Electric blankets can make even the chilliest nights feel like warm summer nights. But, what happens when they get dirty? Today we're going to look at how to wash a heated blanket in the safest and best way to avoid damage.
Whether you got your electric blanket as a housewarming gift or bought it yourself, you want it to last as long as possible. So part of maintenance is ensuring that it remains clean.
However, even as you use a washing machine to wash an electric blanket, you want to do it in the most careful way. Keep a watchful eye over the washing cycle to ensure that the heat and water exposure is kept to a minimum.
Let's first look at what a heated blanket is and how it works before we dive into how to wash it.
What Is An Electric Blanket?
A heated or electric blanket is made of heavy and durable material and has an integrated wiring system that warms you up through coil wires. You can adjust the blanket's level of heat based on what you want at the moment.
Typically, you'll need to connect your electric blanket to an electric outlet to power it. The sturdy material used to make these electric blankets is often a combination of polyester and acrylic materials.
This combination is to reduce the potential of a fire hazard while still keeping you warm and snug. You can adjust the level of heat using the attached remote control. Feel free to arm yourself with more information on electric blanket safety for an easier experience.
How Often Should You Wash Your Electric Blanket?
As often as you wish. However, every couple of weeks or once a month should do it. The thing with washing an electric blanket is that you need to treat it gently.
Because most modern electric blankets are made to be mashing washable, you shouldn't have a hard time cleaning them. The best thing is to alternate between machine-drying and air-drying as a way to ensure that the inner connections remain intact and in good condition.
Now that we know how often to wash an electric blanket let's look at how to actually do it.
How to Wash A Heated Blanket
So, how do you go about seamlessly washing your electric blanket? Let's find out.
Here are the steps to follow when machine washing your electric blanket.
Step 1: Prepare Your Blanket
Before you wash an electric blanket, you must first prepare it. This means ensuring that it's unplugged and shaking off any loose debris.
You can now comfortably move on to the next step after shaking it off as much as possible and removing all the controls and cords.
Step 2: Place Blanket in Washin Machine
Electric blankets can be washed in the washing machine, which can save you a lot of hassle, especially if you need to rush. Once you get the best washing machine, all you have to do is to put the right settings.
If you have a high-efficiency washer, the best thing would be to load your electric blanket loosely. You can comfortably spread the electric blanket around your drum if you have a standard washer with a central agitator.
You can also choose to add some towels or sheets into the washer to balance the washer. However, ensure that you only add non-lint-producing towels.
Step 3: Set the Temperature and Add Detergent
Add some mild detergent to the washer while washing your electric blanket. Ensure you don't add any fabric softener or chlorine bleach, just mild laundry detergent.
The temperature of your water when you wash your electric blankets should be cool to warm. Of course, you also check the washing instructions to ensure that you're not missing anything.
Step 4: Choose Washer Cycle
You have to choose the right wash cycle as you wash an electric blanket, even as you use mild washing detergent. The best washer cycle is the short or gentle cycle setting.
The lowest setting as you wash an electric blanket will allow you to protect your blanket's inner wiring.
Step 5: Actual Wash
If there are no additional washing instructions when washing your electric blanket, you can move ahead to start your washing machine.
Let your washing machine agitate for about 3 minutes, and then skip to your rinse cycle. Once the rinse cycle ends, remove your electric blanket immediately.
Step 6: Dry
You want to gently dry your wet electric blanket to ensure that it doesn't get damaged. The best way to dry your heated blanket is to dry it in your dryer for about 20 minutes and then air dry it for the rest of the way.
You can either place your damp electric blanket on a drying rack or clothesline. This is because you don't want to expose your electric blanket to high heat as this can affect the wires.
Now that we know how to do electric blanket cleaning using a washing machine let's look at handwashing.
B). Hand Washing
As we look at how to wash a heated blanket, we're also going to look at how to wash by hand. Just like with the washing machine above, you have to ensure that the electric blanket is prepped before you put it in the water.
Ensure that all the cords are disconnected and that the control is unplugged. Once you do that, you can then place it in the water. Again, don't use cold water.
You can use lukewarm water and make sure that it's enough to allow the blanket to move around freely. A mild detergent should do it in this case, just as with the washing machine above.
The gentle laundry detergent should be enough to remove any dirt in the electric blanket. Once you've added the mild detergent, you can place your electric blanket into the water and let it soak for about 15 minutes.
Once you're satisfied with the soaking, you can remove it and gently squeeze the excess water out. Don't wring the electric blanket out, though, as this can destroy the blanket. Once you're done removing the excess water as much as possible, you can then air dry completely to get your dry blanket back.
Now that we've looked at how to wash a heated blanket let's look at how to store it once it's dry. You don't always have to use it immediately after drying it, and this is why you should learn how to store it properly.
How To Store A Heated Blanket
Another reason you may want to know how to store a heated blanket is that you won't always be using it. For example, you'll find that you need to store your electric blanket more during the warm weather.
This will apply to your heating pads and heated mattress pads as well. Here are the quick steps to follow when storing your electric blankets.
Step 1: Check for Tears and Loose Wires
The first step is to unplug controls from your blanket and the wall socket. Once you're sure that these are safely out of the way, move on to inspect your blanket.
Check for any scorched areas, rips, tears, and exposed wiring. This is because you don't want any surprises when you take it out during the cold season only to find that you can't use it.
You can determine if your electric blanket needs repair or replacing by checking for these things. You'll be able to do this before you need to use it again.
Step 2: Clean and Dry
Here's where the main portion of our article comes in handy. Whether you are hand washing your blanket or using a washing machine, use the above tips and steps to do a good job.
After all, you want to store your blanket while it's in tip-top condition. So ensure the blanket is completely dry before you store it.
You can also check the controls and cords for any darkened areas or cracks. If you see any of these, it's time to replace your electric blanket for safety reasons. Of course, the last thing you need is a fire hazard or dangerous accident.
Step 3: Roll Your Blanket
Once you're done with the cleaning process, have ensured that the blanket is dry and safe for storage; it's time for this step.
Do not fold your electric blanket like you do the other typical blankets in your household. Why? Because the introduction of any sharp corners can lead to damage to the heating components and wires inside.
Therefore, the best practice is to gently roll the blanket and store it in a safe, dry, insect-free, rodent-free, and climate-controlled spot.
Step 4: Store Cords and Controls
The last step is to store the cord and controls of your heating blanket. Again, avoid crimping or pinching them as you put them away.
If you have a plastic container or soft cloth bag where you can store both the blanket and the controls, that'd be great. Storing them together ensures that you don't lose one or the other.
Let's now look at the various types of electric blankets you may come across.
What Are the Types of Electic Blankets?
1. Throw Blanket
An electric throw blanket is thinner than the other electric blankets, and you can use it while you are watching TV on your sofa.
Another way you can use your throw electric blanket is as a decorative throw on your bed or couch. You can also carry it with you if you're going camping in your RV or as you work in your home office.
The advantage of these modern electric blankets is that they are easily portable. This means that you can carry them with ease from room to room.
2. Overblanket/ Duvet
This electric blanket is much thicker than the throw blanket and resembles the usual duvet. Coming in an array of designs and colors, you can get one that matches your bedroom decor.
The advantage this electric blanket has over the typical duvet is that you have a constant source of warmth.
The under blanket electric blanket acts kind of like a heated mattress pad. You place it on top of your mattress before you place your bottom sheet.
It's not thick enough to feel uncomfortable. It will just feel warm as you sleep and ensure that your back remains warm all through the night.
Frequently Asked Questions About Heated Blankets
1. Can you iron an electric blanket?
No. Because the heat from your iron can damage the wires' insulation. Your blanket has electrical wiring, so you should not iron it no matter how wrinkled it gets.
So, what do you do when your electrical blanket gets wrinkled? You can hand smooth it to remove the wrinkles. Simply hang it from your shower rod and hand smooth it as gravity handles the rest.
2. Can a heated blanket improve your mood?
Yes. Your body uses a significant amount of energy to keep you warm during the cold seasons. This can cause you to feel a bit low on energy if you're not using anything to keep yourself warm.
Therefore, if you use a heated blanket, you'll be helping your body conserve energy which it can use for other things. This means that you'll have more energy to do other things that make you happy.
You will feel energized and ready to handle the day or night with ease and energy.
3. How can you remove stains or odors from your electric blanket?
If your blanket has some unsightly stains that are irking you, you can deal with that with some water, vinegar and a spray bottle. Put equal parts of both water and vinegar in your spray bottle and spray the affected areas.
This is a better and safer choice than using harsh chemicals that can work more effectively but damage your blanket. After all, leaving the solution to sit on the affected areas for a few minutes will work magic.
You should do this treatment before you place your blanket in the washing machine or before you hand wash it.
Featured Image: thespruce.com