HOW TO CLEAN AN ELECTRIC BLANKET
The electric blanket is one of the greatest inventions in modern days because, unlike the traditional woolen blanket, it is designed to be configurable to suit your personal requirements.
They are suitable for all seasons providing sufficient heat in winter and being ideal in summer.
However, it becomes a challenge when they are soiled.
Luckily, almost all electric blankets and mattress pads that are manufactured in the United States are suited for machine and hand washing.
Therefore, the electric blanket can be washed or dried in standard washers and dryers.
In order to help you get through the washing process, I have compiled a list of instructions, requirements, and practices to avoid while cleaning your electric blanket.
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Instructions for Machine Washing the Electric Blanket
- Unplug all controls and cords
The electric blanket is powered through a control cord, which is usually plugged into a socket on a wall.
Before you start cleaning your blanket, you have to ensure that the cord is removed. Similarly, ensure that the blanket is turned off and unplugged before removal.
Additionally, keep in mind that the control cord should not be submerged in water.
- Make sure that all wire heating components are intact as they should be before washing
- Do not use or wash the electric blanket in the event you notice that heating elements are out of the blanket’s fabric.
- If you have a blanket with a non-detachable control cord, refrain from using the washing machine and instead hand-wash it.
- Look out for the manufacturer’s instructions
Every electric blanket manufacturer has specific washing instructions that should be followed.
You can check the user manual for any important instructions that you have to adhere to so as to perfect your washing experience.
- Most manufacturers recommend pre-soaking, having the blanket washed on a gentle cycle then rinsing it.
- Pre-treat the blanket for stains
Pre-treating the blanket makes the washing process smooth and fast.
It also guarantees a cleaner blanket in the end.
- Avoid adding any fabric softener or chlorine bleacher
- Use considerable amounts of washing detergents
- Have the Blanket Pre-Soaked
Most user manuals will direct you to soak the blanket for some time, say between five and ten minutes.
Additionally, it is recommended that you vary the water temperature, cold to warm.
- Just in case there is no particular instruction regarding temperature or time, it is advisable to soak the blanket in cold water for about fifteen minutes.
- Wash it gently and briefly
It is a good thing that almost all electric blankets can withstand the conditions of a washing machine.
When washing electric blankets, it is not advisable to do a full wash cycle.
All your blanket requires is a gentle and delicate cycle for only a few minutes and it will be good to go.
If you happen to use the final spin speed, keep it low so as to keep the excessive force from destroying the inner wiring of the blanket.
- For regular washers that feature a central agitator, you may have to have the blanket spread the drum. Additionally, using several non-lint producing sheets or towels will help in balancing
- If your washer cannot accommodate your blanket, hand washing is in your bathtub will still be effective. Light squeezing should be applied. Wringing is not necessary in this case.
- Spin and Rinse the Blanket Briefly
Make the rinsing cycles short.
A minute of rinsing with lukewarm or cool water is sufficient. On the other hand, a single standard spin cycle will also work for most blankets.
Facts about Hand Washing an Electric Blanket
As much as the modern-day electric blankets are majorly designed for washing machines, it is possible to hand wash them as well.
Here is what you need to know about handwashing an electric blanket.
- Ensure that the blanket is unplugged and that the blanket is disconnected from the codes.
- After unplugging and disconnecting it, you can get your tub filled with water (lukewarm in particular) that is sufficient for the blanket to freely move around.
- Swish it around gently by hand after you have added a considerable amount of detergent for about two minutes.
- Just like the washing machine, shun from adding bleachers or fabric softeners.
- Give it fifteen minutes to soak after swishing and squeeze out the soapy water afterward.
- Before drying, rinse the blanket in cool water.
Drying the Electric Blanket
- Make sure that the blanket tumbles with ease – the size of your dryer really matters in this case.
It may be hard to dry a large blanket in a small dryer.
Therefore, keeping in mind that the blanket should tumble freely if the dryer is too small in comparison to the blanket, you should consider air-drying it.
- Beware of the recommendations of the manufacturer – each electric blanket manufacturer has unique user manual instructions for drying.
Thus, it is good to go through the recommendations before drying. For instance, some blanket models demand pre-heating.
- It is advisable to get the blanket out of the dryer while it is still damp
- Adjust your dryer to “low” in case no detailed instructions are given
- Ensure the blanket is stretched after laundering – This mainly depends on the blanket’s model but after drying or washing, it is recommended that you stretch the blanket.
This helps in getting the blanket back to its normal size. Similarly, it is easier for the blanket to reshape while it is still damp.
Simply have someone take one end of the blanket and pull it apart gently along the edges.
- Put it out for air-drying – after having the blanket stretched, it will now be good for air-drying.
Find a strong shower rod or clothesline that can bear the weight of the blanket and drape the blanket over it.
It is extremely important to wait for the electric blanket to dry completely before using it once more or plugging it to a power source.
Safety Tips for Cleaning an Electric Blanket
- Do not use an electric blanket that is not fully dry; Neither should you plug it to a power source
- Avoid dry-cleaning your blanket; Dry cleaning subjects the electric blanket to chemicals that may tamper with the insulation material that covers the heating elements on the blanket.
- Never iron your electric blanket; Your electric blanket requires minimal maintenance. Ironing could result in damaging of insulating material
- Make sure that you inspect your electric blanket after it is washed and dried. Inspection is key after washing an electric blanket.
This is because washing could cause damage or displacement of heating components within the blanket. Ensure that the wires do not overlap and that they are spaced evenly.
- Do not use your electric blanket if you are unsure about its condition.
- Do not get the control submerged in water
- Avoid using wringers
- Do not use sprays or mothballs on your electric blanket
- Avoid washing the power cord or any part of the power cord. Do not put is in water
- Avoid dry cleaning your electric blanket with dry cleaning solvents since they may destroy the wires.