How to wash an electric blanket?
Safety & Precautions

Last Updated on May 4, 2021

Most modern heated blankets are safe enough to be washed in an ordinary washer and even dried in a dryer. Some even are required to be washed before the first use. So let’s take a look at the most common ways to properly wash an electric blanket. 

Washing an electric blanket by hand

Hand wash electric blanket

Step 1 – Unplug and disconnect the cord

If you decide to manually clean your electric blanket it might be best to follow the advice below to avoid damaging the wiring while trying to freshen up the fabric. 

Before handwashing the blanket, make sure it is not plugged into an electric source. I can’t stress enough how important is this. Once you are 100% sure that there is no electricity running through the blanket, check if the cord is detachable from the main piece. 

This step is crucial for preventing any damage to the electric wiring or the circuits of the blanket. 

Step 2 – Fill up water 

You can use your bathtub, the kitchen sink or even a basin. Make sure the water is lukewarm as water too hot or too cold might damage the internal wiring of your blanket. Boiling water could potentially melt some of the internal isolation making the product dangerous to use, for example. Choose a container, or a tub, big enough for you to submerge the electric blanket fully. 

Step 3 – Add detergent

How much detergent to add you may ask? Adding the correct amount is equally important to the correct temperature of the water. Adding too much detergent will make it hard to rinse off the fabric and might penetrate into the internal elements, too little will not clean efficiently. You can refer to the detergent label and measure just the amount that you need. 

Try to use a mild detergent as it might prevent fading of the fabric. Using a gentle cleanser will help you preserve the blanket for longer. Disperse the detergent in the water and stir it to ensure even distribution. 

Once the water is mixed with the detergent you can now add the blanket. Allow it to soak for at least 15 minutes or more in the soapy water. Make sure it is fully submerged so there are no uneven spots. 

Step 4 – Wash the blanket

After sufficiently soaking the bedspread, stir it around the tub to try to remove any dust, dirt and debris that might be stuck in from daily use. Don’t squeeze too hard and try to be gentle while washing it. 

Rinse the blanket under lukewarm water, but do not wring it – wringing it will surely damage the wiring inside. You can gently squeeze or try to push the water out without damaging the throw. 

Step 5 – Dry 

The best way to dry an electric blanket is to air dry. You can use a clothesline, airier or even a flat surface. Try to stretch the blanket so it can retain its original shape and avoid any unpleasant surprises once it’s all dry. 

Do not tumble dry unless it is specifically allowed by the manufacturer. If tumble drying is suitable for the specific mode, make sure to read all of the instruction provided by the company and follow them closely. the high heat from a dryer can damage your blanket. 

Machine Washing electric blankets

Washing machine

Step 1 – Disconnect the cord and unplug

Most newer electric blankets should have a detachable electric cord, usually the part that connects the blanket to the socket.  You have to remove the cord before shoving the blanket in the washer to prevent damage to the wires and reduce the chance of malfunctioning. 

Make sure that the blanket is intact and there are no wires protruding from the heating element or any of the fabrics are damaged. If you spot any unusual wear or wires protruding please discontinue using the blanket. If the socket or the mechanism where the wires usually disconnect is damaged please contact the manufacturer before washing the blanket – it can be dangerous to use it if there is damage to the electrical circuits. 

Another thing to keep in mind is that not all blankets are machine washable. Older units that do not have detachable are usually not machine washable so always check the manufacturer’s recommendation to see what your options are. 

Step 2 – Inspect your electric blanket 

Flip the blanket to see if there are any warning or instructional labels. Read them carefully and make sure you follow the instructions to the dot. 

Step 3 – Select the correct washer program 

Carefully follow the instruction manual of your electric blanket. Most will require a gentle cycle and make sure your washing machine has one. 

Choosing the correct temperature is crucial as well. As the handwashing procedure above, water too hot can damage the blanket, water too cold might not clean it effectively. Most blankets are usually washed at 30 or 40 degrees at never at 90 degrees – water so hot will definitely damage some of the isolation of the wires. 

Step 4 – Drying

Once the washing machine has completed the cycle, it’s time to dry. The procedure is the same regardless of the type of wash – by hands or in the washer. Don’t put it in the dryer and only airdry

Dry cleaning an electric blanket

We don’t recommend ever attempting to dry clean electric blankets. Dry cleaning involves some very harsh chemicals that are designed to be safe for fabrics and organic materials, but not safe for wires, plugs and sockets. Dry cleaning can seriously damage your heated blanket if done incorrectly. 

Some dry cleaners, however, might be able to take care of it safely. Ask your dry cleaner whether they have experience with electric blankets and whether they offer a service tailored for them. 

Frequently Asked Questions

electric blanket washing guide

How often to clean an electric blanket?

You can wash it as often as you need it as needed. Models that are machine washable can be cleaner every few weeks or every few months depending on how dirty they get and whether you are using a protector or not. 

What do I need to wash an electric blanket? 

You would need the following: 

  • Washing machine (if your model is machine washable)
  • Water container – this can be a basin, bathtub, sink, etc.
  • Dryer (if your model is tumble dry compatible)
  • Clothesline / air dryer
  • Washing detergent

How can I keep my electric blanket clean? 

You can gently sweep your blanket between washing to remove any debris, dust or animal hair if your pet is using it. You can even vacuum clean the blanket to remove excess hair. 

How to remove odours from your electric blanket? 

If there any odours coming from the blanket like pet urine smell, for example, you can use a gentle solution to clean it or at least pre-treat it before a proper wash. Mix equal amounts of distilled vinegar and water and spray the fabric affected by odours. Leave it for a few minutes and then wash the blanket. 

How to remove stains?

It really depends on the type of stains. if it’s pet urine, for example, you can use the vinegar solution mentioned above. 

For tougher stains like oil or grease, you can use a little bit of washing up liquid to damp the spots before washing in the washer or by hand. 

Martin Harris
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