March 11, 2022 6 min read

Do you wash your blankets as often as you should? Does anyone even know how frequently they should wash blankets anyway? Well, about a third of UK dwellers reported only washing their bedding once a year. Yikes — that sends shivers down our spine. 

So yeah, that doesn’t cut it. But what is the proper washing frequency? And what’s the best way to clean those blankets of yours? That’s why we’re here. We’ll take you through everything you need to know about washing blankets so you can sleep comfortably (and safely). Let’s get at it!

Why Washing Your Blankets Often Is So Important

If you’re wondering, “Does it really matter how often I clean my blankets?” The answer is yes. It absolutely does.

Think about it this way: you spend about 8 hours wrapped up in bedding every night. That’s a third of your entire day! It’s a significant amount of time to be doing  anything. And while we might believe that sleeping is a pretty stationary activity, there’s a bit more to it than that.

Hand woven blanket Grey Blanket

Your body gets busy during sleep, repairing your cells, regulating hormones, and so much more. And as a result of all this, you might find these in your bedding when you wake up:

  • Dead skin
  • Hairs
  • Drool
  • Sweat
  • Skin oils
  • Other body fluids

Yup, all this accumulates in your bedding. Ew! Truthfully, bed sheets and pillows get the worst of it. But that doesn’t mean your blankets get a free pass. You need to keep those clean too.

How Often Should You Wash Blankets?

Cotton Blanket Blanket on Bed

There isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer regarding how often you should toss your bedding in the wash. It depends! Is the blanket in question solely a decorative throw that no one ever touches? Or is it your go-to nap blanket that may or may not be stained with drool and coffee? See? It matters how much you use them.

So, how often should you wash your blankets then? Treat any blankets you regularly use as if they’re bed sheets. That means weekly washes are ideal. You can probably get away with biweekly cleaning too, but that’s your call.

As for casually-used covers, laundering every few weeks is A-okay. On the other hand, rarely-touched throws only need to be refreshed about once a season.

Of course, always clean your blankets immediately if they’re visibly dirty.

Light Grey Blanket

How to Wash Blankets

Knowing how to wash blankets is just as important as knowing when to clean them. So without further ado, let’s get to it.

  • Sort blankets out. As with all laundry, it’s best to sort your textiles by both color and material. You’ve probably heard that you should wash lights and darks separately, but did you know you should clean natural and synthetics individually too?
  • Toss bedding into the washing machine. Most blankets are machine washable, which means you can simply add them to your regular loads with like colors. Still, you might come across some covers that are hand-wash or dry-clean only, so be sure to check the tag first.
  • Set the wash cycle. Add a mild detergent, set your washer to the gentle cycle, and wait. Maybe even start a timer, so you don’t forget to check on your blankets in an hour.
  • Remove bedding immediately. Once that final cycle comes to an end, remove your blankets ASAP. Leaving your damp linens in the wash can lead to creasing and musty odors from bacteria growth. No thanks!
  • Let your blankets dry. Check your blankets’ care labels to see if they’re dryer-friendly. If so, great! Shake them out, move them over to your dryer, and choose the low or medium heat cycle. But if machine dryers are a no-go, lay your blankets over a drying rack or clothesline until they’re thoroughly dry.
  • Your bedding is ready! Once your blankets have dried, your work is complete. Now, you can fold them up, drape them on your couch, or curl up for a cozy nap.

Always check the care tag on your garment before cleaning. It provides specific do’s and don’ts to keep your bedding in the best condition possible. So trust those instructions over anything!

Tips and Tricks for Washing Blankets

Now that we have the basics covered, here is some advice on how to wash blankets like a pro. But really, they apply to cleaning any kind of bedding! So consider these tips and tricks on your next laundry day.

  • Don’t overload your washing machine. When learning how to clean blankets, here’s a big hack: don’t overdo it. It’s easy to get ambitious when loading bedding into your washer since each piece is much larger than a t-shirt or pair of jeans. Because of that, you may not be able to clean all your blankets in a single load. And while this might make your chores more time-consuming, we promise it’s worth the alternative of having it rewash them all.
  • Load your washing machine carefully. Always separate each blanket before tossing it into your washer. Otherwise, they might all clump together in one big, unclean bundle. And the same goes for dryers too! No one wants dirty or wet blankets at the end of laundry day, so take your time.
  • Clean bedding when you need to. How often should you wash your blankets when they’re stinky or dirty? Get them in the laundry as soon as you notice! Yes, even if you just cleaned them two days ago. Letting dirty blankets sit allows stains and smells to set — and you never want that.
  • Have extra blankets on hand. If you have only had one throw that you adore, you’re probably going to wash it less. We get it. You’ll delay laundry day if it means leaving your couch barren as you impatiently wait for your blanket to dry. The solution? Buy an extra! Having the perfect backup means cleaning your throw never has to be stressful (and it’ll make both of them last longer too).
  • Be careful with heat. Heat can be your friend in moderation. Warm temperatures help destroy bacteria and remove creases (hello, ironing and steaming), but excess heat can wear out your blankets prematurely. So always use the lowest temperature possible to get the job done.
Grey Blanket

Is It Bad to Wash Blankets Too Much?

Short answer: yes. Like anything, it certainly is possible to overwash your blankets.

The friction caused by washing textiles leads to your material wearing over time. That’s just how it is! But the lifespan of your blanket depends on many different factors, one of which is quality.

Cheap-made materials will likely break down faster than high-quality pieces, which are often more expensive. But there’s a method to the price tag. If you can afford to pay for a bigger ticket item upfront, there’s a good chance it’ll outlast the budget buy. Often, this will save you money in the long run.

Some colors will also fade in just a few washes, but choosing products like our Stonewashed Linen Quilts ensures that what you see is what you get. No fading here! Plus, fabrics like stonewashed linen and cotton percale grow softer after every single wash. All the more incentive to toss those blankets in the laundry, right?

And while over washing blankets can cause premature wear, so can under washing. Remember all those dead skin cells, grime, and bacteria we talked about getting trapped in your bedding?

That affects the longevity of your blankets too!

So yes, it is possible to wash your blankets too much, but it’s just as harmful to wash them infrequently. If you’re investing in good quality covers and following proper care instructions, this shouldn’t be a problem for you.

Final Thoughts on How To Wash Bedding

How often should you wash bedding? It depends on how often you use them. Aim to clean regularly-used blankets once a week, casually-used ones every few weeks, and rarely-touched throws every couple of months. Always follow care instructions on your garment’s tag to ensure your blanket stays clean and cozy for a long, long time.