dryer.

Picnic Blankets

Picnic Blankets

Fleece, cotton, and microfiber picnic blankets are safe to wash in the machine. Follow the care instructions for these materials. Does your picnic blanket have grass stains? Scrub the area with a toothbrush and a mixture of ½ cup of white vinegar, 1 cup of lukewarm water, and 1 tablespoon of liquid dish soap.

Polyester Blankets

Polyester Blankets

Wash a polyester blanket with water that’s no warmer than 120°F. Use a mild detergent without fabric softener. Put the blanket in the dryer, and make sure it’s totally dry to avoid mildew and mold.

Quilts

Quilts

Quilts are just as heavy as comforters, but are safe to put in the washing machine. Use a delicate cycle, normal water, and a soft liquid detergent. Do not wash the quilts with any clothing, towels, or other laundry. When the cycle is done, hang up to air dry away from direct sunlight.

Shearling Blankets

Shearling Blankets

Spot clean a shearling blanket with cool water and a gentle detergent. Roll it in a clean towel and set it aside to dry naturally. Keep in mind, you should only clean a shearling blanket when it’s absolutely necessary. This will keep it soft and fluffy for a longer time.

Sherpa Blankets

Sherpa Blankets

Sherpa blankets are technically machine washable, but they need to go in front-load machines, which don’t have a center agitator that will rip the material. If you have this kind of washer, clean the blanket with non-detergent soap and do not place in the dryer afterward.

Silk Blankets

Silk Blankets

You should hand wash silk blankets, but if you’re pressed for time, use about ¼ cup of mild laundry detergent, cool water, and a gentle cycle. Dry the blanket on a no-heat setting, or better yet, hang it up to air dry.

Throw Blankets

Throw Blankets

If your throw blanket is made from a safe material, you can wash it directly in the machine. Cotton, fleece, and polyester throw blankets are usually machine-washable. Use a short, delicate cycle with cold water. Do not use fabric softener. Hang up to air dry.

Weighted Blankets

Weighted Blankets

Weighted blankets are between 5 and 30 pounds, so they’re not always safe for the machine. Check the manufacturer’s instructions to see if it’s possible first and then use cold water, a gentle cycle, and no fabric softener. If it’s not machine washable, you can spot clean using a wet cloth and a mild detergent.

Wool Blankets

Wool Blankets

Wool blankets are pretty easy to clean! Set the machine to wash on a gentle cycle with cold water. Stop the machine only 1 minute into the rinse cycle so the blanket doesn’t stretch. Do not put a wool blanket in the dryer, but air dry instead.

*DISCLAIMER: Quality Logo Products® is not responsible for any damage caused by washing your blankets. Always check the care tag, and be sure to reach out to the manufacturer for specific cleaning instructions.

How to Hand Wash a Blanket

How to Hand Wash a Blanket

How to Hand Wash a Blanket

Is your blanket not machine-washable? You should still wash it regularly, but by hand instead. It may take more time and require extra effort, but it’s worth it for a fresh, clean blanket!

Follow these steps to hand wash your blanket:

  1. Fill a large plastic bin, sink, or bathtub with cold water and a mild liquid detergent.
  2. Submerge the blanket in the soapy water. Let soak for 30 minutes.
  3. Remove the blanket from the water.
  4. Press the blanket with a clean towel to remove the excess water. Wringing it out can cause the blanket to lose its shape!
  5. Drain the water and refill the bin, sink, or tub with clean cold water, but no detergent.
  6. Soak the blanket in the water.
  7. Press the blanket with a new clean towel.
  8. Hang the blanket over your shower rod to air dry. You can also leave it outside, but note that sunlight may discolor certain types of blankets.

Handwashing is recommended for the following blanket types:

  • Custom blankets
  • Embroidered blankets
  • Heavy comforters
  • Quilts
  • Knit blankets
  • Mohair blankets
  • Photo blankets
  • Shearling blankets
  • Sherpa blankets
  • Silk blankets
  • Electric blankets
  • Weighted blankets

Spot cleaning is always a safe choice, especially if you’re not sure about machine washing. It’s worth the effort since you are less likely to damage your favorite blankets.

Can You Dry a Blanket in the Dryer?

Can You Dry a Blanket in the Dryer?

A majority of blankets are technically safe for the dryer, but it’s usually better to air dry. Why? Heat can damage the fibers in your blankets, especially if they’re made from a delicate material like mohair or silk.

How Long Does it Take to Dry a Blanket?

How Long Does it Take to Dry a Blanket?

You can expect thick blankets to take 1 to 3 hours to totally dry. If you’re air drying, it may even take up to 24 hours. Adjust your cleaning schedule accordingly, so you don’t have to wait too long on your blanket.

Do you need your blanket to dry faster? Try throwing a clean towel with the blanket in the dryer. It will absorb the moisture, resulting in a faster drying blanket. You can also hang the blanket outside in the sun as long as it’s made from a safe material.

Do Blankets Need to Be Washed Separately?

Do Blankets Need to Be Washed Separately?

Some blankets need to be washed separately, while others can be washed with the same material or with a load of towels. Check the material and blanket type ahead of time for specific cleaning instructions.

How Many Blankets Can You Put in the Washer?

How Many Blankets Can You Put in the Washer?

The number of blankets you can put in the washer depends on the material, cleaning instructions, and whether or not you’re washing them with other items. If you want an estimate, you can expect to fit 1 to 5 blankets in the machine.

How Do You Wash a Heavy Blanket in the Washing Machine?

How Do You Wash a Heavy Blanket in the Washing Machine?

Most washing machines can handle a load of 75 pounds or lighter. Keep that in mind when washing heavy blankets. The blanket may be the only item in the machine, but it’s okay to wash a smaller load.

How Often Should Blankets Be Washed?

How Often Should Blankets Be Washed?

Aim to wash your blankets every 2 to 4 weeks. You may need to wash them sooner if you use them outside or accidentally spill food or coffee on the top. Just use your best judgment!

How to Get the Smell Out of a Blanket

The last thing you want is to curl up in a nice, warm blanket only to get a whiff of something stinky. The good news is it’s very easy to deodorize a blanket at home.

Does your blanket smell weird? Use any of the following to remove odors!

Essential Oils

Essential Oils

Mix a few drops of your favorite essential oil and spray it on your blanket. Let it sit for 15 minutes and repeat if the odor persists.

Baking Soda

Baking Soda

After washing your blanket, sprinkle some baking soda on the top to remove a funky odor. Give it about 20 minutes to sit and then suck up the grains using a handheld vacuum cleaner.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple Cider Vinegar

After you’ve washed a blanket and it’s hanging up to dry, spray it with a ½ cup of apple cider vinegar deluded in water or hydrogen peroxide. This deodorizing method is recommended if you want to get rid of pet smells.

Dryer Sheets

Dryer Sheets

Is your blanket safe for the dryer? Throw in a few dryer sheets during the cycle. This helps remove faint, musty smells.

Sunlight

Sunlight

Be sure your blanket is made from a material that can be exposed to the sun and then hang it outside. The sunlight should remove the odor naturally.


Why Should You Clean Your Blankets?

Why Should You Clean Your Blankets?

Why Should You Clean Your Blankets?

You have a lot of chores to tackle at home, but don’t overlook washing your blankets. They can attract any of the following if you don’t clean them regularly:

  • Pet dander
  • Bacteria
  • Pollen
  • Lint
  • Crumbs
  • Hair
  • Dust
  • Fungi

Overall, a clean blanket is better for your health and more enjoyable to snuggle into when you want to relax. It’ll feel softer, smell better, and won’t cause you to itch or sneeze.

The Bottom Line

Whether you snuggle up in an electric blanket, old fleece, or a photo blanket you got as a gift, it’s important that you’re regularly cleaning your favorite blankets. Most are machine-washable, so it’s as easy as doing a quick load of laundry!

References

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