If you’re someone who, like myself, enjoys the light, reassuring pressure of a weighted blanket, you may notice that yours is looking a little dingy right now. That’s completely understandable. This year — especially the past few months — has been unbelievably stressful.
Some days, it has gotten to the point where I’m wrapped in my weighted blanket basically around the clock. After sleeping under it, I’ll get up, take one look at what’s going on in the country, remember that my job is writing about that stuff, and then drape my weighted blanket over my shoulders like a superhero whose power is the ability to always find something to be anxious about.
Anyway, my weighted blanket (and probably yours too) is due for a wash. But how, exactly do you go about doing that? Sarah Regan at MindBodyGreen has put together a handy article explaining what to do.
[referenced id=”1035818″ url=”https://www.lifehacker.com.au/2020/11/put-a-laundry-bag-in-your-car-for-dirty-masks/” thumb=”https://www.gizmodo.com.au/wp-content/uploads/sites/4/2020/11/10/k3gboaigg8enl4m0dova-300×169.jpg” title=”Put a Laundry Bag in Your Car for Dirty Masks” excerpt=”The pandemic has made us question everything, laundry included. No longer are dirty clothes limited to coming off in the bedroom or bathroom; now we have to deal with masks that are removed on our way home from outings as well.”]
How to wash a weighted blanket in a washing machine
So how often should you wash your weighted blanket anyway? According to Regan, if you’re using it daily/nightly, then once a month is ideal. If you’re more of a casual user, every few months will do. You can wash it either in a machine or by hand — we’ll start with the trusty washing machine.
First, check your washing machine to see if it has weight restrictions. Regan says that most household machines can take between 7 and 9 kg, so if yours is above that, you may want to bring it to a laundromat where there are higher-capacity machines, or wash it by hand.
How you wash your weighted blanket depends on what type it is:
Dense fabric, no fillers: Wash using cool/lukewarm water and dry on low heat.
Blankets with artificial fillers: Wash on cool and dry on low heat. [This is especially true if the blanket is filled with plastic beads that can melt under high temperatures.]
Blankets with natural fillers: If your blanket is filled with something natural, like sand, rice, or beans, it may not be able to get wet, so check with the manufacturer before attempting to wash it.
Detachable cover: Remove the cover and wash it like you would any other blanket.
Use a mild (and ideally eco-friendly) laundry detergent to wash your weighted blanket, and skip the fabric softener.
[referenced id=”929934″ url=”https://www.lifehacker.com.au/2020/06/use-the-shortest-coldest-wash-cycle-to-preserve-your-clothes/” thumb=”https://www.gizmodo.com.au/wp-content/uploads/sites/4/2020/06/21/hnhupkbloqwxsniceswm-300×169.jpg” title=”Use the Shortest, Coldest Wash Cycle to Preserve Your Clothes” excerpt=”When you buy an item of clothing, the idea is typically to keep it looking new for as long as you can. (This clearly doesn’t apply to things like sweatshirts and sleeping T-shirts, which only get better with age and multiple trips to the washing machine.) But washing your clothes…”]
How to wash a weighted blanket by hand
Technically, Regan says that washing a weighted blanket by hand may be best in the long run, as it is gentler on the fabric. But if you’re put off by the hassle, popping it in the washer and dryer are preferable to not washing it at all.
- First, treat any stains on the blanket by soaking the spot in cold water, then rubbing it with a cloth or sponge and a drop of detergent.
- Make sure your bathtub is clean. Then fill it up halfway with cool/lukewarm water. Add a capful of mild (ideally eco-friendly) detergent.
- Pop the blanket in the tub and gently scrub rubs parts of the blanket together (like you would washing any clothing, sheets, etc). Once you’ve hit all its sections, leave the blanket in the tub to soak for 10 minutes. Then do the scrubbing thing again.
- Drain the tub and rinse the blanket until the water coming off of it isn’t soapy.
- Gently squeeze the water out of the blanket, but don’t wring it out.
- Lay it flat to dry (do not hang it up). Because the blanket is large and heavy, this isn’t going to be a quick drying process, so pick a place that either gets sunlight through a window, is close to a heating vent, or has decent air circulation.
Now you have your weekend project.
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