How to Clean Blankets

Photo: Daniela Gorny
  • Laundry detergent: We like Tide Free & Gentle Liquid Laundry Detergent.
  • Spot remover: For treating stains, we like Shout, Zout, or an in a single day soak in OxiClean.
  • A roomy washer and dryer: Some cumbersome mattress blankets might have a number of room for spin cycles and constant, even drying. If you don’t have machines at dwelling, or in the event that they’re on the small aspect, it’s possible you’ll need to head to a laundromat to make use of business machines.
  • Space for air drying: Some wool blankets can’t go within the dryer. So in testing, to assist them dry evenly, I’ve unfold them over railings, massive ironing boards, and even tabletops.

Washing a mattress blanket shouldn’t take greater than a single washing-machine cycle, except the blanket comes out soaking wet (this implies it didn’t spin completely, which may occur whenever you’re laundering large, cumbersome blankets). In that occasion, we advocate that you just run a second rinse and spin cycle, with out cleaning soap.

The time it takes to dry a blanket depends upon the fabric it’s manufactured from. Most will take anyplace from one to 3 hours within the dryer on low warmth, relying on how large the blanket is. For some blankets, like wool ones, it’s possible you’ll have to air dry them, which (relying on the local weather) can take as much as 24 hours.

A dirty artificial fleece blanket earlier than it was handled with stain remover and washed with detergent. Photo: Daniela Gorny

Stain removers will assist deal with hard-to-wash stains earlier than you launder your blanket. But earlier than you deal with something with a stain remover (like Shout), be sure that it’s secure to make use of on the fabric you’re treating. Stain removers should not often secure to make use of with delicate supplies, comparable to wool.

Before placing a blanket within the washer, spritz any minor stains with stain remover, after which rub the edges of the stained space collectively to work within the stain remover. Let the blanket sit for 5 to 10 minutes, after which wash usually.

For dry or powerful stains, you possibly can attempt leaving the blanket to soak in a single day with a stronger therapy—like OxiClean—earlier than washing it.

After you wash your blanket, test it earlier than you set it within the dryer to see whether or not the stain is gone. Some stains don’t set till they’re zapped by the warmth of the dryer, so you possibly can repeat the method above if the dirty spot continues to be there.

Cotton and linen are likely to shrink a little bit within the wash, however the fibers can nonetheless stand up to extra aggressive cleansing over time than wool or synthetics like polyester fleece.

Fran Kozen, director of Undergraduate Studies in Fiber Science & Apparel at Cornell University, instructed us in 2018 that this makes cotton and linen ultimate supplies for individuals who have allergic reactions. “You can simply wash them in sizzling water and eliminate mud mites.”

A sizzling wash and a high-heat dryer cycle will disinfect bedding after somebody has been sick, too. Most shrinkage happens throughout the first few washes, earlier than the fibers settle. So washing a brand new cotton or linen blanket in chilly water earlier than utilizing it after which drying it on low warmth ought to cut back the quantity of shrinkage in a while, if you want to use sizzling water. I do that a minimum of as soon as (and typically two or thrice) earlier than I take advantage of any new blanket, in case I have to disinfect it after testing.

For common cleanings, I wash blankets in chilly water (or, if a blanket appears dirty, in heat water) a couple of occasions a 12 months.

Dry on low or medium warmth, eradicating the blanket sometimes to redistribute folded areas that is perhaps holding moisture.

An alpaca wool throw air drying on a clothes rack. If attainable, attempt to transfer the blanket round because it dries so there aren’t any deep creases. Photo: Daniela Gorny

Many wool blankets are “dry clear solely,” however the ones we advocate can go within the washer. Wash on the coldest, gentlest setting your machine has; to maintain wool blankets from shrinking considerably, you need to keep away from any critical agitation or heavy spin cycles.

Never put a wool blanket within the dryer, except the material’s label particularly says it’s okay to take action. Using the dryer is a surefire solution to felt (or drastically shrink and mat) wool blankets. Instead, unfold the blanket over the biggest floor you could find, unfolding it fully or adjusting it incessantly to present all sections air publicity. It may take 24 hours, and even longer, for the blanket to dry, relying on its dimension.

A newly washed artificial fleece blanket. Photo: Daniela Gorny

Synthetic blankets, comparable to fleece and plush, might be put by the washer and dryer similar to cotton or linen. They simply can’t deal with greater temperatures, so wash them on chilly or heat settings. You won’t discover injury after a couple of sizzling washes, however Kozen instructed us that in the long term, artificial fibers don’t maintain their form, thickness, or integrity for so long as pure fiber blankets. So incessantly washing them in sizzling water or drying them on excessive warmth will pace up their decline.

The excellent news with artificial blankets is that they’re light-weight and don’t maintain as a lot water as pure fibers, so that they don’t want as a lot time within the dryer. An hour on low warmth might be adequate.

A recent pile of washed blankets. From prime to backside: alpaca wool throw, 100% cotton blanket, 100% cotton gauze blanket, artificial (polyester) fleece blanket. Photo: Daniela Gorny

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