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How to Wash A Weighted Blanket in 3 Easy Steps

Weighted blankets have become something of a hot commodity -- and for good reason. Not only do they invite you to cozy up and wind down, but early research shows they might help with anxiety and insomnia

Whether you're looking for mental health support or you just like the feel of a heavy blanket, there are some top-tier options on the market today. Once you find the best weighted blanket for you, you're still going to want a way to maintain it.

And that means you need to figure out how to wash a weighted blanket.  That weighted blanket will absorb body oils -- and soak up spilled drinks -- just like any other textile in your home. That doesn't necessarily mean you're going to need to make regular trips to the dry cleaner.

But it does mean you need to know how to clean it. We can help.  Read more: Best Weighted Blankets

How to wash a weighted blanket

A weighted blanket usually has a filling like glass microbeads or plastic pellets.

In other words, this isn't your standard comforter or throw, which makes washing it a little bit more complicated.  Fortunately, you don't have to figure out how to wash a weighted blanket on your own. Because the best weighted blanket manufacturers know these blankets need special care, they should have explicitly stated those care instructions on a tag on your blanket.

If you're already torn that out, you can check the website.  Companies make their weighted blankets differently, so you might have a filling that needs to be washed a certain way or a cover that you can take off and wash separately. Checking with the manufacturer is the best way to ensure you're washing your weighted blanket properly and reduce damage.

You should also check the tag or company website for your blanket's weight. If it's more than 10 pounds but is machine-washable, you probably want to use a commercial washer at your local laundromat. That way, you avoid damaging your blanket and washing machine. 

Now, let's get to your three-step wash regimen. 

Step 1: Remove stains 

Whenever you spill on your blanket, jump on it right away. Acting fast can prevent the stain from setting in. To spot clean a small stain, use a spray-on, enzyme-based stain remover or a little water mixed with a gentle detergent.

You can work your stain solution into the spot with your fingers, a sponge or a soft-bristled toothbrush.  Let it sit for 15 minutes. At that point, if your blanket is due for a wash anyway, proceed to the next step.

Or, if you're just spot-treating a stain, rinse that area in cool or warm water (depending on your blanket's care instructions). Then, lay it flat to dry. 

Step 2: Wash your weighted blanket 

Most weighted blankets have removable covers. Unless you had a liquid spill that soaked through the cover, you can just wash that exterior piece.

However, be sure to follow the care instructions carefully.  If your weighted blanket doesn't have a removable cover, wash it alone. It's already bulky and adding more into the washer or bathtub can limit its ability to spin and get clean. 

Hand wash: If your blanket calls for hand-washing, fill your clean bathtub with enough water to submerge the blanket and add detergent. Follow the manufacturer's care directions as far as water temperature and detergent type. Use your hands to swirl the blanket around. You want to try to imitate the spin cycle of a washing machine. 

Once you're done hand-washing, drain your tub and rinse the blanket until the water runs suds-free.  Machine wash: A lot of the best weighted blanket options are machine washable. Many blankets with plastic pellets or glass beads can go through the washer, but remember to check the tag for washing instructions. 

Most machine-washable weighted blankets require cold or warm water (not hot). Always use a gentle detergent and skip the bleach and fabric softener.  Ideally, you'll be able to take the blanket's cover off and wash just that.

But if you can't and your blanket weighs more than 10 pounds, you may want to haul it to a laundromat to use a commercial washer. Otherwise, that hefty weight can strain your washer.  Dry clean: If you're worried about damaging your blanket, you can always take it to the dry cleaner or invest in an at-home dry cleaning kit

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Step 3: Dry your weighted blanket

A lot of weighted blanket fillings -- like glass or plastic beads -- can't absorb water, which means drying your blanket can go surprisingly quickly.

Or, if you're just drying the cover, that's pretty simple, too. Just check the tag and follow the instructions.  Machine dry: Unless the blanket itself explicitly says it's safe to go through the dryer, skip it.

If it is safe to dry, you'll generally need to use a low or medium setting. To help it dry evenly and to prevent lumps, periodically take out the blanket and fluff it as it dries.  Air dry: Air drying can protect your blanket from wear-and-tear and unwelcome lumps.

The best way to air-dry your weighted blanket is to lay it flat to dry. Hanging it over a line or sturdy shower bar can cause the filling to settle in the ends.  Choose a clean space where you can leave it for a day or two.

A few times a day, shake it out to redistribute the filling and flip it over. If you're on a time crunch, you can press clean towels into the blanket to help draw out some of the moisture faster.  Read more: Weighted Blankets: How They Work, and Why You Should Get One

How often should you wash your weighted blanket? 

Now that you know how to wash a weighted blanket, you're probably wondering how often this to-do needs to land on your plate.

That depends on how often you're using it.  If you're sleeping with the blanket nightly, wash it every few weeks. If it's just a throw on your couch or a lap blanket you use occasionally, washing it quarterly should be fine.

Of course, some factors -- like kids and pets -- can increase the frequency of washing.  If you're using the blanket regularly or you have little ones or furry friends climbing on it, choosing a blanket that has a removable cover makes all the difference. Or, if you've already got your blanket and it doesn't, you can invest in a duvet cover to go over it.

That will make washing your blanket much easier and can help it last longer. Generally, weighted blankets should be replaced every five years if used regularly.

Things to consider when washing your weighted blanket 

As we talked about how to wash a weighted blanket, we briefly touched on some potentially damaging products. To ensure you can protect your blanket from them, let's go over them:

  • Bleach: Bleach can break down the fibers of your weighted blanket, causing it to wear out faster.

    Also, if your weighted blanket  has color, bleach can cause discoloration.

  • Hot water: Not only can hot water also break down your blanket's fibers, but it could cause lumps in the filling.
  • Fabric softener: Because you're not going to put your blanket through an intense rinse cycle, fabric softener can build up on it with each wash cycle.

    Eventually, contrary to its name, this can make your blanket feel scratchy. 

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice.

Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.