A weighted blanket is your normal, everyday blanket with a slight twist. Rather than only being warm and comfortable, this blanket also comes with a middle layer of weighted filling. This filling is either glass beads or plastic pellets, the former being denser and smaller, the latter being bigger and bulkier. The filling is placed into different divisions or sections sewn inside of the blanket for a more even distribution of weight over your body.
What are Weighted Blankets?
Weighted blankets were created to help patients with sensory disorders, such as autism. The weight is a sort of massage therapy that soothes and relaxes muscles during the night. It’s also very helpful for hyperactive disorders as they stop from unnecessary shifting and movements by weighing you down. They can also help people sleep better in general, by relieving tension, stress, anxiety, aches and pains, and more.
For maintenance purposes, they are partnered with a duvet cover. This makes it easier to clean them as the cover is what gets routinely washed and the weighted blanket itself is kept untouched. More cases will have you buy a separate duvet cover rather than giving you one with the weighted blanket, so always read the manufacturer’s set of instructions for cleaning before you attempt anything.
The following instructions for cleaning a weighted blanket (and its duvet cover) are generic instructions for all blankets, the manufacturer of yours may advise something else, in which case you should follow prior to this article.
When Cleaning the Cover
First, we will tackle how to clean the cover, as this is bound to require washing more often than the actual weighted blanket.
Step 1: Duvet removal
Gently remove the duvet cover from the weighted blanket. Be sure not to tug on the cover as it can tear. Make sure that all knots are properly untied and nothing is snagged to one another. Once the duvet cover is removed, make sure it is facing the right way. (decorative side facing up)
Step 2: Wash the Cover
To wash the cover, you can either machine wash or hand-wash it. Most duvet covers, fortunately, are machine washable for greater convenience, so we’ll be highlighting how to machine wash it properly here, with a more detailed discussion on how to hand-wash later.
Always place your duvet cover in a front-loading machine, as there are less chances of tearing and rips than there are with a top-loading machine. Use mild detergent only with your duvet cover, and do not attempt to use any softeners. Set your machine to a gentle cycle with cold water to wash.
Take the cover out of the wash immediately. You don’t want it sitting n your machine damp in a moist environment as this can stir odors and bacteria development. It’s best to have an alarm or timer prepped beforehand so you know exactly when to take it out.
Step 3: Dry the Cover
You can either machine dry the duvet cover, or air dry it. To machine dry the cover, make sure you set it to tumble dry low. You can even place tennis balls inside of the machine to fluff up the cover once it comes out.
For a more natural retention of fluffiness, you can also air-dry your duvet cover. Make sure to leave no wrinkles when you spread it out and flip it over occasionally so the other side dries properly as well.
Cleaning the Weighted Blanket
Step 1: Prepare Your Weighted Blanket for a Handwash
Yes, handwashing is the way to go for weighted blankets, and think about it; do you really want to place a blanket with glass beads for filling in a machine? Sensibly, the answer is no. Many manufacturers advise against it in any sense. You can use the following steps for your duvet cover as well if you cannot hand-wash it.
First, as you prepare the blanket for cleaning, keep an eye out for stains so you have better targeted cleaning once you get to it. Dowse the visible stains with water, and rub over them slightly. If this does not remove them, you can use either laundry detergent, vinegar, or dish soap to do the trick.
Once you have rubbed and removed the stains, wring the blanket gently to remove excess water.
Step 2: Complete Cleanse of the Blanket
Now it’s time to clean the entirety of the blanket properly. First, clean up your bathtub or a basin you may have at home. Fill it halfway with a combination of water and ½ cup of mild detergent only. Mix the water and detergent properly until you have pleasant froth going. Submerge the weighted blanket in water, let it settle, then agitate and rub it clean. Drain out the dirty water and rinse the blanket.
Complete this process three times over and then finally take the blanket out. To remove excess water, press on the blanket to remove the majority of it. Then, fold the blanket and roll it to wring out all remaining water.
Step 3: Dry the Blanket
The weighted blanket does not go into the dryer, so all that’s left is to either air, sun, or flat-dry it. Do not bleach, iron, or dry-clean your weighted blankets.
Make sure that wherever you place it, it’s completely flattened out. Wrinkles will ruin the shape of the blanket while it dries and become harder to take out later, making the blanket clumpy and uneven when you sleep with it.
After every hour or so, turn the blanket over so the other side dries up as well. Repeat this process until both sides are completely dry. If the sun isn’t strong enough, then let it dry outside for another day.
It’s better not to pin or hang a weighted blanket as this can jumble the beads inside and make the weight distribution uneven.
Weighted blankets do take some time to maintain, but once you have developed the habit of cleaning them properly, they’re not so hard to wash at all. It’s always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to caring for your bedding, and weighted blankets are no exception.
If this article helped you learn how to properly care for your blanket, then do share it with others to prevent them from making a very expensive mistake before they invest in their own weighted blanket.
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