How Often Should You Wash Your Blankets?

We all know we should wash bed linen at least once a week. But how often should you wash your blankets? It’s very easy to forget about them because if they don’t touch your skin then it doesn’t seem necessary to wash them very much. Maybe you are using your blanket simply for decoration or for added warmth in the winter months?

I am at the time of life where blankets on the bed are pointless for me because I am always hot. Conversely, hubby is always cold so we have a fleece blanket on the bed just for him, whilst I have half my body hanging out in an attempt to cool down!

Occasionally, I will put my husband’s fleece blanket in the washing machine, possibly once or twice during the winter. Am I being yucky not washing it very often? Let’s find out!

How often you wash your blankets depends on how well used they are. If you have them on your bed each night then aim to wash them every two to three months. If they touch your skin wash them weekly along with your bedsheets. If you have pets, aim for a more frequent wash.

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How often should you wash your blankets?

Here’s the science bit. A bit gross I know!

We lose up to 77lbs of skin cells in our lifetime. Which equates to roughly 15 million cells per night. That seems to be a huge amount, doesn’t it? It wouldn’t be so much of an issue if we didn’t have dust mites in the mix. Unfortunately, dust mites like to live in our houses, particularly in our beds because they love to feed off those yummy skin cells. The more skin cells you shed the more you encourage mites.

Dust mites aren’t dangerous to have around but they can be a problem for asthma sufferers or those with allergies. If that’s you then you will want to avoid the build-up of skin cells and dust mites, and you can do that by washing more frequently.

As well as skin flakes we also have oils that transfer from your skin to your bedding plus scents from body creams, perfumes and deodorants. If you have a habit (as I do) of getting into bed covered in moisturiser then you have even more oils for your bedding to absorb.

If a blanket is far away from your skin or you only get it out on the odd nippy night then it isn’t going to need washing all that often. Maybe the goal is to freshen it once in a while instead.

If you use your blanket every night you will probably want to wash it along with your weekly or twice weekly bed linen wash.

So let’s talk numbers. Here is a guide to how often you should wash your blankets and comforters.

Usage Washing frequency
Rare use or for decoration Once per season
Light use, doesn’t touch the skin Every 2-3 months
Regular use Once or twice per week
How often to wash your blankets

How to wash your blanket

  • Always check the care label for your particular blanket and wash as directed.
  • If your blanket is made of wool it will need special care. Professional cleaning might be preferable.
  • Be aware of colour-bleeding and wash the item on its own if necessary.
  • A gentle wash is best. Consider using homemade laundry detergent.
  • Tumble dry on low heat or dry naturally.

Related reading:

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How often should you wash your duvet?

bed with white duvet

A rule of thumb is to wash your duvet every two to three months. If your pet sleeps on the bed with you, get into the habit of washing your duvet along with the bedding at least once per week.

How often you wash your duvet entirely depends on how you use it and what it comes into contact with.

If you have ever woken up to a smelly room, it could be the duvet that is the cause.

The typical factors that warrant washing a duvet more frequent:

Pets

If you have pets that like to get up on the bed or even sleep with you, then washing your duvet often is a must. Dog smell, pet hair and dander will collect and become unsanitary quite quickly.

Urine

When my boys were potty training I found I needed to wash their duvets quite often. For a small accident, I could sometimes get away with airing the duvet outside. But usually, it was only a machine wash that would suffice.

Allergies

If you suffer from allergies, particularly those triggered by dust mites or their faeces aim to wash your duvet more frequently.

Usage Washing frequency
Pets sleep with you At least once per week
You have allergies At least once per week
Bedwetting As needed
Normal usage Two to three months
How often to wash your duvet

If you know you will need to wash your duvet more often than once per season I thoroughly recommend investing in a synthetic duvet rather than a down-filled one because they are much easier to clean at home.

Here is a top-rated down-alternative on Amazon that is super easy to clean.

LINENSPA All-Season White Down Alternative Quilted Comforter - Corner Duvet Tabs - Hypoallergenic - Plush Microfiber Fill - Machine Washable - Duvet Insert or Stand-Alone Comforter - Queen

How often should you wash your quilt or comforter?

Quilts or comforters don’t necessarily have removable covers making them trickier to keep clean. If your quilt or comforter is used frequently or comes near pets, get into the habit of washing it along with your bedding once or twice per week.

If you rarely use your comforter then you can safely leave a longer gap between washes or freshen up on an as-needed basis.

Always check the care label to make sure that you don’t damage your comforter when you wash it.

How often should you wash your throw blankets?

How often you wash your throw blanket depends on what you do with it. Decorative throws would only need to be washed a couple of times per year. If you have a habit of cuddling up with your throw blanket, wash it at least once per month to keep it fresh and more frequently if you have a pet.

Again, always check the care label before you wash to avoid damage.

How often should you wash your dog’s blankets?

how often to wash a dog blanket

I like to wash my dog’s blanket once per week otherwise, it tends to smell too much.

Before washing I always remove the hair with this amazing hair roller I got at Amazon. It gets all of the hair off effortlessly, much better than the vacuum can. This device has been a godsend to me since we got our first dog a couple of years ago!

DELOMO Pet Hair Remover Roller - Dog & Cat Fur Remover with Self-Cleaning Base - Efficient Animal Hair Removal Tool - Perfect for Furniture, Couch, Carpet, Car Seat

After removing the hair, I wash her blanket on a warm wash and then tumble or air dry depending on the weather.

I can’t bathe my dog more than once per month due to skin issues, so in-between washes I use this dog spray to keep her smelling fresh and gorgeous.

This article and its contents are owned by sparklingpenny.com and was first published on 4 October 2021.
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Penny | SparklingPenny

Hi, I'm Penny. A busy mum of two boys, with the aim to enjoy life to the full.