Your Step-by-Step Guide to Cleaning a Weighted Blanket

When you're ready to give this item a refresh, pay careful attention to the filler type.

Grey weighted blanket on bed
Photo: Cavan Images / GETTY IMAGES

Ideal for combatting stress and anxiety—or for anyone who wants to elevate their lounge or sleep set-up—weighted blankets have become an increasingly popular option for improving comfort. One downside to the heavy blankets, though, is that they can be difficult to clean.

"Weighted blankets weigh anywhere from 5 to 30 pounds and are used for therapeutic techniques called pressure therapy or deep pressure stimulation," says Luis Zuñiga, laundry expert at Mr Jeff. "These blankets, made of wool, cotton, or thickly woven synthetic fibers, are usually heavy, which is why they require a delicate and special process to prevent them from being damaged."

Due to their weight, these blankets can easily be ruined if they're not cared for properly. But despite their fragile nature, it is possible to give your weighted blanket a thorough clean at home, so long as you use the right supplies and follow our experts' advice.

How Often to Clean Your Weighted Blanket

How frequently you wash your weighted blanket depends on how it's used. "If you place a weighted blanket on top of your duvet cover so that it does not come in direct contact with your skin, you can get away with washing your weighted blanket every couple of months or so," says Madeline Miller, product specialist for The Laundress. "However, if your blanket touches your skin nightly or a pet sleeps on top of it, we'd suggest laundering monthly or biweekly."

Additionally, if your blanket is kept in storage for a month or longer, Zuñiga says it must be washed to avoid the accumulation of dust and germs.

Types of Weighted Blanket Fillers

The method you follow when washing your weighted blanket will vary, and ultimately comes down to fill type. "Unless specifically tagged 'do not wash,' most synthetic or natural blanket fibers can be laundered in the machine, including wool blends and faux fur," says Miller. "However, certain fill types are not meant to be machine laundered, so be sure to check your blanket's tag and manufacturer recommendations before proceeding with laundering."

Looking for a quick washing cheat sheet by fill type? We have you covered:

  • Plastic pellets: Wash in cold water only, air-dry
  • Steel shot beads: Hand or machine wash, air-dry
  • Smooth pebbles: Hand wash only, air dry
  • Organic material (corn, beans, rice): Not washable, spot clean only
  • Sand: Not washable, spot clean only
  • Microglass beads: Hand wash only, air-dry

Pre-Treat Stains

Before washing your weighted blanket, you should pre-treat any stains. Zuñiga says to start by identifying the make-up of the stain, which will help you figure out what to remove it with. Once you've determined the appropriate cleaning agent, apply it to the stain and scrub with an old toothbrush; then, move onto washing.

  • Natural pigment (food, make up, juice): Treat with white vinegar
  • Blood stains or yellowing discoloration: Treat with hydrogen peroxide
  • Heavy grease stains: Treat with a degreaser

How to Wash a Weighted Blanket

After checking tags and determining washability, you're ready to clean your weighted blanket. You can do so by either machine washing or hand washing.

Machine Washing

The process of machine washing your weighted blanket isn't very different from cleaning other types of bedding, so long as the fibers and pellets are machine-safe. Alicia Sokolowski, the president and co-CEO of Aspen Clean, says to place the blanket inside your appliance and select a cool, delicate cycle with a low spin.

Next, Zuñiga says to add in a liquid detergent and a very small amount of softener—a third of the size used in normal loads. "This will help preserve the fabric and the stability of the garment, whereas using too much softener can make the blanket feel scratchy or stiff," he says.

Hand Washing

As is the case with machine washing, you should check your blanket's care label to see what type of fabric and filler it's made with prior to hand-cleaning. If it can stand up to hand washing, Sokolowski says you will most likely have to do so in your bathtub due to the general size of weighted blankets. "Make sure your bathtub is clean and remove any residue that could potentially stain your blanket," she says.

Next, Miller says to fill the tub with cool to tepid water and add 1 to 2 ounces of gentle detergent. "Agitate the water to ensure even detergent distribution, then add in your blanket," she says. Let the blanket soak for about 30 minutes to 1 hour, then remove the blanket from your tub and empty out the detergent water. "Refill the bathtub with cold water and place the blanket back in the water," Sokolowski says. "Here, you will want to squeeze the blanket to remove any residue." She says to repeat this process until there are no suds left in the blanket and the water is completely clear.

How to Dry a Weighted Blanket

According to Zuñiga, you should always hang dry a weighted blanket as opposed to running it through the machine. "This will take care of the textile fabric," he says. To air dry, Sokolowski says to lay the blanket out flat, which can be done either on the floor or on a large drying rack that can support the blanket's weight. "If you are laying it out flat on the floor, you should place a sheet or a plastic sheet down first, to keep it clean," she says.

Keep the blanket in a well ventilated area and regularly shake it out to ensure the filling is evenly distributed. "Check on the blanket every so often while it is drying and turn it over on the rack to expose both sides equally," Zuñiga says. "Continue this until it is completely dry."

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