how do you wash an electric blanket

How Do You Wash an Electric Blanket?

Electric blankets or duvets have become an indispensable comfort for many, especially during those chilly nights. It is also commonly called an electric heated mattress pad if used on the mattress.These blankets, embedded with electrical heating wires for heat, not only keep us warm but can also offer therapeutic benefits for sore muscles. However, given their electrical components, cleaning them isn’t as straightforward as washing a regular blanket. Regular maintenance is essential to keep it fresh, prolong its lifespan and also maintain its efficiency. But how do you wash an electric blanket and not damage it?

Cleaning an electric blanket requires caution to protect its electrical components. While hand washing offers the gentlest approach, machine washing on a delicate cycle is also feasible. Spot cleaning addresses minor spills. Always ensure the blanket is dry before use and consult manufacturer guidelines for optimal care.

Here are the three tried-and-tested methods for cleaning your electric blanket safely.

Hand Washing an Electric Blanket

Hand washing is often the recommended approach for items that need gentle care, and electric blankets are no exception. This method is especially suitable for those wanting to avoid potential mishaps associated with machines. By following these steps, you can ensure your electric blanket remains in top condition.

  1. Preparation: Disconnect the electric blanket from any power sources. Make sure to remove all cords or controls that are attached.
  2. Water and Detergent: Fill a large tub or basin with cold or lukewarm water. Mix in a mild detergent until it’s well-dissolved.
  3. Submerge and Soak: Gently place the blanket into the soapy water, ensuring it’s fully submerged. Allow it to soak for about 15-20 minutes.
  4. Gentle Cleaning: Using your hands, move the blanket around in the water to clean it. It’s vital to be gentle and avoid any actions that might stretch or strain the internal wires.
  5. Rinsing: Drain the soapy water from the tub. Refill it with clean cold water. Immerse the blanket to rinse off the detergent. You might need to repeat this a couple of times to ensure all soap is rinsed out.
  6. Water Removal: Press down on the blanket to push out excess water. Remember, wringing can damage the wires, so avoid twisting the blanket.
  7. Drying: Lay the blanket flat on a clean surface, such as a drying rack or clean towel. If you prefer to hang it, ensure it’s fully supported to prevent any distortion.
  8. Check for Dampness: Once the blanket feels dry, touch various areas to make sure no damp spots remain. Dampness can be a hazard when the blanket is plugged in.
  9. Storage or Use: If you intend to store the blanket, fold it neatly and place it in a dry area. If you’re going to use it, reattach any cords or controls, and it’s ready to keep you warm!

Machine Washing an Electric Blanket

Machine washing offers a convenient solution for those looking to clean their electric blankets without the manual labor involved in hand washing. While machines expedite the process, it’s really important to be cautious to ensure the blanket’s lifespan and safety. The following steps guide you through this method efficiently.

  1. Preparation: Before anything else, disconnect the electric blanket and remove any attached cords or controls.
  2. Machine Settings: Set your washing machine to a “gentle” or “delicate” cycle. Cold water is preferred, and a mild detergent will be gentle on the blanket’s fabric and wiring.
  3. Loading: Spread the blanket evenly in the washing machine drum, ensuring it’s not folded or bunched up.
  4. Wash Duration: Opt for a short cycle, typically lasting no more than 10 minutes, to prevent any strain on the internal wires.
  5. Rinse and Spin: After washing, use a slow spin cycle to extract water. This gentle spin minimizes the risk of damaging the wires.
  6. Drying Options: Air drying is often the safest bet. If you choose to tumble dry, make sure it’s on a low heat setting and keep the duration short.
  7. Post-Dry Check: Once you believe the blanket is dry, inspect it thoroughly. Make sure there are no damp sections, as moisture can pose risks when the blanket is in use.
  8. Reconnect: After ensuring the blanket is completely dry, reattach any cords or controls.
  9. Regular Inspection: Every time you wash, take a moment to inspect the blanket for any wear, tear, or damage. This proactive approach can help in identifying potential hazards early on.

Spot Cleaning an Electric Blanket

Spot cleaning is the go-to method for addressing small stains or spills without the need for a full wash. This approach is especially handy for those moments when you accidentally spill something on your electric blanket but don’t want to go through the entire washing process. Here’s a step-by-step guide to tackle those spots effectively.

  1. Safety First: Always ensure the blanket is unplugged from all power sources before cleaning.
  2. Gather Supplies: You’ll need a mild detergent, cold water, and a couple of soft cloths.
  3. Detergent Solution: In a bowl, combine a few drops of detergent with cold water. Mix well until you have a soapy solution.
  4. Cleaning Action: Dip a soft cloth into the solution and wring out any excess liquid. Gently dab the stained area with the cloth. Use a patting motion rather than a rubbing one to prevent damage.
  5. Rinsing the Spot: With a separate cloth dampened in clean water, gently pat the area to remove any lingering soap residue.
  6. Blot Dry: Using a dry towel, press down on the cleaned spot to absorb as much moisture as possible.
  7. Air Dry: Allow the spot to air dry completely. Ensure there’s no moisture left, as this can be hazardous when the blanket is powered on.
  8. Re-examine: Once dried, inspect the area to ensure the stain is gone. If remnants remain, you might need to repeat the spot cleaning process.
  9. Resume Use: After the spot is clean and dry, you can plug in and use your blanket as usual.


Can you put an electric blanket in the dryer?

While some electric blankets can handle the dryer, it’s vital to ensure you’re using a low heat setting. Extended exposure to high heat can potentially harm the internal wiring and decrease the blanket’s overall lifespan. Before opting for this method, always consult the care label or manufacturer’s guidelines to avoid any mishaps.

Can you wash an electric blanket in a washing machine?

Many electric blankets are indeed designed to be machine-washable. When doing so, it’s essential to use a gentle cycle and cold water to protect the blanket’s internal components. Mild detergent is preferred to prevent any harsh chemical reactions with the fabric or wiring. After washing, it’s always a good idea to give the blanket a thorough inspection to ensure no damage has occurred.

How often should you wash an electric blanket?

Maintaining the cleanliness of your electric blanket promotes both hygiene and functionality. While there isn’t a strict timetable, washing your blanket once or twice a season, or when it becomes dirty or emits an odor, is a good rule of thumb. Regular cleaning helps in preserving the blanket’s quality and ensuring it provides warmth consistently.

Can you dry clean an electric blanket?

Dry cleaning involves chemicals that might not be suitable for the delicate wiring and fabric of electric blankets. It’s generally advised against using this cleaning method. The chemicals can deteriorate the internal components, leading to potential malfunctions or reduced efficiency. Always prioritize methods that are gentle on the blanket and adhere to manufacturer recommendations.


Cleaning an electric blanket requires careful attention to preserve its functionality and safety. Whether you’re hand washing, machine washing, or spot cleaning, always prioritize the blanket’s care instructions. With proper maintenance, your electric blanket can serve you warmth and comfort for many winters to come.