How to Wash a Weighted Blanket
I love my weighted blanket – and for the last two years it has been sitting on the bottom of my bed ready for bed time every night. Then I spilled a half a cup of coffee over it. Shit fuck! What now? How to wash a weighted blanket?
I realise that I probably should have looked into washing my weighted blanket before now – but because it is only a ‘Sometimes blanket’ – it gets overlooked. Luckily I managed to get mine spic and span, dried and back on my bed – in-tact!
More Reading: Where to Buy Weighted Blankets Online
Little Hint For Washing Weighted Blankets in the Future:
You can now purchase Weighted Blanket Covers – this means that if you have an inexpensive blanket that contains sand or small pebbles, it doesn’t matter if you spill things on the blanket as you can just remove the cover and wash that before popping it back on!
How Often Should I Wash My Weighted Blanket?
Blankets that are used nightly should be washed two to three times tops per year. Less if you can! If you eat in bed (and good on you!) – you may need to up this to four times per year.
If you just want to ‘freshen’ your weighted blanket (and you have the space) – pop it in the freezer overnight. This will kill any bacteria in the blanket without getting it wet.
Step 1: Check What the Weighted Material Is Inside the Blanket
How you wash your blanket will depend on the contents. Weighted blankets get their weight from a variety of heavy pellets. Most blankets are made of either:
Sand used to be used in the early days of weighted blankets – and now it is a cheap filler ingredient in low-cost blankets.
Like Sand, rice was used in the early days of weighted blankets. Avoid rice-filled blankets where at all possible.
The most common weighted material in modern weighted blankets is the glass beads. They are great as they can be washed in the washing machine and don’t go mouldy. They also ‘settle well’ over your body when you sleep so they are an excellent option.
Plastic Poly Pellets (small round plastic beads)
Non-toxic small plastic pellets that are used in the ‘lower weighted’ blankets – especially in those used for little kids. Another great option as these types of blankets can be machine-washed easily.
Steel Shot Beads
Steel Shot Beads in weighted blankets tend to be really noisy as they ‘clang’ up against each other – not conducive to a good night’s sleep!
Hulled Grains (such as lavender or buckwheat)
These can rot very easily when they get wet and can also go rancid in hotter climates.
Pebbles or Aquarium Stones
Another cheap filling for lower-priced weighted blankets.
You can check the label to see what is on the inside. If you don’t have a label – you can probably have a good guess by the feel of the weights.
Some Other Hints in Deciding the Contents:
- Steel Shot Beads are noisy when they touch each other
- Glass Beads are pretty heavy so they tend to make thinner blankets when laid flat.
- Sand in weighted blankets is pretty old-school now – so if you have a newer blanket – there is a good chance it won’t be sand.
- Cheap weighted blankets are more likely to contain sand, pebbles or aquarium stones.
Turns out my weighted blanket contains glass beads.
If Your Blanket is Made with Sand or Rice Weights:
Sand weighted blankets are perhaps the hardest to clean as you can’t just immerse them in water – or the sand will expand. It will also all clump together and it is extremely hard to dry.
Sand blankets should just be spot cleaned on the outside.
Grab a cup of warm water and add a few drops of washing up liquid – dip in a clean cloth and dab the stain. Then take the blanket outside to dry in the sun. Don’t hang it up on your washing line – it will break it – just fold it over an outdoor chair or similar and let the air get to the blanket.
If Your Blanket is Made with Pebbles or Aquarium Stones:
The more inexpensive weighted blankets can be filled with small pebbles and aquarium stones. And although they are cheap, they are a bitch to clean because if you get them wet through – you can get mould as it is extremely difficult to dry the filling.
So the key to this type of weighted blanket is to avoid getting the contents wet altogether.
Follow the same rules as washing the Sand Blankets – spot clean only and air dry in the sun.
If Your Blanket is Made with Glass Beads or Poly Pellets:
Weighted blankets containing glass beads are the most common type of weighted blanket. Luckily – these are also the easiest to clean as they are machine washable. If your washing machine has a load size of 10 – 12kg, then you can wash your weighted blanket in your washing machine on a gentle cycle.
Note: You probably don’t want to wash a weighted blanket that exceeds 6kg in your washing machine. For really large and heavy weighted blankets, take them to your local dry cleaner to have them washed in an appropriately sized washer.
Ensure it is a warm (not hot) wash and only use half the amount of washing powder you normally would use in a traditional load. You can also wash your weighted blanket in cold water if that’s all you have on hand.
- Don’t use any fabric softeners!
- Don’t use any bleach
Once the washing machine has finished, feel the blanket to see how much water the blanket has retained. If it still seems very wet, use an extra spin cycle to spin out the excess water. Remember, the weighted blanket will be extra heavy when you go to remove it from the washing machine.
How to Dry Your Washed Weighted Blanket:
Find a nice sunny spot outside where the dog can’t get to it – and lay the weighted blanket flat. If you have a trampoline – this is perfect as the air can dry the blanket from both below and above.
Every few hours, turn the blanket and ‘move’ the weighted contents around to ensure it all dries.
You cannot place a weighted blanket in a clothes dryer. It will be way too heavy and will ruin your dryer. Some blankets do say that they can be tumble dried but we here at Stay at Home Mum really don’t recommend it.
I love my weighted blanket – it helps with my restless legs at night and I have slept so much better for it. Now I can keep it super fresh too!