Soft, fluffy, and lightweight, a sherpa blanket is just made for comforting snuggles. If you’re using this type of blanket on your bed or as a throw blanket, you may be wondering how to best keep it clean without losing its signature softness.
Find out how to wash your sherpa blanket clean without sacrificing its plush feel.
What is a Sherpa Blanket?
A sherpa blanket mimics the soft, lightweight properties of a fleece or wool blanket, which is why it’s also known as faux-fleece or faux-sheepskin, yet this type of blanket is made from a synthetic polyester material.
Sherpa blankets are warm, cozy, and decorative. They look just as good as a throw blanket or accent blanket as they feel. Sherpa blankets have two distinct sides: one is soft and smooth, while the other is thick and cozy.
No matter which side you wrap yourself in, your sherpa blanket will keep you warm and comfortable.
Sherpa vs Fleece
Sherpa blankets may be confused with fleece blankets. A fleece blanket is not made from sheep’s wool (or fleece), despite its name. Like a sherpa blanket, a fleece blanket is usually made from a synthetic material such as polyester. Fleece is commonly used in clothing and in blankets for its soft and warm properties, and it’s much more lightweight than a traditional wool blanket.
The primary difference between a sherpa blanket and a fleece blanket is thickness and warmth. Fleece tends to be a thinner material than sherpa. A sherpa blanket mimics the thick texture of wool, while a fleece blanket is usually thinner.
Sherpa blankets will also have two different textures: one side will be more smooth and suede-like, while the other will be plusher and “wooly.” A fleece blanket only has one texture.
Sherpa vs Wool
Sherpa is known as “faux-sheepskin” because it is designed to mimic the properties of real wool. But there are differences between a sherpa blanket and a wool blanket.
For starters, sherpa blankets are made from a synthetic material, whereas wool is an animal byproduct that comes from sheep. Because it’s not made from real sheep’s wool, a sherpa blanket would be considered a vegan product, whereas wool is not.
A sherpa blanket has two textures mimicking sheepskin: the suede-like and wooly sides. On the other hand, wool blankets typically consist of a single material, and both sides of a wool blanket or comforter will look and feel the same.
How to Wash a Sherpa Blanket
Synthetic polyester, the material used to give sherpa blankets their signature softness, must be washed with care if you want your blanket to retain its soft, fluffy properties.
Synthetic materials can be damaged by high heat and harsh chemicals. As a result, an improperly washed polyester blanket can stop feeling soft and start feeling almost crunchy to the touch.
Whether you’re hand washing or machine washing your sherpa blanket, you’ll want to pay special attention to the instructions on the label to ensure you’re using the right temperature and the right laundry products to maintain its fluffy, cozy feel.
Machine Washing a Sherpa Blanket
In general, sherpa blankets made from synthetic materials can be machine washed. Be sure to check the care label and pay extra attention to the instructions if your sherpa blanket doubles as an electric heated blanket.
In most cases, machine washing a sherpa blanket requires:
- Machine wash with cold water.
- Use a gentle detergent.
- Use only non-chlorine bleach.
- Do not dry clean.
Hand Washing a Sherpa Blanket
A gentle hand wash is completely appropriate when caring for your sherpa blanket. Again, be sure to check your care instructions and pay special attention to instructions on any electric blankets.
Hand washing a sherpa blanket involves:
- Fill a bathtub or sink with cold water.
- Spot treat any visible stains with a gentle spot remover or a few drops of dish soap.
- Add a small amount of gentle detergent to the water.
- Add your blanket and gently agitate the water with your hands.
- Drain the soapy water and refill the sink with cold water.
- Agitate to remove more soap.
- Continue to drain the water, refill, and agitate until the water is completely clear and free of soap.
- Gently wring excess water out of the blanket.
How to Dry a Sherpa Blanket
Remember that high heat is the enemy of synthetic materials. Drying a sherpa blanket should be done at low temperatures to maintain its signature softness. Tumble dry your sherpa blanket at low heat if drying in a machine. Or, hang it to air dry. If you air-dry your blanket, you may want to add it to the dryer to fluff and help declump any fibers.
When you dry your sherpa blanket, add wool dryer balls or a tennis ball to the dryer. This will help remove static as you dry.
Do not iron a sherpa blanket.
How to Make a Sherpa Blanket Soft Again
Uh oh. You accidentally applied too much heat to a sherpa blanket, and it no longer feels fluffy or cozy. Don’t worry: you can help make your sherpa blanket soft again.
The secret to making a blanket soft again is to remember that gentle laundry products and low temperatures are your blanket’s best friends.
Rewash your sherpa blanket using the lowest temperature and most gentle detergent possible.
Although it sounds counterintuitive, avoid using fabric softeners, which are made up of chemicals that can have a negative impact on your blanket’s fibers. Instead, try the following:
- Add a half cup of baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) to the wash cycle.
- Add a half cup of white vinegar to the rinse cycle.
Don’t worry, white vinegar won’t leave your blanket smelling like a salad dressing. Instead, it will remove extra build-up and residue that can accumulate on the fibers. The result is an extra-soft and fluffy blanket.
Tumble dry on low heat and avoid ironing your blanket when restoring its softness.
How to Fix a Matted Sherpa Blanket
If your sherpa blanket is matted and clumpy, you can easily restore it to its previous soft and fluffy properties. Just like the sheepskin it emulates, your matted blanket may just need a gentle brushing before it goes through the wash.
- Use a natural, soft bristle brush.
- Fill a spray bottle with cool water and add a small amount of gentle conditioner.
- Shake to combine, and then lightly spray the matted areas of your sherpa blanket.
- Brush lightly in all directions to remove mats and tangles.
- Once the blanket has been smoothed, wash gently in cool water to remove any residue from the conditioner.
- Tumble dry low.
Are sherpa blankets warm?
Sherpa blankets are made from a synthetic polyester material that’s designed to be warm, cozy, and mimic the properties of sheepskin.
Can you put a sherpa blanket in the dryer?
A sherpa blanket can go into the dryer, but it must be dried at low heat. Tumble dry low and do not iron to maintain its softness.
Do sherpa blankets shed?
Sherpa blankets will not shed. They are made from synthetic polyester fiber and are not made from real wool.
How often should you wash your sherpa blanket?
Your sherpa blanket should be washed as needed when you notice stains, or odors, or if it is losing its soft, fluffy properties.
Melissa Zimmerman is a writer with a passion for sleep and wellness. When she’s not researching and writing about health and wellness, you can find her reading books and spending time with her son and dogs in her Northern California home. Connect with Melissa at www.proseandpurpose.com.