How To Wash A Weighted Blanket + Tips On Cleaning Your Calming Blanket
Since the Calming Blanket is not what you would call regular bedding, we often get asked maintenance-related questions by our customers. These questions are usually related to washing a weighted blanket. Most customers find it a bit challenging and confusing:
- How do I clean the stains on my weighted blanket?
- Can I pop it into the washing machine when the time comes?
- How about hand-washing a weighted blanket?
- And, what should I do to dry it afterward?
To make the process as simple as possible, we’ve created this super detailed guide that covers everything you need to know about cleaning your washable weighted blanket. We cover a wide variety of different blanket types here, so it’s a good read even if you don’t own our product.
However, there is a special section below dedicated to cleaning the Calming Blanket- feel free to scroll down and skip the general guidelines if you’re looking for that specific information.
Regardless of the brand that you’re using, these weighted blanket washing instructions will ensure that the end result is a clean, soft, and undamaged blanket that you can’t wait to cover yourself with!
General Guidelines for Washing Any Weighted Blanket:
If your product has a cover, unzip it and remove it from the inner blanket. Most covers will have ties that will need to be unfastened first.
Carefully read the washing instructions printed on the label (usually on the inner blanket). Follow the instructions whenever possible. The Calming Blanket care label is on the outer cover.
Inspect the blanket and the cover. Look for organic stains that could be hard to remove, such as bodily fluids or food stains.
Attempt to rinse out the stains as soon as you spot them - this will prevent them from setting in. If you didn’t catch a stain in time and it’s dry, it’s usually not a problem. Run that spot under cold water, rub it gently, apply a mild detergent, and rinse.
How you wash the cover will depend on the material. We generally recommend machine-washing in cold or warm water (take the severity of the stains into account). Avoid using detergents with bleach. Avoid fabric softeners for polyester covers.
Check how much load your washing machine can take (it’s usually around 7 kg). If your blanket is 7 kg or less, load it into a washing machine on a gentle program (simply use the preset that says ‘Gentle’ or ‘Delicates’, set temperature to 30 C, and you are good to go). Hand-wash heavier blankets.
- You can hang the cover to dry or tumble dry it on LOW if you really have to tumble dry at all. Never dry on high because you want to preserve the softness of the outer fabric, especially if it’s minky. Ideally, you will want to dry the inner blanket horizontally, so that the beads don’t bunch up with the batting inside and mess up the weight distribution. Flip and shake out the blanket every couple of hours until it’s dry.
AVOID THESE THINGS WHEN CLEANING A WEIGHTED BLANKET:
- Wash when needed only in order to preserve the carefully balanced weight distribution
- Do not wash in hot water (cold or warm only)
- Avoid aggressive spin cycles (centrifuge)
- Don’t tumble dry and don’t hang the inner blanket to dry
- No vinegar, bleach, or aggressive cleaning products
- Don’t use fabric softeners if the cover is minky or plush
- Never dry clean your weighted blanket
- Do not iron or try to flatten the inner blanket by putting heavy objects on it
These instructions are applicable to most washable weighted blankets currently on the market. However, if you have an older blanket or a blanket that you made at home, they might not apply. It all depends on the materials.
Which Heavy Blanket Fills Are Wash-Friendly?
At Calming Blanket, we use micro glass beads for the filling, as they are quite heavy while remaining comfortably small. Also, they are eco and machine wash-friendly. Of course, there are other options out there, but we find that glass beads are the best long-term options. Let’s explore why that is and how they compare with other filling materials.
Micro Glass Beads - A top-quality choice for a weighted blanket filling. These beads are tiny and resemble sand, and are virtually noiseless. They hold up extremely well in the wash and can be treated at (slightly) higher temperatures as they can’t melt. Blankets with glass beads dry well and don’t clump up, meaning that, after washing your weighted blanket, it will come out in perfect condition.
Plastic Poly Pellets - These pellets are usually made from ABS virgin plastic, which means that they have not been exposed to toxins or chemicals. They shouldn’t be washed on high temperatures, though, since you run the risk of the pellets melting and clumping together.
Steel Shot Beads - another good option if you’re looking for a heavy blanket that’s not too bulky. However, since these beads are very heavy, you should avoid washing a blanket made with them in a washing machine. On more aggressive programs, steel shot beads can rip the fabric and seep out.
Smooth Small Pebbles - Some DIYer go down this route to keep the cost down, but do you really want to sleep under rocks? Hand-wash this weighted blanket because it won’t hold up well in a washing machine.
Organic Materials/Food - If you’re opting for these affordable options (corn, beans, rice, and so on), you need to be aware that you’re not getting a washable weighted blanket. Organic materials might be cheap, but they are not a long-term solution. Washing a blanket that’s been weighted with corn or rice can turn into a real soggy mess, and you’re risking mold, yeast, bacteria, and insect infestation. Getting these weighted blankets wet will speed up the decomposition process.
Sand - Similar to organic materials, sand is also a cheap filler option but comes with much the same problems. Because sand is semi-organic (unless it’s treated and processed), you run the risk of insect infestation, mold, or yeast developing inside. Weighted blankets constructed with sand shouldn’t be washed very often - the sand expands when wet and is very difficult to dry. Best case scenario, you will end up with big clumps and uneven weight distribution after drying the blanket. Worst case - the sand will find a small tear in the fabric and seep through (often in the middle of the night).
Weighted Blanket Cover Materials and How To Wash Them
When it comes to the cover, how you wash it will, again, depend on the material. We will cover the most used fabrics here but, for more information, please refer to this post by Sofeminine.
Minky & Plush - The original cover for the Calming Blanket is minky - a type of material that has long, thin fibres that are extremely soft. Modern minky and plush covers are usually made from polyester. Polyester can be machine-washed in warm water, but you should never use fabric softeners if the cover is minky. A commercial softener will tie the long fibres together and the material will not be as soft as it originally was.
Cotton - Cotton is pretty easy to care for. It’s machine-washable on a gentle cycle and tolerates a majority of cleaning products (avoid stronger detergents if the fabric is coloured). Avoid washing in hot water because a truly cotton cover will shrink. You can order your made-to-fit cotton cover for the Calming Blanket right here - it’s perfect for those warm nights!
Wool - Wool is an extremely delicate fabric that’s prone to shrinking so we recommend hand-washing it whenever possible. Check the label to see if machine-washing is possible (if it is, always put the cover in a mesh bag, set to ‘Wool’ or ‘Hand-wash’ setting, and use a detergent for delicates). Towel-dry wool before hanging it to dry (never tumble dry) to expedite the drying process.
Flannel - This is another type of fabric that’s relatively easy to wash. Pretreat it if there are any hardcore stains, then place it in the washer on a gentle cycle. Use cold or warm water setting and a mild detergent for delicates. Flannel can be hung out to dry or machine dried.
Silk - Although unlikely, you might end up buying a silk cover for your heavy blanket. Washing silk can be complicated, which is why dry cleaning is usually recommended (especially for silk that’s coloured). Alternatively, you can hand or machine wash it (check the label) in cold water with a minimum amount of mild detergent. Hang on a padded hanger to dry (don’t wring out or twist silk, and avoid ironing it).
Rayon/Lyocell - Rayon is a type of cellulose fibre that's made from vegetables. Lyocell is a specific rayon fibre (made from bamboo) that needs to be treated gently during washing. Our Bamboo Weighted Blanket made from it can be machine-washed on a gentle cycle/spin and never above 30 C. However, we do recommend hand-washing whenever possible to maintain the quality of the fabric. Lyocell should be laid out flat (away from direct sunlight) and left to dry. It's also advisable to shape the blanket as it dries because the set-in creases and wrinkles can be difficult to remove later on.
Cleaning The Calming Blanket - Quick, Easy & With Great Results
As promised, we’ll now move on to the Calming Blanket. As you well know, if you have purchased from us, your product is top-quality and made from great, durable materials. Materials include high thread-count polyester, warm batting, and glass beads for the inner blanket, and long-thread, quality polyester for the cover. This careful design and materials vetting process ensures that you're getting a premium washable weighted blanket.
Of course, you want to keep these materials in the best possible condition, which means that you need to learn how to properly care for your weighted blanket.
Washing the Calming Blanket is not difficult or time-consuming, but you will need to take care not to get it excessively stained, especially the minky cover, since greasy or organic stains will require a bit more effort to get out. If there are no apparent stains on the inner blanket or the cover, a gentle machine wash in warm water will do the trick every time.
As we already noted, the Calming Blanket is a machine washable weighted blanket. However, the size that you choose (kids 2.2 kg and 4.5 heavy blankets, or adult 6.8 kg and 9 kg) will determine if the machine wash is possible. That’s because they usually have a 7 kg load limit. If that’s true about your machine, and you’ve purchased a 9 kg blanket, a quick hand-wash is the best and the quickest option. Alternatively, you can take your blanket to a laundromat or the dry cleaner’s, just make sure to bring our washing instruction to their attention.
Machine Wash & Dry The Calming Blanket (2.2 & 6.8 KG)
Separate the inner blanket from the cover. If you’re having difficulties doing that, make sure you’ve untied all the inside straps with which the two are attached together.
Inspect both for signs of stains that need to be pretreated before washing. If there are any, run that area under cold water briefly and apply a mild detergent (not containing bleach or fabric softener) on it. Gently rub and rinse. Repeat if needed. The easiest way to wash greasy stains on a weighted blanket is to pretreat them with soap instead of detergent.
Load the inner blanket into the washing machine. Don’t put anything else inside because you want to avoid the blanket catching on something and tearing.
Set your washing machine on a gentle cycle (preferably a ‘hand-wash’ preset if it’s available on your machine) and add a conservative amount of detergent for delicates to the tray. Set temperature at 30 C. Avoid centrifuging.
The minky cover should also be washed separately. Before the first wash, soak it in cold water and add two tablespoons of salt to help set the colours. Slosh it about and leave for 20 minutes to soak.
Load the cover into the machine on a gentle cycle in warm water (30 C), and add a mild detergent. Make sure that the detergent DOES NOT contain bleach or fabric softener. Never use fabric softener with minky because it will damage the long, delicate fibres.
Take the inner blanket and the cover out of the washing machine. We recommend NOT tumble drying either of them, but if you want to expedite the drying process, you can set the dryer on the ‘Air Fluff’ setting since it doesn’t use hot air. For the inner blanket, simply squeeze out the excess water (do not wring it out) as much as you can. Leave the blanket on a clean horizontal surface such as a drying rack. Shake it out and flip it occasionally to help redistribute the beads evenly. Line dry the cover, preferably in the sun.
- It will take 12 - 24 hours for your blanket to dry (depending on whether it’s drying outdoors or indoors). After that, simply slip the cover back on and your Calming Blanket is fragrant, clean, and ready for your bed!
Hand-Wash & Dry The Calming Blanket (9KG Or If No Washing Machine Available)
Separate the cover from the inner blanket. You do not need to hand-wash the cover, just follow the steps outlined in the previous section to machine-wash it.
Inspect the inner blanket for major stains. Pretreat any you find with a mild detergent or soap (soap for greasy stains). Just wet the area and apply one or the other, and rub gently. Repeat if needed.
Fill your bathtub or laundry basin halfway with lukewarm water. Do not overfill because you will need the extra space for maneuvering the blanket when you submerge it.
Add mild detergent to the water and run your hand through the water to activate it. Do not add too much detergent - just enough for it to froth a bit. You’re now ready to hand-wash your weighted blanket.
Add the blanket to the water and completely submerge it. Gently knead and rub the sections together to clean it. Leave submerged for 15 minutes and then repeat the rubbing process.
Drain the tub completely with the blanket still in it. Add clean water and rinse your weighted blanket out. Repeat the process until the rinse water is clear, which means that there’s no detergent left in the blanket.
Remove excess water from the blanket by rolling it and squeezing. Do not wring out as that might cause the blanket to tear.
Lay the Calming Blanket on a flat surface and flip (clothes rack) and shake every few hours to redistribute the beads.
It might take a bit of time for it to completely dry so make sure that the space your drying it in is airy and, preferably, in the sun. Press on the blanket with your hand to see if the inner batting is still wet. If it’s not, you can slip the cover back over it because it’s now ready to be used again.
Weighted Blanket Maintenance Demystified
We did make weighted blanket care pretty straightforward, didn’t we?
And here you were thinking that washing a weighted blanket will be difficult. If you follow our instructions carefully, your Calming Blanket will go from stinky to fragrant in under a day. Admittedly, it does take a while to dry if you follow our recommendations (drying it horizontally and flipping and shaking occasionally) but this ensures that the weight distribution remains exactly as it was - perfect. You could tumble dry it on low if you’re in a hurry, but properly caring for your weighted blanket is important for its longevity so do that carefully.
To purchase our washable weighted blanket (if you don’t already have one), visit our product page right here. And, if you have any questions or suggestions (or a personal approach to weighted blanket washing), make sure to share with us on Facebook!