How To Wash Blankets [Detailed Instructions By Type]

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What are the ideal washing and drying requirements for blanket materials? In this post, we will answer this question for you.

Except for handmade quilts and throws, most blankets will come with care instructions (if they’re not “dry clean only”). Double-checking to make sure that you are washing your blanket per the manufacturer’s recommendations is essential in preserving the quality of the material.

All blankets should be washed or dry cleaned to rid them of all of the microscopic things that tend to accumulate throughout their usages, such as dead skin cells, dust mites, dirt, makeup/food stains, and pets dander, and other items. Washing them reduces their potential to cause allergic reactions, and it helps to get rid of any odors that they may develop over time.

Keep reading to learn how to wash various types of blankets. 

A man holding a pile of blankets, How To Wash Blankets [Detailed Instructions By Type]

1. How to Wash A Wool blanket

Close up photo of a blanket

Wool blankets are some of the heaviest and warmest blankets and that you can purchase. It’s important to be careful when washing wool blankets, as you don’t want to damage their fibers during the process.

Step 1. Check the care instructions

Before washing your wool blanket, always be sure to check the label first for the recommended care instructions.

Step 2. Toss it in the washer

If the blanket’s care instructions state to “dry clean only,” do not attempt to hand or machine wash it. But if it’s machine-washable, throw it in the washer with a pH-neutral detergent. Place it on a gentle cycle with cold water. If the blanket has any strong odors you’re looking to remove, you can add a bit of vinegar to the rinse cycle.

Step 3. Dry It

Next, take the blanket out of the washing machine and pat it dry with a dry towel. You may need to do this for about 5 to 7 minutes. Do not attempt to wring it out, as it could alter the shape of the blanket. After you have soaked up all of the remaining water with the dry towel, hang the blanket somewhere to dry either outside (in an area without direct sunlight) or on a flat dry surface in the laundry room.

Check out this Poyet wool blanket on Amazon.

2. How To Wash A Down/Feather blanket

Feather and down blankets are typically fairly lightweight and are great for keeping warm in chilly rooms. They’re usually machine-washable, but of course, you’ll want to double-check the care instructions.

Step 1. Place the blanket in the washer

Throw the blanket into the washing machine and add a small amount of mild detergent. You’ll want to avoid using typical laundry detergent (it could strip the feathers of their natural oils–which keeps them fluffy). Instead, use one is specially formulated for down or feather materials.

Step 2. Set the washing cycle

Place the washer on a delicate cycle with warm water. If you have an extra rinse option on your washing machine, select it as well–this can help to remove extra soap residue, which can weigh down the feathers.

Step 3. Place on low heat

Immediately move the blanket to the dryer once the wash cycle has finished. Next, place the dryer on a low-heat setting and throw in a couple of dryer balls or tennis balls if you have them.

Check out this down blanket on Amazon.

3. How to Wash A Cotton Fleece blanket

A medium-weight and breathable fabric, cotton fleece makes for warm blanket options in the winter. More often than not, your cotton fleece blanket will be machine-washable.

1. Pre-treat any stains

If your blanket has any soiled or stained areas, pretreat them with a couple of drops of dishwashing liquid. Be sure to blot the stain instead of rubbing it, as you don’t want it to spread across the blanket.

2. Place it in the washer

Tost the blanket in the washer by itself and place it on the gentle cycle. Most cotton fleece fabrics can be washed with regular laundry detergent. Set the washer on the gentle cycle.

3.Throw in the dryer (or hang dry)

After the washing cycle is finished, add the blanket to the dryer and set it to low heat and on a tumble setting if available. You don’t want to use a high setting on the blanket, as it could be too hot and damage the fleece.

Check out this fleece blanket on Amazon.

4. How to Wash A Sherpa blanket

Sherpa blankets are on the heavier side, as this poly-synthetic material was originally made to imitate wool. These blankets are very durable and are typically machine-washable.

1. Turn the washer on a cold cycle

Start by placing your washing machine on a cold setting and adding a mild detergent to the water. Next, place the blanket inside and add fabric softener if available.

2. Toss it in the dryer

Once the wash has finished. Remove the blanket and place it in the dryer on a low temp setting for about 10 minutes. This helps to re-fluff the blanket. You can let the blanket dry for another 10 minutes in the dryer, or you can place it on a clothesline and let it hang dry.

Check out this blanket on Amazon.

5. How To Wash A Microfiber blanket

Lightweight and relatively thin, microfiber blankets are typically very easy to wash. Made from polyblend materials, these long-lasting and durable blankets are typically machine-washable.

1. Check the care tag

Since microfiber blankets can be made from various poly blend materials, you should check the care tag for specific instructions on drying times and detergent recommendations.

2. Add to the washer machine

Place the blanket in the washer on a gentle cycle/cold water setting and add a mild detergent. If there are any stains on the blanket, you may want to let it soak for 10 minutes so that the soapy water can saturate the fibers.

4. Place it in the dryer

Next, remove your blanket from the washer and immediately place it in the dryer on the lowest or coolest setting. Allow the blanket to tumble dry around 10 minutes before you check on it. If the blanket is dry, remove it from the dryer. If it’s still damp, let it dry for another 10 minutes (be sure to check it periodically as these thin blankets can easily overheat).

5. Let it air-dry

You can also take the blanket out after 10 minutes and simply let it hang dry on a clothesline or a large dryer table in your laundry room.

Buy a microfiber blanket on Amazon.

6. How To Wash A Flannel blanket

Flannel blankets are more on the heavy side and can offer optimal warmth during the winter season. However, they’re typically easy to wash.

1. Place washer on a warm cycle

Start by turning your washing machine on a warm cycle. Add a mild detergent to the wash and be sure to use about half of that of a normal load (if you’re looking to remove odors, you can also add a bit of vinegar to the rinse cycle).

2. Add fabric softener

Sometimes flannel can get a little scratchy after it dries. Adding a good fabric softener to the wash can prevent this (though it can be added to the dryer as well).

5. Dry the blanket

It’s best to at least briefly toss flannel in the dryer to soften it up a bit. Place it on a “no heat” or low dryer setting and check on it periodically.

Check out this blanket on Amazon.

7. How To Wash A Cashmere blanket

Cashmere is another heavy-weight material known for providing exceptional warmth in the cold months of the year. Oftentimes, these blankets won’t be machine-washable, though they may be hand-washable.

1. Fill the sink with water

Fill a basin or your sink with tepid or cool water. Next, add a few drops of gentle laundry detergent (the water should be soapy, but not too soapy).

2. Place the blanket in the sink

Once the basin fills with water, add the blanket and completely submerged in the water- do this for a few minutes.

4. Drain the soapy water and rinse

After about 5 minutes, drain the water from the basin and run cold water over the blanket to rinse it off.

5. Ring out water from the blanket

Next, gently squeeze out any remaining water from the blanket, and be sure not to twist or wring it out. You can also blot the blanket with a large dry towel.

6. Air dry

Finally, lay the blanket flat on a large table to dry.

Check out this blanket on Amazon. 

8. How To Wash A Quilt

Crazy quilt on the arabian market

Quilts can vary in thickness, but more often than not, they are at least hand-washable. Of course, you want to check the care instructions to be certain that you don’t damage it beforehand.

1. Fill the sink with water

Fill up a sink or basin with cool water. Next, add a gentle detergent or baby shampoo to the water.

2. Place the blanket in the sink

After submerging the blanket in the water, begin pressing it down and swirling it throughout the soapy water to clean it.

4. Rinse it

After 5 to 7 minutes of gently agitating the blanket, drain the water from the sink, then rinse it off with cold water. Gently squeeze the blanket to remove all of the water (don’t wring it).

5. Air dry it

It’s best to air-dry the quilt on a flat surface or a clothesline. However, you can toss it in the dryer on a low or “no heat” setting for about 5 minutes to knock out the wrinkles.

Buy this quilt on Amazon.

Pile of washed quilt

9. How To Wash A Weighted blanket

Weighted blankets are typically encased in lightweight cotton or poly blend covers. It’s best to wash this cover at some point–they are easy to remove. Be sure to check the care instructions before washing your weighted blanket cover.

1. Remove blanket shell from the weighted sheet

Remove the cover and toss it in the washer.

2. Add to the washer

Add detergent to the washer and set it to a cold water cycle. It may be a good idea to let the cover soak anywhere from five to 10 minutes.

3. Toss the cover in the dryer (or air-dry it)

Set the cover to a low tumble setting and allow it to dry for about 10 minutes before checking on it. These blankets are really thin, so you may not need to dry them long.

Check out this blanket on Amazon.

10. How To Wash A Electric blanket

Due to the electric padding within them, these blankets are typically thin and lightweight. They can normally be washed just like any other cotton or polyblend-based blanket.

1. Detach blanket from the electric pad

Be sure to remove the cover from the pad before washing it.

2. Place blanket in the washer

Set your washer to a gentle cycle with cold water before tossing in the blanket, then add regular laundry detergent to the wash.

4. Tumble dry

Place the blanket in the dryer on a low tumble setting, and add fabric softener. You can also remove the blanket after 10 minutes and allow it to air-dry.

Check out this blanket on Amazon.

11. How To Wash A Knit/Crochet blanket

Knit and crochet blankets are typically medium or heavy-weighted blankets. Take note of the material used to make the blankets or check the care tag before washing.

1. Add cold water to the sink

Fill the sink with cold water and add about one-fourth cup of a mild laundry detergent. Gently submerge and swirl the quilt around in the water.

2. Rinse thoroughly

After 5 to 10 minutes, drain the water from the sink can squeeze out any suds or water from the quilt. Next, rinse the quilt with cold water and make sure that it is completely free of soap residue.

3. Blot dry

Blot the quilt with a large dry towel and lay it on a large flat surface to air dry.

Check out this blanket on Amazon.

Can you wash a blanket in the washing machine?

It depends on the blanket’s material. Typically, blankets weighing under 20lbs and made of machine-washable fabrics can be thrown in the washer without any damage to the fabric.

Can you put a blanket in the dryer?

Cotton and polyblends, along with feather-based blankets, can typically be thrown in the dryer (though you may want to note the proper setting). However, quilts, in addition to wool and cashmere blankets, may not be machine-dryable.

How do hotels wash blankets?

There have been reports of certain hotels not washing their blankets often. However, since those reports a few years ago, several hotel chains (such as Hampton Inn) have made it a practice to provide details regarding the frequency of their bedding cleaning.

How often should you wash blankets?

A man holding a pile of blankets

It depends on how often your blankets are used. If they are used daily, a weekly or bi-weekly schedule may be ideal. If they are rarely used, washing every few months should suffice.

Wrapping Things Up

It’s always best to first read the garment care instructions on your blanket before machine or handwashing it to ensure that washing it will not destroy the fabric’s quality.

Before you go, be sure to check out our other posts:

12 White Fluffy Faux Fur Throw Blankets You Need In Your Home

Where To Buy Blankets [Top 40 Online Stores]

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