How to Wash Blankets: Everything You Need to Know

How to Wash Blankets: Everything You Need to Know

It’s important to know how to wash blankets the right way. Unlike other bed linens, you don’t have to wash blankets every week or every other week. Everyone has a different routine, but blankets should be laundered quarterly to ensure they’re free from bacteria. This will keep them smelling and looking nice. 

Washing blankets isn’t like washing your everyday clothes, and different blankets require distinct care routines. Let’s explore some general blanket washing tips and how to care for the more popular options out there. 

Keep Your Blankets Fresh and Clean

If you periodically hang your blankets outside on a clothesline, the air will make them smell fresh, limiting the number of times you need to wash them. However, even these fresh-smelling blankets will need to be washed a few times a year. 

Test it for colorfastness if this is the first time you’ve ever washed this particular blanket. Before washing them, take your blankets outside and shake loose any dust or dirt from the surface. Take a wet cotton swab and dab a section near the edge of the blanket. Once it’s wet, take a white cloth and blot the wet area. Does any color come off onto the cloth? If not, you can safely wash the blanket. 

After you machine wash the blanket it may come out of the washer soaking wet. If so, just run a second spin to remove excess water. 

Set aside one to three hours, depending on size, for blankets to dry using low heat. If the manufacturer's instructions indicate the blanket should be air dried, it can take up to 24 hours to dry thoroughly. 

How to Deep Clean Blankets

Most blankets are made of cotton or synthetic blends. These blankets are machine washable and typically come with instructions on the label or packaging. Other blankets made of wool or cashmere must be washed by hand. 

When you’re deep cleaning blankets by hand, you should fill your tub or industrial sink (usually in the garage or basement) with cool water. Don’t use hot water, especially on wool, as you’ll shrink and otherwise ruin it. Use a mild detergent labeled for gentle items. After the tub is full, gently add the blanket and move it around the water with your hands. 

Soak the blanket for 15 minutes or up to a half-hour if the blanket is really dirty. Drain the water out of the tub while gently pushing on the blanket to get rid of suds.

Then, fill the tub again with cool water and repeat. Do this until all the soap has gone down the drain and the water is clear again.

Don’t wring out any of your blankets. This will wrinkle and damage them. Instead, gently press out water while they’re in the tub. When all water is expelled, take the blanket and roll it between dry towels so more water can gently come out. Keep switching them out until the towels themselves are no longer getting wet. 

Importance of Spot Cleaning

Sometimes a blanket can get stained. Before regularly cleaning the blanket, you must address the stain itself. Do this by using a small amount of mild detergent and rubbing it into the stain as soon as you can. 

If this is a down blanket, try to move the down feathers away from where the detergent goes so the feathers stay as dry as possible. 

Use an eyedropper or teaspoon to drop tiny bits of warm water on the stained area. Scrub gently with a soft toothbrush before sponging the area with warm water. Blot dry with a clean towel. 

Should You Use a Stain Remover? 

Stain removers can treat stubborn stains to help remove them before you wash your blanket. But before you put any product on your blanket, make sure it’s safe to use. Do this by reading the instructions and then spraying it on a tiny blanket section. Let the remover sit for a few moments. If your blanket is fine afterward, use it on the larger stain itself. 

Spray the stain and then rub the sides of the blanket together to create friction. This helps the stain break apart and loosen its hold on the fabric. Let the blanket sit for up to 10 minutes before deep cleaning it as you normally would.

If you’re dealing with a hard-to-remove stain, use a stronger stain remover and soak the blanket overnight before washing it.

Don’t dry your blanket if the stain is still there after the wash. The stain can be made permanent by the dryer’s heat. Rather, complete the process again to see if a second treatment can remove the stain. 

How to Wash a Minky Blanket

Our luxurious minky blankets are not only beautiful and soft, they’re also easy to clean. Place your blanket in the washing machine by itself or with other delicate items. Select the cold-delicate cycle and avoid any fabric softener. 

If you can, hang your blanket outside to dry. If weather conditions make this impossible, place the blanket in the dryer and select the tumble dry option with no heat. 

Cleaning Down-Filled Blankets: Washing Machine vs. By Hand

A large, front-loading machine that can easily hold your down blanket without crushing the feathers is the ideal way to machine-wash a down blanket. Use a mild soap and gentle/delicate cycle. 

If you don’t have a front-loading machine, try using a professional washing machine at a local laundromat. If that’s not an option, we recommend washing your down blanket by hand. 

Do this by filling a clean tub with lukewarm water and adding a mild detergent. Amounts may vary, so follow the instructions on the blanket’s label and use the minimum amount possible. 

Fill the tub back up with cool water and repeat. Do this until the soap is gone completely. 

Drying Down-Filled Blankets

Once your down blankets are rinsed thoroughly, press out excess water. You can use your hands for this or your washing machine’s spin cycle. Don’t wring out the blanket as this will damage the feathers. 

Place the wet blanket in your dryer and select tumble dry on low heat for a couple of hours. If you add a few clean, dry towels they will absorb excess moisture, and your blanket will dry faster as a result. Add a couple of clean tennis balls stuffed into clean athletic socks. This pro tip will prevent clumps from gathering in your down blanket. 

Caring for Blankets So They Last

We’ve mentioned hanging your blankets outside for a fresh smell and to reduce the need for excess washing. This will also help your blankets last longer. It’s recommended to steer clear of practices like laundry stripping, which is deep cleaning with sometimes harsh chemicals. This can prematurely age your blankets. 

Our blankets come with detailed cleaning instructions, and we’re always here to answer your questions. We carry the highest quality blankets for children and blankets for infants. Shop all of our luxurious blankets at Sew Sweet Minky Designs.

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