Demystifying Weighted Blankets: Can You Really Wash Them?

Weighted blankets have become increasingly popular over the years, thanks to their therapeutic benefits. They are commonly used to combat anxiety, insomnia, stress, and other mental health issues. As beneficial as these blankets are, they do require some extra care. A common question people ask is, "Can you wash a weighted blanket?" Well, you can indeed wash a weighted blanket, and this blog will guide you through the process.

What Is a Weighted Blanket and How Does It Work?

A weighted blanket, as the name suggests, carries additional weight compared to a standard blanket. The additional weight comes from fillers such as glass beads or plastic pellets, incorporated into the blanket's design. This design feature aims to mimic the effects of deep pressure stimulation, a tactile sensory technique that imparts a feeling of being hugged or massaged. When a weighted blanket envelops you, it applies gentle, even pressure across your body, which triggers a comforting response in the nervous system. This sensory input has been linked to the release of serotonin, a hormone that helps regulate mood and promote a sense of tranquility and relaxation. Consequently, weighted blankets are often used as a tool to reduce anxiety and promote better sleep. Thus, the weight in these blankets plays a more significant role than merely providing warmth - it works therapeutically to alleviate stress and induce a sense of calm.

Considerations Before Washing Your Weighted Blanket

Taking the plunge and deciding to wash your weighted blanket is a decision that shouldn't be made lightly. Several factors come into play, such as the type of filler your blanket uses. Blankets filled with glass beads are typically safe to wash, while those using plastic pellets may not withstand the rigors of a washing machine as well. The type of fabric used for your blanket is also crucial to consider. If your blanket is made of more delicate materials, such as Minky or Chenille, they may require a more gentle wash cycle or even hand washing to keep them in prime condition. The weight of your blanket is another important factor. If your blanket weighs more than 15 lbs, it may be too much for a regular home washing machine to handle safely. Careful consideration of these factors will help ensure the longevity of your weighted blanket while keeping it fresh and clean.

The Process of Washing a Weighted Blanket at Home

When washing your weighted blanket at home, a delicate touch is key. First, start with a mild detergent to avoid any harsh chemicals that may damage the fabric. This is a gentle way to clean your blanket without risking the integrity of the material. The gentle or delicate cycle on your washing machine is also recommended. Remember that fabric softeners can potentially harm the fabric, so it's best to avoid them.

Temperature plays a crucial role as well. Stay clear from hot water as it may cause your blanket to shrink. The safest bet is to opt for cold or warm water for washing.

Equally important is the distribution of the blanket in the washing machine. You want to make sure that it's spread out evenly in the machine. This can help prevent the machine from becoming unbalanced during the wash cycle, which could cause damage to both your blanket and the machine. This might seem like a lot to remember, but each step plays a crucial role in ensuring your weighted blanket is cleaned safely and effectively at home.

Using a Commercial Washer for Heavy Weighted Blankets

For those with weighted blankets that tip the scale over 15 lbs, a commercial washing machine might be your best bet. Unlike standard home washing machines, commercial machines found at laundromats are specifically designed to handle larger, heavier loads. This provides a safer, more effective means of washing your heavier weighted blanket without risking damage to your home appliance. While using a commercial washer, remember to adhere to the same guidelines mentioned for home washing: use a gentle, mild detergent and avoid hot water. It's also important to distribute your blanket evenly within the commercial machine to prevent imbalance during the wash cycle. Keep in mind, specific washing instructions may be provided on the care label of your blanket. Always refer to these instructions prior to starting the washing process, as they often contain essential information for maintaining the quality of your blanket. By following these recommendations, you can ensure your heavy weighted blanket is cleaned properly and safely, thus prolonging its lifespan and therapeutic benefits.

How to Dry a Weighted Blanket

Once your weighted blanket has undergone the washing process, the next vital step is drying it properly. You can opt to use your dryer on a low heat setting, ensuring it's not too hot as this may adversely affect the blanket's filling material. High heat can cause the fillers to melt or clump together, affecting the blanket's weight distribution and therapeutic properties. On the other hand, you can choose to air-dry your blanket. This involves either hanging it up or laying it flat in a well-ventilated area away from direct sunlight. One critical factor to remember when air drying is to ensure the blanket is thoroughly dried. Any residual moisture left inside can lead to the growth of mildew or mold, which can be detrimental to both the blanket's lifespan and your health. If you're uncertain about whether your blanket is fully dry, give it a bit more time just to be safe. Regular checks can help assess the drying progress. Taking these careful steps to dry your weighted blanket will aid in maintaining its quality and effectiveness for your relaxation and rest.

Frequency of Washing a Weighted Blanket

The frequency at which your weighted blanket requires a thorough cleaning depends greatly on its usage. For those who incorporate their weighted blanket into their daily routine, it's suggested to give it a proper wash every one to two weeks. However, if your use of the weighted blanket is more sporadic, a monthly cleaning should suffice. Irrespective of the frequency of use, it's a good practice to promptly address any spills or stains on your blanket. This means spot cleaning any noticeable blemishes as soon as they occur to prevent them from becoming permanent. It's worth noting that this schedule is a guideline and you may find that your personal circumstances require adjustments. Factors such as personal hygiene, pets, or environmental factors could necessitate more frequent washes. Maintaining a regular cleaning routine not only ensures that your blanket remains in its best condition, but it also maximizes the therapeutic benefits that come with a fresh, clean weighted blanket.

The Option of Using a Duvet Cover

Implementing a duvet cover with your weighted blanket could be a game changer in terms of maintenance. It serves as a shield, protecting your blanket from everyday wear and tear, accidental spills, and dirt accumulation. This extra layer can be detached conveniently and thrown into the washing machine, making it a practical alternative to washing the entire blanket frequently. By doing so, you not only prolong the lifespan of your weighted blanket but also conserve water and energy. This could be especially helpful if your blanket is on the heavier side or if it's made from delicate materials that require special care. On top of this, the use of a duvet cover provides an opportunity for aesthetic enhancement. With a range of designs and colors available, you can choose a cover that suits your bedroom decor, thereby adding a personal touch to your sleeping environment. So, not only does a duvet cover offer practical benefits, but it also introduces an element of style, making it a worthwhile addition to your weighted blanket care routine.