Heated electric blankets are great cold weather bedding accessories. They’re cozy, cuddly, and can be pain-relieving for those with stiff joints in cold damp weather. But, they can be a pain to clean!
Wondering how to wash your heated blanket or if your heated blanket can be washed at all? You’re in the right place. Read on to learn everything you need to know about washing your heated bedding.
Can You Wash a Heated Blanket
Most modern electric blankets can be washed either by hand or in the washing machine. Their heating elements are completely encased in waterproof, fireproof material, so unless your blanket is ripped or torn, you should be able to wash it without much trouble. Wondering if your non-heated blankets are machine washable? Check out our Types of Blankets guide to find out.
Older electric blankets may not be washable, so be sure to check the washing instructions on your blanket’s care tag if you have them available. As a rule of thumb, if you cannot remove your blanket’s power cord or see exposed electrical wiring in your blanket, you should avoid getting it wet.
How to Wash a Heated Blanket
So, how do you wash a heated blanket? Depending on your preference, you can hand wash or machine wash your blanket. If you have them available, be sure to double check the manufacturer’s instructions to make sure you’re doing what’s best for your specific bedding.
Before you hand wash an electric blanket, make sure it’s unplugged and the control cord is removed from the blanket itself. You don’t want to get this piece of the blanket’s wiring wet. Next, fill your tub with lukewarm water and add mild laundry detergent. Swish the detergent around until you have soapy water in the tub. Then put your blanket in the tub and let it soak for about 15 minutes.
After soaking, drain your tub and rinse off your blanket with cool water. You can squeeze the blanket gently to remove excess water, but don’t wring it out. Wringing your heated blanket could damage its electrical components.
If your blanket just needs a spot clean, we recommend using mild detergent and warm water.
If you’d prefer to machine wash your electric blanket, wash it without anything else in the machine. If you need to balance the load, you can add a few bedsheets. Just be careful not to add anything that will create a lot of lint! You can use warm, cool, or cold water, but avoid a hot water cycle. You should also avoid using bleach or fabric softener, which can damage your blanket’s internal wiring.
Before washing, double check your blanket’s care label and be sure to unplug any electrical cords. Next, place the blanket in the washer and run a gentle or delicate cycle. A fast spin cycle is not good for the wire insulation in heated blankets. Once the wash cycle is complete, it is time to dry your heated blanket.
How to Dry a Heated Blanket
We recommend using a drying rack or clothesline and letting your heated blanket air dry. If you don’t have a rack or line, you can hang your blanket over your shower rod to dry. If you don’t want to air dry your blanket, it is safe to put it in the dryer as long as you do not use high heat. Choose a low heat setting and let your blanket tumble dry for 10-15 minutes. You should remove it from the dryer while it is still slightly damp and stretch it out to let it air dry the rest of the way.
If you do your laundry in a laundromat, do not dry your blanket in a machine. Commercial dryers get too hot and could damage your heated blanket, even on a low heat setting. Air dry your heated blanket if you plan to take it to a laundromat. You should also avoid dry cleaning your heated blanket. The dry cleaning process can use high heat and harsh chemicals that may damage its internal wiring.
How Often to Wash a Heated Blanket
We recommend washing your heated blanket about once a month if you use it often during the winter. You can spot clean it in the meantime. Even if you use your heated blanket every night, you should be using it on top of your comforter or duvet (instead of directly on your body). This prevents the risk of overheating and means you won’t need to wash it as often as you wash the rest of your bedding. Wondering How Often Should You Wash Your Sheets? We recommend cleaning your bedding at least once a week.
Can you wash a heated blanket with wires in it?
Yes, you can wash a heated blanket with wires in it. But you will need to unplug the power cord (that plugs into the wall) from your blanket before washing it. If your blanket’s power cord is not removable, check the care tag to make sure your blanket is washable.
Are heated blankets safe?
Yes, heated blankets are safe. Modern electric blankets are well insulated with fireproof material. But if you have an old or damaged heated blanket it may be a fire risk. Pregnant women and young children may also overheat under a heated blanket, so we recommend these folks use caution.
What happens if an electric blanket gets wet?
Nothing should happen if your modern heated blanket gets wet. Aside from being a bit of a wet blanket (get it?) your blanket should work just fine after you spill something on it. In fact, many modern heated blankets can be totally submerged in water thanks to their waterproof insulation!
Does washing a heated blanket ruin it?
No, washing a modern heated blanket will not ruin it. Always check your blanket’s care tag before cleaning it, but most heated blankets can be machine washed without any issue.
Madison is an ex-mattress tester and current law student. When she’s not studying, she puts her accumulated mattress and bedding knowledge to good use writing articles for Mattress Clarity. A few of her favorite non-work activities include trying new restaurants, reading short stories, and watching too much reality TV.