Are you nervous about laundry day because you’re unsure if your cherished weighted blanket can withstand the rigors of a washing machine? Never fear, as this article will shed light on this concern and provide you with insightful guidance. This article will detail the crucial aspects of maintaining the condition of your precious comfort item, focusing on the big question: “can you wash a weighted blanket in the washing machine?” Explore the expert advice, tips and techniques that will help you ensure your blanket stands the test of time – and the washing machine cycle! Don’t let your uncertainty hinder you, grab your weighted blanket and get ready to gain beneficial knowledge.
Understanding Weighted Blankets
“Weighted blankets” is a term you’ve likely heard thrown around a lot lately, and there’s a good reason for it. These blankets have been said to provide countless benefits, offering deeper sleep and reducing anxiety among other things.
The concept behind weighted blankets
Weighted blankets are designed to apply gentle, even pressure over your body, replicating the feeling of a hug and creating a soothing effect known as deep touch pressure (DTP). This pressure has been found to boost serotonin, a hormone associated with feeling happy, and melatonin, a hormone that promotes sleep. It’s no wonder so many people rave about their weighted blankets.
The materials used to make weighted blankets
A variety of materials are used to create the unique experience a weighted blanket provides. Most are filled with hypo-allergenic, non-toxic weighted beads. These beads are typically made of glass or plastic and are responsible for providing the gentle weight in the blanket. The outer material of the blanket can be any soft, durable material such as cotton, polyester or flannel.
Different types of weighted blankets
There are countless styles of weighted blankets, and your perfect match will depend on your individual needs and preferences. Some blankets are designed to encompass your entire bed, while others are more appropriately sized for individual use. They come in a variety of weights and fabrics, with the ideal weight for a blanket being approximately 10% of your body weight.
Why Cleaning Weighted Blankets is Crucial
Just like with any other blanket or piece of bedding, proper sanitation and maintenance of your weighted blanket are critical for a variety of reasons.
Importance of cleaning weighted blankets
Weighted blankets absorb sweat, dirt, and other things that can generate bacteria over time, affecting the quality of your blanket and potentially posing health risks. Regular cleaning also extends the life of your blanket, ensuring you get the most out of your investment.
How often should weighted blankets be cleaned
On average, it’s best to clean your weighted blanket every two to four weeks. This frequency can vary depending on how often you use your blanket and whether or not a duvet cover is used.
Effects of not correctly cleaning a weighted blanket
If not cleaned properly, your weighted blanket can quickly become a haven for dirt, grime, and bacteria. Over time, these contaminants can start to break down the materials in your blanket, decreasing its lifespan and effectiveness.
Washing Weighted Blankets: General Guidelines
So how exactly do you go about washing a weighted blanket? While the specific guidelines can vary based on your blanket’s unique characteristics, there are a few general rules to follow.
General washing instructions for weighted blankets
For most weighted blankets, use a gentle cycle on your machine with cool water. Small stains can often be treated with a soft cloth wet with mix of water and gentle soap.
Why instructions may vary based on blanket type
Different blankets have different instructions because they are often made from different materials. The washing instructions for a polyester blanket may not be suitable for a cotton one, so always make sure to check your blanket’s care instructions before beginning the washing process.
Importance of following manufacturer’s instructions
Every weighted blanket is unique and comes with specific care instructions from the manufacturer. Following these instructions is key to maintaining the integrity and effectiveness of your blanket.
Can You Wash a Weighted Blanket in the Washing Machine?
Now, let’s address the elephant in the room. Yes, most weighted blankets can safely be washed in the washing machine.
Affirming the feasibility of washing a weighted blanket in a machine
It’s perfectly feasible to wash a weighted blanket in a washing machine. In fact, washing machines can often provide a thorough, balanced clean that’s hard to achieve by hand.
Factors to consider before washing a weighted blanket in a machine
Before tossing your blanket in the machine, consider its size and weight. If it’s too large or heavy for your machine, it might be best to use a commercial washing machine at a laundromat. Also, always check the care label for any specific instructions or prohibitions against machine washing.
The weight limitations of using a washing machine
If your blanket is more than 20 pounds, it may be too heavy for your standard washer. Overloading a washing machine can cause damage to its drum and motor. A good rule of thumb is to follow the manufacturer’s system – if they say hand wash only, then stick with hand washing.
Preparation Before Washing a Weighted Blanket in a Machine
Some simple prep work can make washing your weighted blanket a hassle-free process that will give you the cleanliest possible outcome.
Checking the blanket for any damages
Before washing your weighted blanket, be sure to check your blanket for any rips or damages. The agitation from a washing machine can turn a small tear into a big rip, so it’s sometimes best to repair it before washing.
Importance of load balancing
Balance is crucial when washing a weighted blanket. A lopsided weight distribution can leave your blanket unclean and can damage your washing machine.
Selecting appropriate detergent and settings
Use a gentle, non-bleach detergent for your weighted blanket. In terms of settings, opt for a gentle cycle and cool water to preserve the integrity of the blanket.
Step-by-Step Guide to Washing a Weighted Blanket in a Machine
Now that you know the dos and don’ts of washing a weighted blanket, here’s a simple, step-by-step guide for how to clean yours in a washing machine.
Detailed washing process
- Check the blanket for damages.
- Load the blanket into the washing machine evenly.
- Add a suitable amount of gentle detergent.
- Select a gentle wash cycle and cool water.
- Start the wash
Ideal number of spin cycles
One spin cycle is usually sufficient for a weighted blanket, but you can opt for two if your blanket is heavily soiled.
Essential considerations while drying a weighted blanket
After washing, you can usually machine dry your blanket on a low heat setting. However, air drying is the safest method and will prolong the life of your blanket. If you choose to air dry, lay your blanket out flat to prevent the beads from bunching up while it dries.
Potential Problems with Washing a Weighted Blanket in a Machine
While machine washing is typically safe for your weighted blanket, it’s important to be aware of some potential issues that can arise.
Possible damage to the machine due to blanket weight
A too-heavy blanket can potentially damage your washing machine, causing issues like an unbalanced drum or even motor breakdown over time.
Risk of uneven weight distribution
An unbalanced blanket can cause the weights to bunch up on one side, making it less effective when using it.
Damage to the blanket’s materials
If not washed correctly, the materials of your blanket can become worn or damaged, which can make the blanket feel less comfortable and reduce its lifespan.
Tips to Maintain a Weighted Blanket After Washing
After you’ve washed your weighted blanket, proper maintenance can help to keep it in tip-top shape.
Proper storage of weighted blankets
Store your weighted blanket in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight. Make sure it’s completely dry before storing to prevent mold or mildew.
Importance of regular airing
Let your blanket air out regularly to refresh it in between washings. This reduces the build-up of bacteria and odors and can prolong the time between necessary washes.
When to consider professional cleaning
If your blanket is heavily soiled or you’re having difficulty washing it yourself, consider having it professionally cleaned. This is a safe and effective method of cleaning your blanket without risking damage.
Alternative Cleaning Methods for Weighted Blankets
Aside from machine washing, there are a few other cleaning methods you might consider for your weighted blanket.
Using a commercial washing machine
Commercial machines at laundromats are built to handle heavier loads and can be a good option if you don’t feel your home machine is up to the task.
Hand washing a weighted blanket
Hand washing is a gentle, though laborious, method of cleaning your blanket. Just fill a tub with cold water and gentle soap, and work the solution through the blanket with your hands.
Professional weighted blanket cleaning services
There are professional services that will clean your weighted blanket for you. This can be a great option if your blanket is particularly large or heavy, or if it’s made from a delicate material.
Frequently Asked Questions About Washing Weighted Blankets
Everyone has some specific queries about washing weighted blankets. Let’s resolve those most common ones.
Common questions about washing weighted blankets
Q: Can I use bleach on my weighted blanket? A: No, bleach can damage the blanket’s materials.
Q: How often should I wash my weighted blanket? A: On average, every two to four weeks.
Q: Can I dry my weighted blanket in the dryer? A: Yes, but a low heat setting is best. Air drying is the preferred method.
Special laundering considerations
Are there any stains on your blanket? For stubborn stains, a spot-treatment with a gentle stain remover should suffice. Remember, always test on an inconspicuous spot first to ensure the stain remover won’t damage or discolor your blanket’s fabric.
How to handle common issues while washing a weighted blanket
If your blanket gets damaged, or if the weights come loose during washing, it’s best to seek professional help to fix the issues. In the meantime, you can often continue using the undamaged parts of your blanket as usual. But remember, try to avoid any issues by following the manufacturer’s care instructions and guidelines provided here. Happy cleaning!