Winter is a time of hunkering down, of snuggling up. Families all across Colorado pull out their extra blankets and fluff them out over their beds and their couches. But unless these blankets are cleaned regularly and effectively, they can carry all sorts of nasty things into the places where your family is the most vulnerable. Dust mites, old skin cells, even bacteria can linger in the fibers of your favorite cozy blankets.
The only trouble with cleaning blankets is that it can be a difficult and time-consuming task—one full of ways to damage or degrade your sheets, quilts, and throws. When washing your own blankets, you’ll want to be sure to wash them according to the needs of the fabric they’re made out of.
Here are our top blanket cleaning tips by material.
How to Wash Wool Blankets
Washing wool requires a deft hand—because woolen fabrics are made from the hair of animals like sheep and alpaca, washing them in water that is too hot will cause your blanket to shrink. Its nearly always best to seek a professional for wool blankets, and avoid the risk of damage that can happen when doing it at home. Likewise, drying them in a dryer, even on a low setting, can cause shrinkage and discoloration. Even certain detergents are too strong for wool blankets — your best bet is to invest in the care and insight a professional dry cleaner can provide. While you can certainly hand-wash your wool blankets, that takes a very long time and is arduous work.
It’s generally safe to run your wool blankets through a washing machine as long as you set the water temperature to cold and the spin cycle to delicate, and invest in some woolen detergent like Woolite Extra Delicate. Then you’ll want to hang your wool blanket on a line to air dry. If the tag on your wool blanket says that it can be dry cleaned, it’s worth the time and effort to send your wool blanket out to a professional. At Dependable Cleaners, we have lots of experience working with wool blankets and will take excellent care of your bedding.
How to Wash Cotton Blankets
Luckily, cotton blankets are the easiest to take care of. To wash your family’s cotton blankets, all you’ll need is a washing machine with a warm or cold temperature setting, and a dryer with a gentle setting. The trickiest part of cleaning cotton blankets is getting stains out of them. As with any stain on any fabric, you’ll want to meet the stain on its own terms—what kind of stain it is will help you determine how to banish it, once and for all. Typically, spot stain removers will work wonders on a stained cotton blanket, as cotton is pretty forgiving as far as stains go. You’ll want to use the spot cleaner to address any stains on your cotton blanket. (Be sure to test any spot cleaner on a small piece of fabric first to avoid discoloration). Then wash the blanket on a gentle spin cycle in your washing machine, making sure that the water temperature setting is dialed down to cold or warm, never hot. While many cotton blankets are pre-shrunk, washing on a cooler temperature will ensure that you avoid accidental shrinking. Be sure not to overload your washer—you’ll want ample room for your blanket to move around in the wash. Then, dry your cotton blanket in a tumble dryer on gentle, using low heat.
“Be sure not to overload your washer—you’ll want ample room for your blanket to move around in the wash.”
How to Wash Synthetic Blankets
Blankets made out of synthetic materials, such as polyester, fleece, microfiber, and more, can be tricky to wash without shrinking. Typically, you can send these blankets out for dry cleaning, but if you prefer to wash them at home, you can use a warm water cycle in just about any washing machine. Just be sure never to wash these blankets in hot water, or they will shrink. Like cotton blankets, most synthetic blankets can be put through the dryer without issue, so long as you set the cycle to gentle and low heat. Under no circumstances should you ever iron fleece blankets, or blankets made of other synthetic material, as this can permanently ruin your blanket by melting the plastic in the fabric and leaving a hard spot where the iron was.
Let the Pros Handle It—We’ve Got You Covered
Washing your own blankets at home can be cathartic, but it does take time. If you need help from the laundry experts at Dependable Cleaners, we are here to help with dedicated bedding and linen cleaning services. Our professional-grade equipment is larger and designed to accommodate the extra load size of blankets. In fact, we recommend dry cleaning all of your blankets and comforters, so long as their tags suggest it. Even if you choose to have us wash your blankets rather than dry cleaning them, our washers at Dependable Cleaners have higher water temperatures than average washing machines, which can help kill bacteria and viruses while being extra gentle on fabrics. No matter how you choose to have us clean your blankets for you, you can rest easy. We have decades of experience cleaning blankets of all kinds, from wool to fleece, from cotton to linen, and more.
Don’t let your winter blanket cleaning tasks bring a chill to your spine. Bring your winter blankets by any of our Dependable Cleaners locations today, or choose our convenient wash and fold services, and we will arrange for a pick up whenever you like.