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May 28, 2024 9 min read

Weighted blankets have become increasingly popular for their ability to provide comfort and improve sleep quality. These blankets, often filled with materials like glass beads, offer a gentle, evenly distributed pressure that can help reduce anxiety and promote relaxation. However, to maintain the effectiveness and longevity of a weighted blanket, proper care and cleaning are essential. Washing a weighted blanket with glass beads requires careful attention to ensure the beads remain intact and the fabric is preserved. In this article, we will provide a comprehensive guide on how to wash a weighted blanket with glass beads, covering everything from preparation to drying. Whether you’re new to owning a weighted blanket or looking to improve your care routine, this guide will help you keep your blanket clean and in excellent condition.

Understanding Your Weighted Blanket

Weighted blankets are therapeutic tools designed to provide deep pressure stimulation, which can help reduce stress and anxiety while promoting a sense of calm and improved sleep. These blankets come in various weights and materials, tailored to different needs and preferences. One common type of filling used in weighted blankets is glass beads.

How Weighted Blankets Work

Weighted blankets work by applying gentle, evenly distributed pressure across the body, mimicking the sensation of a comforting hug. This pressure stimulates the production of serotonin and melatonin, hormones that enhance mood and encourage restful sleep. Additionally, it reduces the levels of cortisol, a stress hormone, creating a soothing effect that can alleviate anxiety and improve overall well-being.

Types of Fillings in Weighted Blankets

While there are several types of fillings used in weighted blankets, including plastic pellets and natural materials like rice or sand, glass beads are particularly popular due to their unique properties. Glass beads are small, smooth, and heavy, allowing for a more evenly distributed weight. They are also hypoallergenic, non-toxic, and environmentally friendly, making them a safe choice for most users.

Importance of the Care Label and Manufacturer’s Instructions

Before washing your weighted blanket, it is crucial to understand the specific care requirements provided by the manufacturer. Every weighted blanket comes with a care label that includes vital information about washing and drying methods, temperature settings, and any special precautions. Ignoring these instructions can lead to damage, such as fabric tears or bead leakage, reducing the blanket’s effectiveness and lifespan.

By understanding the structure and components of your weighted blanket, you can ensure that you follow the appropriate care methods to keep it clean and functional. In the next section, we will discuss the necessary preparations before washing your weighted blanket, ensuring you have everything in place for a safe and effective cleaning process.


Preparing to Wash Your Weighted Blanket

Proper preparation is crucial before washing your weighted blanket, especially when it contains glass beads. This section will guide you through the necessary steps to ensure your blanket is ready for a safe and effective cleaning process.

Inspecting the Blanket for Damage

Before washing, carefully inspect your weighted blanket for any signs of damage, such as loose stitching, small holes, or tears. Addressing these issues beforehand is important to prevent further damage during washing, which could lead to bead leakage and a compromised blanket structure. If you find any significant damage, consider repairing it yourself or consulting a professional before proceeding with the wash.

Removing the Cover (if applicable)

Many weighted blankets come with a removable cover for added protection and ease of cleaning. If your blanket has a cover, remove it and wash it separately according to the manufacturer's instructions. This step not only simplifies the cleaning process but also helps to protect the inner blanket and its glass beads from potential damage in the washing machine.

Pre-treating Stains

Stains can set into the fabric over time, making them more challenging to remove. To ensure your blanket comes out clean, pre-treat any visible stains with a suitable stain remover. Apply the stain remover directly to the affected areas and gently rub it in using a soft cloth or brush. Allow the stain remover to sit for a few minutes, as directed on the product label, before proceeding with the wash.

Checking the Weight and Size

Weighted blankets can be quite heavy, especially those filled with glass beads. Before washing, ensure your washing machine can handle the weight and size of the blanket. Most home washing machines can accommodate blankets up to 20 pounds, but larger or heavier blankets may require a commercial-sized machine. Overloading your washing machine can cause mechanical issues and may result in an ineffective wash.

By thoroughly preparing your weighted blanket for washing, you can prevent damage and ensure a more effective cleaning process. In the next section, we will discuss the different washing methods and help you choose the best one for your specific blanket.

Choosing the Right Washing Method

Selecting the appropriate washing method for your weighted blanket with glass beads is essential to ensure its longevity and maintain its effectiveness. The right method depends on several factors, including the weight and size of your blanket, the materials it's made of, and your washing machine's capacity. In this section, we will explore the two main washing methods: machine washing and hand washing.

Machine Washing vs. Hand Washing

The first decision you need to make is whether to machine wash or hand wash your weighted blanket. Machine washing is more convenient and quicker, but it may not be suitable for all blankets, especially heavier ones or those made from delicate materials. Hand washing is gentler and can be a better option for blankets that require special care.

Determining if Your Washing Machine Can Handle the Weight

Before deciding to machine wash your weighted blanket, check the weight capacity of your washing machine. Most standard home washing machines can handle up to 20 pounds, but larger blankets or those close to this weight limit might be too heavy. Overloading your machine can lead to mechanical issues and an ineffective wash. If your blanket exceeds the weight capacity of your washing machine, consider using a commercial-sized machine at a laundromat.

Ideal Washing Settings

If you decide to machine wash your blanket, it’s crucial to choose the right settings. Here are some general guidelines:

  • Gentle Cycle: Always use the gentle or delicate cycle to minimize agitation and reduce the risk of damaging the fabric or glass beads.
  • Cold or Warm Water: Opt for cold or lukewarm water. Hot water can weaken the fabric and cause the beads to wear down more quickly. Cold water is generally safer, but lukewarm water can help dissolve detergent more effectively.
  • Mild Detergent: Use a mild, bleach-free detergent. Harsh chemicals and fabric softeners can damage the fabric and affect the integrity of the glass beads.

Hand Washing Your Weighted Blanket

Hand washing is a safer alternative, especially for heavier or more delicate blankets. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

  1. Fill a Bathtub or Large Basin: Use lukewarm water to fill your bathtub or a large basin.
  2. Add Gentle Detergent: Dissolve a mild detergent in the water. Avoid using bleach or fabric softeners.
  3. Submerge the Blanket: Gently submerge the blanket in the water. Use your hands to agitate the water and ensure the detergent is evenly distributed.
  4. Rinse Thoroughly: After washing, drain the soapy water and refill the tub with clean water. Submerge the blanket again and gently agitate to remove all detergent. Repeat this step if necessary until the water runs clear.
  5. Remove Excess Water: Carefully lift the blanket out of the water and squeeze out excess water without wringing or twisting it. This helps prevent damage to the fabric and beads.

Choosing the right washing method is crucial for maintaining your weighted blanket's quality and effectiveness. By understanding the pros and cons of machine washing and hand washing, you can make an informed decision that best suits your blanket's needs. In the next section, we will provide detailed instructions for both machine washing and hand washing your weighted blanket.

**Section 6: Drying Your Weighted Blanket**

Properly drying your weighted blanket is just as important as washing it. Improper drying methods can damage the fabric, affect the integrity of the glass beads, and potentially lead to mold or mildew growth. This section will guide you through the best practices for drying your weighted blanket to ensure it remains in excellent condition.

**Importance of Avoiding High Heat**

High heat can be detrimental to both the fabric and the glass beads inside your weighted blanket. Excessive heat can cause the fabric to shrink, weaken, or even melt, while the beads can crack or degrade. Therefore, it’s crucial to avoid high heat during the drying process and opt for gentler methods.

Options for Drying Your Weighted Blanket

Air Drying

Air drying is the safest method for drying your weighted blanket, as it eliminates the risk of heat damage. Here’s how to do it effectively:

  1. Lay the Blanket Flat: Find a clean, dry, and flat surface, such as a large table or a clean floor, and lay the blanket flat. Avoid hanging the blanket, as the weight can cause it to stretch and damage the fabric.
  2. Use a Drying Rack: If you have a large drying rack, drape the blanket over it, ensuring it is evenly supported to prevent stretching.
  3. Flip and Rotate: Periodically flip and rotate the blanket to ensure even drying and prevent any damp spots. This can also help maintain the blanket's shape and prevent clumping of the glass beads.
  4. Ensure Good Air Circulation: Place the blanket in a well-ventilated area with good air circulation. You can use fans to speed up the drying process.

Tumble Drying

If you prefer to use a dryer, it’s essential to use a low heat setting to protect the blanket. Here are the steps:

  1. Low Heat Setting: Set your dryer to the lowest heat setting or use the air fluff cycle if available.
  2. Add Dryer Balls: Place a few clean, dry towels or dryer balls in the dryer with the blanket. This helps to distribute the weight and ensures the blanket dries more evenly.
  3. Check Periodically: Regularly check the blanket during the drying cycle to monitor its progress and prevent overheating. It may take several cycles to dry completely, depending on the blanket's weight and thickness.
  4. Finish Air Drying if Necessary: If the blanket is still damp after a few cycles, remove it from the dryer and finish drying it flat on a clean surface.

Tips for Ensuring Even Drying

  • Avoid Direct Sunlight: If drying your blanket outdoors, avoid direct sunlight, which can cause the fabric to fade and weaken.
  • Ensure Complete Drying: Make sure the blanket is thoroughly dry before using or storing it to prevent mold or mildew growth. Pay extra attention to the inner layers where moisture can be trapped.
  • Fluff the Blanket: After drying, gently fluff the blanket to redistribute the glass beads evenly and restore its shape.

Proper drying techniques will help maintain the quality and effectiveness of your weighted blanket, ensuring it remains a valuable tool for relaxation and better sleep. In the next section, we will cover additional care tips to keep your blanket in top condition for years to come.

Additional Care Tips

Taking care of your weighted blanket with glass beads involves more than just proper washing and drying. Regular maintenance and mindful storage can extend its lifespan and keep it in optimal condition. Here are some additional care tips to help you maintain your weighted blanket.

While it’s important to keep your weighted blanket clean, washing it too frequently can wear down the fabric and beads. Aim to wash your blanket every few months, or as needed based on usage and visible dirt or stains. If you use a removable cover, you can wash the cover more frequently and the blanket itself less often.

For minor stains or spills, spot cleaning is an effective way to maintain your blanket without subjecting it to a full wash. To spot clean, prepare a small amount of mild detergent mixed with water to create a gentle cleaning solution. Dip a clean cloth or sponge into the solution and gently blot the stain, avoiding rubbing to prevent pushing the stain deeper into the fabric. Use a damp cloth to rinse the area with clean water, then blot with a dry towel to remove excess moisture. Allow the spot to air dry completely.

Proper storage is essential to keep your weighted blanket in good condition when not in use. Always clean your blanket before storing it to prevent dirt and stains from setting in over time. Fold the blanket neatly to avoid creasing or damaging the fabric and beads. Store your blanket in a breathable storage bag or container to protect it from dust and pests while allowing air circulation. Avoid placing heavy items on top of the stored blanket, as this can cause the beads to shift and the fabric to compress.

Over time, your weighted blanket may develop small tears or loose stitching. Address these issues promptly to prevent further damage. Use a needle and thread to carefully sew up small tears, ensuring you use strong, durable thread that matches the fabric color. Check the seams periodically and reinforce any loose stitching to maintain the blanket’s integrity.

By following these additional care tips, you can ensure your weighted blanket remains a valuable tool for relaxation and better sleep for years to come. Proper care and maintenance will keep your blanket clean, functional, and comfortable, allowing you to continue enjoying its many benefits.