The humble electric blanket brings all kinds of benefits to your sleep time routine. From relieving aches and pains to warming you up over winter onto improving the restfulness of your slumber.
For more than fifty years, heating blankets have kept consumers as snug as a bug in a rug. Yet despite their longevity, confusion remains as to how, or even if, you can wash an electric blanket.
This guide clears up the confusion. In answer to your question – yes, you can wash a heating blanket. But which one of the two methods you choose (and how you should dry your electric blanket) will depend on the exact type of electric blanket. (Read Our Electric Blankets Review, If You Haven't Purchased One Yet!)
Let’s walk through each method step by step.
Method one: Wash Your Heating Blanket In A Washing Machine
- Remove the power cord
Warning - NEVER wash your electric blanket with the power cord still attached. This component should never come into contact with water. If your blanket features a control cord that doesn’t detach (which is more common in older electric blankets) you should wash your blanket by hand, taking care not to wet the cord while doing so.
- Carefully inspect the blanket
- Check that the wires of your heating blanket are in place as they should be, and that the fabric fully covers the heating elements.
If you find that there are wires or elements showing through the fabric, or if the power cord is damaged, you should throw the blanket away immediately (old heating blankets are responsible for 99% of electric blanket fires).
- Read the manufacturer’s instructions (and follow their recommendations to the letter)
Every electric blanket is sold with manufacturer’s instructions – both in brief on a label attached to the blanket itself, as well as being detailed in a booklet which would have come with the product.
Most manufacturers instruct users to:
- Pre-soak the heating blanket (typically for anywhere between five and 15 minutes)
- Wash the electric blanket on a short, gentle cycle (take care to only use a little washing detergent)rinse with a short, slow rinse cyclecomplete the process with a quick spin cycle
Method two: Wash Your Electric Heating Blanket By Hand
Today’s electric heating blankets are manufactured to be washed by machine. However older heating blankets sometimes benefit from being washed gently by hand only.
To hand wash, simply submerge the blanket in a bath of cool water with washing detergent and swirl the blanket around slowly. Then leave it to soak for between 10 to 15 minutes, followed by a thorough, but still gentle, rinse through with cool water.
Drying Your Heating Blanket
- First things first – re-read the manufacturer’s instructions
As well as providing instructions on washing your heating blanket, the manufacturer’s instructions should also tell you how to dry it. The suggested drying cycle will usually be for between five and fifteen minutes on the lowest heat setting.
Some manufacturers will also require that the dryer is pre-heated by being switched on while empty.
Warning - Be certain that the size of the tumble dryer is large enough for your heating blanket. Some aren’t big enough for the larger of heating blankets. If this is the case, you should dry your heating blanket by hanging it on a washing line or clothes horse and allow to air dry.
- Remove your heating blanket from the dryer while still damp
- Take care not to leave the blanket in for too long, otherwise you may ‘burn out’ the elements in your blanket.
- At this point you may need to stretch the blanket out to work it back into its original shape (if the manufacturer’s instructions tell you to do so).
- You’ll need two people to stretch a heating blanket. Standing opposite each other grab two corners each and gently stretch the blanket out, then leave to air dry.
Cleaning And Drying Your Electric Blanket - A Few Final Words Of Warning
- Do not dry clean your heating blanket
The chemicals that dry clean processing involves can prove caustic to heating elements, which can shorten the life of the blanket (at best) or break it immediately (at worst).
- Do not iron your heating blanket
Ironing an electric blanket is an absolute no no (even on the lowest level of heat). Doing so can instantly damage the insulation that is there to protect the blanket wires.
Take care if you choose to use a launderette
Launderette dryers are commercial machinery, with dryers that get far hotter than the typical consumer dryer. This heat can prove excessive for the elements within an electric blanket.
Before you use your blanket again…
Make sure that the heating blanket is completely dry before plugging it in.