Can You Wash Heated Blankets?

Living in Littleton, CO, means you experience some cold winter nights. Nothing makes these nights cozier than snuggling up with a cup of hot cocoa, a good movie, and a warm electric blanket. But what if you accidentally spill your hot cocoa on the blanket? How do you clean it up? 

No need to worry! There’s an easy answer, and you can do it right in your home! Taking care of your electric blanket may prolong its life, too. The harsh chemicals dry cleaners use can damage the electrical components inside the blanket.     

How can you wash heated blankets while following electrical safety recommendations if the dry cleaner is a bad idea? When those outdoor temperatures get cold in Littleton, CO, you can keep your electric blanket fresh and clean by following these guidelines.  

Best Ways to Wash Heated Blankets 

You can toss some heated blankets in the washing machine for easy cleaning. However, it’s crucial to check the manufacturer’s recommendations to ensure you’re practicing electrical safety. 

You can’t wash some heated blankets, and others require hand washing with a mild detergent. A user’s manual should come in the box with your blanket and give you specific directions for cleaning it.  

In a Washing Machine 

The easiest way to clean a heated blanket is by tossing it into the washing machine if it’s allowable. Before you know it, that hot cocoa stain and whatever other smells are lingering will be washed away. 

It’s best to use a high-capacity machine to prevent the blanket from tangling. Always refer to the user’s manual, which likely can be found online if you’ve lost it like so many of us do. 

The manufacturer of your heating blanket will probably recommend something similar to the following steps: 

  • Disconnect the power cord for electrical safety     
  • Inspect the blanket to ensure there aren’t any exposed wires
  • Remove any pet hair or debris using a lint roller 
  • Loosen any stains by pre-soaking the blanket in cold water for 10 minutes
  • Use a gentle or delicate cycle with a small about of laundry detergent 

Never add any bleach or other harsh chemicals while washing your heated blanket. 

Hand Washing the Blanket 

Some older heated blankets don’t have a removable power cord, so they need to be hand washed. If you have this type of blanket, be careful not to immerse the power cord in water and make sure it is unplugged while you’re cleaning it. That’s electrical safety 101!    

When you are ready to begin washing the blanket, fill a large basin with cool water and mild detergent. Place the blanket into the tub, keeping an eye on the power cord. Allow it to soak for approximately 15 minutes, then begin agitating the blanket underwater. 

Drain the tub and squeeze any remaining water from the blanket. Rinse it thoroughly using cold water, but use mild pressure to avoid damage. 

Removing Ugly Stains and Foul Odors 

Your heated blanket probably has some nasty stains and smells if you have pets or kids. Pre-treating the affected areas before washing may be helpful to ensure these areas get clean. 

Chemicals and other solutions can be harmful to the wiring inside the blanket, so it’s best to use alternative methods. 

You can use a spray bottle filled with equal parts distilled white vinegar and water. This mixture can be sprayed directly onto the stained areas and sit for a few minutes before washing. If the stains are grease or oil, spot-treat the area with some dish soap and a toothbrush before washing.   

Drying a Heated Blanket 

The next logical step after washing your heated blanket is drying it. But most dryers operate with high heat and can damage the internal components. If your dryer has a low or air setting, you can toss it in for no more than 10-15 minutes because the tumbling motion can also damage the wires and cords.

Your blanket will come out partially dry, but you can drape it over a clothesline or shower curtain rod to finish drying it. Wait until it is completely dried before reconnecting it to the power cord or plugging it into the wall.   

How Often Should a Heated Blanket Get Washed? 

Now you know the answer to “can you wash heated blankets?” You’re probably also wondering, “how often should I wash it?” 

That’s really up to you. Wash your heated blanket as often as it needs it, but a good rule is to wash it on the same schedule as your other bedding. You should also clean it one final time before it’s put away for the warmer Littleton, CO, months. This will ensure it is protected from growing mold while stored away.  

Advice from a Local Electrician 

Remember that heated blankets are electrical devices. You should never use it if there is any exposed wire or it does not respond to the controls, or else you and your family might be at risk for electrical burns. 

Heated blankets are a supplement to the heating system in your house. If you have any issues with your heated blanket or the electricity in your Littleton, CO, home, the local electricians at MZ Electric are here to help. Give us a call to see how our skilled technicians can solve your electrical problems!