Bethany asked: How do I clean or care for a blanket that sheds over everything? I recently bought a blanket for my son, and it is shedding all over the sheets and his clothes. It says it is made of polyester, and I washed and dried it only for it to make a mess in the washer and dryer. I then took a lint brush to get most of it out of the bed, but was wondering if there was something I could put in the dryer with it to collect the droppings. Thank you.
Some of the best materials for blankets are also the ones that shed the most. Luckily, there are some easy ways to help stop these materials from shedding, keeping them as soft and warm as the day you bought them. Follow the steps below.
You will need
- A tennis racket
- A lint roller
- Fabric softener or white vinegar
- Laundry starch
Steps to Clean the Blanket:
- First, remove as much of the loose lint/fibers/hairs on the blanket as possible. This can be done by shaking the blanket outside, beating it like a rug with a tennis racket outside, or rubbing a lint roller over both sides.
- Wash the blanket by itself. This will help to prevent the blanket from rubbing against other items, causing it to shed further, as well as prevent it from shedding onto other items.
- Ensure that there is more than enough water in the washer. If using a HE washer, you can usually pour extra water in through the detergent dispenser.
- Use cold water, not warm or hot. Cold water will help prevent the blanket from shedding.
- Use the gentle cycle on the washer. This is especially important in top load washers as the agitation bar can act as an abrasive on the blanket, causing it to shed.
- Add fabric softener or 1 cup of white vinegar to the rinse cycle. This will help to hold the fabric fibers in place.
- It is best to let your blanket air dry if possible to prevent it from shedding. Hang it over a shower curtain rod or on a clothesline outside. If you do need to tumble dry the blanket, use the low or no heat setting.
- If needed, spray some laundry starch on the blanket to further prevent it from shedding while on your bed. Do not use so much starch that you make the blanket stiff or scratchy; just a little is enough to help.
- Do not use both a dryer sheet and fabric softener. The excess fabric softener residue can cause the blanket to shed more.
- If little balls have developed on your blanket, that is what is known as pilling. Use a fabric shaver to remove them. If you don’t have a fabric shaver, a disposable razor can be used instead. Lightly run it over the surface, applying minimal pressure so as not to cut or scar the fabric.
- For collecting the loose lint, try placing a “lint collector” such as corduroy, velvet and permanent press clothing. Toss an old garment made of one of these fabrics into the dryer with the shedding blanket. It will help to catch the loose lint that would otherwise stick in the dryer.
- Handwashing will also decrease the amount of lint that is created. Wash the blanket in your bathtub using a mild detergent.
- 10,001 Hints & Tips for the Home by Reader’s Digest
- Cleaning Plain and Simple by Donna Smallin
- The Cleaning Encyclopedia by Don Aslett