How to wash a weighted blanket without damaging your washing machine

how to wash a weighted blanket
How to wash a weighted blanketPixelsEffect - Getty Images

There’s nothing quite like snuggling under a weighted blanket, particularly through the colder months. As well as keeping us warm, the heaviness creates the sensation of being hugged, which can help relieve stress and anxiety. Weighted blankets can also encourage a good night’s sleep – so it’s a win-win.

A weighted blanket needs washing like any other bedding does, to stop a build up of things like sweat. That said, and despite regular use, it's easy to ignore your weighted blanket in the regular laundry routine.

This isn’t surprising. After all, weighted blankets are heavy, weighing up to 12kg, and you might be unsure how to wash yours without damaging either the blanket itself or your washing machine. We’ve pulled these top tips together to guide you through the process.

Check the care label

First, it’s imperative that you check the care label of your weighted blanket. The instructions will vary from brand to brand, and the recommendations will depend upon the design.

Some models feature removable covers which can be slipped off and washed separately. Others are hand wash, spot clean or dry clean-only. There are some blankets that can even be fully loaded into the washing machine, but care must be taken here to ensure you’re not exceeding the maximum capacity for the drum. Always check this in the user manual before you start so you don’t end up damaging your washing machine.

how to wash a weighted blanket
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How to wash a weighted blanket

If your blanket is dry clean-only, stick to getting it professionally cleaned. If it's washable, or can be spot-cleaned, follow this advice...

Machine-washable weighted blankets

Follow the instructions on the care label for the maximum temperature setting and spin speed. If none are given, stick to a gentle cycle with cold water. Use a gentle detergent such as Woolite and reduce the dosage so it's easier for your washing machine to rinse all of it away without leaving residual suds. This is particularly important when washing weighted blankets with a soft filling. If you’re concerned about the blanket retaining detergent, you can also add an additional rinse cycle.

If the entire weighted blanket is machine-washable, make sure your washing machine can handle the weight. Check its capacity to confirm this. If the blanket is too heavy, you will need to either hand wash it, or take it to the dry cleaners instead.

If your washing machine can take the weight, but there’s excess space in the drum once it’s loaded (less than ¾ full), we don’t recommend running it; the machine could become unbalanced as it tries to spin, which can cause a lot of noise, and damage, as it shakes. Don't be tempted to add more to the drum on top of an entire weighted blanket; this will overload your machine.

It's always best to err on the side of caution if your weighted blanket is close to the maximum capacity or overloads the drum; it could make a mess if the cover tears during the cycle and you risk damaging your washing machine.

Hand wash-only weighted blankets

If your weighted blanket specifies that it is hand washable, you can wash it as thoroughly as necessary by hand. For a deep clean, fill your bathtub with a mixture of cold water and gentle detergent. Then submerge your weighted blanket and let it soak for 20 minutes before you work the solution in. You can use a soft bristled brush to help, such as Selaurel Cleaning Brush. Rinse thoroughly, being sure to squeeze the residual water out as best you can before moving on to the drying stage.

Spot clean-only weighted blankets

If your weighted blanket can only be spot-cleaned, simply wipe the surface with a damp microfibre cloth, and then leave to dry. You can apply a mild detergent before wiping off any residue with another damp cloth, if necessary.

GHI Tip: Do not wring water out of the weighted blanket, or you risk damaging it. Instead, press the water out.

how to wash a weighted blanket
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How to dry a weighted blanket

When it comes to drying your weighted blanket, it’s worth checking the care label again because it might be safe to tumble dry. If so, be sure to consider the capacity of your machine before proceeding. Do not tumble dry the weighed blanket if it is not tumble dryer-safe or if it exceeds the capacity; you risk damaging both the weighted blanket and your tumble dryer. Stick to a low temperature to prevent damage and fluff the blanket occasionally during the cycle.

Otherwise, you need to air dry your weighted blanket flat, flipping and rotating it every so often. Unless it’s just a cover, do not hang your weighted blanket to dry as this could distort the material. Spread it across a layer of towels on a hard, water-resistant surface to absorb the excess. For smaller, lighter blankets, you can lay these flat over a sturdy winged airer so the air can circulate more effectively but be sure to check it can handle the weight.

Drying is a long process which can take a couple of days, so make sure you’ve removed as much of the excess moisture beforehand. You can press it flat into towels to help absorb the residual water. Keep the room ventilated when drying a weighted blanket.

Tips to keep your weighted blanket clean

  • If you’ve recently slept or spent a long time under your weighted blanket, it’s a good idea to turn it down once you’re finished. This will release any residual moisture and give it a chance to air.

  • Place a separate duvet cover on top of your weighted blanket to better protect it.

  • Keep your bedroom cool if you're sleeping under a weighted blanket so you don't sweat more than usual in your sleep. This can increase the residual moisture that can build up in the blanket.

  • Try not to eat or drink over your weighted blanket. Considering how tricky they can be to wash, it’s a simple way to stop them getting unnecessarily grubby.

how to wash a weighted blanket
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How often should you wash your weighted blanket?

The answer to this depends on how often you use your weighted blanket. The more you use it, especially if you sleep under it, the more regularly it will require cleaning. According to the Sleep Foundation, if you sleep under it nightly, you should be washing it every few weeks. But, if you only use it every so often during the daytime, cleaning it three to four times a year will be enough.

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