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How to Safely and Properly Wash an Electric Blanket

Updated September 17, 2019

An electric blanket is easily the best of both worlds – a soft cover that offers comfort and softness on your bed; while at the same time emitting a heat that is soothing and can also possess healing properties for aches and pains.

We all know how wonderful an electric blanket can be and the many advantages offered when you personally own one is discussed widely among friends and family but there is actually one downfall to an electric product like this. This downfall is quite simple: it is a big item and one that needs proper cleaning in order to maintain its quality but how exactly should you wash an electric blanket? And can you wash an electric blanket?

With a normal generic quilt or bedspread, you remove it from the bed and pop it in the washer or send it to the dry cleaners, and then re-make your bed with a fresh cover. How exactly should you wash something that literally has electricity and power cords running in between layers of material? It’s actually quite similar to how you wash a heated mattress pad.

Throughout this article, we are going to discuss and discover the proper steps to do exactly that! Luckily, technology has advanced to the point that the wiring in electric linens can be submerged in water, providing the proper instructions are followed. If you have access to a washing machine, knowing how to properly clean big items can add money back into your wallet, when you don’t have to pay for your electric throw to be professionally washed. And who doesn’t love saving money whenever and wherever they can?

What Will You Need to Wash an Electric Blanket

It is possible to wash an electric bedspread but there are a few things that you will need to purchase or have on hand to do so safely and properly.

To properly wash an electric blanket while maintaining safe protocols you will need the following items:

  • A washing machine with adjustable cycles or a large tub if washing by hand.
  • A gentle or mild laundry detergent – choose a brand that is trusted and will not bleach the material.
  • A clothesline for drying or a flat surface, such as a kitchen table or hardwood floor.

 

How to Wash your Electric Blanket

 

Hand Wash

If you choose to clean and wash your electric linen by hand, you will need to follow these electric blanket washing instructions in order to properly remove dust and debris from the linen while ensuring the wiring throughout the material:

 

— Ensure all cables are disconnected from their power source

Before introducing your bedspread to any water source, it is crucial to make sure all cables and power cords (any cords that are detachable) are removed. Most modern electric models have internal wiring protected by waterproof coating for this reason.

This step will not only save your linen from irreparable damage but also prevent the chance of an electrical surge in the water, which can create fire hazards during the washing process or later during use.

 

— Fill up a tub with lukewarm water

The water used for washing your electric bedspread must be lukewarm, as cold and hot water can have damaging effects on the internal wiring of your product. Cold water can freeze the wiring throughout the item and hot water can fry not only the internal wiring, but also power cord outlets. Use only enough water to allow for submersion of the bedspread.

Choose a tub that has ample room to completely submerge your linen spread and allow for movement.

 

— Pour the correct amount of laundry detergent into the water

The amount of laundry detergent is just as important as the amount of water used in the cleaning process. Not enough detergent and your heated throw will not be cleaned; too much detergent and you run the risk of suds soaking through the material and damaging the internal components of your electric blankie.

Choose a mild or gentle detergent that will keep the quality of the blanket and also be less damaging to your skin.

 

— Cycle the laundry detergent through the water

Do not put your electric linen and laundry detergent in the tub at the same time but instead use your hands to cycle the detergent through the water to create a sudsy foam.

 

— Add the blanket to the water

Once the detergent is evenly dispersed through the water, add your blanket to the water and submerge it completely. Allow the blanket to soak in the soapy water for approximately 15 minutes.

 

— Washing the Blanket

After the electric bedspread has soaked for the approximate 15 minutes, gently squeeze the blanket in sections to remove dust and debris that has accumulated over use. DO NOT wring out your blanket as this can damage the wires and render the blanket useless.

Rinse the blanket out under lukewarm water and gently squeeze the material to remove excess water, avoiding the common wringing motion that is an automatic reflex.

 

— Dry Your Electric Bedspread

Do not put your electric linen in the dryer, as the high heat can cause lasting damage to power outlets and internal cords. Unless you can turn the heat of your dryer to low or even air, it is not recommended you use a dryer to dry your electric blanket. If your dryer does have these options, it is only recommended that you partially dry the blanket as the dryer’s tumble motion can also damage cords, as the movement is far too intense for the delicate wiring inside.

Use a clothesline or flat surface to dry your blanket all day or all night. Use the clothesline to stretch the blanket back to its original shape, or if using a flat surface; spread the blanket evenly out into its original shape.

If using a flat surface, allow for approximately one hour of drying time before flipping the blanket over to allow for drying on the side that is resting on the surface.

 

Machine Wash

Advancements in electrical work, such as products from Sunbeam, has made it possible to wash an electric blanket in your washing machine, provided that a degree of caution is used.

Make sure your washing machine has adjustable cycles, as a regular cycle is far too rough for the process of washing your electric blankie without damage.

 

— Ensure all cables are disconnected from their power source

Before introducing your blanket to your washing machine, it is super important to ensure that all cables and power cords (any cords that can detached) are removed. Most modern electric blankets have internal wiring protected by waterproof coating so it is only the cords you can see and remove that are important.

 

— Set your washer to lukewarm water and add laundry detergent

As with hand-washing, the water used in a machine wash must be lukewarm to ensure there is no lasting damage to your electric blanket.

Use a gentle laundry detergent that is free of harsh cleaners or bleach to prevent staining on the material of the blanket. Allow the washer to finish filling up with water and detergent to the appropriate amount. This will turn the detergent into the sudsy cleaning power that your blanket needs.

 

— Set the washer to a delicate or gentle cycle

The importance of using your washing machine’s delicate or gentle washing cycle cannot be stressed enough. A normal cycle will damage the blanket and the scary part is that damage is not visible to the naked eye. The potential of a fire hazard is increased and the wiring can spark the next time the electric linen is plugged in for use.

 

— Turn off the wash cycle after two minutes

It is crucial that the washing cycle is stopped after two minutes. These two minutes are ample time to thoroughly clean your blanket without causing lasting damage.

 

— Allow for a rinse and spin cycle

After stopping your washer once the two minute mark has been reached, it is safe to allow your washing machine to proceed through the rinse cycles and then spin cycle. This option will remove any suds from the material of the blanket and gently spin excess water from it as well.

— Dry your electric blanket

It is recommended that you avoid putting your electric bedspread in the dryer, as the high heat can cause lasting damage to power outlets and internal cords. If your dryer has the option for a low heat or air dry, it is safe to partially dry the blanket provided you remove the blanket after approximately 15 to 20 minutes. This timeframe is recommended as the dryers’ tumbling movement and consistent heat is far too intense for the delicate wiring inside.

The best way to dry your electric blanket is to use a clothesline or flat surface. Flat surfaces can be a kitchen table (depending on size) or the floor (not carpeted). Use the clothesline to stretch the blanket back to its original shape, or if using a flat surface; spread the blanket evenly out into its original shape.

If using a flat surface, allow for approximately one hour of drying time before flipping the blanket over to allow for drying on the side that is resting on the surface.

 

Conclusion

Now that you can safely and properly wash your electric blanket, stop hesitating when you want to use it in fear of staining or ruining the blanket, and instead bask in the warming weight of this wonderful invention!

An electric blanket can be a pricey item to purchase but it is an investment that can benefit you both mentally and physically! Mentally, your mind automatically relaxes when it feels the weight and warmth of a comforting blanket; reverting the mind back to early carefree childhood days. Physically, your body relaxes further when warmth from a heat source seeps into your skin and then into your muscles. If you suffer from chronic pain or wake up each morning with a new set of aches and pains; perhaps an electric blanket can alleviate some of the tension and pain felt throughout the body.

Perhaps you have a different method for safely and properly washing your electric blanket or you have a particular brand of laundry detergent that is amazing on electric blankets or maybe you think that this tutorial can be of interest to your friends and peers. If so, please feel free to share with them or comment in the section below with your thoughts and opinion