Can You Tumble Dry An Electric Blanket? (is it safe or will it damage it)
Whilst many electric blankets can be washed in a washing machine and partially dried in a tumble drier, you should always check the wash care label before putting your electric blanket in a tumble dryer.
In the absence of a care label, you need to decide whether it’s worth potentially damaging your electric blanket or if you’d be better off allowing it to air dry.
General Wash Care For Electric Blankets
Electric blankets should be washed on a gentle delicate cycle and tumble dried using the no heat setting for no longer than 20 minutes.
The electric blanket should then be air dried until it is completely dry before reusing.
You need to take care that the internal wires don’t become damaged during the washing and drying process.
For this reason you should only use the shortest wash program on your machine and only partially dry your electric blanket in your tumble dryer.
You should never use a large industrial tumble dryer like those found in a launderette either, as these would be too hot for the internal wiring.
What The Tumble Dryer Symbols Mean On An Electric Blanket
All modern electric blankets will be fitted with a care label to guide you on the best way to wash and dry it.
Below we have listed all of the symbols relating to tumble dryers. Many will not apply to electric blankets but are all included for your information.
- Square With White Circle And A Black X On Top – This symbol indicates that the item cannot be tumble dried. There are many electric blankets that carry this symbol.
- Square With White Circle – This symbol indicates that the item can be tumble dried. It is quite possible that you’ll find this symbol on your electric blanket.
- Square With Black Circle – This symbol indicates that the item can be tumble dried using the no heat setting. This is the symbol most commonly found on electric blankets.
- Square With White Circle, One Black Dot In Circle – This indicates you can dry on a low heat setting. You might find this symbol on some electric blankets.
- Square With White Circle, Two Black Dots In Circle – This indicates you can dry a medium heat setting. It is unlikely that you’ll find this on an electric blanket.
- Square With White Circle, Three Black Dots In Circle – This is the symbol that indicates the item can be dried in a tumble dryer on the high heat setting. It is very unlikely to find this on an electric blanket.
How To Dry An Electric Blanket Without A Tumble Dryer
It is recommended that electric blankets are air dried even if they are started off in a tumble dryer.
You need to be mindful of the internal wiring when drying an electric blanket because it could become damaged.
Electric blankets often shrink in the wash and need to be gently stretched back into shape. Extreme care should be used when stretching an electric blanket due to the internal wiring.
Using A Washing Line To Air Dry Your Electric Blanket
You can hang your electric blanket on a washing line, rotary line or a retractable clothesline.
The blanket should not be pegged unless you’re absolutely certain that there are no internal wires at the point of pegging.
You’ll need to allow anywhere between 6-12 hours for the electric blanket to be fully dried and it should not be used until it is fully dry.
SEE ALSO: Recommended Retractable Washing Lines
Air Drying An Electric Blanket On An Airer
You can use an airer to air dry your electric blanket indoors or outside in the fresh air.
The airer should be set up indoors in a well ventilated room and away from any heat sources like open fires, radiators, etc.
Using An Electric Fan To Decrease The Drying Time
It is possible to reduce the drying time of your electric blanket by placing an electric fan in the same room.
As long as you open a window as well, you will simulate a gentle drying breeze.
SEE ALSO: The Top Bladeless Fans To Keep You Cool
Using A Dehumidifier To Reduce Drying Times
Dehumidifiers remove excess moisture from the air and are a great appliance to use to reduce the amount of time it takes to dry laundry indoors.
All you need to do is place the dehumidifier in the same room as the drying electric blanket. This will cut down drying times considerably.
Why You Should Always Read The Wash Care Label On An Electric Blanket
As there are so many companies that manufacture electric blankets, it is important that you follow the wash care label for your particular blanket.
Failing to comply with the care instructions on your electric blanket could lead to the following;
Damage To The Insulation Of The Internal Wires
If you subject your electric blanket to high heats either in the washing machine or tumble dryer, you are liable to damage the insulation of the internal wiring.
This could cause the blanket to simply stop working, blow a fuse or in the worse case cause a fire.
Shrink The Electric Blanket
Exposing your electric blanket to high heat will in many cases cause it to shrink.
It is often possible to stretch the electric blanket back into its original shape. However, you will need to be careful to not damage any of the internal wiring.
Damage The Heating Element
Too much heat can damage the heating element in your electric blanket. Which is why you should never tumble dry your electric blanket using any setting other than the low heat setting if at all.
Frequently Asked Questions
In many cases it is safe to put an electric blanket in a tumble dryer but you should always check the care label first. If you are in any doubt, you should contact the manufacturer.
You can dry an electric blanket in a tumble dryer on the low heat setting for 10-20 minutes. Then air dry it until it is completely dry.
You should never use a wet electric blanket. It should be completely dry before being plugged in.
You can dry your electric blanket without a tumble dryer by air drying it on a washing line, rotary line or retractable clothesline or on an airer.
An electric blanket should last for 10 years before it needs to be replaced. Don’t wait for it to pack up, it should be replaced after 10 years even if it is still working.