How to wash an electric blanket: hand and machine washing heated blankets

Find out how to wash an electric blanket or heated blanket by hand and in the washing machine to keep it snuggle soft and stain free.

how to wash an electric blanket - woman putting electric blanket in washing machine - dreamland
(Image credit: Dreamland)

If you need to know how to wash an electric blanket, you've come to the right place. 

Just like weighted blankets, heated blankets have seen us through the coldest lockdown nights and then some. 

But you've probably found that over the winter, they've had their fair share of food spillages while you've been cuddled up on the sofa...

Or maybe yours is in need of a good ol' freshen up ... And if a spot clean just won't cut it, it's time to give it a proper wash. 

The secret to washing an electric blanket successfully is making sure that you've chosen the right wash cycle, keeping it away from too much heat or water. 

Experts at SleepSeeker explain more, 'The first thing you should do when attempting to wash it is check the tag.' 

'The instructions will be listed there or in the booklet that comes with it, and you should primarily take this advice that comes with the product.' 

'If the washing machine safe symbol is listed you should make sure the blanket is unplugged, and wash it on a gentle cycle.' 

'Be sure to make sure the water is at a cool to warm temperature, as water that is too hot can ruin it.'

So without further ado, we've got the lowdown on how to wash yours without ruining it, whether you're using your washer or not.

  • Looking for a new duvet? Click this way for the best duvets on the market.

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(Image credit: Getty)

How to wash an electric blanket in the washing machine 

Wondering how to wash an electric blanket in the washing machine? A word of warning: before putting your beloved heated blanket in the washer, it's paramount you remove all power cables and cords.

Most newer electric blankets have internal wiring that's waterproof so it's really the outer cords you need to disconnect.

After doing this, it's time to get that grubby electric blanket in the wash on a gentle cycle. Warning: A normal cycle could damage the inner workings, which might not be obvious but could pose a potential fire risk.

Here's how:

  • Make sure your blanket is free of crumbs and random debris by giving it a good shake out. 
  • Next, place it in the washing machine, spreading it out in the drum as best you can.
  • Add a few non-lint towels in to balance the load.
  • Learn your machine's washing symbols to choose the right cycle. We recommend a gentle cycle with cool or lukewarm water. 
  • Set the spin to the lowest setting to avoid damage to the internal components of the blanket. 
  • Add a mild detergent, without any bleach or fabric softener.
  • Let the machine wash it for two minutes, before stopping the machine immediately. Follow with a rinse cycle and low setting spin to get rid of suds and excess water.
  • Thinking of trading in your electric blanket for a weighted one? Find the best weighted blankets for stress reduction and deeper sleep in our buyer's guide.

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(Image credit: Getty)

How to wash an electric blanket by hand

We've got the info on how to wash an electric blanket by hand, if the washing machine method fills you with dread.

Handwashing your electric blanket will require all the cords and wiring to be detached. 

Most modern heated blankets have waterproof inner workings so you'll just be looking to remove the outer cords.

Here's how to wash your electric blanket by hand:

  • Fill your bathtub with cool, lukewarm water and use only enough water to submerge the blanket and agitate it.
  • Add a gentle laundry detergent and follow the instructions to the t, so you have enough detergent to clean but not too much that it's hard to rinse away all the suds, which if not rinsed could potentially damage your heated blanket. 
  • Mix the laundry detergent through the water to create a sudsy foam.
  • Then add the blanket, submerge it completely and let it soak for around 10 - 15 minutes.
  • After the 10 - 15 minutes, get your hands in the water to squeeze sections of blanket to help agitate stains and grubbiness, without wringing the blanket as this can damage the wiring.
  • Rinse the blanket with lukewarm water until the water runs clear.
  • Press down on the blanket to remove excess water avoiding wringing at all costs.

How to dry an electric blanket

Now you've learned how to wash an electric blanket, it's time to master how to dry it. Tumble drying isn't strictly recommended as it can damage wiring but when done right you can give it a short whirl in the dryer.

Sleepseeker's experts explain more: 'You can use a dryer to take the moisture out of the blanket, but you shouldn’t use this for too long.'

'Set a timer for no longer than 20 minutes on a low setting, and then hang it up to dry.'

'You should never dry clean an electric blanket (although it may seem convenient) as the chemicals used can damage the wiring and heating system - the same goes for ironing it.'

If this all sounds slightly precarious, air drying the heated blanket will ensure it's kept kept in good condition. Use a flat surface and lay it out, turning it every so often or alternatively hang it on the line to stretch it into its original shape.

  • On the lookout for a tumble dryer? Our buyer's guide to the best tumble dryers will help you in your search.

how to wash an electric blanket - person in bed with socks on with a blanket over them - slumberdown

(Image credit: Slumberdown )

How often should you wash your electric blanket? 

Now you've got the how to wash an electric blanket knack down, how often should you be washing yours?

SleepSeeker's experts say, 'In terms of how often you should wash it, once every few weeks is the ideal amount.'

If you've got a machine washable heated blanket, washing every couple of weeks makes most sense. 

Make sure you are alternating between tumble drying and air drying to keep your blanket's inner connections in tip-top condition.

Jenny McFarlane
Jenny McFarlane

Jenny is Senior Digital Editor and joined the team in January 2021. She also works on the homes brands' video show, on the Future Homes Network, which is packed full of ideas to help you make the most of your own home and garden. Since getting on the property market with her first apartment and then more recently a house, her passion for interior design and gardening has taken on a new lease of life. Jenny's currently on the lookout for a doer-upper to put her stamp on. She loves collecting and salvaging unique items (much to her other half's despair) but sniffing out stylish home bargains is her one true love. When she has a spare minute, she loves to do a spot of crafting, having studied textiles at Uni – although she hardly gets the chance with a toddler who keeps her permanently on her toes.