Snuggling into a cozy electric blanket on a cold winter’s night is hard to beat, but like all bedding, electric blankets occasionally need to be cleaned. If you’re worried about how to clean an electric blanket, you can relax. The process is actually pretty simple, and it doesn’t require an expensive trip to the dry cleaner! In fact, the harsh chemicals used in dry cleaning can damage insulation, wiring, and heating elements.
Since dry cleaning is out, you may be wondering: how do you clean an electric blanket?
Can you wash an electric blanket? Fortunately, in most cases, the answer is “yes.”
Although older electric blankets may need to be washed by hand, most new models can be washed right in the washing machine! To keep your electric blanket fresh and in working condition, it’s important to take extra care when washing. Harsh twisting or agitation can damage the interior wiring and heating components.
Learn more …
Machine Washing an Electric Blanket
Cleaning an electric blanket in a washing machine is the easiest way to keep it from smelling like old socks, stale popcorn, and whatever else it comes into contact with. It’s best to use a large capacity machine that does not overly constrict the blanket. If possible, refer to the manufacturer’s care instructions, which may be included in your user manual. Or, if – like many of us – you tend to misplace those pesky manuals, you can search for it online or follow these tips:
- Disconnect the control box/power cord from the blanket. (Most modern electric blankets have a power cord that can be disconnected during washing. If you have an older model that does not have a detachable power cord, see below for hand-washing instructions.)
- Check to make sure that wires are not exposed through frayed or damaged fabric before placing in the machine.
- Before washing, you may want to use a lint roller to remove pet hair and other debris that tends to stick to the fabric.
- Using a pre-soak setting, soak the blanket in cold water for 10 to 15 minutes. This will help loosen stains before the wash cycle.
- Wash on the shortest cycle possible, on the “gentle” or “delicate” setting. Use only a small amount of mild laundry detergent, and do not add bleach or any other liquids/chemicals.
Hand Washing an Electric Blanket
If you need to hand wash an electric blanket, be sure to avoid immersing the control box/power cord in water. If the cord is detachable, remove it from the blanket. And, of course, make sure that the blanket is not plugged in!
Fill a large tub with cool water and a small amount of mild detergent. Carefully submerge the blanket, keeping the power cord out of the water, and let it soak 10 to 15 minutes. Using mild pressure, swish the blanket underwater for a few minutes, paying special attention to any stubborn stains.
Drain or empty the tub, gently squeeze soapy water from the blanket, and rinse thoroughly with cold water. Again, use very mild pressure to squeeze out excess water before drying.
Removing Problem Stains and Odors from an Electric Blanket
If your electric blanket has unsightly stains or strong odors from pet urine or other unpleasant substances, you may want to pre-treat the affected spots before hand or machine washing.
Since harsh chemicals and solvents can damage delicate wiring and components, it’s best to try gentle alternatives. Fill a small spray bottle with equal parts distilled white vinegar and water. Spray the solution liberally on soiled spots and let sit for several minutes before washing. For grease or oil stains, spot clean with a little dish soap and a damp sponge before laundering.
Drying an Electric Blanket
We’ve answered the question, “Can you wash an electric blanket?” But, what gets wet must be dried, so what is the fastest way to dry an electric blanket?
Typically, electric blankets can be partially dried in the dryer, but it’s important to avoid high heat. Be especially cautious if using a commercial dryer because they run at higher temperatures than home models. The dryer should be large enough to allow the blanket to tumble freely. (If the dryer is too small, the blanket will get twisted, possibly damaging the wires.) Use a low heat setting and dry for no more than 10 to 15 minutes.
Remove the blanket while it’s still damp and drape over a strong clothesline or shower curtain rod until it’s fully dry. Also, as common sense may dictate, do not reconnect the control box/power cord or plug the unit into the wall until the blanket is completely dry.
Follow these tips, and your electric blanket should keep you warm for years to come!
No matter what electrical items you use – from electric blankets to heating pads to the latest gaming systems – ensuring that the electrical wiring in your home is up to code should always be a high priority.
Improperly installed or damaged wiring poses significant fire and safety hazards. If you have any questions or concerns, be sure to contact the professionals at Mr. Electric® any time. You can schedule an appointment with your local Mr. Electric online or call us at (844) 866-1367.
Cleaning of any kind can be hard for busy people to keep up with when juggling their housework. Let Molly Maid help! Molly Maid is a fellow member of the Neighborly family of home services brands. Create your own custom cleaning plan today!