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Your weighted blanket is disgusting—here's how to wash it

It's time to wash your weighted blanket

Couple giggling under a weighted blanket Credit: Gravity Blanket

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What You Need:

  • Water
  • Bleach-free detergent
  • Toothbrush

Time needed: Up to 24 hours, depending on how long it needs to dry

Difficulty: Easy

How to clean your weighted blanket.

If you own a weighted blanket, then you’re aware of its seemingly magical powers. “What dark sorcery is this!” you likely exclaimed, the first time you draped yourself in 20 pounds of pure, stress-easing comfort. And we’re willing to bet you haven’t gone an evening without using your weighted blanket since.

But with all that snuggling comes inevitable wear and tear (and the errant red wine stain or two) and, sooner or later, you’ll need to clean your new best friend. But how? It’s not exactly easy to haul a blanket that weighs roughly as much as a large Boston Terrier to the laundromat—or even casually toss it into your washer.

Due to their materials, weighted blankets require special care so they’ll last as long as possible. Many weighted blankets, like our favorite—the Gravity Blanket—come with a machine-washable duvet cover and hand wash-only weighted insert.

It’s important to check the tag on your weighted blanket for specific instructions, as different brands will have different care requirements. The tag should tell you, among other things, what you should and shouldn’t do with your weighted blanket, what products you should or shouldn’t use on the blanket, if it has a removable cover that should be cleaned separately, and whether or not you can put it in the washing machine.

Luckily, though specifications may vary, general guidelines for cleaning a weighted blanket are fairly straightforward—and easy! Here are the steps we recommend:

How to spot clean a weighted blanket

Hand washing weighted blanket
Credit: CasarsaGuru

Spot-treat your stains before cleaning your weighted blanket.

Regardless of whether your weighted blanket is machine washable or not, you should always spot clean small stains before washing it, so these stains (like the aforementioned dribbles of Pinot Noir, for example) don’t set in and become permanent blemishes.

Step 1: Use cold water to wet the stain.

Never use warm water, as this will only serve to set the stain. It goes without saying that the quicker you catch and attend to a stain, the better your chances of fully removing it.

Step 2: Apply a bleach-free product to clean the stain.

Many products contain bleach—you’d be surprised! Make sure to check the label of whatever product you select. You can use a mixture of warm water and laundry detergent.

Step 3: Grab a toothbrush.

The bristles help break up and loosen the dirt or grime in the stain. Brush gently!

Step 4: Set aside to dry.

That’s it!

How to machine wash a weighted blanket

Washing machine with blankets
Credit: brizmaker

Machine washing your weighted blanket requires several steps.

If the tag on your weighted blanket indicates that your blanket is machine washable, you can proceed to this step after spot treating those small, pesky stains. Again, be sure to closely follow any specific instructions on your blanket’s care tag.

Step 1: Check the load capacity of your machine.

It’s important to determine the load your washing machine can take before attempting to load in a weighted blanket. Most machines can handle around 7 kg. If your blanket is 7 kg or less, load it in! If your weighted blanket is too heavy for the machine, you’ll need to hand wash it.

Step 2: Pick your setting.

When washing a weighted blanket, it is important to use a gentle or delicate setting, to avoid disrupting the distribution of the inner materials.

Step 3: Pick a detergent.

Use a mild detergent for best results. Again, check to make sure your detergent is bleach free. You can check out our recommendations for the best liquid laundry detergents.

Step 4: Run the cycle.

Run your washing machine and let it do the heavy lifting (literally).

How to hand wash a weighted blanket

Duvet cover on Gravity Blanket
Credit: Gravity Blanket

Many weighted blankets have removable duvet covers.

If your blanket’s tag indicates that it’s not machine washable, you’ll need to wash your blanket by hand. This is a messier, more time-consuming process, but it’s the safer route if you want to maintain the integrity of your product. You’ll need a bathtub, or other large basin.

Step 1: Fill up your tub or large basin.

After cleaning out your tub thoroughly, fill it up about halfway with warm water.

Step 2: Add detergent.

About 1/2 cup of bleach-free detergent should be enough.

Step 3: Dunk your blanket!

After mixing the water and detergent until it’s sufficiently sudsy, fully submerge your blanket into the soapy mix until you’re satisfied it’s clean.

Step 4: Rinse—and repeat.

Remove the blanket and empty the tub. Refill with warm, clean water and submerge the blanket to rinse it. You may need to repeat this step a few times until all remaining soap residue has rinsed free.

Step 5: Wring out the blanket.

Just gently enough to remove excess, dripping water, but not enough to change its shape.

How to dry a weighted blanket

Gravity Blanket on bed
Credit: Gravity Blanket

Spreading out your weighted blanket on a flat surface or over a sturdy rail is the best way to keep it crease-free while drying.

Depending on what your blanket’s tag says, you can either put your blanket in the dryer, or will need to line dry it. As a general rule, a blanket that is not machine washable will likely not be dryer safe. To machine-dry, choose a low to medium setting.

To fluff up your blanket after it’s dry, choose the tumble dry setting and throw in an old towel or sheet along with the blanket. To lay your blanket out to dry, hang it over a surface that won’t disrupt its shape, like a bannister or table. A clothesline is more likely to cause a crease in the blanket. Hang until dry!

What’s in a weighted blanket—and how does it work?

Hand knitted weighted blanket
Credit: Bearaby

Weighted blankets can be made from beads, glass, or weighted fabric.

Weighted blankets aren’t just a new fad. The science behind how a weighted blanket works is linked to deep touch pressure, which is a form of tactile sensory comfort that we also experience through things like cuddling and hugging. No wonder it’s so comforting!

Most weighted blankets weigh around 15 to 20 pounds. When underneath the blanket, users report feeling calmer—and sleeping less fitfully and for longer stretches of uninterrupted time. What’s inside a weighted blanket depends on the brand, but common materials that comprise the “weight” in a weighted blanket include sand, micro glass beads, and plastic poly pellets. Some weighted blankets, like the Bearaby Napper, are made from weighted yarn.

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