How to Wash Weighted Blankets

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Categories Doing Laundry
Keep your cozy weighted blanket super clean.

Weighted blankets are like magic, warm, cozy hugs. They usually weigh around 15 pounds and are designed to calm you down, especially if you’re stressed or anxious (1).

If you have one of these blankets, it’s normal to spend a lot of your free time wrapped up in it. Of course, since you use it so often — it needs to be cleaned from time to time.

We’ll teach you how to wash weighted blankets properly and safely, depending on what material yours is.

How to Wash Weighted Blanket

Separate the cover from the inner blanket. Inspect for and treat stains. Wash the cover and blanket separately, following the care label instructions. Always use a mild detergent and cold water where possible. Use the gentle or hand-wash cycle setting. Air dry or tumble dry at a low heat, depending on the material.


General Principles for Washing Weighted Blankets

Weighted blankets come in a variety of cover materials and fillings. Depending on the type of blanket you have, make sure to clean it accordingly to protect it.

Cover Materials

Each material has different cleaning requirements.

Cotton

  • Wash separately in cold water.
  • Use a gentle and chlorine-free detergent.
  • Add ½ cup of vinegar to soften the blanket and preserve the color.
  • Always skip fabric softener.

Protect Your Blanket

Washing the weighted blanket separately protects the fabric. Too many cotton items in a wash can agitate the fabric.

Linen Blend

For linen blends, always read the care label. It might say that it’s dry-clean only. In that case, take it to your dry-cleaners. However, if you can wash it at home, follow these tips.

  • Wash separately in cold water.
  • Air dry only.
  • If there are stains, try oxygen bleach — but always check with the care label.

Minky

Minky blankets are lush and super soft, but also very easy to clean. So if you want a lovely, but low maintenance blanket, this is a top option.

  • Wash in cold or warm water.
  • Use non-chlorine and gentle detergent.
  • If removing stains, rub the stain very gently.
  • Wash separately where possible to reduce friction in the machine.

Fleece

  • Wash separately in warm water.
  • Use a gentle detergent.
  • Fleece can handle fabric softener, but this is optional.
  • If using fabric softener, use an extra rinse to reduce build-up.
  • Air drying is best, but you can use a low heat in the tumble dryer.

Top Tip

If your fleece weighted blanket has a stain, soak the blanket in the washing machine for 45 minutes before starting the cycle.

Weighted Blanket Fill Materials

Weighted blankets are heavy because of their filling. The filling is distributed evenly across the blanket in little pockets so that when you go under it, it wraps you up in a cuddle. But each filling material requires a different approach to cleaning.

Micro Glass Beads

Always look at the care label before washing a blanket. Micro glass bead filling should be safe in the machine, but always double-check.

  • Wash in any water temperature, since the glass beads won’t melt. However, cold is best for the cover material.
  • Use a mild detergent.
  • Dry on a low heat or spread over a large surface to air dry.

One last thing? Do not iron a blanket with micro glass beads. Even though the beads won’t melt, it will be very difficult to iron.

Plastic Poly Pellets

  • Wash in cold water. Since the pellets are plastic, warm or hot water can melt and clump them together.
  • Always air dry. The heat from your dryer can melt the plastic.

Warning

Do not iron a weighted blanket with plastic poly pellets. The heat from the iron can melt the pellets.

Steel Shot Beads

Steel shot beads are a good filling if you want a heavier blanket. However, this makes washing the weighted blanket a bit more of a hassle.

  • Don’t put it in the washing machine, as it will be too heavy. Hand wash only.
  • Always wash gently because the steel shot beads can rip the fabric and fall out.
  • Wash at any temperature. The steel beads won’t melt, so it’s safe to wash at high temperatures.

Keep in Mind

Steel shot beads are the best option if you want a durable weighted blanket. Plus, their smooth surface stops them from collecting dirt — so the inside of your blanket will remain clean!

Smooth Small Pebbles

This is not the most comfortable filling option. However, it works if you’re making your own weighted blanket — this is a popular DIY choice.

  • Always hand wash. All those rocks tossing and turning in your washing machine isn’t good for the blanket or your machine.
  • Air dry thoroughly so that the rocks don’t get moldy.

Organic Materials or Food

This includes rice, corn, beans and other substances. This is an organic and affordable option — but keep in mind, this isn’t a washable option.

When these foods come in contact with water, they expand and become soggy. That’s not what you want from your weighted blanket. But also — using any kind of food in a blanket can lead to mold and decomposition.

  • Use organic materials and food as a short term solution.
  • Do not wash or wet at all.

Pro Tip

We don’t recommend using food materials as a weighted blanket filler. Sure, it’s cheap and easy to DIY, but food rots over time so it’s not hygienic or a long-term solution.

Weight of the Blanket

Depending on the weight of your blanket, you will have to approach washing it differently. Every washing machine has a different maximum weight. If your blanket exceeds that weight, you’ll need to find a different solution.

Within Your Machine Capacity (Usually Under 15 Pounds)

You can wash weighted blankets within your machine’s capacity — usually about 15 pounds — at home. Always read the care label. This will tell you if the blanket is definitely safe in the washing machine. Here are some more helpful tips:

  • Always wash separately. This reduces the weight in the machine and prevents the fabric getting agitated from other garments.
  • Use a gentle laundry cycle, such as the hand-wash setting.
  • Use a gentle detergent.
  • Air dry or low tumble dry depending on the cover and filling materials.

Outside Your Machine Capacity (Usually Over 15 Pounds)

If you have a heavier blanket, there are three options.

  1. Hand wash the blanket in the bathtub.
  2. Use a larger capacity washing machine, if you have one.
  3. Take it to a laundromat where you can use a bigger machine.

As always, read the care label instructions to determine the best approach.

  • If washing at home by hand or machine, use cool water and a gentle detergent unless your cover material allows for different settings.
  • If hand-washing, you might need a helper as these blankets are super heavy when wet.
  • Always air dry. Lay on a flat surface in the sunshine, flipping occasionally. Only use it again once it’s thoroughly dry.

How to Wash a Weighted Blanket

Before you wash your weighted blanket, check the care label instructions. Be sure to modify the instructions based on your blanket’s cover material, filling and weight.

Machine Wash

  1. Separate the cover from the inner blanket if possible. Some weighted blankets have removable covers — these should be washed separately.
  2. Inspect the cover and the inner blanket for stains. If you find a stain, run it under cold water and apply a mild detergent or stain remover. Gently rub it into the fabric, let it sit for a few minutes before rinsing it away. Repeat if necessary.
  3. Put the outer layer into the washing machine. Refer back to our tips on washing different cover materials.
  4. Choose the appropriate temperature.
  5. Select the hand-wash or gentle wash cycle.
  6. Add your mild detergent.
  7. Begin the wash cycle.
  8. Wash the inner blanket separately, following the instructions depending on the blanket’s filling.
  9. Use a mild detergent and a gentle wash cycle.
  10. Start the wash cycle.
  11. If using fabric softener, do an extra rinse on both the cover and the filling. This removes any build-up.

Hand Wash

If hand washing, get someone to help you. These blankets are heavy when wet.

  1. Separate the cover from the inner blanket.
  2. Pre-treat any stains. Rinse the stained area with cold water. Gently rub in a mild detergent. Let it sit for a few minutes before rinsing the stain. Repeat if needed.
  3. The cover can be machine washed if the care label allows it.
  4. Fill your bathtub halfway with lukewarm water. With micro glass beads, steel shot beads, or pebbles fillings, you can use a higher temperature if you wish.
  5. Add a small amount of mild detergent. Mix thoroughly.
  6. Completely submerge the weighted blanket in the water.
  7. Gently rub the fabric together to clean it.
  8. Let it soak for 15 minutes before rubbing the fabric again.
  9. Leave the blanket in the tub while you drain all of the water.
  10. Add clean water to rinse the blanket. Rub the fabric together until the water runs clear — this means the detergent is gone and the blanket is clean.
  11. Roll and squeeze the blanket against the side of the tub to drain excess water. Do not wring the blanket as this can tear the material.
  12. Repeat with the blanket cover if you’re also hand washing it.

How to Dry Your Weighted Blanket

You can dry your weighted blanket in the machine, air dry or by taking it to the dry cleaners. We’ll discuss the pros and cons of each method.

Machine Dry

PROS:
  • Dries quickly.
  • Less hassle.
  • Good for cotton and fleece covers at a low heat setting.
  • Suitable for micro glass bead fillings.
CONS:
  • Not suitable for linen blends or minky covers.
  • Not suitable for plastic poly pellets, steel shot beads or pebble fillings.
  • Blankets are heavy when wet. This might exceed your machine’s maximum weight.
  • Not as gentle as air drying.

Air Dry

PROS:
  • Gentle.
  • Suitable for any cover and filling material.
  • Reduces pilling and clumping.
CONS:
  • This can take up to 24 hours depending on your blanket’s material.
  • If it takes too long to dry, it can smell damp and sour.
  • If you hang it unevenly, it might stretch the material and ruin the blanket.

Dry Clean

The big question: can you dry clean a weighted blanket? Most weighted blanket care labels will not recommend dry cleaning. Dry cleaners wash clothes by using solvents instead of water (2). The clothes go in a huge washing machine — also not ideal for some weighted blanket materials.

However, some covers, like linen blends, can go to the dry cleaners. Just make sure they know the care instructions so they don’t ruin your blanket.

PROS:
  • Someone else does the hard work for you!
  • They have professional experience.
  • Saves you time.
  • Suitable if the care label says to dry clean.
CONS:
  • Many weighted blanket manufacturers advise against this.
  • It can ruin the weighted blanket.
  • They use harsh solvents.
  • They don’t use mild detergent.
  • It will decrease the lifespan of your blanket.
  • If you have sensitive skin, the solvents might irritate you.

Top Tip

We don’t recommend taking your weighted blanket to the dry cleaners. It might save you time, but it could ruin your blanket. Better to spend the day washing it at home.

How to Remove Stains From Weighted Blankets

If you eat, sleep and relax in your weighted blanket, it’s bound to get stained occasionally. Here are our top tips for removing stains:

  • Run the stain under cold water, rub in a mild detergent, and let it sit for a few minutes. Rinse with cold water and hopefully the stain is gone. If not, repeat as necessary.
  • Rinse out stains as soon as you spot them. If the stain is dried in, it shouldn’t be an issue but it will definitely be a bit harder to remove.
  • If you have a greasy stain, the best way to remove it is with dish soap. Add a little bit to the stain along with cold water. Gently rub it in. Let it sit for a few minutes before rinsing it away.
  • Drinking coffee in your weighted blanket is super cozy. But if you spill, it’s important to treat the stain properly. Mix one ounce of laundry detergent, one ounce of distilled white vinegar and 10 ounces of water together. Gently rub it into the stain with a toothbrush or cloth. Let it sit for 10 minutes before rinsing it away.
  • Your puppy might love relaxing on top of your weighted blanket. But if they have an accident — it’s time to get that stain out ASAP. For fresh pet urine stains, soap and water will do the trick. For set in stains, treat it with an enzyme stain remover. Wash normally. After the cycle, check that the stain and odor are gone. If not, repeat until it is before drying.

Take Care

Now that you know how to wash weighted blankets, take care when doing so. Following the proper guidelines will help prolong the lifespan of your cozy blanket.

As well as all our tips, remember never to iron your weighted blanket. Also — note that young children shouldn’t use weighted blankets because there is a chance of suffocation (3).

With our top tips and instructions, you’ll have a soft, comforting and cozy weighted blanket. Plus, it will be as clean as a whistle!

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About the Author

Beth McCallum

Beth McCallum is a 20-something freelance writer & book blogger with a degree in creative writing, journalism and English literature. Beth firmly believes that a tidy house is a tidy mind. She is always looking for new ways to sustainably clean and tidy her house, that's kind on the environment but effective in the house, too!
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