The fact that an electric blanket has the word “electric” in its name makes washing it tricky. We all know what happens when you mix electricity and water. Fortunately, the process involved in washing your electric blanket isn’t as complicated as you might presume.
While most older electric blankets need to be washed by hand, newer options can simply be machine washed at home. You don’t even need to pay for dry cleaning.
Here are some practical tips on how to wash a heated blanket without damaging it.
Tip No.1: Machine Washing Your Heated Blanket
Note: The first thing you should do when caring for your heated blanket is to refer to the washing instructions offered by the manufacturer. These are often printed on the blanket itself or come with it as part of the owner’s manual. Usually, the manufacturer’s instructions will tell you if it’s machine washable or what kind of spin cycle you should use.
However, not everyone keeps track of the manufacturer’s guide. As such, you might have to resort to other cleaning methods that are considered safe.
Before throwing it in the washing machine, check to make sure you actually need to wash it. If you have a small stain on your blanket, then a spot clean with some soapy water might do the trick.
One of the best ways to clean your heated blanket is by throwing it into the washing machine at home. This ensures that your electric blanket is not only clean but also free of strange smells that might latch onto it with prolonged use.
Here’s what you need to do to machine wash your heated blanket at home:
- Start by disconnecting your heated blanket from its control box or power cord. Ensure that all detachable power cables are removed before you throw it in the washer. In most cases, you will find that modern electric blankets have internal wiring protected from water damage by waterproof coating.
- Give the blanket a good and thorough inspection to ensure there are no damaged or frayed blanket wires. This could expose the internal wiring to water damage.
- Using a lint roller, go over the entire blanket to remove any debris, including animal hair, before putting it into the washing machine.
- Using a pre-soak setting, let the blanket soak in cold water for about 15 minutes before you start the wash cycle. This will loosen up any stains before the actual wash occurs.
- Choose the shortest wash cycle available on your washing machine. Make sure that it’s in the “delicate” or “gentle” setting. Do not use any harsh chemicals such as bleach, and be sure to only use a small amount of mild laundry detergent.
Tip No.2: How to Hand Wash Your Heated Blanket
The second alternative is to hand wash your heated blanket. Here are the instructions you need to follow:
- When hand washing the heated blanket, start by removing all the detachable cables to avoid damaging the blanket or experiencing any potential electricity surge in the water.
- Fill the tub you intend to use with lukewarm water. There are several good reasons lukewarm water is the best option when hand washing. Cold or hot water can easily damage your heated blanket‘s internal wiring and heating elements. Additionally, hot water can fry the power cord outlets, while cold water can freeze up the internal wiring. It’s advisable to only use enough water to submerge the blanket. This also means that the tub needs to be big enough to allow for the complete and proper submersion of the blanket.
- Be careful to only use enough laundry detergent. If you use too much, you risk damaging the blanket’s internal wiring due to the blanket soaking in suds that might seep through the material. On the other hand, if you don’t use enough mild detergent, your blanket might not get cleaned properly. Once you are certain you have the right amount of mild detergent, thoroughly cycle it through the water so you have enough lather and sudsy foam.
- Introduce the blanket to the water once you are satisfied that the detergent is adequately and evenly dispersed. Completely submerge the blanket in that water and let it soak for about 15 minutes. This allows for the loosening of most stains.
- After soaking the blanket for about 15 minutes, gently squeeze systematically in sections to get rid of dust, debris, and dirt. DO NOT wring it out or rub it vigorously against itself as you would any other piece of cloth. This could damage the blanket wires or heating pads.
- Fill the tub with another batch of lukewarm water and use that to rinse out your heated blanket. Be careful not to wring it out as you would normally. Instead, gently squeeze the blanket systematically to remove the excess water and ensure no detergent residue remains. Rinse it out as many times as you need until the resulting water is as clear as it can be.
Now, when it comes to drying your heated blanket, there are several options. The simplest and fastest option would be to toss it into the dryer and let it do its thing. The problem with this is that if your dryer has no heat settings and only runs on high heat, the drying process could cause irreparable damage to the blanket’s internal wiring and power outlets.
You can only use a dryer if you can change the heat setting to low or air. However, even if your dryer has this heat setting option, it’s advisable to only use it to partially dry the blanket. This is to avoid any damage to the blanket’s internal wiring that the tumbling motion of the dryer might cause. Otherwise, you should drape it over a drying rack and air dry.
Ultimately, you will have to use an even surface or a clothesline to dry the blanket. If you choose to use an even surface, be sure to turn the blanket onto the other side after an hour or so to ensure that both sides are evenly dried. You must make sure that your heated blanket is completely dry before reconnecting the electrical cables and using it.
There’s no doubt that your electric blanket was a good and costly investment. Don’t let something as basic as cleaning be the reason you lose that investment.
Now that you know how to wash a heated blanket, you can go right ahead and use it as needed, knowing that you can easily wash it.