Chances are you’ve been getting extra use out of your weighted blanket over the last 10 months or so. Just a wild guess, considering they are known to decrease anxiety and provide more restful sleep—something we could all use right now. And, naturally, this means you’re probably wondering how to wash that weighted blanket, since it’s not quite as straightforward as washing socks and underwear. That’s why we tapped two cleaning experts to give us the full rundown of what to do to keep that security blanket looking (and smelling) fresh.

How Do I Wash a Weighted Blanket?

A good rule of thumb when washing a weighted blanket, according to Jessica Ek of the American Cleaning Institute, is pretty straightforward yet often ignored: always read the label and follow wash instructions.

If you not-so-accidentally cut your tag off to keep it from scratching your body as you unwind, don’t fret. Most weighted blankets, Jessica shares, can be put in the washing machine on a gentle cycle (depending on your washer’s capacity limits). Of course, since weighted blankets have different fillings—plastic pellets, micro glass beads, steel shot beads, sand, rice, the list goes on—it’s also important to play it safe and always wash on low heat.

“If filled with sand,” Lynsey Crombie, Queen of Clean, tells us, “try to only wash when completely necessary, as once sand is wet it can remold and become lumpy. And if filled with natural organic fillers, be careful, as these don’t dry well and can cause mold and decompose when wet.”

No matter the filling, when you do wash your weighted blanket, Lynsey suggests using a natural, non-chemical liquid detergent, skipping the fabric softener and washing them on their own without other items in the load. Pro tip: Opt for the extra spin cycle to remove any excess water before drying.

Let's recap:

  • Read the label and follow wash instructions
  • Wash on gentle cycle
  • Wash on low heat
  • Use a natural, non-chemical liquid detergent
  • Don't use fabric softener
  • Wash in the machine alone
  • Put through an extra spin cycle

How Often Should I Wash a Weighted Blanket?

Since individually washing your weighted blanket isn’t exactly the most fun chore, both experts suggest investing in a weighted blanket cover or a few you can swap out (like this light, breathable one or this plush sherpa one) to not only make laundry day easier, but also keep your weighted blanket in great condition.

With a cover, Jessica suggests washing it once a month and then cleaning the weighted blanket itself two to four times a year. Without a cover, though, she suggests washing the blanket itself monthly, though Lynsey says four washes a year will do the trick, depending on how often you use it and if it’s kept spotless. (So maybe skip sipping wine and eating nachos while covered in your blanket, unless you like living on the edge.)

Can I Use Fabric Softener or Bleach on a Weighted Blanket?

The short answer? No. You should not use fabric softener or bleach on a weighted blanket. Over time, Lynsey warns, “fabric softener will wear down the fibers, and bleach is too harsh.”

How Do I Dry a Weighted Blanket?

Unless otherwise stated on the label, Jessica and Lynsey both confirm most weighted blankets can also be machine dried on low heat or dried naturally by laying them flat or up to hang.

One important thing to consider when air drying, though, is you’ll want to make sure the filling is evenly distributed across the blanket so it dries sufficiently.

How Do I Spot Clean a Weighted Blanket?

As with anything, removing stains really depends on what you spilled on them and how big the mark is. In general, though, the Queen of Clean suggests spot-cleaning weighted blankets: Use a combination of warm water and dish soap. “If the stain is more stubborn, add a splash of white vinegar,” she says.

Or if you plan to put it in the washing machine, you can pre-treat it with stain remover and then proceed as normal (gentle cycle, low heat).

RELATED: The Best Weighted Blankets for Kids (and How to Know If You Should Try One)

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