Whether you already own it and wonder how to wash an electric blanket, or you are planning to buy an electric blanket, this article will guide you through the complete maintenance process.
Electric blankets are choice number one for many people these years because they easily keep you warm, can reduce back pain, and help you relax.
However, proper maintenance is essential when it comes to prolonged use of a blanket. Because you should never put a cover on top of the electric blanket, it can get dirty sooner than you expect.
If you skip washing the electric blanket, it can start smelling unpleasant and develop mites. Also, many people don’t know that they should wash the blanket before the first use.
Don’t worry; here is a simple guide on how to properly wash your electric buddy!
- Two Washing Methods
- Washing in the Machine
- Step One
- Step Two
- Third (Optional) Step
- Fourth (Optional) Step
- Fifth Step
- Washing by Hand
- Step One
- Step Two
- Step Three
- Step Four
- Step Five
- Drying the Electric Blanket
- Inspect the Blanket for Quality
- What Should you Never do with your Electric Blanket?
- Dry cleaning
- Bleach and Stain Removal Products
- Spot Treatment for Stains
- Stain Removal on the Electric Blanket – Tools and Process
- Frequently Asked Questions
Two Washing Methods
There are two methods for washing the electric blanket – in a washing machine or by hand. Despite what people think, modern blankets are supposed to be washed in a machine.
The second method is washing by hand. Some people prefer this method, especially if they own an older model of an electric blanket.
Let’s break things down into simple steps for both methods.
Washing in the Machine
The majority of electric blankets are washing machine-safe. However, make sure to check the product specifications to be sure if putting a blanket in the washing machine won’t void the warranty.
Machines with adjustable cycles, as almost all machines on the market, are nowadays, and mild detergent are all you will need.
Electric blankets today have internal wiring with waterproof protection, but it doesn’t apply to power cord and controllers. Your blanket probably has a control cord that goes directly to a wall plug. Therefore, the first step is to turn your blanket off, unplug it from the outlet, and remove the control cord from the blanket.
However, before you wet your blanket, inspect the blanket to make sure no wire is poking through the fabric or the heating elements are damaged in any way. If that is the case, the blanket shouldn’t be used.
People who own blankets with non-detachable control cords, shouldn’t wash them in the washing machine. In that case, skip the next few steps and read the guide for hand washing steps.
Before you move on with the washing cycle, make sure to check the blanket for specific instructions related to temperature. Commonly, you can find the instructions on the blanket label or in the booklet that arrived with the blanket.
The majority of manufacturers recommend pre-soaking, washing at low temperatures, and gentle spin cycle.
Third (Optional) Step
Pre-soaking is something advised by manufacturers, but some people cannot perform the step in their small shower cabins.
If you want to perform this step, you will have to prepare a large bathtub and lukewarm water. Avoid too cold water or too hot, as it can damage the wiring. Put a small amount of detergent in the water and make foam. Then, soak the blanket and let it sit from five to fifteen minutes.
Fourth (Optional) Step
Once the blanket has been submerged in the water for fifteen minutes, gently squeeze the blanket before putting it in the washing machine. The best way to do it is in sections and using only mild force. Never wring out the blanket as it can damage thin wires in the blanket.
Once the blanket is ready for the washing machine, place it inside, making sure that there is enough space. Next, pour the small amount of detergent and choose a gentle or delicate washing cycle. The majority of manufactures don’t recommend washing the blanket on the full cycle. Instead, let the blanket wash for several minutes, two or three on the washing cycle and then, set it up for rinsing.
You can set the blanket on the rinsing cycle for no more than one minute and on a single standard spin cycle.
Washing by Hand
If you don’t want to wash the blanket in the washing machine, or you own an older model of an electric blanket that isn’t washing machine-safe, you can wash it by hand easily.
The first step is similar to the mashing washing method – detach the control cord if it is possible. If you own an older model of an electric blanket and detaching the cables isn’t possible, you will have to wash it carefully, making sure that the cable doesn’t come in contact with water. You can ask your family member to hold the cable above the water while you wash it by hand.
Fill the bathtub with lukewarm water and prepare mild detergent that is free of harsh chemicals and bleach.
Before you put the blanket in the water, use your hands to create study foam.
Put the blanket into the water and let it soak for ten to fifteen minutes. Once the blanket has been soaked, use your hands to wash the blanket gently. The best way to do it is to squeeze the blanket into sections, to remove all dust, dirt, and debris. Don’t be too harsh, and make sure to pay special attention to the edges of the blanket.
Don’t use brushes or other tools for cleaning, only your hands. Once the blanket is fully processed, you can continue with rinsing.
Rinsing the blanket by hand can be a bit more complicated. The best way to do it is to fill the bathtub with clean lukewarm water and rinse it that way. You can use a shower head to rinse sections of the blanket, too.
Gently drain your blanket, by squeezing the blanket by sections to remove excess water. Again, don’t wring the blanket!
Get more tips on how to safely wash an electric blanket:
Drying the Electric Blanket
Once the blanket is washed in the machine or by hand, you can decide whether to use a dryer or air dry your blanket. The dryer should be large enough to let the blanket tumble freely.
You will have to check if drying in the dryer is safe. For most blankets, it is safe only if the dryer has adjustable temperature and can be set on low. If the blanket doesn’t have a detachable cord, it isn’t safe to dry it in the dryer.
If it is possible, set the lowest temperature to two minutes, put the blanket in the dryer, and let it tumble dry for a maximum of ten minutes.
Avoid commercial dryers or laundromats because they can get very hot and the heat can burn the wires.
Then, you will have to spread the blanket on the clothesline or place it on the flat surface to air dry. If you plan to dry your electric blanket on a flat surface, place it on one side and then flip it over after an hour. Make sure to spread the blanket to reach its original shape. You might have to gently pull the blanket to adjust the borders and stretch it out making sure you don’t damage internal wires.
Also, you should avoid using clothespins, as they can break thin wires inside the blankets. Once the blanket is fully dry, you can continue using it.
Inspect the Blanket for Quality
Before you plug the blanket again and turn it on, check if the blanket is completely dry. Further, check both sides of the blanket to find out if there are some noticeable issues with the wires. Besides, check if the blanket has been torn apart in some places. If you notice any issues, the blanket isn’t safe for use.
What Should you Never do with your Electric Blanket?
Maintaining the electric blanket is simple, but you need to follow the specific instructions. Washing in the machine at low temperature, and drying in the dryer won’t damage the wires and make wires prone to sparks and fire, but the following processes can.
You might think that dry cleaning is a safer method for cleaning an electric blanket because it doesn’t include water. Also, it might seem easier to have somebody else clean your blanket for you, but this method is wrong.
Instead of water, the dry cleaning process uses the perchloroethylene solvent for washing. After the cleaning, the fabric is usually pressed, and it is why it looks new. The solvent can damage the internal wires as well as the pressing process.
Therefore, never dry clean your blanket as it can damage the coatings on the internal wires that are unnoticeable to the naked eye. Damaged wires can cause fire next time you plug the blanket and turn it on.
Ironing the blanket isn’t safe because of the high heat the iron produces. Even if you put the iron at a low temperature, the risk of damaging the blanket is still high. Moreover, ironing can physically damage the wires due to the movement of the iron.
Modern blankets have thin wires, and the user doesn’t feel the wires. You can destroy these thin wires with ironing. Besides, why would you want to iron a blanket?
Bleach and Stain Removal Products
Bleach and products for stain removal contain aggressive chemicals. The product can penetrate through fabrics and get in contact with wires and ruin the coating on the wire and wire core. Further, it can cause severe malfunctions and cause fires. Always use a mild detergent and use it sparsely.
Spot Treatment for Stains
Electric blankets are soft and cozy, and you might snuggle in your warm blanket in front of a TV with a cup of hot chocolate or other hot beverage. While it might seem like an idyllic winter scene, an accidental movement can easily create stains on your warm blanket.
If you have just washed your blanket and you want to remove the stains without wetting the entire blanket, there is a simple way to it.
Stain Removal on the Electric Blanket – Tools and Process
Prepare soft white cloth, something to scrape the dirt off, a bit of water, and mild detergent. First of all, unplug the blanket and remove the control cord.
Next, scrape the dirt that has left on the blanket. Use a small amount of detergent and dissolve it in water, and wet the white cloth in it. Go over the spot and rub it smoothly to remove the stain as much as possible.
Once you are done with the detergent, rinse the cloth and wet it in the clean water. Go over the spot several times to rinse the blanket section with the stain.
Let the blanket dry before you start using it again.
Frequently Asked Questions
Electric blankets are easy to maintain if you follow the instructions. Still, people find the process confusing. Let’s answer the most common questions related to the electric blankets washing process.
For many people around the world, electric blankets are irreplaceable during cold nights. Proper washing and drying of an electric blanket don’t require special skills. In fact, washing it in the washing machine or by hand is pretty straightforward if you follow the instructions.
Wash your favorite blanket regularly and enjoy cozy nights with a fresh, clean, and a safe electric blanket!
What seems easier to you, hand-washing or machine-washing? Also, if you have ever experienced an issue with your blanket due to improper cleaning, share your experience, other readers will find it useful!