How to wash heating blankets and pads: tips & techniques

Don’t know how to clean a heating blanket or pad by the book? You start to worry because you seem like literally dealing with electricity and power cords? We’ve got you covered here. So, let’s take a closer look.

Is dry clean good for electric blankets and pads

Traditionally, when we deal with a normal bed sheet, we throw it into the washing machine or use dry cleaning. Besides, many people are convinced that dry cleaning is gentler, and for this very reason, it is more convenient for a washable heating blanket or mattress pad. But dry cleaning suggests using chemicals that can destroy the wire insulation and heating parts of the item. So, this is out of the question – you cannot dry-clean these things!

Can you wash all electric blankets and pads

It’s a natural desire to keep water and electricity apart. Some users are more afraid of damaging the heating system than electrocuting. Luckily, manufacturers factored in the point and produce a washable heating pad that can be doused in the water, provided specific rules are followed. So, proper cleaning is a must in order to prolong the quality of our electric blankets or pads. However, the process might vary according to their type, manufacturer, and the production year. Pay attention to the instruction booklet or any other information provided by the manufacturer!

Hand washing an electric bedding

When searching for how to clean a heating blanket, hand-washing is probably the first to show up in the instructions. It’s super easy and you’ll need a wide plastic bin and mild laundry detergent. So, here’s how to do it effectively with all the aspects covered.

Unplug all the cables

Before popping the blanket or pad in any water container, it is pivotal to verify if all the wires, power cords are detached. Do it per the manufacturer’s guidelines. Nowadays, most brands make internal wires’ insulation covered with waterproof coating for protective measures. Not only will this step protect your washable heating blanket from unrepairable damage, but also prevent the risk of the current surge in the water. The latter can lead to fire hazards during the process or use.

Pour lukewarm water into a bin or a tub

Place the linen in the bin or tub and fill it with lukewarm water. Why isn’t cold or hot one good? The internal wiring of the item can be easily damaged. Cold water might make the wiring stiffen and hot one can “boil” it and the power cords outlets. Add enough water for the full plunge of the product. As for the tub, when purchasing it specifically for hand washing electric bedding, make sure it has wide room to fully submerge the throw and agitate water freely.

Add the correct amount of mild laundry detergent

Here’s the thing: the internal parts of your washable heating pad can be damaged if you add too much detergent. How? The suds will sink through the fibers. If you don’t add enough – your linen will spread won’t be cleaned. Also, pay attention not to put your blanket and the detergent all together. First, agitate the water to make it sudsy and then place the item. It’s critical to use a mild or gentle detergent that does both – saves the quality of electric bedding and does not cause skin damage.

Wash the product

After letting the blanket or pad soak for 15-30 minutes, rinse it, and lightly press out the material to remove excess water, dust, and debris piled up there over the use. Drain the tub or empty the bin and gently wring out again the electric blankets, avoiding compressing the wires. Make sure you do not overdo with wringing out as this can damage the wires and make the item useless.

Machine washing electric blankets and pads

If hand-washing is not your thing, a washing machine can take care of your washable heating blanket. Check for the caution instructions given by the manufacturer beforehand. Make sure your washer has a few cycles since a regular one is too tough and can cause damage. So, let’s get straight to how to machine wash electric blankets and pads.

Disconnect all the cables

To save your time, we won’t convey again the importance of detaching all the cables. Just a few points to outline here. Make sure that none of the wire heating components are exposed through the product’s fabric. Also, if you have an older product with an undetachable power cord, do not clean it in a washer. Instead, hand wash it without the cord plunging into the water.

Check the manufacturer’s instructions

Electric devices always come with user manuals that contain specific cleaning instructions. You can find them on an “item care” label, in a booklet in the box, or on the packaging itself. By no means do not ignore reading it! Traditionally, manufacturers recommend pre-soaking your washable heating pad from five to fifteen minutes. Also, you’ll find the recommendations on water temperature, the specific amount of time necessary to actually wash the item, advisable wash cycles (mostly a delicate and quick spin cycle), and rinsing procedure.

Wash shortly and delicately

Most modern electric brands can be cleaned in a washer. A full wash cycle is rarely encouraged. It can spoil the blanket, which, in due turn, can cause the wiring to spark once the electric linen is plugged in. Ordinarily, electric blankets and pads need two minutes’ wash on a delicate cycle. So, pour a small amount of a mild detergent free of solid cleaners. Do not add any other cleaning liquids or bleach and put out the wash cycle after two minutes.

Rinse and spin quickly

Two minutes later, let the washer rinse your washable heating blanket and then have it spun on an elementary spin cycle. The latter is commonly recommended by most manufacturers. A rinsing cycle should take no longer than 1 minute with cool or lukewarm water. The two processes will remove any suds from the throw and press out excess water from it.

How to remove problem stains and odors

After becoming familiar with how to clean a heating blanket, you can now figure out how to remove stains and odors. This is the number one reason to actually start the cleaning process. So, if your electric blanket has stains or strong odors from pets or other objects, you can pre-treat the affected spots before washing it. Try delicate alternatives to harsh chemicals, solvents, or bleach as they can damage the wiring and heating elements. Fill a little spray bottle with distilled water and vinegar sticking to the 1:1 ratio. Spray the liquid abundantly on spots and leave for a few minutes. For oil or grease, add some dish soap and rub it gently with a wet sponge.

Can you dry an electric pad or blanket

After learning how to clean a heating blanket or pad, you’ll need to understand how to dry it correctly. When it’s about electric bedding in the dryer – opinions differ. Some recommend avoiding it. High heat can ruin wiring inside, power outlets, and internal cords. Others recommend setting the heat to low, but again – the machine’s tumble motion can still affect the cords because of the too strong movement. One thing is clear here: check the manufacturer’s recommendations. Some models need a short dryer “pre-heating” period. Anyway, setting the dryer to “low” is a common practice. And usually, the blanket should be damp when removing it from the dryer. The approximate time for drying is between 5 to 10 minutes. The most secure way is to hang it on a clothesline or drying rack. Stretch the bedspread back to its original shape or, spread the item evenly out into its initial shape on a flat surface. Avoid clothespins to prevent electrical wires from being pinched.

Storage tips

Integral to keeping the quality of your washable pad is its proper storage. You’ll probably store it in your closet, basement, or attic for a season and need to pack it up correctly.

Use vacuum bags or plastic storage container

First, vacuum bags can come in handy. It’s a wonderful idea to save space. You can put a few blankets together into one bag, and still, it will take less space than keeping them separately. Also, the airtight bags will prevent the penetration of odors, dust, and insects. Additionally, you might want to place it in a plastic storage container, which is secure as well.

Take care of wires

When folding your washable heating pad, make sure none of the wires are bent sharply.  Always check all the cables for any damage. Pick a safe place for storing in your home that is not favorable for mice, insects, or mold. Stash airtight bags or a container in a dry place, off the floor so that the item smells well next time you take it out.

Important don’ts

Although we have already outlined important don’ts in this piece, we’ll gladly emphasize them once again. Keep them in mind when you’re about to clean a heating blanket or pad. They will help prevent damage, fire hazard, and even injuries. So, by no means, DO NOT…

  • Dry clean electric beddings
  • Add bleach, sharp chemicals when cleaning
  • Put the item’s controller into the water
  • Pop it in a wringer or iron it
  • Wash any cords of the item
  • Put analgesic cream right before putting an electric blanket
  • Use sprays on the product


Now you know how to clean a heating blanket and have all the chances to enjoy the product over many seasons. Proper cleaning, drying, and care will ensure a high and long-lasting serviceability of this favorite product.


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