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How to wash and dry blankets

Blankets come into contact with sweat, natural oils and the occasional food or beverage spill, so it is important to know how to get them clean. Different types of blankets require different methods of cleaning to properly care for the material. Use this article as a guide to washing and drying different types of blankets and learn some tips for keeping your family’s blankets looking and feeling their best.

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Is it safe to wash blankets in the washing machine?

You can wash blankets in a washing machine as long as its fabric care label indicates that it is safe to do. Some materials should not be washed in a machine and should be dry-cleaned instead. If you are unsure how to care for your blanket, consult the manufacturer’s instructions before washing it.

Washing & drying blankets step-by-step

You can use the following instructions as well as the cleaning guidelines provided on your blanket’s care label to learn how to properly wash and dry your favorite blanket to get it looking and smelling fresh and clean.

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Step 1: Consult the blanket’s laundry care label

Before you begin washing a blanket, check the laundry care tag. The instructions on the care label will tell you the specific wash cycles and water temperatures to use when cleaning your blanket so you can avoid damaging it. 

 

Some materials, like wool and certain knit fabrics, have specific washing and drying instructions that may require hand washing or the help of a professional.

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Step 2: Pretreat stains and check for rips and tears

Pretreat any stains with detergent or a laundry solution designed for pretreating. Always check your blanket for signs of damage and mend any holes, snags or tears before you wash it. This helps to prevent any further damage to your blanket while it gets washed.

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Step 3: Place blankets in the washer

How you load your blankets inside the washing machine depends on the material of the blanket and whether you have a top or front loading washer. Because knit and crochet blankets can get stretched out during the wash cycle, it is recommended that they are placed inside a delicates laundry bag before they go into a washing machine.

 

Load blankets into top loading washers by gently placing the blanket around the agitator or impeller to help keep the load balanced. If you’re using a front loading washer, evenly place the blanket in the washer drum. Don’t ball up the blanket as this can create an unbalanced load.

 

It is also recommended that you only wash blankets in a large capacity washer as the larger appliance has ample room to accommodate bulky items like large blankets, sheets, towels and comforters. If you are having issues with an unbalanced load, you can add in other blankets or towels to help. However, it is important to avoid overloading your machine.

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Step 4: Select the wash cycle and press start

Once your blankets have been evenly loaded into your washer, add detergent to the machine’s detergent dispenser or the placement according to your owner’s manual. Select the wash cycle and water temperature indicated on the fabric’s care label. Blankets made of fleece, wool, sherpa, knit, crochet or faux fur typically need to be washed in a gentle cycle using cold water.

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Step 5: Dry the blankets

After the wash cycle has finished, you can either transfer blankets to the dryer or hang them on a drying rack to air dry. Only dry blankets in a dryer if it is indicated on the laundry care label. 

 

If your blanket is dryer-safe, evenly load it into the dryer drum and shut the door. Typically it is recommended that dryer-safe blankets are dried using the low or no-heat setting to help prevent heat damage to fabric fibers.

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How often should you wash blankets?

The wash schedule of your blankets depends on how often you use them and whether they have come into contact with spills, crumbs and sweat. You should wash blankets that come into direct contact with skin at least 1–2 times a month, but preferably around once a week.

If you have spilled on the blanket, you should pretreat the spill and wash immediately to avoid a permanent stain.

How do I stop my blanket from bunching up in the dryer?

Adding dryer balls along with your blankets can help to prevent them from bunching up during the drying cycle. The dryer balls help to keep any filling moving around to avoid clumping and allows the warm air to circulate around your items.

Shop Whirlpool® washers & dryers

Whirlpool® washers and dryers are designed to help you care for your family’s laundry. Select models offer innovative features like AccuDry™ Sensor Drying Technology and Soil Level Selection to help take the guesswork out of laundry day. Browse the entire line of washers and dryers or explore Whirlpool® washer and dryer sets to find the right pair for your home.

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