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Weighted Blanket Care – How to Wash a Weighted Blanket

December 20, 2021

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again - weighted blankets are life changing! Providing a whole host of incredible benefits, including the alleviation of stress, anxiety and depression through the comforting sensation of being cocooned, reducing inflammation, and promoting deeper, uninterrupted sleep - a true sigh of relief for those who struggle with conditions such as insomnia, restless leg syndrome, fibromyalgia, down syndrome, anxiety and depression and chronic pain – weighted blankets are simply not to be missed.

The science behind the wondrous effects that weighted blanket use can have on your life is clear to see, and many experts trace this back to Deep Pressure Stimulation (DPS) therapy. The constant, gentle pressure that a weighted blanket exerts on your body as your sleep, akin to the sensation of being hugged, cuddled, and comforted, has been proven to stimulate serotonin production in the brain, a chemical which helps the body to relax and wind down. This, in turn, then stimulates the production of melatonin, a key ingredient in many sleep aids, which soothes the mind’s racing thoughts, helps to slow down your breathing and allows you to find rest and calm, to drift peacefully off to sleep.

One thing is for sure, though; a weighted blanket is an investment. These items don’t come cheap, and although the cost is absolutely worth the gain for the majority of people, this doesn’t completely negate the fairly hefty price tag. For this reason, it is absolutely essential that a weighted blanket owner knows how to properly wash, clean and care for their item, in order to ensure that no damage is done to the blanket in the process. 

 As most people aim to use their weighted blanket at least on a regular basis, if not each and every night, it is inevitable that said blanket will require periodic cleaning. Due to the unique design and composition of a weighted blanket, being comprised of multiple pockets filled with tiny pieces of weighted objects, these require very different care to your average, run-of-the-mill throw, sheet, blanket or duvet cover. 

That’s why Sunday Citizen has created this handy guide for you, to give you the best tips and tricks of the trade when it comes to cleaning your weighted blanket. Follow along for some expert advice!

The Cleaning Process

Step 1: Check the Label!

Step 2: Remove the Cover

Step 3: Machine Wash the Cover

Step 4: Tumble Dry the Cover on Low

Step 5: Hand Wash the Inside Blanket

Step 6: To Iron or Not to Iron?

Step 1: Check the Label!

We know we don’t really need to tell you this, but just in case – Step 1 to cleaning your weighted blanket should always be checking the label! If your weighted blanket comes with cleaning instructions, consider this a gift; you’re already halfway there!

Here at Sunday Citizen, we try and take the guess work out of things as much as possible by making sure to include care instructions on our product labels and/or on our website, for each and every item. 

Whilst every weighted blanket is different, based on the cover and blanket material as well as the objects that fill the inside, the Sunday Citizen Snug Crystal Weighted Blanket and Bamboo Crystal Weighted Blanket both come with the following instructions: 

“Removable cover: machine wash cold. Gentle cycle. Do not bleach. Tumble Dry low. Inside weighted blanket: hand wash with cold water. Lay flat to dry.”

Whether that makes perfect sense to you or sounds like a load of whole gibberish (at what point in our adult lives do we start speaking laundry!? Asking for a friend), let’s go ahead and break those steps down.

Step 2: Remove the Cover

On to Step Number 2 – machine washing the removable cover of your weighted blanket. Whilst not all of the weighted blankets out there have removable or machine washable covers, here at Sunday Citizen, we highly recommend investing in one that does. This is one of the best ways to ensure easy care of your item and make sure it stands the test of time, for the following reasons.

When cleaning your weighted blanket, the aim is to avoid having to wash the inside blanket itself as much as possible, as this is the heaviest and most delicate part of the item to clean. Having a removable, washable cover provides one layer of protection to avoid dirtying the inside of the blanket. An additional layer of protection is to sleep with the blanket on top of your regular duvet covers, so that it does not come into direct contact with your skin. This means it is less likely to absorb sweat or dirt in the night as we sleep.

Step 3: Machine Wash the Cover

Once you have removed the cover of your weighted blanket, Sunday Citizen recommends machine washing the cover at a cold temperature, on a gentle cycle such as the “delicates” cycle – the shortest and most gentle cleaning option available on most washing machines. 

Washing at cooler temperatures versus cranking up the heat makes items less likely to shrink, fade or wrinkle. Contrary to what some people believe, cold water is often just as effective as warm water at removing stains, and is actually preferable when it comes to removing blood or sweat stains which can set deeper into fabric when washed with hot water.

Other tips include using gentle, dye-free laundry detergents which do not contain any bleach. Any detergent advertised as “tough” is not your friend when it comes to the silky soft covers of your weighted blanket, as it’s best to avoid any ingredients which could change the cozy texture or pretty color of the material over time.

Photo Credit: Pexels - Sarah Chai

Step 4: Tumble Dry the Cover on Low

To “tumble dry low” essentially means to dry your item in the dryer on a low heat setting, which tends to be around 125 degrees Fahrenheit. This method is a simple, quick and easy alternative to line drying your weighted blanket cover or laying it flat to dry, although both of these are also valid options, especially if you don’t have a tumble dryer available to you. 

Why use a low temperature? It’s pretty simple, really! Low heat helps to protect fabrics from stretching, warping, fading, wrinkling or fraying – basically all the things we want to avoid.

Photo Credit: Pexels - Rachel Claire

Step 5: Hand Wash the Inside Blanket

Since there is a removable cover in the weighted blanket, the actual insert does not come in direct contact with skin, so it requires washing much less frequently. It is still a good idea every now and again to give the inner blanket a thorough clean to remove bacteria and leave it feeling new and fresh.

Our recommendation here at Sunday Citizen is that you hand wash your inside weighted blanket with cold water, to avoid causing any damage to the fabric. Harsh, chemical additions such as bleach, which can cause the breaking down of fibers and eventual wearing out of your blanket’s material, should not be used. Neither should fabric softeners, as some fabric softeners can build up in the fibers of your weighted blanket and remain there, causing the material to gradually stiffen.

Some weighted blankets include machine washing instructions for the blanket piece itself. However, this can be risky; machine washing must be extremely gentle to ensure there are no rips or tears, and depending on the weight of the blanket, some will actually be too heavy for the average household washing machine, which tends to have an upper weight limit of 25 pounds. These blankets will then require being taken to a laundromat where larger, more industrial washing machines are available; let’s be honest, you just don’t need that drama in your life! Hand washing is the way forward.

Photo Credit: Pexels - Edward Jenner

Step 6: To Iron or Not to Iron?

The short answer is: Not to iron! 

Whilst our Bamboo and Snug microfiber covers may technically be iron-safe on a low heat setting, the glass pearls and natural crystal filling inside the weighted blanket itself is not suitable for direct, intense heat. Our cover material is also designed to stay relatively neat and wrinkle-free after drying to avoid the need for ironing, especially if it is laid flat and smoothed out by hand as soon as it comes out of the tumble dryer.

Bonus Tips: Stain Removal

It’s inevitable – accidents happen. At some point in time, an unwanted substance is going to come into contact with your weighted blanket, and if that substance just so happens to be a large glass of red wine or an overflowing cup of morning coffee, who are we to judge!? 

One of the best ways to remove stains gently is to either use a diluted solution of liquid laundry detergent or to apply distilled white vinegar to the stain, blotting carefully with a wet towel to remove the stain as well as the odor that comes with it. You’re welcome!

Photo Credit: Pexels - Cottonbro

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