What could be better than coming home after a long day and have a cozy, heated blanket to soothe all your aches and pains? Electric blankets come in different types, but their common element is a heating unit that will keep you warm during the long winter nights.
So, with all those wires and electricity, do you know how to wash an electric blanket?
Well, the process is easier than it may seem. Here is a breakdown of the most important steps you need to take if you want to restore freshness to your electric blanket.
1. Disconnect the power cord
When washing an electric blanket, the first and the most important step is to unplug the power cord. The importance of this step cannot be stressed enough!
So, always double-check if the cable is unplugged, and be cautious at all times! Electric blankets need special care, and they can be dangerous if not treated properly.
In case you don’t know, heated blankets have a control unit, which offers you the possibility of regulating heat. More often than not, the controller will have three levels of heat – low, medium, and high. On top of that, new models of electric blankets can be equipped with a thermostat or a shut-off mechanism.
Given all these elements, it’s easy to see why you might be wondering if you can wash your electric blanket first?
Well, as long as you unplug the cord first, you should be safe to proceed with the cleaning process. Also, never submerge the control cord! And, we recommend that you check if the wires are visible if you are planning to put the blanket in the washer. If the wires have worn through fabric – discard the blanket for your safety.
2. Always check the instructions
As you know, all blankets and covers come with the so-called ‘product care’ label. Even though these instructions are not big in size, they are easy to see and you should not have trouble finding one. Yet, most people never even take a look at the writings on these tiny labels.
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But the information provided on these pieces of fabric can hold the key for cleaning electric blankets. Sounds silly? It’s not. Allow us to explain.
The reason why labels are so important lies in the fact that these user’s manuals will tell you how to clean an electric blanket the proper way. Even though heated blankets rely on the same concept, different models can have different cleaning needs. For that reason, it is important to check the instructions before you continue with the cleaning process.
Of course, the manufacturers are only providing recommendations on how to wash blankets. Their instructions are not set in stone, and you are free to try alternative methods. Yet, this is often a recipe for disaster, so try to go by the book as much as you can. By doing so, you will choose the method that is best suited for the given model of the blanket.
3. Pre-treat the blanket
One of the essential steps in cleaning electric blankets is called pre-treatment. As the name implies, this step begins before you actually put the blanket in the washer. Yet, we recommend that you never skip this element. Sometimes, it can solve the problem without resorting to full-blown washing and drying.
To clarify, pre-treatment starts with a visual inspection of the blanket. In other words, start by checking for dirt spots and other areas that need cleaning.
After that, use a mild detergent and soak the area for 5-15 minutes. Also, it is advisable to use cold water and gently tap the spot with a dry cloth. Likewise, you should never scrub two pieces of the blanket against each other.
All in all, it is vital to soak the spots before you try anything else. In many cases, this step will resolve the issue. If not, then you can proceed with our other tips on how to wash an electric blanket.
4. Wash in lukewarm water
Finally, we get to the actual washing. First of all, you should check if your washing machine will be able to ‘accommodate’ the bulky and heavy heated blanket. If not, the laundromat is your best alternative.
In case your washer is capable of handling electric blankets, you should set the cycle on ‘gentle’ or ‘delicate, depending on the type of the machine. Also, one of the important rules on how to clean a heated blanket says that you should wash it in lukewarm water.
Even though the temperature of the water may not seem like a big deal, this factor can be of importance. Why? Well, stop for a moment and consider tumbling those wires in boiling hot water for 10-15 minutes. Do you think that the wiring would survive such torture?
On top of that, machine washable electric blankets are allergic to chemicals. In other words, never use bleach when washing heated blankets! Again, the reason for this comes from the sensitive electric elements that could be damaged by harsh chemicals and solutions.
5. Don’t use the blanket until it’s completely dry
Now that you know how to wash a heated blanket, how about learning how to dry one? After all, drying the blanket is equally important as washing it.
First of all, you should never plug-in the control cord until the blanket is fully dry. By doing so, you will reduce the risk of getting electrocuted. Or, you could damage the wiring. Either way, avoid mixing electricity and damp fabrics.
In addition, we can also mention that users should never iron an electric blanket. Of course, the reason is pretty obvious. The wiring inside the blanket prevents such actions. Instead of ironing, you should air-dry the blanket.
The bottom line
Even though the heated blankets have a slightly demanding cleaning process, these blankets are worth it. They can help with chronic aches and pains, alongside providing you with better sleep. For that reason, it is important to follow the steps on how to wash an electric blanket. If you do so, your heated blanket will serve you for years to come.