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Weighted blankets have become increasingly popular in recent years. Credited for their ability to reduce anxiety and stress, and promote healthy, restful sleep, they are a daily essential for many people.
But, with so many different types of weighted blankets on the market, it can be difficult to know exactly how to wash yours safely and effectively.
Here, we’re going to look specifically at how to wash a weighted blanket filled with glass beads. We’ll also look at how best to dry your blanket efficiently, and any other key tips or factors to consider when it comes to caring for your weighted blanket.
Washing Your Blanket
Most weighted blankets are machine washable, however, the guidelines will vary depending on the type of blanket you have and its cover material. Before tossing your weighted blanket in the washing machine, there are a few things you must first consider.
- Your blanket’s filling. The great thing about glass bead-filled blankets is that they can be washed at any temperature. Glass beads won’t melt in high temperatures, making them resilient and easy to wash. Plastic poly beads and steel shot beads are much more difficult to wash as they are more susceptible to melting or may cause damage to your washing machine.
- The cover material of your blanket and its specific washing guidelines. The most commonly used cover fabrics for weighted blankets are cotton, flannel, fleece, and minky.
- Your blanket’s weight. All washing machines will have a maximum weight capacity, and exceeding this could cause serious damage to your machine. In most cases, washing machines can handle weights of up to 15 pounds, although some will be slightly higher or lower than this, so always check your machine manual. If your blanket exceeds your washing machine’s maximum weight, you have two options. You could either have it cleaned by a professional laundry service, or you can wash your blanket by hand.
Cover Material Details:
If your blanket has a cotton or flannel cover, it should be washed in cool water with a super gentle detergent. White vinegar can also be used to soften the blanket, but a fabric conditioner or softener should be avoided.
For blankets with fleece covers, warm water can be used along with some gentle detergent and fabric softener but use softeners sparingly to avoid any residue being left on the blanket.
Finally, minky covered blankets are super soft and can be washed in cool or warm water with some gentle detergent. Minky fabrics are prone to static, so wash separately if possible to reduce friction in the machine. It’s also a good idea to avoid fabric softeners as they can form a sticky residue within the soft fibers.
How to Wash a Weighted Blanket Filled with Glass Beads
To hand-wash your glass bead-filled weighted blanket, simply place it in a bathtub or large, clean bucket and follow the same guidelines laid out previously for your blanket. Washing with cool or warm water and a gentle laundry detergent. Be aware that your blanket is likely to get super heavy when wet, so you might need to enlist some assistance if you’re going to be hand washing yours.
If your blanket has a removable cover, take this off first and hand wash it separately.
Listed below are some great, gentle, non-toxic laundry detergents that you could use when washing your weighted blanket:
Made with 96% plant-based ingredients, free from all synthetic colorants, fragrances, and brighteners, and completely chemical and toxin-free; Seventh Generation’s Concentrated Detergent is a great option for washing your weighted blanket.
Made from only five ingredients, all of which are completely natural and derived from the earth. This laundry powder is effective at removing stains and will leave your blanket looking, smelling, and feeling fresh and clean.
This liquid soap is extremely versatile and completely natural. It can be used for machine and hand washing and is also great for use all over the home.
Drying Your Blanket
As we’ve mentioned, glass beads will not melt in high temperatures, so it may be possible to tumble dry your weighted blanket, but again, this will depend on its weight and the cover fabric.
Cotton-covered blankets are not suitable for tumble drying as cotton is susceptible to shrinking at high temperatures. Instead, leave the blanket to air dry in a well-ventilated, cool space. If you’re going to dry your blanket outdoors, avoid direct exposure to the sun and try to do this on a day that is not too hot.
If your blanket has a flannel or fleece cover, it should be suitable for tumble drying on low to medium heat or air drying out in the sun.
Minky-covered blankets are not able to go in the tumble dryer, so these will need to be air-dried in a cool, ventilated space, avoiding direct contact with sunlight.
It’s super important that your weighted blanket is fully dried before you begin using it again. While glass beads will not produce mold or mildew spores, any residual moisture within the blanket will eventually seep out into the cover fabric and could lead to the growth of mold and damage to the blanket’s fibers.
Air drying might take a little longer and it can be difficult if you have a particularly large, heavy blanket, but it’s definitely the safest way of drying most weighted blankets.
Removing Stubborn Stains
If you have some stubborn stains on the cover or inner lining of your weighted blanket, these should be treated prior to machine or hand washing the blanket. Washing the blanket without pre-treating any stains is likely to make them even more difficult to remove as they will sink deeper into the fibers.
To pre-treat any stains on your weighted blanket, always start out by consulting the care label.
In most cases, you should be able to rinse the affected area with some cool or warm water, depending on your blanket’s specific care guidelines. Rub the area with your choice of mild detergent or stain remover, and then rinse again with water. Repeat this as many times as needed, and if the stain is particularly tough, leave the treatment to sit for several minutes before rinsing away.
Follow this process with your regular washing method, whether that be in the machine or by hand, and the stain should have lifted right out.
Final Things to Consider When Washing Your Glass Bead Filled Weighted Blanket
1. ALWAYS consult your weighted blanket’s care label before washing
Failing to follow the specific guidelines laid out by your blanket’s manufacturer is likely to result in damage to your blanket and also possibly your washing machine. The advice given in this article may not apply to all weighted blankets, so always refer to your care label just to be sure.
2. Avoid washing your weighted blanket too often
Washing your blanket too often can result in damage to the fibers of the blanket cover or the blanket itself. Try to limit washes to around once every two to four weeks, depending on how often you use the blanket. With that being said, any stains or spills should be cleaned as soon as possible to avoid permanent damage or staining.
3. Wash your blanket separately where possible
Washing your weighted blanket separately from your other laundry garments is always a good idea. Not only does this reduce the amount of weight you are putting into your washing machine but it also means less friction within the machine and therefore less damage to the fibers of your blanket. This is especially important if your blanket has a minky cover.
4. If possible, avoid having your weighted blanket dry cleaned
Dry cleaning may seem like a good option. The washing machines used tend to be industrial-size making them well equipped to handle large items and having your blanket cleaned by a professional may be more convenient, efficient, and effective for some people. However, a dry clean service may be more likely to use more high-strength, chemical-based cleaning products which may damage your blanket and could also be harmful to the environment and anyone within your household.
Unless the dry clean service you choose uses all-natural ingredients and has experience working with weighted blankets, most manufacturers recommend avoiding these services when it comes to washing your weighted blanket.
Your weighted blanket may be a daily staple within your life, giving comfort and relief from stress and anxiety. For this reason, it is important that you take good care of your blanket and avoid any chemical cleaning agents or harmful toxins that are likely to cause unnecessary damage to your blanket.
By following the tips laid out here on how to wash a weighted blanket filled with glass beads, and also adhering to the guidelines specified on your blanket’s care label, you should be able to clean your blanket with ease.