How To Wash A Cotton Blanket The Right Way (Step By Step Guide)

March 9, 2023
by Dan Skewes

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There’s nothing like coming home from a long, difficult day at work and settling under a soft, cotton blanket.

All around the world, many people have their cotton blankets to thank for a good night’s sleep.

However, there comes a point in time when our blankets need to be washed, and this is where the trouble lies. 

Many people do not wash their cotton blankets correctly, which leads to them losing their characteristic softness and durability. 

So, we are here to help! In this article, we will teach you the best way to wash, dry, and care for your cotton blankets with our step-by-step guide.

So, read on for more to make your blankets last a lifetime and learn how to wash a cotton blanket correctly! 

What Are The Benefits Of Washing Cotton Blankets?

Aside from keeping them clean and sanitary, washing your cotton blankets actually works to keep them hypoallergenic.

This is great for those who have allergies.

Cotton Blanket Guide: Characteristics Of Cotton Blankets

Cotton blankets are suitable to use across all four seasons. Of course, the thickness of the cotton blanket will vary depending on the time of year you are using it. 

Right behind wool cotton is the most breathable fabric. Not only that, but pure cotton is also lightweight and soft, which is why it is so popular. 

However, many blankets these days are not pure cotton, but a cotton blend. These cotton blend blankets will need to be washed differently from pure cotton blankets.

A typical choice for cotton blend blankets is polyester.

Cotton blend blankets are less prone to shrinking than pure cotton blankets.

Cotton Blanket Guide: Check The Label Of Your Cotton Blanket

Before washing the cotton blanket, is it always best to check the label. The label will tell you how exactly the blanket is supposed to be washed and cared for.

For example, the label for your cotton blanket will let you know whether or not the blanket is supposed to be washed in cold or warm water and how it is supposed to be dried. 

However, it is also good to note that there are little tips and tricks not given to you on labels that can improve the longevity of the cotton blanket, which we will detail below!

Cotton Blanket Guide: Washing Your Cotton Blanket 

As previously mentioned, how you wash a cotton blanket will differ from washing a cotton blend blanket.

Blended cotton is less likely to shrink in the wash, meaning you can wash it at hotter temperatures.

However, cotton is prone to shrinkage at hotter temperatures. 

Although, it is important to note that some cotton blankets go through a process that means it is safe to wash at higher temperatures without shrinking.

This process is called Sanforization. Check the label of your cotton blanket, and if you see “Sanforized” then it is safe to be washed at the same temperature as a cotton blend blanket.

Cotton Blanket Guide: Drying Your Cotton Blanket 

Most labels state that cotton blankets can be dried on the lowest heat setting of the tumble dryer.

However, we recommended drying the cotton blanket on this setting until all the moisture has disappeared, but the blanket itself is still damp.

It is best not to hang your cotton blanket straight out of the washer because the water will be drawn to the bottom of the blanket. 

Once you have done this, it is best to air dry the blanket until totally dry.

If the blanket holds a little moisture once you have removed it from the dyer, then you can remove this excess water with towels and dry it on an elevated grid.

It is best not to wring the blanket at this stage. 

This process will improve the longevity of your cotton blanket. Plus, it will smell extremely fresh! 

Cotton Blanket Guide: Storing Your Cotton Blanket 

After the cotton blanket is dry, it can be used or put away.

The best place to store a cotton blanket is typically on your bed.

However, if you need to put them away, it is best to invest in breathable bags specifically for cotton storage and then place them in a dry, dark place.

This will protect them from UV rays and mold. 

Three tan blankets folded up

Caring For Your Cotton Blanket: Step-By-Step Guide

Here is our simplified, step-by-step guide for washing and caring for your cotton blanket! 

  • If you have a cotton blend blanket or a sanforized, pure cotton blanket, then you can wash it at a warmer temperature.

    However, if you have a pure cotton blanket that has not been sanforized, it needs to be washed in cold water. 
  • Before washing the blanket, ensure that it has room to move around in the washing machine and can be totally covered in water. 
  • Place a gentle fabric softener and detergent in the machine, making sure they are prediluted. 
  • After your cotton blanket has been washed, you can place it in the dryer until all of the moisture has gone. 
  • Take the damp cotton blanket out of the dryer and place it outside until it has completely air-dried. You should air-dry your cotton blanket on a raised platform. 
  • Place your dry blanket on your bed or put it away in a cotton blanket storage bag. Store the bag in a dark and dry place. 

What Should You Do If Your Cotton Blanket Is Stained?

If your cotton blanket is stained, then it is best to wash that isolated area using a diluted detergent solution and warm water.

After this, you can place the blanket in the washing machine on a cold setting.

If the blanket has been stained with urine stains from a child or a pet. Then the blanket needs to be soaked in white vinegar and water solution overnight.

After this, wash the cotton blanket in your washer using a mild detergent.

Hand Washing Your Cotton Blanket 

If you want to hand wash your cotton blanket, follow these steps:

  • Fill the bathtub with ⅓ of water and pour in washing detergent to dissolve it. 
  • Take your blanket outside and shake it to remove the dust. 
  • Soak the blanket into the water. Press down, lightly clean the blanket, lift, and then repeat on another part. 
  • Repeat this process until you have cleaned the cotton blanket a few times. 
  • Now, fold the cotton blanket and place it in the corner of the tub as you drain the water. 
  • Push down on the blanket and allow the excess water to drain. 
  • Once most of the water has been removed, fill up the tub with clean, cold water. 
  • Repeat the process as above. 
  • Once your cotton blanket is fully clean, take some clean towels and press them against the blanket to absorb the water. 
  • Place your blanket on a raised platform and allow it to air-dry.

Final Thoughts 

When it comes to washing cotton blankets, there are specific instructions you need to follow to promote the blanket's longevity.

Cotton blankets need to be washed on a cold setting to prevent shrinkage.

However, cotton blend and sanforized cotton blankets can be washed on warmer settings. 

By following our step-by-step guide, your cotton blankets should always feel soft, smell fresh, and will last for years and years to come.

Related: The 5 Best Cotton Blankets for Snuggling

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