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Washing Instructions for Electric Heated Blankets

December 10, 2023

Sleep is vital for our wellbeing. If anything, it’s just as important as eating; it gives the body a chance to rejuvenate itself. The last thing that you want is to be sleep-deprived.

How much sleep do you need? At least 7 hours of rest every night.

For those who have trouble falling asleep, there are a few things that you can do that can help, such as using a proper mattress and pillow.

The type of blanket that you use is important as well. Take weighted blankets, for instance—they’re meant to provide a calming effect.

On this page, however, we’ll be focusing our attention on electric heated blankets.
how to wash electric heated blankets

What Are Electric Blankets?

Electric heated blankets are exactly what they sound like—they’re electric blankets with a heated element on the inside. You can pretty much think of them as a huge heat pad. All you have to do is plug it in and it will provide you with soothing heat while you sleep.

If anything, they’re great for those cold, winter nights. As far as the actual heat goes, you can adjust it via a control unit that’s attached to the blanket.

Picking an Electric Blanket

Electric blankets are not all the same – some will inevitably be more ‘dangerous’ than others. For your safety, it’s highly recommended that you get one that’s UL listed.

The certification means that they conform to the highest levels of safety. Don’t forget to factor in power usage as well.

Staying Safe Using Electric Heated Blankets

Most modern electric blankets will come with an auto-shutoff mechanism that prevents it from overheating. That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be careful when you’re using them, though. After all, there’s always a chance that it can malfunction.

Here are some safety tips to keep in mind:

  • Do not sleep on top of an electric blanket. Similarly, do not place anything on top of it (e.g. books, pillows, pets, etc)—that can cause it to overheat
  • Keep the blanket flat (i.e. do not fold it up)—otherwise, the heat can become too intense, which can turn into a fire hazard
  • Keep your pets away from the blanket—they can easily damage the wires or cord insulation with their teeth or claws
  • Turn the blanket off immediately if you notice any smoke or smell something burning
  • Turn your blanket off before going to sleep if it doesn’t have an auto-timer
  • Don’t leave it on if no one is using it
  • Coil the cords loosely when putting it away for storage

electric blanket safetyThings that you shouldn’t do:

  • Do not use electric blankets on toddlers, infants or those with disabilities—they will not be able to take it off if anything happens
  • Never use a blanket overnight unless it’s rated safe for overnight use (even then, you want to be cautious)
  • Do not use an electric blanket if you have a water bed
  • Never iron your blanket—the heat can melt the cord insulation
  • Do not use them with electric mattresses—the combined heat can become a fire hazard
  • Do not twist the cords as that can damage the insulation

Can You Wash an Electric Blanket?

Most electric blankets are washable. You just have to remove the cords and heating element from the blanket first.

With those gone, you can wash it normally, which is important seeing as how sweat and dirt will get on the blanket over time. Given that, you want to choose a product that’s machine washable (otherwise you’d be stuck with a dirty blanket).

Note: Never place an electric blanket in the washer without first confirming that it’s washable.

How to Wash a Heated Blanket in the Washer

Believe it or not but you can put your heated blanket in the washing machine. Here’s how.

Machine Washing Your Electric Heated Blanket Safely

There’s more than one way to hand wash electric blankets—given that they’re washable. We’ll be outlining the different methods below.
how to wash a heated blanket in the washer

Step 1: Remove All Cords and Debris

Start by preparing the blanket—you want to get rid of as much debris as possible by giving it a good shake.

Make sure to remove all the controls as well as the power cord. You do not want to get those components wet – chances are, they won’t work anymore if they’re machine-washed.

Step 2: Place the Electric Blanket Into the Washer

Place the blanket in the washing machine. Do not bunch it up—spread it evenly around the drum (assuming that your washer has a central agitator). Consider adding a couple of towels to help balance the weight.

Pro-tip: For the best results, fill the tub with cool water and let it soak for at least 10 minutes before running a wash cycle—that will allow the warm water to saturate the fabric. You can also add a little bit of laundry detergent.

Step 3: Add a Mild Detergent and Run a Delicate Cycle

Add your laundry detergent. Next, select a delicate wash cycle and run it on the shortest setting—always use cold water (you want to keep heat exposure to a minimum when you’re washing electric blankets).

If possible set the spin speed to low—that will prevent damage to the inner wiring. Press start and let the machine run for 2-3 minutes. From there, switch to the rinse cycle. Remove the electric blanket immediately once it’s finished.

Tip: Avoid using bleach or fabric softener – you don’t want to expose the electric blanket to harsh chemicals.

Placing Your Electric Blanket in the Dryer

Put the blanket into your dryer. Set it to the coolest possible setting and tumble dry gently for 10 minutes. Make sure to monitor the machine while it’s running—you do not want it to overheat as that damage the cord insulation. Not to mention that it can shrink the blanket!

Note: Do not force your blanket into the dryer. Consider bring it for hand washing or to the laundromat if your machine is not large enough (you want the blanket to be able to tumble freely).

Letting it Air Dry the Rest of the Way

Remove the blanket while it’s still slightly damp (i.e. don’t dry it completely with the dryer). Hang it up and let it dry naturally (air drying is much better for the heated blanket). You can also gently squeeze the fabric to remove the excess water.

Do not fold it over a clothesline as that can damage the electrical wiring. It’s much better to spread it out on a drying rack.

Hand Washing Your Electric Blanket

how to hand wash electric heated blanketsDon’t have a washer and dryer at home? No problem—you can always hand wash it instead. Start by detaching and machine washing all of the electrical components; this includes the wires and controls (refer to the manufacturer instructions).

Next, fill a tub or plastic bin with cool to warm water. Add a bit of active detergent and mix to create a sudsy solution.

Carefully place the blanket in the soapy water and let it soak for 20-30 minutes. During that time, agitate the water occasionally with your hand.

The next step is to drain the tub. Refill it with clean water and swirl the blanket around—you want to remove all the laundry detergent. When you’re finished, drain away the water. Gently wring out the blanket to remove some of the excess soapy water. Be very careful as to not damage the wires.

Finally, you want to let it air dry. As mentioned earlier, you do not want to fold it over a clothesline. Similarly, do not use clothespins as they can damage the cords inside. Draping it over a drying rack works best, but you can also hang it up on a shower rod.

Always make sure that the power cord in the blanket is completely dry before turning it on. The last thing that you want to do is to apply electricity to something that’s wet!

Best Way to Remove Stains From Your Electric Heating Blanket

As with other items, you want to treat stains as soon as possible—otherwise, they can set in. Remove the control unit before running the area under cold water.

For the best results, consider rubbing the stain gently with a damp cloth with a soft-bristled brush (dampen it with a soapy solution first). Do not use hot water—it’s likely that the heat will cause the stain to set in, which will make it more difficult to clean.

Other Tips For Washing Electric Heated Blankets

heated blanket washing tips

Do Not Dry Clean Your Electric Blanket

Contrary to popular belief, it is not better to dry clean your electric blanket. In fact, you should never dry clean it at all.

Why? The chemical solvents used in the dry cleaning process can easily damage the cord insulation. In other words, there’s a chance that you’ll ruin the heating elements, which can turn it into a fire hazard.

Never Iron Your Electric Blanket

As a general rule, you want to clean and treat your electric blanket possible as little as possible. Never iron it as the heat will melt the insulation around the wires.

Always Inspect Your Blanket Before Washing

It’s crucial that you inspect your electric blanket before putting it in the washer (or tub). An easy way to do this is to hold it in front of a light source—you should be able to see the wires inside evenly spaced. Make sure that none of them are overlapped.

Do not wash your blanket if any of the cords are damaged or displaced. When in doubt, do not use it.

Do Not Use Commercial Dryers

Never put your electric blanket in a commercial dryer—they’re much hotter than the ones you have at home. Even on a gentle cycle on the lowest setting, it can cause damage to the inner wirings.

Now you’ve got all the know-how for washing a heated blanket! As you can see, it’s not that difficult. You just need some mild laundry detergent and you’re good to go.

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Picture of Sophia Grant

Sophia Grant

Sophia Grant brings her extensive knowledge of laundry and clothing care to the masses with her intensive cleaning guides. Her thorough understanding of fabrics, detergents, and washing techniques helps readers master the art of maintaining their wardrobe. Sophia's advice ensures that anyone can achieve professional-level results at home, keeping their garments looking pristine and lasting longer.

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