How to Wash Blankets at Home Without Ruining Their Fabric

How to Wash Blankets at Home Without Ruining Their Fabric

Fuzzy blankets are the best thing to cuddle up in on a cold winter night. While watching a movie or at a sleepover, blankets keep us warm. But blankets, like any other piece of bedding or clothing, need to be regularly washed. Whether a throw blanket, a comforter, or a quilt blanket at home, it needs to be washed at least once a month or a few months to prevent dirt from piling up. You can wash most blankets in the washing machine, but some of them may be more fragile and require washing by hand. If you are not sure of which cleaning method you can safely use to wash your blanket without running its fabric, you can read up on a few tips below on how to wash heavy blankets at home.

How to Clean Blankets at Home

The method of cleaning your blanket will depend largely on the material or fabric of your blanket – whether it is woollen, cotton, or mink. Each material requires a specific way to wash so that the fabric does not get ruined. Let’s have a look –

1. Woollen Blankets

Wool blankets are one of the most durable blankets out there. They are warm and soft. You can clean even dirtiest of woollen blankets with a brush. You can wash them a few times a year. Don’t use harsh detergents on woollen blankets as it may damage to the wool. While washing your woollen blankets at home, here are a few things you will need to keep in mind.

Woollen blankets

What You Will Need

  • A washing machine
  • A mild detergent
  • A soft bristle brush

Steps to Clean

  • Use a soft brush to brush your throw or wool blanket. Lay the blanket on a flat surface and brush along its length in one direction. This ensures that the wool fibres all align in the same direction, retaining the structural strength and lessening any abrasion.
  • Since wool is quite dense, any liquid stain will get absorbed immediately unless cleaned within the first few minutes of setting in. For this blanket, use a mild detergent and warm water to clean stains as soon as possible. Don’t scrub, just soak the stain and blot with a cloth. Scrubbing will make the stain set in more deeply.
  • If your blanket is quite heavily soiled, you can wash it in a washing machine using cold water and a wool-friendly detergent. Allow them to first soak in this mixture for 15 minutes inside the machine. Run the washer for two minutes on a gentle cycle, turn it off, and switch to rinse.
  • Avoid putting your wool blanket in a dryer as this can destroy its softness. You can hang your wool blanket outside to dry but avoid exposure to direct sunlight as this can cause the wool fibres to weaken.
  • Store your woollen blanket in a cool, dark place. When you take it out of storage after a long time, you can put them in the dryer under cool air setting for two minutes to soften the fabric before using it again.

2. Mink Blankets

Mink blankets are made of acrylic, fine long fibres and are machine washable. However, high-quality mink blankets still need to be washed carefully.

Mink blankets

What You Will Need

  • A washing machine (heavy-duty, commercial)
  • A mild detergent
  • A tumble dryer

Steps to Clean

  • You need to use a commercial washing machine, such as those in Laundromats for washing mink blankets because mink blankets become quite heavy with moisture and can clog your home washing machine.
  • Harsh detergents can reduce the durability of your mink blanket so use a soft detergent to wash it.
  • Wash your mink blanket in only cold water as hot or warm water can leach out its colour. Set the machine on a gentle cycle.
  • Dry your mink blanket in the tumble dryer strictly in the cool air setting, as hot air will make the acrylic fibres melt. The drying time will be quite long as mink blankets take time to lose moisture.

3. Fleece Blankets

Fleece fabric is something which has to be laundered very specifically to avoid damaging its fibres and softness. Washing a fleece blanket like a cotton blanket is a strict no-no.

Fleece blanket

What You Will Need

  • A dishwashing liquid
  • A Washing machine
  • A Mild detergent that is free of bleach
  • A dryer

Steps to Clean

  • If your fleece blanket is stained, add a drop of dishwashing liquid on the stain and leave it for ten minutes. Blot that portion gently with a paper towel to lift the stain. Never rub the liquid in as it will press deeper into the blanket.
  • Wash the fleece blanket in a washing machine, setting the machine on a gentle cycle. Use warm water to wash it. Strong washing causes the fleece to knot. Add the detergent. Avoid fabric softeners as they may damage the water-repellent finish on the fleece blanket.
  • Tumble dry the blanket in a dryer on a low heat so that you can prevent damage. Fold them immediately afterwards so that wrinkles do not appear. Never iron fleece blankets as the heat can damage and leave marks.

4. Cotton Blankets

Cotton blankets are quite easy to wash at home in a washing machine. If it is not dirty, you can just hang it outside for some time in the sun to freshen it up.

Cotton blankets

What You Will Need

  • A washing machine
  • A soft liquid detergent
  • A dryer

Steps to Clean

  • Put the cotton blanket in the washing machine. You can also wash it along with other cotton clothing or items.
  • Add the mild detergent and set the machine for a gentle cycle wash in cold water with a cold rinse to prevent the blanket from shrinking.
  • You can dry the cotton blanket in the dryer by setting it on medium heat.

A blanket in a washing machine

Important Points to Consider While Washing Blankets

Here are some tips and points you should keep in mind while washing blankets, including washing feather and fluffy blankets

  • Read the instructions properly on the blanket tab. This will help you avoid unnecessary damage to the fabric.
  • Always get the dust out of the fabric before washing the blanket, especially if you are using a woollen blanket, as the dust accumulates in it. You can shake the blanket to remove the dust or even use a vacuum cleaner.
  • Never use bleach to wash blankets. Using a fabric softener or a bleach can reduce the water-repellent coating some blankets have. So, use a mild detergent.
  • Manually trying to squeeze or wring out water from your blanket after a wash might not be a good idea if your blanket is heavy. You can dry it in a dryer but strictly over a low heat setting.
  • An important tip that must be kept in mind before washing a blanket is to remove any liquid stains from the blanket by gently blotting with a paper towel, dipped in dishwashing liquid or a liquid soap solution. This will make it easier to get the stain out.

FAQ’s

Here are some commonly asked questions about washing blankets at home along with their answers:

1. Which Is the Best Way to Store a Blanket After Washing?

In case of a woollen blanket, store it in a cool, dark place. Direct light or heat can destroy high-quality wool fabric so make sure you don’t leave your woollen blankets lying around on your bed when not in use. In case of fleece blankets, lay them out on a flat surface and press down with your hands to remove the fluffiness before folding them. For other blankets, simply fold them and place in your linen closet. You can slip in a scented dryer sheet in the last fold so that your blanket retains its freshness even while in storage.

2. How Can I Remove Dust from My Blanket Without Washing It?

You can use a soft bristle brush to brush out the dust from your blanket. Wool blankets especially accumulate a lot of dust over time. You should remove the dust by shaking the blanket and brushing it. In case of cotton and other blankets, after brushing off the dust, you can hang them outside on a terrace which receives sunlight so that they get a crisp and airy freshness. This is a way to clean your blanket without washing. But make sure not to go months or years without washing your blanket. Brushing can remove dust but not stains.

3. Do I Need to Wash Baby Blankets Before Use?

Yes, you definitely need to wash all fabric items that come into contact with your baby’s skin and that includes blankets as well. This is because a baby’s skin is sensitive and can get irritated very easily with abrasive or unclean fabric. Use a gentle, baby-friendly detergent while washing baby blankets, the detergent should not constitute dyes or smells.

4. How Often Should You Wash Your Pet’s Blankets?

Bedding for your pets should be washed and changed at least once a week to get rid of the bacteria. This can help your pet’s skin look healthy and also remove any bad odours. The best way to wash dog blankets or cat blankets is by washing them once a week with gentle, scent-free detergent in hot water. Wash them separately; do not mix your pet’s blankets with your own clothes. If you see any tears or damage in the blanket or any loose stuffing coming out, replace them with new blankets immediately.

Washing blankets on a regular basis is very important as it can help you prevent contracting allergies from the dust and prevent itching or scratching of your skin resulting from your blankets being dirty. If your blanket tends to lose its filling or fluffiness while in the washing machine, you can place it inside a pillowcase before washing. Also, hard water can destroy the fabric of some blankets, so depending on the type of blanket, use small amounts of fabric softener to keep your blankets soft. Wash your blankets the right way and stay warm!

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