October 2nd, 2018 by
Electric blankets are a great way to keep warm all winter long for a fraction of the cost of your central heating. Many modern electric blankets are also luxuriously comfortable, so you’ll want to use them all the time! If you do use your electric blanket a lot, whether it’s on your bed, on your sofa, or anywhere else, eventually you’ll need to clean it. Luckily, most electric blankets are very easy to clean, but there are still a few steps you should be aware of when washing your electric blanket.
Putting Electric Blankets in the Washing Machine
Most modern electric blankets are suitable for machine washing, but always make sure you check your manufacturer’s instructions to be on the safe side.
Step 1: Remove the Controls
Your electric blanket will have a power cord that has a controller attached to it, which is how you operate your electric blanket. All of the sensitive components are inside this cord (all that’s inside the blanket itself are the heating elements), so you’ll need to remove it before putting your electric blanket in the washing machine. This should simply pop off – follow your manufacturer’s instructions if you’re not sure. Make sure your electric blanket is completely cool before removing the power cord.
Step 2: Pre-Soak the Blanket
If your blanket is really dirty, you may need to pre-soak your electric blanket for around 10-15 minutes before properly washing it. You can do this in your washing machine using the pre-soak setting or you can soak it in a tub. Using cold water is fine unless your instructions say otherwise. Be careful how you put your electric blanket into your washing machine or tub; you need to make sure you roll it, not fold it. This will stop the heating wires inside the blanket from pinching together which can damage them.
Step 3: Wash on a Gentle Cycle
Don’t wash your electric blanket on a hot cycle. While the heating elements inside your blanket can withstand a normal wash, very hot water can damage the insulation surrounding them. Use a small amount of detergent – just enough to get the job done.
Step 4: Dry
You can use a washing line, or a clothes airer to dry your electric blanket. Some electric blankets can be dried in a tumble dryer, but always make sure you check your instruction manual to be sure. If you do use a tumble dryer, make sure you put it on a low setting. If you’re hanging your blanket out to dry, make sure you don’t hold it onto your washing line with pegs. These can pinch and damage the heating elements inside the blanket. Electric blankets are slightly heavier than regular blankets, so this extra weight should keep it on your washing line.
Step 5: Check Thoroughly
Before you plug your electric blanket back in, give it a quick check to make sure it hasn’t been damaged in any way and that all the heating elements are where they should be. There shouldn’t be any frayed fabric or exposed wires.
How to Hand Wash an Electric Blanket
Almost all modern electric blankets are designed to be put in a washing machine rather than hand washed. However, you may have an older electric blanket that doesn’t have a detachable power cord (in which case it’s probably time for an upgrade!) or you blanket might have a bad stain that you need to hand-wash off.
Step 1: Carefully Wash in Cold Water
Fill a tub or sink with cold water and add some mild detergent. If you can remove your power cord then do so, but if you can’t make sure you don’t dip any part of the power cord into the water. Carefully lower your electric blanket into the cold water and gently move the blanket around. Try not to rub it unless you have to so you don’t risk damaging the heating elements inside.
Step 2: Leave to Soak
Let your blanket soak for around 15 minutes. Try to make sure it isn’t left bunched up to reduce the strain on the heating elements inside the blanket.
Step 3: Dry
Dry your electric blanket in the same way we listed before, again being careful not to use clothes pegs or tumble dry it on too high a setting.
Other Washing Advice for Electric Blankets
Don’t iron your electric blanket. The extreme heat of an iron can seriously damage your electric blanket and most electric blankets don’t need to be ironed anyway. Also, make sure you never dry clean your electric blanket. Dry cleaning makes use of a lot of chemical detergents which can interfere with your electric blanket’s heating elements.
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