Electric blankets, throws, weighted blankets, and mattress pads offer extra warmth that's welcome on a chilly evening or when recovering from an injury or illness. But what happens when they become soiled? All electric blankets and heated mattress pads sold in the United States since the late 1990s are designed for machine-washing and machine-drying. The key to successfully washing them is to have a watchful eye on the washing cycles so you can keep exposure to water and heat to a minimum.
How Often to Clean an Electric Blanket
A machine-washable electric blanket can be washed every couple of weeks or once a month during the cold season. Treat it gently, however, by alternating between air-drying and machine-drying as an extra measure to keep the interior connections of the blanket in good shape.
Tips for Washing an Electric Blanket
- If your washer isn't large enough to hold the blanket, it can be hand-washed in the bathtub. Use cool water, a small amount of detergent, and gentle squeezing. Don't wring the blanket or pad.
- Electric blankets or heated mattress pads should never be dry-cleaned. The chemicals used in the process can damage the wire insulation.
- Don't place electric bedding in a commercial dryer that uses very high temperatures, which can also damage the wiring.
- Modern electric blankets can be washed because the heating element is completely encased in fireproof and waterproof insulation, but you still need to treat the blanket with TLC (for example, don't crush it) to keep the heating grid safe and intact.