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Blankets, like other clothing and bedding items, need regular cleaning. In general households, they are used almost every day. Thus, we recommend you wash them at least once a month to avoid excessive dust and dirt build-up.
In this article, we will share how you can clean blankets at home with a machine and without a machine as well.
So, let’s start:
Find a tub or basin large enough for your blanket to fit in and fill it up with cool water. Mix in mild detergent and let it spread through the water. You’ll essentially be doing the same thing as a washing machine on a gentle setting, only manually, which gives you greater control over how the blanket is treated and helps ensure that every part gets clean.
Using soft, kneading strokes, drag the blanket back and forth in the soapy water. It’s best to take hold of one section of the blanket for a few passes, then smooth it out and wash a new section. Do this until the blanket has been cleaned thoroughly.
Take the blanket out of the tub and let the saturated water run out. Fold the blanket in half two or three times and then use both hands to apply pressure to the blanket, squeezing out excess water. Pressing the blanket is a safer alternative to wringing it out, which can stretch the fabric out of shape.
Give the blanket another quick wash in some plain cool water. This will rinse away any detergent that might have soaked into the blanket. Swish the blanket through the water, touching each section individually. Make sure there are no traces of soap remaining on the blanket. Drain and refill the tub with fresh water until it remains clear after rinsing. You may need to do this several times. Make sure you hand wash delicate fabrics like wool, silk and linens. These fabrics are woven from natural fibres and may be irreparably damaged if treated with harsh washing methods.
Now, let’s see how to clean blankets in a washing machine:
Depending on the size of the blanket you’re washing, you may have trouble getting it to fit into a washing machine. Front-loading washers and top-loaders without agitators will produce optimal results, as the drum is spacious and allows plenty of room for the blanket to move. If your blanket is too big to fit in a standard washing machine or is made of an especially delicate material, wash it by hand instead.
Take the blanket outside and give it a good shake to remove any loose dirt or dust before washing. The washing machines found at a dry cleaning store are typically bigger than commercial washers and might be the best option if you’re washing a blanket that is particularly large or thick.
When machine washing blankets, always use cool water and choose the gentlest wash cycle. Washing machines are rough on clothes: that’s partially how they manage to get things so clean. The downside of this is that all the spinning, beating and agitating can stretch your blanket out of shape and cause it to come out looking worse than before. Similarly, hot water can shrink threads and cause dye to run. Be aware of this and protect your blanket from damage.
Pour a small amount of mild detergent into the washer after it fills but before you put in the blanket. This way, the detergent will diffuse evenly throughout the water, creating a gentle washing solution and keeping you from having to pour the detergent directly onto the blanket. Most laundry soaps are astringent and can cause wear and fading to textiles in high concentration, so pick a detergent approved for woolen delicates and go easy on it.
Place the blanket into the washing machine, making sure that the weight and bulk of it is evenly distributed around the inside of the drum. Otherwise, not all surfaces of the blanket will get cleaned equally, and the motion generated during the wash cycle can throw the washer off balance. If the washer you’re using has a centre agitator, coil the blanket loosely around the agitator as you lower it in.
Let the blanket go through the process of washing. If the blanket is of a heavy-duty or synthetic material, it’s alright to let it finish a full wash cycle. However, you can also take the blanket out and drain the washing machine after 3-5 minutes; for delicate and natural fabrics like wool or down, there’s no need for the blanket to undergo a complete wash, rinse and spin cycle. The longer the blanket is in the washing machine, the higher the chance it will come out warped, stretched or damaged. The spin cycle in particular may be too forceful for certain fabrics. Fabrics that are washing machine safe include cottons, which are pre-shrunk, and synthetic materials like polyester and nylon, which don’t stretch out or shrink.
The wet blanket will be heavier than usual, so, you can take somebody’s help to take it out while letting it touch the floor and come in contact with dust. Keep it in a clean and dry tub or bucket.
Join any two edges of the blanket and start rolling them until there is no space left to roll further by applying force. Keep wringing out the blanket like this repeatedly until the water stops dripping off. It is better to take someone’s help in this task.
Using a clothesline or ironing board, straighten and suspend the blanket to let it begin drying. Hang drying works best when it’s done outside due to the movement of the air, but if you don’t have a place to dry clothes outside you can also turn on a fan or simply let the blanket hang overnight.
Smooth out all wrinkles and folds before hanging the blanket, or else the blanket will crease and dry unevenly. Make sure the blanket is completely stretched out when hang drying. Greater surface area means faster, more thorough drying. Wool, silks, linens and any blankets with loose weave-work, like crochet, should always be hung and allowed to air dry. This is the gentlest way to treat easily damaged fabrics and will help protect them for much more washing and drying.
Just like your clothes and bed linens, blankets also need regular cleaning. So, you should clean blankets at least once a month.
They are bigger in size than other garments you wash by hand. Thus, you can prefer machine washing over hand washing blankets because it is easier. Don’t forget to check the care label of your blanket. Because sometimes the manufacturers give a clear warning to opt for dry cleaning only. In such cases, you should not take a risk by cleaning blankets at home, it is better to visit a dry cleaner near you.
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