How to Wash & Care For a Weighted Blanket
Weighted blankets are popularly known for the innumerable benefits they come with. Commonly known merits of using these nappers include reduced anxiety, improved sleep, reduced body aches and others.
Generally, most weighted blankets are constantly exposed to accidental spills from drinks such as juice and wine. These heavy nappers also absorb heat and dirt from the sleepers' skin. This might hamper its performance at some point, so it's essential to implement care measures to maintain its peak performance, as outlined in this article.
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How to Wash a Weighted Blanket
Generally, there are two ways of washing a Weighted blanket; either by hand or through a machine. Remember, there are weighted blankets that are machine washable and those that aren't.
It's advisable you properly check if you're supposed to hand wash the weighted blanket or toss it into a washing machine if it's machine washable. Below are systematic procedures for washing machine washable weighted blankets and hand washing.
Washing a weighted blanket is easy these days than ever, thanks to washing machines. Plus, operating these machines is relatively easy so long as you follow the instructions. Below is an outline of how to use a washing machine to clean your weighted blanket.
Read the Care Instructions Carefully
First things first, remember to read the care instructions carefully. Look at the symbols and the fabric care label to be sure of the right way to machine wash your weighted blanket. For instance, the care instructions may recommend you to air dry, dry clean, or machine dry a particular type of weighted blanket (after it's machine washed).
Pre-treating Existing Stains
The stain pre-treatment process involves treating the stains using warm water. Next, let the pretreated weighted blanket sit for about half an hour. After the elapse of the 30 minutes, before the wash cycle, add a ¼ of mild detergent. Proceed to set the machine temperature to 'cold' to prevent shrinkage or fading.
Setting The Wash Cycle and the Load Size
For the wash cycle, choose the easiest setting, which is gentle on the fillers ( such as the micro glass beads ) and the fabric material of the weighted blanket.
Note that the load size of the weighted blanket depends on whether or not it'll wash properly. That means if your blanket size is bigger, you can select load size, extra large or super, depending on the machine specifications.
Place the Weighted Blanket Gently into the Washing Machine, then Add Some Laundry Detergent
After placing the weighted blanket in the machine, remember that the detergent should be mild detergent. Moreover, this laundry detergent should be dye free. Don't use fabric softener or bleach to try to remove the remaining stain. Otherwise, you risk compromising the fabric's durability.
After pretreating the stain, place approximately ¼ cup of soap (dish soap) in the washer. Close the machine's door or lid, then switch it on.
Re-rinsing and Placing the Blanket to Tumble dry
The re-rinsing stage is optional. Suppose you decide to re-rinse, use cold or lukewarm water. Note that this step comes after the primary wash cycle.
Place the weighted blanket on a gentle cycle at slow heat. It's crucial to prevent the micro glass beads or plastic pellets, or any other fillers your blanket may have from bunching. Do this by placing tennis balls in the machine to maintain even weight distribution during the spin cycle process. Lay the weighted blanket on a flat surface, then flip it from time to time to ensure a proper air drying process. Do not iron the weighted blanket, or you risk damaging fillers like plastic pellets.
For people who don't have washing machines, hand washing is the next best alternative. Also, if your blanket is quite heavy or oversized for machine washing, hand washing is inevitable. You'll need a sufficiently sized bathtub to fit the entire blanket. Notably, you'll need help with the weight after washing and through the rinsing process, meaning you'll need another pair of hands.
Prepare the Bathtub, then Fill it with Cold Water till the Halfway Mark
To give your huge weighted blanket an excellent clean and rinse, ensure the bathtub is sizeable enough to fit in. After filling the bathtub with cold water till the halfway mark, add one cup of liquid laundry detergent. Mix it thoroughly with the cold water until it lathers perfectly.
Put the weighted blanket in the Tub
Place your weighted blanket inside the tub, then submerge it inside the water. Give the blanket a thorough hand wash, cleaning and scrubbing by hand (not with a washing brush).
Empty the Tub, then Fold the Blanket in Half
Remove water from the tub, then refill it with clean water for the rinsing process. After fully submerging the blanket in the rinsing water, gently squeeze it to expel excess water. Repeat this process once or twice to ensure the weighted blanket is soap free.
In case your weighted blanket has one or two stains, you can simply spot clean it rather than washing the entire blanket. The process involves mixing one part warm water and one part gentle detergent or a mild soap. Using a soft-bristled brush (preferably a toothbrush), scrub the affected area to remove stains. This should be sufficient to remove stubborn spots such as red wine stains and even urine stains.
Thoughts on the Blanket Cover
Often weighted blankets come with a removable cover. In case you bought one that doesn't have, then you can use a duvet cover. The removable duvet cover will keep the weighted blanket clear from dirt and spills and enhance its durability. Don't forget to check out the washing instructions on the label for the cover, but most should be machine washable. If they don't allow drying the cover with the machine then you can air dry it by placing it on a flat surface and letting the sun do its job.
How to Move and Store a Weighted Blanket
At times folding and moving a weighted blanket, especially the heavy ones, can be stressful. Typically weighted blankets weigh between 25 and 30 pounds. So holding it up while folding it isn't the best idea. First, lay the blanket on the bed, then move around the bed and fold either the top or the bottom side to meet the opposite side.
Do the same for the sides too. Repeat the process until it's in a small portable rectangular shape. Alternatively, if the floor of your room is clean, you can lay the blanket flat on it and fold it as described above.
If you aren't using the weighted blanket frequently, you can store it. The good news is countless storage solutions that'll see you maintaining your blanket efficiently. Some of these storage solutions include storing;
- On a dedicated shelf
- In a dresser drawer
- In a large basket near the bed
- Folding it and leaving it on at the foot of the bed
How Often Should you Wash Your Weighted Blanket?
According to most experts, it's advisable to wash a weighted blanket before storing it and once mid-season. However, depending on how often your use it and how it's handled while in use, you might need to wash it more or less frequently. Also, remember that frequent washing can also compromise the blanket's durability and performance.
One way to avoid washing the weighted blanket more often is to limit accidental wine, juice and other spills. In case of any spill, take care of it right away. Also, consider spot cleaning for occasional dirt. If you sleep with your pet on the same weighted blanket, use a lint roller once or twice a week to get rid of pet hair.
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How to maintain a Weighted Blanket
There are many weighted blankets in the industry with a wide range of fillers. Based on the fillers, you must know the required specs for washing that particular blanket. For Instance, weighted blankets with plastic poly pellets should strictly be washed in cold water. Due to the presence of the poly pellets, it's best to dry the weighted blanket in a well-ventilated area.
Type of Material Fabric of the Blanket
The fabric material of your weighted blanket determines the type of detergent to use and how to Wash it. Fleece blankets can be washed in water. And to remove the stubborn stains, you should use a mild detergent. This should be after you've soaked it for about 45 minutes.
Feel free to use fabric softeners on fleece blankets because the material can excellently tolerate fabric softener. Like fleece, it's best to wash cotton blankets with cold water. Just remember not to mix it up with other materials to avoid fabric distress. More importantly, you can use distilled white vinegar in conjunction with a chlorine free detergent to retain the color.
Choosing the Right Weighted Blanket for you
There are several reasons for getting a weighted blanket and each blanket is made differently. Weighted blankets are good for reducing pain and anxiety, among other conditions. Therefore, first understand why you're getting it so that you can choose the right one for your needs. Below is a guide to help you choose the right weighted blanket.
The Material Fabric
Ensure you're going for the right material fabric that matches your lifestyle. It's best to avoid fabric that triggers allergic attacks. Even better, if you're susceptible to allergic attacks, you can opt for weighted blankets with hypoallergenic covers. Suppose comfort is your primary priority; go for the snugly and soft option. A cotton is a great option.
Go for the Right Weight and Size
If you're unsure of what weight is right for you, as a general rule of thumb, the blanket should be about 10% of your weight for maximum comfort. It would be best to opt for the lighter versions when shopping for kids' blankets—preferably less than 10% of their body weight and practice healthy sleep tips to enhance the effect of the blanket.
As for size, it depends on several factors. Are you looking for a 2 person weighted blanket for you and your partner or you need one for yourself only? If you're going for a solo-sized blanket, then make sure you compare it's width to your body size and it's length to your height so that you get its full benefits all around your body.
Can you Wash the blanket?
If you'd prefer hand washing, ensure you can wash that particular blanket you want to purchase properly. For those who dread the idea of hand washing, the washable machine varieties are a great option. Even with a washing machine, you'll need to know how to spot clean it in case of accidental spills. Also, you can opt for those with a duvet cover as they're relatively easy to wash.
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Caring for your weighted blankets means caring for your sleep health. Additional benefits of using these weighted nappers include treating ADH, OCD, PTSD, autism, RLS and insomnia, snugly and comfortable feel triggers the release of feel-good hormones to help you relax and achieve high-quality sleep.
That's why you need to also take heed to precautions of handling a weighted blanket. For instance, when drying, don't hang the blanket out to dry as it might stretch. Instead, use a tumble dry but at a low temperature. If you're using your blanket regularly, it's best you wash it once a month.
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