How to Wash Blankets


Jenny asked: How do you clean fuzzy blankets? You know, blankets that are really soft…without ruining them? I have this amazingly soft blanket that I will need to wash, but I am worried about ruining its softness.

Soft, fuzzy blankets are the best things to snuggle up in on a cold evening. There are a wide variety of soft blankets available and all are fairly easy to clean. Simple steps can be taken to keep your blankets soft for a long time.

How to Clean Fleece and Microfiber Fleece Blankets

Fleece blankets come in different levels of quality. Lower-quality fleece will pill and quickly loose its soft touch. Higher quality fleece blankets, often labeled “Ultra Plush” will not pill at all and remain soft. To keep your fleece blankets soft, follow these washing guidelines.

You Will Need:

  • Laundry detergent
  • Liquid fabric softener
  • Drying rack or clothesline

Cleaning Steps:

  1. Pour the appropriate amount of laundry detergent into the washing machine for your blanket load.
  2. Place the blanket in the washing machine.
  3. Wash on the gentle cycle using cold water.
  4. During the rinse cycle, add the appropriate amount of liquid fabric softener.
  5. Hang the blanket and allow it to air-dry. This will prevent the pilling that is caused from the fabric rubbing against itself in the dryer.

How to Clean Wool Blankets

You Will Need:

  • Mild laundry detergent such as Woolite
  • Drying rack

Cleaning Steps:

*Check the care tag on your wool blanket prior to cleaning. If it is labeled as dry clean only, then do just that. If you try to wash it, it may shrink or lose its soft feel.

  1. First, ensure that your blanket is machine washable.
  2. Place it in the washing machine with a mild detergent.
  3. Wash on the gentle cycle with cold water.
  4. Stop the spin cycle after 1 minute of spinning so the blanket does not get stretched out of shape.
  5. Allow it to air dry by hanging on a drying rack. Never place a wool blanket in the heated dryer because it will shrink.

Additional Tips and Ideas

  • Hard water can lead to rough blankets. Add softener to your water as needed to help keep your blankets and clothes soft and comfortable.
  • If your blanket tends to “shed” in the washing machine, place it in a large pillow case and then put it in the washer.
  • Avoid using dryer sheets on soft blankets. These leave a coating that can cause the blanket’s surface to feel rough.
  • If there seems to be a coating on your blankets that make them rough, try using an extra rinse cycle to ensure all of the detergent is removed.


  1. Any tips on how to get bits of scraps off a fluffy blanket?
    Someone said lint rollers… Someone said Hoover it… Nothing I’ve tried has worked.
    It’s lots of little bits of fluff and what looks like tiny bits of wood.

  2. You could also try duct tape – some of the lint rollers that I’ve used were not very sticky.

    Another option: tweezers and a grade B movie – something interesting enough that you will sit through it, but boring enough that you won’t mind picking the tiny bits off the blanket while you watch. 😉

  3. After am done washing clothes, towels, blankets, etc., I can smell a bad odor coming from the washer and the clothes; it smells like mildew at times and even animal urine so I will wash them again. After that, I will immediately throw them into the dryer; when dried I don’t smell that smell on the clothes, but when we use a bath towel to dry off and if the towel becomes damp or wet, the smell comes back and we cant use them because the smell get on our body and we then have to take another! What can it be? And how can I clean the washer well?

  4. Jerry,
    The animal urine smell could be mold, and since you mentioned a mildew smell as well, this is the article that you need: How to Remove Mildew Smell from Laundry. (Mold and mildew are each a type of fungus and can be treated the same way.) To clean the washer, this is the article that you need: How to Clean a Washing Machine. You may also want to check the rubber seals on your washing machine and if you find any signs of mold or mildew, use this article to clean it: How to Remove Mold from Rubber Seals. Also, leave the door of the washer open between loads to let the washer dry out and ventilate – that will help to prevent the mold/mildew from returning.
    Source: BrickUnderground – Why your high-efficiency washing machine smells like cat pee: The official story

  5. I purchased a fleece/Sherpa blanket yesterday and I always wash my bedding before I use them. This blanket is shedding so bad, I have washed it twice and it’s still shedding. I cannot use it like this…please help.

  6. Irma,
    This is the article that you need: How to Wash a Shedding Blanket.

  7. Hi there, I have an electric blanket that has a layer of woolly “sheepskin” on the side that lies on top of the mattress. Over the course of normal use, this has become dirty and can smell at times. How could I clean this? I have a steamer, which I use to kill anything like bed bugs, etc., but it still appears grubby and dirty. Thanks in advance for any help.

  8. Brendan,
    Sheepskin trim on non-washable items, such as the collar or a leather jacket or on your blanket, can be cleaned with a powder method of cleaning, just like fur or faux fur coats. You can try taking the blanket to a professional furrier for cleaning, or you can try a home remedy. Select a powder that is a similar color to your sheepskin, such as cornmeal or wheat bran. Spread your blanket out on either an area outside or a tarp (or even cut open trash bags, a shower curtain, newspapers, etc.). Sprinkle a good (thick) layer of powder over the sheepskin area. Let the powder sit on the blanket for several hours or overnight. If needed, you can repeat the process later. The powder will absorb the dirt and oils from the sheepskin. When done, simply shake off the powder, use a vacuum hose to remove excess, then brush (with a hairbrush or other soft-bristled brush) out any remaining powder residue. Stay away from very fine powders, such as baking soda or flour, as they will be difficult to remove from the sheepskin.
    To remove the smell, you can try spraying it with a diluted white vinegar solution (such as 1 part vinegar in 2 parts water). Always test a cleaning solution on a small area first to look for any adverse effects.
    Source: – How to Clean Faux Fur
    Source: – How to Clean Fur

  9. Hi there, I’m very upset. I had a beautiful high quality cream acrylic soft fluffy blanket. Somehow, after a full cycle & two hour wash it has come out NOT fluffy & the blanket doesn’t feel the same anymore. The fluff isn’t plush anymore; rather, clumped together.
    Could I revive it or just buy another one?
    Thanks. :(

  10. Melanie says:

    Try using white vinegar. Re-wash the blanket on just a quick cycle and add two cups of the vinegar to the rinse cycle. The vinegar acts as a fabric softener, but better.
    Source: Lifehacker – MacGyver Tip: Fluff your blankets with vinegar

  11. I wash my nephew’s blankets. His are nice and fluffy; no piles of stuff on it. When I wash mine, they have a lot of lint piles on them. I wash them the same way; they are the same kind of blankets. Help!

  12. Dortha,
    Unless they are exactly the same blanket (made by the same company, possibly even made at around the same time since practices can change), there is likely going to be a difference due to how it was made. According to the American Blanket Company, some blanket companies only shear a blanket once or twice, while others shear it multiple times, which can determine how much or little the blanket will shed in the future.
    Source: American Blanket Company – What Makes a Fleece Blanket Shed or Pill?

  13. I was in a hurry and pulled our (pastel color) sheets off the bed & tossed them in the wash with Tide & Downy. There was extra room, so I tossed in some white towels (they are about a year old & do not shed). When I went to put them in the dryer, I noticed a medium brown towel was in the mix (it’s a few months old & just stopped shedding). I thought it would be alright. Then, the last thing I pulled from the washer was a wine-colored fuzzy throw. (I didn’t see any wine-colored fuzzy stuff on anything, so I just turned on the dryer with Bounce dryer sheet(s). Everything came out looking great…it wasn’t until I used one of the towels that I noticed it left wine-colored fuzz on me. You can’t see it on the sheets or towels, but there is an invisible fuzz waiting to stick to you if or when you are drying off. Sorry for the play by play; didn’t want to leave anything out. Is there anything I can do to remove this invisible fuzz?

  14. Missy,
    This is the article that you need: How to Remove Excessive Lint from Laundry
    Also, read up on fabric softeners. They reduce the absorbency of towels and leave a yucky carcinogenic film on everything else. Instead, you can use white vinegar as a fabric softener. If it’s the perfume scents you like using the fabric softeners for, you can just add a few drops of an essential oil you like (such as lavender) to the vinegar, or if it’s to reduce static, you can use dryer balls.
    Source: The Health Wyze Report & Fidelity Ministry – The Toxicity of Dryer Sheets, Fabric Softeners and Laundry Detergents
    Source: Green Idea Reviews – Using Vinegar as Fabric Softener Review – Does it work?
    Source: DIY Natural – Homemade Fabric Softener and Dryer Sheets

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