How to Wash a Fleece Blanket

Fleece blanket draped on the arm of a sofa

The Spruce / Sanja Kostic

Project Overview
  • Working Time: 10 - 20 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hr, 30 mins - 3 hrs
  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Estimated Cost: $5 to 10

Fleece blankets and throws provide warmth and are available in a nearly endless variety of colors, patterns, and sizes. They are lightweight, durable, and easy to care for by following some tips to prevent fuzzing and pilling.

Fleece blankets are made with polyester fibers—often microfibers. The texture is created by weaving the fabric with small, loose loops on one side that are cut to create a soft, napped finish. If a fleece blanket isn't washed correctly, the tiny fibers can trap lint and become knotted. To avoid problems, sort laundry loads correctly and avoid excessive heat and friction when washing and drying fleece.

Learn how to wash fleece blankets correctly.

Detergent Mild or regular laundry detergent
Water Temperature Cold
Cycle Type Gentle
Drying Cycle Type Low heat
Special Treatments Do not use chlorine bleach, do not wash with cotton fabrics, do not use fabric softener
Iron Settings Do not iron

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • 1 washer or large tub
  • 1 dryer or clothesline or drying rack
  • 1 soft-bristled brush
  • 1 microfiber cloth
  • 1 clothes steamer


  • 1 container mild or regular laundry detergent
  • 1 container enzyme-based stain remover


Materials needed to wash a fleece blanket

The Spruce / Sanja Kostic

How to Machine-Wash a Fleece Blanket

  1. Read the Care Label

    Almost all fleece blankets are hand- or machine-washable unless they are trimmed with materials or decorations that require dry-cleaning only. Take the time to read the care label before you toss the blanket in the washer or tub.

    Reading the care label on a fleece blanket

    The Spruce / Sanja Kostic

  2. Pretreat Stains

    Oil-based stains can be difficult to remove from fleece fabrics. Use an enzyme-based stain remover or a dab of a heavy-duty laundry detergent to pretreat the stains before washing. Apply the stain remover and work it into the fibers with a soft-bristled brush or a microfiber cloth. Allow the stain remover to work for at least 10 minutes before washing the blanket.

    Pretreating a stain on a fleece blanket

    The Spruce / Sanja Kostic

  3. Select the Water Temperature and Washer Cycle

    If the blanket is not heavily soiled, the gentle cycle is recommended to prevent excessive wear to the fibers. If the blanket was used for a pet or is very dirty, select the permanent press cycle, It has a cold rinse and a lower spin speed to prevent set-in wrinkles. Always use cold or warm water—never hot—for washing fleece.

    Setting the wash cycle for fleece blankets

    The Spruce / Sanja Kostic

  4. Select a Detergent

    A mild detergent (Woolite, Hex Performance, Ivory Snow) is the most gentle for fleece fibers. Do not use chlorine bleach or add fabric softeners to the wash or rinse cycle.

    Selecting a detergent to wash fleece blankets

    The Spruce / Sanja Kostic

  5. Sort the Laundry Before Washing Fleece

    Fleece can be a magnet for lint from lint-producing fabrics like cotton flannel or terry cloth towels. Do not wash fleece blankets with towels, sheets, or cotton clothes, and follow the tips for reducing and removing lint from laundry.

    Sorting the laundry before washing a fleece blanket

    The Spruce / Sanja Kostic

  6. Dry the Blanket

    If possible, skip the automatic dryer and hang the blanket on an indoor drying rack or outdoor clothesline. This prevents static cling and the friction that can cause pilling. If you need the blanket quickly, dry it alone on low heat and add a few wool dryer balls to keep the fibers fluffy.

    Line drying a fleece blanket

    The Spruce / Sanja Kostic

How to Hand-Wash a Fleece Blanket

  1. Use a Large Sink or Tub

    If you are hand-washing a fleece blanket, the washing vessel should be large enough so the blanket is fully-submerged in the water and has some room to move around. A bathtub, laundry sink, or large plastic storage tub will usually work.

    Overhead view of a plastic tub

    The Spruce / Sanja Kostic

  2. Follow the Washing Guidelines

    Follow the same guidelines recommended for machine-washing: pretreat stains, use a gentle detergent, and cool water.

    Reading the care label on a fleece blanket

    The Spruce / Sanja Kostic

  3. Submerge and Soak

    Fill the tub with cool water and add the detergent. Add the blanket and gently squeeze it until it is completely saturated with water and submerged. Allow it to soak for around 20 minutes. Then, squeeze gently the fabric to help remove the soil. Drain the washing water.

    Submerging a fleece blanket in a wash tub

    The Spruce / Sanja Kostic

  4. Rinse Well

    Refill the tub with clean water and gently squeeze and lift the blanket in and out of the water to rinse the fibers. You may need to drain the water and repeat with a second rinse if there are still suds visible. Do not wring the blanket to remove excess water, just keep squeezing it gently.

    Rinsing the fleece blanket

    The Spruce / Sanja Kostic

  5. Dry the Blanket

    Hang the blanket to drip dry. It will be very wet and floors should be protected from the excess water.

    Line drying a fleece blanket

    The Spruce / Sanja Kostic


Fleece blankets should not be ironed because the fibers can become matted or burned if the iron is too hot. If there are excessive wrinkles, dampen the blanket and hang to air-dry. You can also use a clothes steamer on low heat to remove wrinkles.


Fleece blankets should always be washed and dried completely before storing them. Roll the blanket to prevent creases and store in a cool, dry location.


Rips in fleece blankets can be stitched by hand or machine; however, the repair will be visible. Holes or burns will not grow larger due to the structure of the fabric. If you would like to hide them, stitch on a decorative patch.

Tips for Washing Fleece Blankets

  • Use cool water, a gentle detergent, and a delicate cycle when washing the blanket.
  • Wash fleece separately away from lint-shedding fabrics.
  • If the fleece is looking a bit matted, while it's still damp, carefully brush it with a soft bristle brush.
  • If possible, use a front-loading washer or a top-loading washer without a center agitator to reduce friction that can cause pilling.