woman holding smelly blanket or bedding

How To Get Smells Out of a Blanket

You’ve just snuggled up on the couch, wrapped comfortably in your favourite blanket, only to be greeted by an unwelcome assault on your senses—a lingering, unpleasant odour.

Fear not, for we’re here to rescue you from the clutches of smelly blankets and restore that cosy, fresh experience you crave.

Blankets, our trusted allies in warmth and comfort, can unfortunately develop odours over time.

Whether it’s the aftermath of a spilled cup of tea, the accumulation of everyday use, or the remnants of your last outdoor adventure, these odours can dampen the joy of snuggling up.

woman smelling laundry

We’ll delve into the root causes of these lingering scents, empower you with effective techniques to banish them, and provide practical tips to ensure your blankets stay delightfully fresh in the long run.

So, get ready to embark on a journey that will leave your blankets smelling heavenly and reignite the passion for those cherished snuggle sessions.

Together, let’s bid farewell to unwanted smells and reclaim the blissful embrace of fragrant, cosy blankets.


The Causes of Smelly Blankets

Trapped odours

coffee spill on white blanket

Blankets have an uncanny ability to trap odours like secret scent-sponges.

That morning coffee spill, the lingering pet smell, or even just the everyday wear and tear. These seemingly innocent incidents can gradually permeate your blanket fibres, leaving behind unwelcome aromas.


Bacterial growth

smelly blanket with bacteria

When warmth, moisture, and time align, bacteria seize the opportunity to thrive and unleash their funky odours upon your beloved blanket.

But worry not, armed with knowledge, you can win this battle against bacteria and reclaim the freshness you deserve.

Understanding the causes of odours in your blankets is the key to effective elimination. These trapped odours and bacterial invasions can leave you longing for the sweet scent of cleanliness.

So, prepare to unravel the secrets behind smelly blankets and discover the strategies to combat trapped odours and bacterial growth.

A fragrant, revitalised blanket awaits you, ready to envelop you in its comforting embrace.


Follow These Steps to Prepare Your Blanket for Cleaning

1. Spot treat odour hotspots

remove smell from blanket with washing up liquid and vinegar

Before diving headfirst into the cleaning process, it’s crucial to identify those pesky odour hotspots.

Take a closer look at your blanket and locate the areas that seem to emit the strongest aromas.

Is it a particular corner or maybe the spot where your pet likes to snuggle?

Once you’ve pinpointed these trouble zones, it’s time to tackle them with precision.

For targeted odour removal, we recommend washing up liquid or a vinegar solution.

Dilute a small amount of mild soap or mix equal parts of vinegar and water to create a potent yet gentle cleaning solution.

Gently apply the solution to the affected areas, working it into the fabric.

Allow it to sit for a few minutes, and then rinse thoroughly.

This spot treatment will be your secret weapon in the fight against stubborn odours.


2. Bicarbonate of soda or activated charcoal

remove blanket smell with Bicarbonate of soda or activated charcoal

Bicarbonate of soda and activated charcoal are exceptional natural allies in the battle against unwanted smells.

These incredible substances work tirelessly to absorb and neutralise odours, leaving your blanket fresh and revitalised.

Generously sprinkle bicarbonate of soda, focusing on the areas with the strongest odours.

Allow it to sit for a few hours, or even overnight, to let the bicarbonate of soda work its magic. Then, simply vacuum or shake off the bicarbonate of soda residue.

If you prefer activated charcoal, use a breathable pouch like this Apalus Natural Air Purifying Bag and place it strategically on the blanket. Let the activated charcoal absorb odours for a few hours before removing it.

By employing the natural odour-absorbing abilities of bicarbonate of soda or activated charcoal, you’re laying the foundation for a successful cleaning mission.

With your blanket primed and ready, it’s time to tackle the main event—the cleaning process itself.


How to Wash a Blanket to Remove Smells

1. Have a look at the care label

blanket care label

Before embarking on the cleansing journey, it’s vital to consult your blanket’s care label. This small but mighty guide holds the key to a successful washing experience.

Pay close attention to the manufacturer’s instructions regarding water temperature, washing settings, and any specific precautions.

By adhering to these guidelines, you’ll ensure that your blanket emerges from the washing process unscathed and smelling fresh.


2. Pre-soak your blanket

pre soak blanket with laundry detergent

To achieve optimal results, consider indulging your blanket in a pre-soaking session.

Fill a tub or basin with lukewarm water, adding a gentle laundry detergent according to the label’s recommendations.

Gently immerse your blanket, ensuring that it’s fully submerged. Allow it to soak for the designated time, typically around 15 to 30 minutes, depending on the laundry detergent and blanket type.

Pre-soaking helps to loosen dirt, odours, and any embedded particles, setting the stage for a thorough cleanse.

It’s an essential step, especially for blankets that have accumulated stubborn odours over time.


3. Select a gentle laundry detergent

Bottle of laundry detergent

Choosing the right laundry detergent is vital to the success of your washing mission.

Chose a gentle laundry detergent without harsh chemicals, as these can be abrasive to delicate blanket fibres.

If possible, select an enzyme-based detergent, which excels in breaking down organic compounds and tackling odour-causing agents.

Measure the appropriate amount of detergent as per the instructions on the packaging.

Remember, a little goes a long way, so resist the urge to overdo it. Using too much detergent can leave behind unwanted residue and compromise the cleanliness of your blanket.


Machine-wash or hand-wash?

machine or hand wash blanket

When it comes to the washing process itself, you have two options: hand-washing or using a washing machine.

Both methods can yield excellent results, but it’s important to choose the approach that best suits your blanket’s fabric and your personal preferences.

For delicate or fragile fabrics, hand-washing is often the safer bet.

Fill a clean sink or tub with lukewarm water and add the appropriate amount of laundry detergent.

Submerge the blanket and gently agitate it, paying extra attention to stained or odorous areas.

Once you’re satisfied, rinse thoroughly until the water runs clear, gently squeezing out excess water without wringing or twisting.

If your blanket is machine-washable, select a gentle or delicate cycle, ensuring the water temperature aligns with the care label’s instructions.

Add the designated amount of laundry detergent and let the machine work its magic. Once the cycle is complete, follow up with an extra rinse to remove any lingering detergent residue.

Whichever method you choose, ensure that your blanket is thoroughly rinsed to eliminate any traces of detergent. Leaving behind residue can diminish the fresh, clean scent you’re aiming to achieve.


How to Dry a Blanket to Minimise Odours


hanging blankets to dry

When it comes to drying your freshly washed blanket, air drying is often the safest and most effective method.

Find a well-ventilated area, preferably outdoors or near an open window, where your blanket can bask in the gentle caress of natural airflow.

If the weather permits, lay a clean and dry towel on a flat surface, such as a drying rack or clean floor.

Gently place your blanket on top, carefully reshaping it to its original size and form. Smooth out any wrinkles or folds to ensure even drying.

Allow the blanket to air dry naturally, flipping it over after a few hours to promote thorough drying.

Remember, patience is key during this process.

It may take several hours, or even a full day, for your blanket to dry completely. Avoid exposing it to direct sunlight for extended periods, as this can cause fading or damage to certain fabrics.


Fluff and revitalise

man fluffing blanket

Once your blanket is dry, it’s time to give it a rejuvenating touch.

Gently fluff and shake the blanket to restore its loft and natural texture.

This simple action helps to eliminate any residual stiffness and gives your blanket a delightful bounce.

For an added touch of freshness, consider using fabric refreshers or homemade sprays.

Choose products with mild scents or create your own by combining water and a few drops of essential oils in a spray bottle.

Lightly mist your blanket, being cautious not to saturate it. Allow the fragrance to infuse into the fabric, imparting a pleasing aroma.

Remember, it’s important to avoid overpowering fragrances that may irritate sensitive skin or overwhelm the senses.

Aim for a subtle, pleasing scent that enhances the cleanliness and freshness of your blanket.


Creating a Clean Storage Environment

blanket storage

To maintain the freshness of your recently cleaned and revitalised blanket, it’s essential to provide a clean and suitable storage environment.

Before stowing it away, ensure that the storage area is clean, dry, and free from dust and potential sources of odour.

Take a moment to dust and clean the storage space, removing any debris or dirt that may have accumulated.

Wipe down surfaces with a damp cloth and allow them to dry completely. By starting with a clean storage area, you’re laying the foundation for long-term freshness.

Shielding from dust and odours

storage bag for beddings

Shielding your blanket from dust and potential odours is a crucial step in preserving its cleanliness.

Consider using protective covers or breathable storage bags specifically designed for textiles.

These covers act as a barrier against dust while allowing air circulation, preventing mustiness and keeping your blanket fresh.

When selecting a cover, opt for one made of breathable materials like cotton or linen.

These fabrics help to maintain an optimal level of air circulation, reducing the risk of trapped moisture that could lead to unpleasant odours.


Proper folding and placement

folded blankets

Proper folding and placement can also contribute to the longevity of your blanket’s freshness.

Before storing, ensure that your blanket is completely dry to prevent any moisture from becoming trapped, which can lead to mould or mildew growth.

Fold your blanket neatly to minimise creasing and create a compact shape that fits well in the storage space. Avoid tight or excessive folding, as this can cause permanent wrinkles or damage to the fabric.


Seasonal maintenance

As seasons change, it’s important to give your blanket some seasonal TLC.

Before using a stored blanket again, inspect it for any signs of odour or dust accumulation.

If necessary, gently shake or air it out to refresh the fibres. Consider giving it a light wash or spot cleaning, if applicable, to ensure its optimal freshness.



woman smelling freshly washed blanket

You have embarked on a journey to rescue your blankets from unwanted odours, unveiling the secrets to reclaiming their pristine freshness.

Now, as you snuggle up with your freshly cleaned and revitalised blanket, breathe in the scent of cleanliness.

Feel the comforting embrace of a blanket that is not only soft and cosy but also free from the lingering traces of unpleasant odours.

So, the next time you encounter a stubborn odour clinging to your blanket, armed with the knowledge and techniques shared in this guide, you can confidently tackle the challenge head-on.

Embrace the freshness, revel in the scent of cleanliness, and let your revitalised blankets enhance every moment of relaxation and rejuvenation in your life.

Here’s to many cosy, fragrant moments ahead—may your blankets always be a haven of freshness, offering warmth, comfort, and a delightful escape from the cares of the world.