How to Wash a Shedding Blanket


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.

While the super soft blankets are great for snuggling up in, they can make a real mess of your washing machine. There are a few things that can be done during the first few washes to minimize the lint and remove it from the washer and dryer. For tips on washing blankets, see our guide How to Wash Blankets. If there is excessive lint still covering your washer and dryer, see the suggestions in our guide How to Remove Excessive Lint from Laundry.

Additional Tips and Advice

  • Adding ½ – 1 cup of white vinegar to the wash cycle can help reduce the amount of lint that is released.
  • 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.
  • If possible, hang the blanket outdoors to dry. This will allow the breeze to shake some of the loose lint free and blow it away.
  • Having your blanket professionally cleaned will save you time and headaches. The price is usually reasonable, depending on the size of the blanket. It may be worth not having to deal with all of the lint.
  • Handwashing will also decrease the amount of lint that is created. Wash the blanket in your sink or tub using a mild detergent.


  1. Wash the blanket first and then put it in the dryer to dry of on a LOW heat. To pick up the bits left in the dryer, place one or two tennis balls in to collect the lint.

  2. Mine’s made out of acrylic wool. What do I do to stop it from molting on me?

  3. We bought two identical blankets in same colour and size as Christmas gifts. Both have been placed on the beds at the same time. One has been pilling constantly since day one. The other is fine. We have tried to wash the one that has been pilling according to manufacturers instructions in hopes of reducing the fuzz, but it caused more pilling. Any suggestions?

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