How to clean an electric blanket - keep this energy-saving essential looking like new

Yes, you can put an electric blanket in the washing machine... but only if you follow these rules

white electric blanket on bed with wooden base and white chest of drawers
(Image credit: Future PLC/David Brittain)

It’s incredibly easy to pop a regular blanket in the washing machine, but how do you clean an electric blanket? After all, electricity and water famously aren’t friends.  

At Ideal Home, we appreciate just how much the best electric blankets can help you save energy at home. But that’s not all. An electric blanket can also improve your sleeping habits (alongside the best mattress, of course), it can help you snuggle up on the sofa while keeping the thermostat down, and it’ll even help you stay warm while working from home. 

So, whether you want to wash it in winter in between uses or you want to give it one final wash before storing it in the spring, this is how to clean an electric blanket. 

How to clean an electric blanket

Considering how much it costs to run an electric blanket, using it as a way to curb your heating bills is a no-brainer. But it still needs to be cleaned, and a spokesperson from Nationwide Cleaning explains, ‘Despite what many people may believe, you can actually wash most electric blankets in the washing machine, and you can even put some in the dryer.’

Green Lakeland heated blanket on chair

(Image credit: Lakeland)

What you’ll need

  • Washing machine 
  • Laundry detergent 
  • Clothes airer or tumble dryer


1. Check the label

You wouldn’t put one of the best toasters in the washing machine, which is why putting an electric blanket in the washing machine seems so bizarre. However, this is the most efficient way to clean an electric blanket - and it’s perfectly safe, as long as you check the label beforehand. 

And while it’s highly likely that you’ll be able to wash your electric blanket in the washing machine, the last thing you want to do is damage the blanket or your machine. So, just double-check.

Rebecca Swain, mattress expert from Winstons Beds advises, ‘Never assume that an electric blanket is safe to machine wash if there isn’t a care label or manual included. It is also best to opt for hand washing if your blanket doesn’t have a detachable power cord.’

white electric blanket on bed with wooden base and white chest of drawers

(Image credit: VonHaus)

2. Give your blanket a shake

Having to clean your washing machine is a boring and thankless task, so keeping its exposure to loose debris and dirt to a minimum can help you make this cleaning task as easy as pie.

So, always shake your blanket before popping it in the washing machine. This will shake off any old food crumbs, pet hairballs, and other debris you don’t want in the washing machine. 

Try to do this outside or on a hard floor so you can easily clean and sweep it up. And while you’re at it, it’s also worth inspecting your electric blanket for any signs of wear and tear that could affect its washing requirements. 

‘You’ll also want to check for any exposed or damaged wiring before washing,’ says Rebecca. 

3. Remove the cords

In an ideal world, you should never put any electrical wires in the washing machine. So, you should always remove them before washing an electric blanket. 

The team at Nationwide Cleaning says, ‘This step involves removing the cords or control panels before putting your blanket in the wash. It is wise to use a washing machine that doesn’t have tall spindles in the centre of the wash basket, as this can twist the blanket back and forth and potentially damage the wires.’

4. Add the laundry detergent

When you’ve shaken your electric blanket and made sure to remove the cords, you can then pop it in your washing machine. You have to be very picky about the laundry detergent you put in with it, though.

‘You should always use a mild detergent as harsh chemicals like bleach can also affect the wiring,’ explains Nationwide Cleaning. 

It may be that the detergent you use on a regular basis is suitable, but it’s a good idea to check before adding it to the washing machine. 

A washing machine with unloading laundry

(Image credit: Future PLC/Jon Day)

5. Run a quick and gentle wash cycle

Although you may run your clothes wash on your washing machine’s basic hour-long cycle, you should opt for a quicker and gentler wash when cleaning an electric blanket. 

You should be able to find the required wash cycle on the label of your electric blanket, but most should be washed on a ‘gentle’ or ‘delicate’ wash where the water is cool or lukewarm. 

It’s then a good idea to finish with a short spin cycle to try and get out as much moisture as possible.

6. Fully dry your electric blanket

When your spin cycle is finished, immediately take your electric blanket out of the washing machine and let it dry. 

Nationwide Cleaning says, ‘When it comes to drying the blanket, you should lay it flat on a drying rack or tumble dry it on the lowest heating setting. Before you use your blanket again, you want to make sure that it is completely dry.’ 

‘You should also look out for brown spots or exposed wires. These are telltale signs that your blanket has likely overheated. In such cases, you should buy a replacement blanket.’

Then, you can repeat this process as required. Rebecca says, ‘We also recommend that electric blankets are washed at least once a month during the cold season and every two weeks if it is being used in bedding.’

A wooden clothes airer with drying clothes

(Image credit: Future PLC)


Can an electric blanket be washed?

Yes! Most modern electric blankets can be washed in the washing machine. You just need to check the label and the specific washing requirements before doing so.

If you can’t wash your electric blanket in the washing machine, you can do so by hand with lukewarm water and a gentle detergent. 

Can you wash a heated blanket with wires in it?

Yes, definitely. It’s very quick and easy to wash a heated blanket in the washing machine. However, you must always make sure that all cords are removed and everything is unplugged before you pop it into the machine. 

What can I use to clean electric blanket?

It’s best to avoid any harsh chemicals when cleaning an electric blanket. Stick to mild laundry detergents that won’t affect the wiring in any way. 

When washing in the washing machine or by hand, you should also make sure that you only use cool or lukewarm water. 

Now you know how to clean an electric blanket, it’ll be fresher than ever. 

Lauren Bradbury

Lauren Bradbury is a freelance writer and major homes enthusiast. She graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in English and Creative Writing from the University of Chichester in 2016, before dipping her toe into the world of content writing. After years of agency work, writing everything from real-life stories to holiday round-ups, she decided to take the plunge and become a full-time freelancer in the online magazine world. Since then, she has become a regular contributor for Real Homes and Ideal Home, and become even more obsessed with everything interior and garden related. As a result, she’s in the process of transforming her old Victorian terraced house into an eclectic and modern home that hits visitors with personality as soon as they walk through the door.