How to Wash an Electric Blanket

electricblanket

Tina asked: How do I clean an electric blanket? I lost the directions that came with the blanket. I’m sure I can use a lint roller to remove the dog hair, but that does not take care of the dog smell.

Electric blankets are wonderful for keeping warm on cold nights along with reducing heating bills. Some cringe at the idea of putting any “electric” into the washing machine, but in this case, it’s safe and commonly done.

Machine Washing

You Will Need:

  • Mild laundry detergent
  • Washing machine

Steps to Wash the Blanket:

  1. Begin by unplugging the blanket.
  2. Lay it out on the surface of the bed or spread it out on the floor to check for any weak areas or areas of damage.
  3. Examine both sides for any places that wires are poking through the material or the material is becoming thin and could tear.
  4. If there are no signs of damage, you are set to move forward. If there are areas with damage, it will be necessary to repair them prior to cleaning.
  5. Remove the control box and cord from the blanket. These will become damaged and useless if submerged in water.
  6. Place the blanket in the washing machine along with a mild detergent. If the blanket does not comfortably fit in the machine, consider using a large capacity machine at a Laundromat or hand washing the blanket.
  7. Set the controls to delicate cycle using cold water.
  8. Next, allow the machine to fill with water and agitate for a few minutes to mix the detergent into the water.
  9. If the blanket is soiled, stop the machine at this point and allow it to soak for several minutes.
  10. Turn the machine back on and let it run for several more minutes.
  11. It is often not necessary to wash the blanket for an entire washing cycle and the agitation can be hard on the delicate wires and inner components.
  12. Stop the machine after several minutes of washing and forward it to the rinse cycle.
  13. Allow the rinse/spin cycles to run as normal.
  14. When the blanket is finished washing, it is best to allow it to air dry.
  15. If there is not time or space to do so, place it in the dryer until it is damp dry.
  16. Remove it and lay it across a couch or spread it out on the floor to allow it to finish drying.
  17. When it is completely dry, replace the control box and plug and return it to the bed for use.

Hand Washing

You Will Need:

  • Mild laundry detergent
  • Bath tub

Steps to Wash the Blanket:

  1. Begin by unplugging the blanket.
  2. Lay it out on the surface of the bed or spread it out on the floor to check for any weak areas or areas of damage.
  3. Examine both sides for any places that wires are poking through the material or the material is becoming thin and could tear.
  4. If there are no signs of damage, you are set to move forward. If there are areas with damage, it will be necessary to repair them prior to cleaning.
  5. Remove the control box and cord from the blanket. These will become damaged and useless if submerged in water.
  6. Fill the tub with cool water and add a small amount of mild laundry detergent.
  7. Once the tub is filled, place the blanket in the water, and move it around so that it is completely submerged.
  8. Allow the blanket to soak for several minutes. Allow longer if the blanket is very soiled.
  9. Next, agitate the blanket in the water with your hands to help clean it and remove any dirt.
  10. Drain the soapy water and rinse the blanket well. It is often helpful to utilize the shower for rinsing.
  11. Rinse at least two times, three if there is a lot of soap.
  12. Squeeze the blanket after each rinse to remove the excess soap and water. Avoid wringing the blanket as this can damage the delicate wires and inner workings of the blanket.
  13. When finished rinsing the blanket, squeeze out as much water as normal.
  14. Hang the blanket to dry. A convenient place to hang it is right over the shower curtain rod. Once it is mostly dry, it can be transferred to a more convenient location.
  15. Remove it and lay it across a couch or spread it out on the floor to allow it to finish drying.
  16. When it is completely dry, replace the control box and plug and return it to the bed for use.

Additional Tips and Ideas

  • Unless it is specifically stated that the blanket should be dry cleaned, avoid it because the wires and inner workings can become damaged by the solvents.
  • Though large capacity commercial washers are excellent for washing blankets, do not dry an electric blanket in commercial dryers. The heat levels are too high and can cause damage to the wires.

Comments

  1. Seval says:

    Hi,
    Thank you for the tip on washing electrical blankets. I just can’t detach the cord and cover from the blanket. Do you know how to separate them? Thanks.

  2. Shelly says:

    Thank you; my cat peed on ours and we didn’t know how to clean it. Very helpful. Thank you soo much!

  3. Jayme says:

    Thanks for the info on how to clean an electric blanket. I use mine at dialysis every week and it has become really dirty. Going to wash it this weekend.

  4. Lisa says:

    It’s been a year and wasn’t sure how to wash it until my brain came on and said, “google it silly; it’s the 21st century, duh!” Thanks for the tip on unplugging it first!!

  5. Ondela says:

    It is such a relief to know that I can actually wash my electric blanket. However, I am still unsure about how to remove the control box or cord before putting the blanket in the water. Are you able to help me?

  6. Ron says:

    Your advice on how to wash an electric blanket in a washing machine is very helpful assuming you’re using a top loading washer. Unless I missed something, this will not work to well on a front loader.

  7. Ian says:

    Ondela…Hiya, I agree 100% with you. I think I can remove the power cord where it joins with the “box thingy” that is actually attached to the electric blanket.

    But, I have no idea if you are supposed to remove the box thingy as well…? and if so, how…?

    My blanket was only bought and used in October 2013, so I am not to worried yet. However, when the time comes, probably summer, I intend to telephone my electric blanket manufacturer and ask specialist instructions, failing that my local fire station should be able to help.

    One thing I know for certain: you cannot put a electric blanket into a washing machine unless the box says machine washable. As for hand washing the box, should say suitable for hand washing only.

  8. Judy says:

    I have just recovered from C. diff. Is there anyway to sanitize my electric blanket since the only thing that works against C. diff is hot water and soap or 10 to 1 Clorox solution?
    Judy

  9. Jennifer says:

    Yipee! I’ll get to it at once. Thanks a mil!

  10. Fernanda says:

    My electric blanket is not that dirty. There are not spots, but it has been on the bed for a while, so I assume that just in order to sanitize it a bit, I should wash it. I am reading the instructions and then I get down to step 16 where it says to “spread it on the floor.” No matter how clean a floor is, it’s never clean enough. Should I place something underneath and wait for it to dry? Hair, dust, pet dander, etc…would settle on it. I don’t see the point of even washing it if then you have to place it on the floor.

  11. Melanie says:

    Fernanda,
    Once the blanket is mostly dry, you could just drape it over the bed instead of the couch or floor. However, it will likely dampen the bed sheets, which will then need to dried as well or be changed before you sleep on them. You could lay a spare bed sheet underneath the blanket while it finishes drying on the couch or floor. You might not want to use a plastic sheet (like a painter’s drop cloth or cut open trash bags) because they could hold in the moisture and not let the blanket fully dry on the bottom. Another idea would be to hang it over the shower curtain rod, or to tie a rope from two nearby doorknobs for a makeshift clothesline.

  12. Meghan says:

    I just washed my blanket in the washing machine & did NOT (well, could not) remove the “box” things (mine has two), and all seems to have gone well – I plugged it in afterwards and it turned on okay.

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