Reading the washing instructions on the label of your fleece blanket should be your first port of call. The instructions will tell you exactly how to wash your fleece blanket, but bear in mind there are 11 different fleece fabrics, and what’s suitable for one may not necessarily be good for another. All fleece fabrics are synthetic, barring cotton fleece, a natural fabric.
Washing blankets or throws are at the top of most people’s procrastination list for the day. Suppose this sounds like your “to-do” list, then you’re not alone. Washing blankets is something that many of us keep putting off until that major spill happens or a muddy dog does his happy dance all rolls all over the blankets. Now you have no option but to go ahead with the task you dread most.
Modern technology has made washing blankets and throws easy, and most washing machines are big enough to wash blankets. They also have different wash cycles dedicated to different fabrics, so it’s as easy as pushing a few buttons. But if you’re going to hand-wash your blankets, smile; it’s a therapeutically calming exercise and not the back-breaking chore you’ve seen in the old black and white movies.
Let’s move on and see if we can cure the blanket-washing blues together.
A quick rundown on cotton fleece and other fleece fabrics.
Fleece is made to mimic wool, hence the name, which refers to the wool from a single sheep. However, in textile fabrics, fleece refers to the final product from a specific process that uses both polyester and cotton to mimic the soft cushion-like feel of genuine sheep wool.
Both polyester and cotton fibers are woven into yards, knitted into fabric, and then brushed, which ends up as fleece fabric. Cotton fleece is a natural fiber that is more breathable than synthetic fleece as air circulates much better in cotton fleece while keeping you warm at the same time. The downside to cotton is that it tends to shrink, but it will be the least of your worries with the proper care and keeping to the washing instructions.
Plush fleece is on the other end of the scale because it’s made from 100% polyester. What gives this fabric that plush fur texture, as opposed to soft wool texture, is that it is brushed on both sides as opposed to just one side. Plush fleece is thus much softer than other fleece types. Here are the different types of fleece fabric:
5. French Terry
The label on your fleece blanket or throw should indicate what type of fleece fabric it is, and the washing or care instructions will be displayed with pictures and keywords. All textiles packaged and sold to end-users must be labeled by law, but the label can either be attached to the item or printed on the packaging. Check this with your purchase, and if the blanket does not have a label attached, write the care instructions in a book for easy reference.
How to wash a fleece blanket or throw.
Keeping your fleece blanket or throw fuzzy and soft is always a concern because we would like to maintain that new feel that inspired us to buy fleece in the first place. But, no matter how much that new feel appeals to you, it shouldn’t prevent you from keeping your blanket clean. Believe it or not, if you adhere to the recommended washing instructions, your fleece blanket will remain soft and fuzzy.
Easy to follow washing instructions for fleece blankets.
If you can’t remember the washing and care instructions printed on the packaging of your fleece blanket, follow this essential guide when using a washing machine:
Shake your blanket out to get rid of loose dirt.
To prevent pilling or matting, select a gentle cycle and make sure to use cold water only. Polyester is naturally stain-resistant, so cold water should clean your blanket.
Use a minimal amount of fabric detergent. Too much detergent may result in it sticking to your blanket and making it less soft.
Do not use any bleach as it can damage fibers and affect the color of your blanket.
You may want to pre-treat stubborn stains with a drop or two of dishwashing liquid and let it sit for a few minutes before blotting it away and popping the blanket into the machine. You could also try baking soda and white vinegar, which we will touch on later in this article.
Once the wash cycle is complete, you can either hang your blanket out to dry or use a tumble dryer with the heat turned off. If this is not possible, then select the lowest heat setting. High heat may melt or shrink the fibers; after all, polyester is plastic which is susceptible to heat.
How to hand-wash a fleece blanket.
Hand-washing a fleece blanket or throw is almost identical to washing a microfiber blanket. There are several steps to follow to prevent any hiccups along the way. With machine wash instructions, you are advised to select cold water and a gentle wash cycle, so apply gentleness to your hand-wash routine as well.
Fill your washtub or sink halfway with clean cold water.
Add a small amount of washing detergent to the water mix it until dissolved.
Put the blanket into the tub and press it down to get rid of air pockets. If the blanket is not fully submerged, top up with clean cold water.
Now press down on the blanket and turn it. Repeat this process for a few minutes.
Leave the blanket to soak for 10 to 15 minutes.
Repeat step 4 for a few more minutes.
Drain the water and press down on the blanket to remove excess soapy water.
Fill the tub or sink with clean cold water, then turn and press down on the blanket for a minute or so.
If you’re satisfied that all the soap has been rinsed, then drain the water and press down on the blanket to expel excess water.
Once you have pressed out all the water you possibly can, you can hang your blanket out to air dry.
Life hacks that help to clean your fleece blanket.
Another way to keep your fleece blanket soft and fuzzy is to substitute the washing detergent with white vinegar and select a long gentle cycle. The vinegar will not only loosen up the fibers but will also eliminate any odors. Dog lovers will enjoy this life hack.
Alternatively, you can take the amount of detergent you usually use for your fleece blanket and only use a third. In equal parts, white vinegar and bicarbonate of soda (baking powder) will make up the remaining two-thirds of your washing detergent. The bicarbonate of soda will restore the soft fuzziness to your blanket as it is a natural deodorizer a cleaning agent. It prevents mineral build-up from hard water and prevents bacteria growth.
Here are a few handy tips as a final note.
Here are a few handy tips to remember regardless of what washing method you choose:
Always read and follow the care instructions on your blanket.
Do not add other items to your wash. Wash your fleece blanket separately to prevent other fabrics from chaffing against the fibers that may promote pilling.
Use mild washing detergent and use less than you would with an average load of washing.
Avoid fabric softeners. There is no need to use fabric softeners as your fleece blanket will be just as soft after the wash without them. Besides, fabric softeners tend to clog up the fibers of your blanket, which inevitably affects breathability.
Fleece made from polyester doesn’t hold onto or store much water in the wash process, so most water is removed in the gentle spin cycle. There will be a minimal amount of water still trapped in the blanket, but you can rest assured that if you do hang your blanket indoors to dry, you won’t have to contend with a puddle of water on the floor.
The step-by-step guide for both machine and hand-washing your fleece blankets should paint a rosier picture of this otherwise tedious chore that we tend to put off for as long as possible. To enjoy your fleece blanket or throw as much as you did when you first got it, it is essential to keep it clean and odor-free. But if you’re still stuck on putting it off till tomorrow, at least hang your cozy fleece blankie out to air for a few hours today.