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Sooo...How Do I Clean a Weighted Blanket, Anyway?

Photo: Amazon
SqualorJolie Kerr is a cleaning expert and advice columnist. She’ll be here every week helping to answer your filthiest questions. Are you dirty? Email her.

A reader sends in this question, which I’m sure has crossed many of your minds:

My husband mentioned maybe getting a weighted blanket (he’s a Marine veteran and I guess some of his Army veteran friends are getting better sleep with the weighted blanket.) I’m game, but before we get one, I’m concerned about how to wash it. I feel like 10 lbs or more of blanket would fully murder our washing machine, and it seems like washing it in the bathtub would be an actual nightmare. The idea we came up with to keep it clean was to find a blanket compatible with a duvet cover, and then just wash the cover, but my husband asked if I could ask you. What would Jolie do with regards to keeping a weighted blanket clean, and did he tell me to email you in order to score some points with me?

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May I open by saying that you and your husband are Couple Goals AF? I could not be more charmed by this question!

Before we get into washing instructions for weighted blankets, a recommendation for those who may want to buy one but haven’t yet — please please please choose one that fits these three criteria:

  • Is machine washable!
  • Can accommodate or comes with a more easily launderable cover!
  • Is in the 10-18 lb weight range!

Want a rec? Yes, sure you do! The ZonLi Weighted Blanket fits the bill. Okay! Now on to our cleaning instructions.

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Machine Washing a Weighted Blanket

Provided you have a weighted blanket that allows it, machine washing is perfectly fine, and will not murder your washer (though I do very much appreciate the concern and evocative description!)

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Let me lay some laundry math on you: Load size is expressed in one of two ways; the first is by how full the drum of the machine is, and the other is by weight.

Medium: ½ full, or 8-10 lbs.
Large: ¾ full, or 10-12 lbs.
Extra-large: Full, or 12-15 lbs.

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Given that, it’s A-OK to put your weighted blanket in the washer! However, you should change the washer’s setting to the one for a large or extra-large load, or to heavy duty—setting names vary from machine to machine, if you have questions about your machine’s specific settings, consult the user’s manual. If you’ve thrown the user’s manual away, fret not, most are Googleable.

When it comes time to dry a weighted blanket, medium or high heat is the way to go, and this is also the time to use your dryer balls, since they will help to speed up drying time of what’s, obviously, a pretty heavy item.

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Spot Treating a Weighted Blanket

Just like with mattresses, you can easily spot treat a weighted blanket to remove small stains without going to the trouble of washing the whole thing. As a reminder, here’s the process for spot treating fabrics:

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  • Use a damp, light-colored cloth and a stain treatment product to tamp at stains until they begin to lift;
  • Apply the stain treatment to the cloth, so that you can control the amount of liquid you’re introducing the to the blanket, and use the cloth to create some friction that will help to break up the staining;
  • When it comes to choosing the right stain remover, here’s a basic guide for you: Shout is the stuff for food stains, but it’s not great on protein stains like sweat, blood or sexual fluids; for protein stains, choose Zout or Krud Kutter Sports Stain Remover; hydrogen peroxide, also, is especially good on blood stains; Dr. Bronner’s is excellent on odors.
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Using an Upholstery Cleaner to Clean a Weighted Blanket

Another page we can take out of the mattress cleaning playbook is using a carpet and upholstery cleaning machine on a weighted blanket. These machines are available as rentals for about $30 at grocery, hardware or home improvement stores, or you can buy one. These machines come in three primary styles: Upright, portable corded, and handheld, and start at about $75 for the smaller handheld models, to $125-$200 for larger portable models, and $150-$300+ for upright machines.

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About the author

Jolie Kerr

Jolie Kerr is a cleaning expert, advice columnist and the host of the podcast Ask a Clean Person