How to Clean and Care for a Weighted Blanket

Gray weighted blanket on bed

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Overview
  • Working Time: 60 mins
  • Total Time: 24 hrs
  • Skill Level: Beginner

Weighted or calming blankets are popular bedding that many people find helpful in promoting better sleep, relieving anxiety, and lessening aches and pains. Most blankets weigh between five and 20 pounds and the extra weight on your body creates deep pressure stimulation.

If you try a weighted blanket and find it helpful, eventually it will need to be cleaned. Washing the blanket is easy but you will need to allow plenty of time (up to 48 hours) for drying.

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • Large capacity washing machine
  • Bathtub
  • Large, sturdy drying rack
  • Plastic sheeting or tarp

Materials

  • Gentle laundry detergent
  • Enzyme-based stain remover

Instructions

Before You Begin

Always take a few minutes to locate and read the care label on the weighted blanket. While almost all outer fabrics are washable, the filling that adds the weight may not be.

Washability of Weighted Blanket Fillers
Microglass beads Washable in cold or warm water, can tumble dry at low temperature
Plastic pellets Washable in cold water only, air-dry
Steel shot beads Hand wash only, air-dry
Smooth pebbles Hand wash only, air-dry
Organic material (corn, beans, rice) Not washable, spot clean only
Sand Not washable, spot clean only

The care label should also tell you the total weight of the blanket. This is a factor in whether the blanket can be machine-washed at home, hand-washed in a bathtub or needs to go to a laundromat for cleaning.

At home, you will have the best outcome if you have a front-load washer or top-load washer without a center agitator. Be sure that the capacity of your washer can handle the size of the blanket. If not, you should wash the blanket by hand in the bathtub or head to a laundromat to use a larger machine.

Instructions for Washing a Weighted Blanket

  1. Remove Outer Cover

    Many weighted blankets have a duvet-like cover that can be removed. There are usually inner ties that should be loosened before removing the cover. Unless there has been a liquid spill or urine accident, only the cover will need to be washed regularly.

    The cover should be washed separately from the weighted blanket.

  2. Determine the Fiber Content of the Fabric

    Whether the covering is removable or not, you need to know the fiber content to make wise cleaning choices.

    How to Wash by Cover Fabric
    Fiber Content Washing Temperature Wash Cycle Detergent Drying Cycle Special Instructions
    Faux Fur/Plush Warm or cold  Gentle Regular detergent Low heat No fabric softener
    Cotton/Flannel Warm or cold Normal Regular detergent Medium heat  
    Wool Cold Gentle or Handwash Wool wash Air-dry only  
    Rayon/Lyocell Cold Gentle or Handwash Regular detergent Air-dry only Reshape and dry flat
    Silk Cold Handwash Gentle detergent Air-dry only Dry cleaning preferred
  3. Check for Stains

    If the blanket looks clean and smells fresh but has a stain, you may be able to spot treat that area rather than do a full cleaning. Before washing, look for specific stains and pre-treat them according to the type of stain.

    Most food and drink stains can be removed by treating them with an enzyme-based stain remover. Apply a small amount to the stained area and work it into the fabric with your fingers. Allow it to work for at least 15 minutes before washing the entire blanket.

  4. Load the Washer

    The blanket should be washed alone following the water temperature, cycle, and detergent recommendations for the type of fabric.

  5. Preparation for Handwashing

    If you are handwashing the blanket, give your bathtub a good cleaning to make sure there are no products or grime that can stain the fabric. Fill the tub with cold or lukewarm water and add the recommended detergent. Less is more when it comes to detergent or wool wash. You do not want to have excessive product residue to rinse away. Swish the detergent through the water to make sure it is well mixed.

  6. Handwash the Blanket

    Lower the blanket into the water and detergent solution. Make sure that the entire blanket is submerged. Gently squeeze the water through the fabric. Leave the blanket to soak for at least 15 minutes.

    Lift the blanket out of the soapy water and drain the tub. Refill the tub with cool fresh water. Gently squeeze the water through the blanket.

    Drain the tub and refill it again. Repeat the rinsing process until there are no suds left. Drain the tub and gently squeeze out the excess water. Do not wring.

  7. Drying a Weighted Blanket

    The only type of weighted blanket that can be safely dried on the low heat cycle in an automatic tumble dryer is one filled with microglass beads.

    All other blankets should be dried flat. Spread the blanket on a layer of plastic sheeting or a plastic tarp to protect floors. Evenly distribute the inner filling if it has shifted. You can help absorb excess moisture by pressing fresh, dry towels on the surface.

    Allow the blanket to dry flat. Turn it every four or five hours to help speed drying. It will take 24 to 48 hours to dry completely.

    Warning

    Do not hang a wet weighted blanket to dry on a clothesline. The filling may shift and be difficult to return to an even layer.

  8. Reassemble Cover and Blanket

    Once the weighted blanket is completely dry, it can be inserted and attached to the outer cover.