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There is nothing as comfy as cuddling up in a toasty bed on a chilly winter night. An electric blanket remains your best bet for a good night’s rest when temperatures drop to single digits. It is the perfect gift for people who live in areas with single-digit temperature readings. But how will you clean your electric blanket when it needs some tender loving?
It took me a while to figure out how to Clean an Electric Blanket without ruining them. In fact, and I’m ashamed to say, I destroyed two electric blankets over the years before getting the hang of doing it correctly.
One disintegrated in the washing machine, while the other one survived; it never worked again. The experiences taught me that you can’t just throw an electric blanket into a washing machine with some detergent and hope everything will turn out fine.
Whether you are tired of that musty smell or just doing some spring cleaning, knowing how to clean an electric heating blanket without ruining it is an excellent way to freshen your bed and get more value from your investment.
This article explains the process and ensures you get your blanket clean, fresh, and plug-in ready when temperatures drop on chilly winter nights.
How to Clean an Electric Blanket by hand
Step 1: Unplug and disconnect the cord from the mains
To wash your electric blanket by hand, follow the instructions below to avoid damaging the wiring system while cleaning the fabric.
Before handwashing, ensure it is not plugged into an electric source. This is very important, maybe the most important thing you should do before carrying out any type of cleaning on your blanket.
Once you are sure the blanket is not connected to a power source, check if the power cord can be disconnected from the main unit.
Unplugging and disconnecting are important to prevent electrical or circuit damage to the blanket.
Step 2: Fill with water
You need a kitchen sink, basin, or bathtub for this step. Use only lukewarm water as too hot or too cold water will damage the blanket internal wiring. Hot water can melt some of the internal components of the blanket, making it dangerous to use. Use a tub or a container that is big enough to submerge the blanket completely.
Step: 3 Add cleaning detergent
What quantity, you may ask? It is crucial to add the correct quantity of detergent to the right amount of water and temperature. It becomes difficult to rinse off the blanket with too much detergent, which might penetrate into the internal components and cause damages. Too little, and it won’t clean the fabric efficiently. Refer to the product detergent label and add the quantity required.
Also, use a mild detergent to prevent fading of the fabric. This will help it retain its color much longer. Disperse the detergent in the water and ensure even distribution.
Once the water and detergent are evenly mixed, add the blanket. Allow it to soak in the soapy water for at least 10 minutes with all parts wholly submerged.
Step 4: Wash the electric blanket
After soaking for 10 minutes or more, sit it around the washing sink to remove dirt, dust, and debris stuck on the fabric from daily use.
Rinse with lukewarm water, do not wring it. Wringing an electric blanket is a sure way to damage the internal wiring. Gently squeeze to get rid of the water without damaging the unit.
Step 5: Air Dry
One safe way to dry an electric blanket is by using natural air. You can air dry on an airier, clothesline, or flat surface. Stretch the blanket out when drying to retain its original shape when dry and to avoid surprises.
Do not tumble dry unless it is stated as safe by the manufacturer. Follow all tumbling instructions as stated in the manual. High heat will damage your electric blanket.
How to Clean an Electric Blanket in a washing machine
Step 1: Unplug and disconnect the cord from the mains
Newer models of electric blankets come with a detachable power cord – this is the component that connects your blanket to the power mains. Remove the cord before throwing the blanket in a machine washer to prevent damages and minimize the risk of a malfunction.
Ensure that your blanket has no protruding wires from the heating element and there are no dents on the fabrics. If you spot an unusual tear or wires protruding from the blanket heating element, please discontinue the use of the electric blanket.
If you notice damage on the socket or on the mechanism where the wires usually disconnect, contact the manufacturer before washing the blanket. If there is damage to the electrical component, this unit can be dangerous to use.
Note that not all electric blankets are machine washable. Older models do not come with detachable power cords and are therefore not machine washable. Check the manufacturer’s instructions to see how best to wash your blanket.
Step 2: Inspect your electric blanket
Flip your blanket to see if there are instructional labels or warnings by the manufacturer. Read through it carefully, and follow all the instructions.
Step 3: Set your washer to the correct program
Most electric blankets require a gentle cycle; ensure your washing machine has this setting. To be on the safer side, carefully check the manufacturer’s washing manual to ascertain what program works best for your device.
It is also vital to select the appropriate washing temperature. As stated in the handwashing procedure above, hot water can damage the electric blanket. Too cold water will not clean the fabric effectively. Wash your blankets at 30 or 40 degrees and never at 90 degrees – this temperature will definitely damage some of the wiring components.
Should an electric blanket be placed in a dryer?
After the wash cycle, you might be tempted to toss your electric blanket into a dryer. Please note, excessive agitation and heat will damage your electric blanket. Check the manufacturer’s guide for drying instructions. Unless it is clearly stated as tumble-dry safe, do not toss your electric blanket into a machine dryer.
Once you’ve washed the blanket, whether to machine dry or not is a valid question. Remember that it is advisable to naturally hang it to dry outdoors with the internal wires and electronic components.
Whatever your preferred drying method, ensure the blanket is completely dry before plugging it into a power source on the bed. It is an open secret that water and electricity don’t mix. Therefore, allow plenty of time outdoors for the blanket to dry out.
After following all the instructions above, hang the blanket somewhere dry and warm for some days. Airing cupboards are perfect for this, as long as the unit is not placed directly under hot pipes or a hot water tank.
If you will be storing the electric blanket during the warm months. Ensure you completely air dry it before putting it in a storage bag or bin. Dampness can trigger the growth of mildews that will ruin the electrical/electronic components for next year’s use.
Important safety information
Before cleaning an electronic device like your heated blanket, understanding how to safely execute the process before starting is important.
- Do not dry clean your electric blanket. The chemical might damage the insulation surrounding the heating elements.
- Ironing the electrical component can damage the device insulation, do not iron the blanket.
- Check the blanket after washing to ensure there are no damages to the component parts before using it.
- Ensure the unit is completely dry before plugging it into the power mains.
A heated blanket can be a pricey investment for cold winter nights. Still, it is worth it, as you stand to benefit both physically and mentally.
With many electric blankets on the market, choosing the best product to help you get a restful night’s sleep can be challenging. Luckily, this article links to the 7 best electric blankets you can buy.
To make your investment functional for a long time, give it a proper TLC when it comes to keeping it fresh and clean.
The steps above will help you safely and properly wash your blanket. Take action now, and go back to enjoying your toasty blanket on chilly nights.