how to wash an electric blanket

How to Wash an Electric Blanket Safely & Carefully

Knowing how to wash an electric blanket without damaging it isn’t exactly obvious. Whether the intention is to hand wash it, use a washing machine or dry clean it, the delicate garment requires a thought-out and well calculated process because the inside wires can be easily ruined.

Before getting there though, it is always important to check the manufacturer’s instructions. Most heated blankets come with a tag that provides a clear washing guide and a special list of dos and don’ts.

All the same, we cannot rule out the possible scenarios of people that get stranded because of reasons well-known to them. If it gets to that, below is a guide that is meant to help you get impeccable results.

How to Wash an Electric Blanket by Hands

how wash an electric blanket

Tools and Supplies

  • Tub/ Plastic basin
  • Mild detergent
  • Clothesline
  • Rubber gloves (optional)
  • Lint roller (optional)


Step 1: Although uncommon, there are brands and models that provide handwashing as a cleaning option.  If you happen to take this route, the ideal way is to begin by unplugging and disconnecting the cord. There are also blankets that come with a rechargeable lithium battery. Ensure that you remove it before proceeding to the next step.

Step 2: Dust off your blanket and remove pet hairs. Use tools such as rubber gloves, a specialized brush or lint roller for the latter. The other option is to tumble dry the blanket with the no heat option. However, you must be sure that this will not ruin the quality of your blanket.

Step 3: Fill a tub or large plastic basin with lukewarm water and add mild detergent. Use your hands to stir the water so that the detergent can form sudsy. Place the blanket inside and let it soak for at least 30 minutes. Use your hands to turn it occasionally so that the dirt can loosen properly.

Step 3: Identify dirt spots and squeeze them gently. Avoid wringing because it destroys the wiring. You can also use a soft brush to clean gently along the wires.

Step 4: Drain the basin and squeeze the blanket gently to remove excess water. Rinse with cold water until all the soap is removed.

Step 5: Squeeze to remove excess water and hang it on a clothesline or drying rack.

How to Wash an Electric Blanket with a Machine

washing a throw blanket

Most electric blankets are machine washable. In fact, there are brands that provide this as the only option. The main advantage to this approach is that it maintains the quality of the blanket if properly done.

Tools and supplies

  • Washing machine
  • Mild detergent
  • Dryer
  • Rubber gloves (optional)
  • Lint roller (optional)


Step 1: Just like with handwashing, begin by adhering to safely measures and shaking off excess dust.  This includes disconnecting all the power accessories and removing clingy pet hair from the blanket. 

Step 2: Transfer the blanket into the washing machine, ensure it is loaded evenly then add lukewarm water and detergent. Use regular or mild detergent to avoid damaging the blanket.

Step 3: Adjust the machine to the pre-soak setting for 30 minutes. The step is fundamental because it loosens dirt and shortens the period for the wash cycle.

Step 4: Choose a delicate or gentle wash cycle setting and let the machine run for a few minutes (3 at maximum) before moving to the rinse and spin cycle. Washing for a long time will potentially damage the blanket.

Step 5: Hang your blanket on a drying rack for air-drying. Note that most brands do not recommend the use of a dryer. For those that do, it is important to choose air drying option or the lowest heat setting available. Let the machine run for about 15-20 minutes only and transfer your blanket to a clothesline so that it can dry completely.


Dry-cleaning a heated blanket can be a good or bad idea depending on the choice of a professional. The use of harsh chemicals in the dry-cleaning process exposes such delicate items to serious and irreversible damage.

All the same, there are professionals whose level of expertise allows proper handling for all kinds of laundry. The most important thing is make sure that you have done your background research thoroughly before handing over your electric throw to a dry cleaner.

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