Whether you’re doing some Spring Cleaning, or you’re just tired of that musty smell, knowing how to wash electric blankets without ruining them is a great way to freshen your bed while protecting your investment!
I’m ashamed to say that I destroyed three — three! — electric blankets over the years before I finally found out how to wash them properly. One fell apart in the washing machine, while two survived intact only never to work again. Little did I know that you can’t just throw an electric blanket into a washing machine, add detergent, and assume everything will come out all right in the wash, so to speak.
DO NOT DRY CLEAN THEM!
Years ago, I thought the only solution was to dry clean them. Wrong! According to the Electric Bedding Care Institute (who knew there was such a thing?), dry cleaning is more harmful to electric blankets than washing them. The trick, these folks say, is to expose them to water for the shortest possible time and limit their time in the dryer.
Armed with that knowledge, and an electric blanket full of dog and cat hair, I followed their advice and was thrilled when my electric blanket came out clean — and it worked! Now I wash mine every two weeks throughout the cold season and again before storing it for the summer.
How To Wash Electric Blankets
1. Unplug it: Remove all plugs and electric cords from your blanket.
2. Shake it: If it’s possible, take the blanket outside and shake it vigorously to dislodge as much lint and pet hair as possible. Since we’ll be doing a very short wash cycle, this step helps.
3. Top Loading Machines: Fill your washing machine’s tub with cold water and a minimal amount of detergent. Set the washer for the gentle cycle. Immerse your blanket in the tub, let it agitate for 2 to 3 minutes, then skip to the rinse cycle. Allow the machine to complete the rinse and spin, then remove it immediately.
4. Front Loading Machines: Set the washer on the shortest period with a Cold/Cold water setting. Add a minimal amount of detergent and the blanket. Let it agitate for 2 to 3 minutes then skip to the rinse cycle. Allow the machine to complete the rinse and spin, then remove it immediately.
5. Dry it: Place the blanket in your dryer on a LOW setting for no more than 5 minutes. Remove the blanket and stretch it gently with your hands until it returns to the proper size. (You can lay it on a flat sheet, so you know when it’s the right size again.) Once you’ve reshaped it, hang the electric blanket over a laundry line or clothes drying rack overnight.
6. Plug it in: Feel the blanket in several places with your hands to ensure it’s completely dry before you return it to your bed and plug it back in.
STORE IT PROPERLY
To store an electric blanket for the season, unplug the cords, fold the blanket, and place it all in a plastic storage container. Be sure to stash your blanket in a dry location, preferably off the floor, so it smells fresh next winter when you get it out again.