Electric blankets are a great way to stay warm in colder weather, especially given the rise in central heating costs.
While they don’t need to be cleaned as often as bed sheets, keeping your electric blanket free of dirt and allergens is essential.
So how often should you wash an electric blanket and what can you do to keep it fresh between washes? Find out below.
Can an Electric Blanket Be Washed?
The first question people have when it comes to cleaning electric blankets is whether they can actually be washed at all.
Unsurprisingly, many people are concerned about introducing soap and water to electrical components.
However, the good news is that most electric blankets can either be hand-washed or cleaned in a machine on a cool, gentle wash cycle.
This is because the internal electronics are typically waterproofed and most remotes and plugs can be removed for cleaning.
With that said, always check the instruction leaflet and care label before washing an electric blanket to ensure you don’t accidentally damage it.
Read our article on how to wash an electric blanket for some detailed instructions and tips.
How Often to Wash an Electric Blanket
As mentioned above, electric blankets don’t typically need to be cleaned as frequently as your other bedding. The reason for this is that neither over or under-blankets should come into direct contact with your skin.
Over-blankets sit on top of flat sheets and duvets to drape an extra layer of warmth over you. Meanwhile, thinner under-blankets, like heated mattress pads, sit between your mattress and fitted sheet to warm your sleep space from below.
So, whichever you choose, electric blankets should stay protected from sweat and natural oils for longer than your sheets.
However, dirt can still accumulate on top and unpleasant odours can develop over time. We’d therefore recommend washing your electric blanket at least one or two times per month.
Of course, this will depend on how often you use it and whether you have pets. But generally, washing it every other time you wash your bed sheets is a good rule of thumb.
Spills, Sweats and Pets
There are a couple of exceptions to the rule of every 2-4 weeks. One is if you spill something on your blanket.
In this case, you’ll either need to launder it or spot treat the mark by dabbing up the excess liquid with some paper towel.
Then use damp cloth and couple of drops of washing up liquid or detergent to clean the stain.
Finally, rinse it clean with a wrung-out cloth and leave it to air dry fully before using it again.
You may also want to wash your blanket more if you find you sweat a lot, as this can cause staining. Especially if you’re using an under-blanket with only a single sheet as a barrier.
And if you have a pet that likes to curl up on your blanket, you should aim to wash it weekly with your bed linen.
Otherwise, you can keep the number of washes needed to a minimum by refreshing your blanket in between laundry cycles.
How to Keep Your Electric Blanket Fresh Between Washes
Struggle to clean your electric blanket because your washer is too small or you lack drying space?
Or maybe you just want to ensure it looks and smells its best between regular cleans?
Either way, here’s how to keep your electric blanket fresh:
Shake out dust and hair
Shake the blanket out every couple of days to remove any dust and debris from the surface.
Alternatively, you can use your vacuum cleaner and nozzle set on low. Fabric brushes and lint rollers are also good for removing pet hair.
Spot treat spills
Spot treat any obvious marks or spillages as soon as possible to prevent them seeping further into the fibres.
Make sure you unplug the blanket first and avoid over-saturating it with water when cleaning.
Counteract bad odours with a linen spray. This could be a specially designed anti-bacterial product for fabrics like Dettol Freshener Spray.
Or you could lightly spritz the blanket with homemade linen spray containing your favourite relaxing essential oils like lavender or sandalwood.
However, if you do this, make sure it’s completely dry before turning it on and wash your blanket on at least 40°C before tumble drying.
Air your blanket
Alternatively, you can refresh your blanket by hanging it outside to air if the weather’s good.
Or, if it can be tumble dried, run a low heat cycle with a dryer sheet. This will help to remove allergens and add a clean scent, without having to go through the full washing process every time.
A proud Yorkshire lass with a love for movies, music and cosy nights in! Once a self-confessed avoider of cleaning, she’s always on the lookout for new ways to make household chores as quick and simple as possible.