How to Wash a Weighted Blanket

Ian Mutuli
Updated on
Ian Mutuli

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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Weighted blankets offer substantial advantages, among them are claims of alleviating anxiety and stress as well as enhancing sleep quality.

As you constantly use your new weighted blanket, you should note that it won't stay clean forever and may need to be cleaned occasionally.

Washing your weighted blanket can be challenging just because they are bulky and also vulnerable. While anyone can wash a weighted blanket, it is crucial to follow the instructions carefully.

There are so many weighted blankets in the market today, with some having glass beads while others sand. This is why the washing process of a weighted blanket is different depending on several factors, which include;

1. Fabric

I. Cotton

Cotton blankets can both be machine-washed, and you can also hand wash. It can tolerate most cleaning products, but it is recommended to use a non-chlorine detergent.

If you choose to machine wash the weighted blanket, then it is important to make sure the temperature is at or below 50 degrees celsius. This is because using a temperature above this can cause the blanket to shrink or look snagged.

During drying, ensure you don't place it under the sun or in a tumble dryer. This is to prevent it from looking shrunken, duller or snagged when it dries.

iI. Wool

Wool is a vulnerable fabric that also prone to shrinking. It is recommended to clean it by hand using a laundry detergent that is not too harsh. Check the label to see if machine-washing is possible.

During drying, avoid using a dryer and rather towel dry it before hanging it out to dry. Using a dryer may crush the delicate wool fibers.

iII. Minky

This is a type of material with long, thin fibers that are extremely soft. It washes easily and can also be machine washed. During washing, it is advisable to wash it alone so as not to cause friction with others.

You can use non-chlorine bleach to remove any stubborn stains. Avoid using a fabric softener because it can tie the soft fibers together, and the blanket won't be as soft as it used to be.

iV. Flannel

This is another type of fabric that is relatively easy to clean. Just like cotton, flannel weighted blankets can be used with washing machines and also hand washed.

To wash it, use a gentle detergent. On machine wash, use a gentle cycle and set to either warm or cold. If your blanket has stains, you can preteat it before washing it.

Unlike cotton, this fabric can be dried using a machine dryer or placed under the sun.

v. Fleece

Using warm water, wash the blanket using a mild detergent. It is advisable to wash the fleece blankets alone to avoid abrasion. In case the fleece blanket has stubborn stains, you can also soak it to remove the stains.

Fabric softeners should be avoided to maintain their water-resistant finish. You can air dry it or use a machine dryer on low heat.

2. Fillers

i. Micro Glass Beads

These are tiny crystals that feel similar to salt crystals. It is safe to wash them in warm but not hot water since they can't melt.

iI. Plastic Poly Pellets

They are round plastic beads made from ABS plastic, meaning they have not been exposed to chemicals. Avoid washing them at high temperatures since they may melt and clump together.

iII. Steel shot beads

These are smooth and heavy steel balls found inside the weighted blanket. Avoid using a washing machine since it may make the fabric rip off, and the steel beads scatter all over the machine.

iV. Sand

Sand is a small and cheap filler, although they are the best fillers for a washable weighted blanket. They tend to expand when wet and may cause clumps when not properly dried. Avoid washing weighted blankets with these fillers frequently.

V. Organic materials

Organic materials like beans, rice, and corn can be used as weighted blanket fillers, although they are not good for a washable weighted blanket. This is because these fillers can decompose when wet, and there is a possibility of bacteria and insect infestation.

3. Weight

Weighted blankets are bulky and have a lot of weight, so it important to know their weight before washing. When machine washing and drying weighted blankets, only wash those below 20 lbs in your laundry room.

For those above 20 lbs, it is a good idea to take it to your local laundromat. This is because dry cleaning an extra heavy weighted blanket using your home washing machine could cause severe damage to your machine.

Hand Washing a Weighted Blanket

  1. Clean out your bathtub or big basin.
  2. Fill the bathtub or basin with cold water halfway.
  3. Add a mild detergent and mix it up well.
  4. Put the blanket in the water.
  5. Wash your weighted blanket well using either your hands or your feet.
  6. Drain the tub. (You can clean it several times if you wish)
  7. Add clean rinsing water and agitate the blanket.
  8. Drain(You should rinse at least two times to make sure all the soap is gone)
  9. Flatten the blanket on a flat surface, fold the blanket in half, and roll to remove the excess water.
  10. Dry your weighted blanket

Machine Washing

When using a washing machine, you need to the following care instructions;

  1. Use the gentle cycle in the front load washing machine and the normal wash cycle in top load washers.
  2. Use cold or warm water and a mild detergent.
  3. You can add ½ cup of salt or vinegar during the first wash to lock the color of weighted blankets.
  4. Avoid using bleach or fabric softener.
  5. Do not machine wash blankets that are above 20 lbs at home.

Drying a Weighted blanket

Machine Drying- If the material of the weighted blanket allows, you can use a machine to dry. Ensure you use low heat or medium heat settings. The tumble dry may help in fluffing it back.

Air Drying- This is the best method, although, with some materials, you can air dry under the sun while some you can't. It would be best if you lay it out flat in a drying rack under the sun, turning it every hour. Putting them on a hanging line may cause the weights to shift.

Can I Iron a Weighted Blanket?

It is not safe to iron a weighted blanket because it is harmful to the fillers and its body.

Using a Duvet Cover

A duvet or blanket cover can come in handy, especially if you have a heavier one and are not planning to take it to the laundromat every other week. Rather than washing the entire blanket, you can instead pull off the blanket cover and wash it.

To effectively wash a weighted blanket, always check the care tag for extra instructions and tips.

Ian Mutuli

About the author

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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