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How to Wash a Heated Blanket in 4 Easy Steps

Washing a heated blanket is much easier than you think. Here's what you need to know.

Man picking up a heated blanket to wash it.
Chalffy/Getty Images

There are few things more pleasant than crawling into a warm bed after a long day. An electric blanket is a great way to add that extra layer of warmth and coziness. Cold sheets with a warm blanket on top? Pure bliss. 

Most electric blanket manufacturers recommend washing the blanket before use. Regardless of when you decide it needs to be washed, you'll want to be prepared with the information necessary to do it safely. Luckily, it isn't difficult. We'll walk through the details so you'll be enjoying your heated blanket by bedtime.

For more information about sleep, check out the wellness editors' favorite sleep tips and how to take a nap without ruining your sleep.

Can you wash a heated blanket? 

Generally speaking, yes. Most electric blankets are machine washable and can even be dried in the dryer. But before you go toss yours in the next load of laundry, take a moment to read the blanket's care instructions. 

Different blankets may have different washing instructions. For example, Sunbeam, a blanket manufacturer, recommends presoaking the blanket and then washing it in cold water and mild soap on delicate for two minutes. Another blanket maker, Sleepme, makes electric blankets with weighted inserts. They recommend removing the insert, then washing only the outer cover on a gentle cycle. 

Materials you'll need to wash your heated blanket 

Depending on the care instructions, here are some things you may need to wash your electric blanket. 

  • Washer
  • Dryer or drying rack/clothesline
  • Laundry detergent
  • Clean cloths (if needed for stain treating)

How to wash an electric blanket 

Washing a heated blanket isn't difficult, but there are usually some things you'll need to do to prepare the blanket for the washing machine. Here are step-by-step instructions to follow. 

1. Remove the cords

The electric blankets cords are what allow the electricity to travel from the outlet into the blanket. Electrical cords should not be submerged in water. Damaging the cords could cause the blanket to malfunction or stop working entirely. It's best to remove all connected cords to ensure the blanket isn't damaged.

2. Review the blanket's washing instructions

Somewhere on the blanket or in the information that came with it, there will be washing and drying instructions. They will usually indicate if the blanket can be machine washed or should be hand washed, what washing machine cycle to use, how to dry and even sometimes soap specifications. It's important to read these before laundering the blanket. 

If the washing instructions indicate that the blanket must be hand washed, skip ahead to step four. 

3. Run on a delicate cycle

Most electric blankets should be washed on a delicate or gentle cycle. This helps to eliminate dislodging or damaging the wiring inside the blanket. 

4. Wash by hand

Though most heated blankets can be washed in a washing machine, there may be some that must be hand washed. In that case, remove the cords, and fill your washing tub with cold water and gentle detergent. 

After you've soaked the blanket for a bit, use your hands to wash the blanket, similar to how a washing machine agitates. When you're satisfied with the amount of washing done, drain and refill the tub with water to rinse the blanket. Do this until all soap is gone from the blanket. Squeeze excess water out and either lay flat to dry or dry in the machine on low if the care instructions indicate you can do so.

5. Dry the heated blanket

Most electric blankets can be tumble dried on low in the dryer. Be sure to dry your blanket according to the instructions provided by the manufacturer. If the blanket must be air-dried, try laying it between two towels to soak up excess water and then lay or hang it flat to dry. You might be tempted to wring out excess water by twisting the blanket, but do not do this as it may cause damage to the internal wiring. 

Control button for an electric blanket on a bed.
Thomas Faull/Getty Images

How often should you wash a heated blanket? 

How often you should wash your electric blanket depends on how much the blanket is used. As a general rule, you should wash the blanket when you think it needs it. You may need to wash it infrequently if it is on a bed that doesn't often get used, or if you're a nightly user, you might prefer to get in a routine of washing the blanket each time you wash your other bedding. If you plan to pack away the blanket, wash it before putting it in storage.

When you shouldn't wash a heated blanket 

Do not wash a heated blanket that still has any cords attached. Additionally, if the blanket's care instructions suggest hand washing instead of machine washing, do not wash the blanket in the washing machine. 

How to get rid of stains on a heated blanket 

If you use your electric blanket a lot, it's inevitable that, eventually, you'll need to treat a stain or two. In most cases, a regular washing process will do, but when it won't, try mixing some laundry detergent and warm water and pretreating. Using a clean cloth, apply the soapy water mixture to the stain. You can either leave that setting and then wash the blanket following its care instructions or rinse the stain-treated area with another damp cloth and then air dry. 

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.