How to Wash an Electric Blanket

Erin Browne

Whether you’re cozying up on the couch watching a movie or crawling into bed, it’s hard to beat the heat an electric blanket can offer on a freezing cold night. The electric wires sandwiched between the blanket’s fabric layers provide on-demand warmth that can be adjusted to get the perfect level.

And like other bedding such as comforters and pillows, it needs a good cleaning every so often. According to Carolyn Forte, Executive Director of the Home Appliances and Cleaning Products Lab, an electric blanket should be washed several times per season depending on use. However, with all those wires, you may wonder if it’s even safe to wash an electric blanket and if so, how to do it. Luckily, most electric blankets can be machine washed without damage.

Here at the Good Housekeeping Institute, we do a lot of laundry, whether it’s finding the best washers and dryers or testing to find the best blankets. Below, we’ve put together an easy step-by-step guide on how to wash an electric blanket as well as other tips on how to care for it.

Products you’ll need:

    How to Wash an electric blanket in a washing machine:

    Step 1. Check and follow the care label.

    Most electric blankets are machine washable and some can be put in the dryer, however, be sure to check and follow the care label instructions.

    Step 2: Make sure the cords are unplugged.

    Electric blankets have removable cords or control panels which are the source where the heat comes from. Be sure all cords are unplugged from the blanket before putting it in the wash.

    Step 3: Use a large capacity washer and dryer.

    It’s best to use a front-loading washing machine or top-loader, preferably without an agitator, like GH 2021 Best Cleaning Product Award winner Whirlpool Top Load Washer with 2 in 1 Removable Agitator, so the blanket does not get caught or stuck which could potentially damage the wires. If there are no specific wash instructions on your blanket, use a gentle or delicate cycle and cool or warm water.

    Step 4: Dry gently.

    Follow the drying instructions on the blanket. If none are given, lay the blanket flat to dry on a rack or tumble dry it on the lowest heat setting. Make sure the blanket is completely dry before using it otherwise the wiring may be damaged.

    How to wash an electric blanket by hand:

    If machine washing is not an option or preferred, the electric blanket can also be washed by hand.

    • Make sure all cords are removed and fill the bathtub with cold water and a small amount of mild detergent.
    • Let it soak for a few minutes and then gently agitate the water with your hands.
    • Drain the tub of sudsy water and fill it with clear water. Swish and squeeze the blanket to rinse.
    • Repeat as often as needed until all the soap is removed.
    • Carefully squeeze out excess water and roll in some towels if you can to absorb excess moisture, making sure not to bend the wires.
    • Tumble dry on low or lay flat to dry.

          Additional tips on caring for an electric blanket:

          • Unless specifically recommended by the manufacturer, do not dry clean an electric blanket or use bleach or other harsh chemicals as these can damage the wiring.
          • Avoid high heat as it can damage the wiring, choose a low heat setting on the dryer or dry the blanket on a rack away from radiators or heaters.
          • If you notice any brown spots, broken or exposed wires, stop using the blanket immediately and purchase a replacement: the brown spots likely mean it has overheated, causing burnt areas.

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