how to wash a fleece blanket

How to Wash a Fleece Blanket: 5 Simple Steps

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Fleece blankets are a popular choice for their softness and warmth, but like any other fabric, they require proper care to maintain their cozy feel. If you’re wondering how to wash a fleece blanket without causing any damage, you’ve come to the right place.

To briefly outline the process of washing a fleece blanket, follow these simple steps:

  1. Pre-treat stains with a mild detergent.
  2. Wash in cold or warm water using a gentle detergent.
  3. Dry on low heat or air dry.

Throughout this article, I will delve into each of these steps in greater detail, offering valuable tips and advice on how to effectively wash your fleece blanket and keep it looking and feeling its best.

From selecting the right detergent to handling stubborn stains, I’ll share my knowledge and expertise to make the process as straightforward and hassle-free as possible.

5 Easy Steps for How to Wash a Fleece Blanket

washing a fleece blanket in 5 steps

When it comes to learning how to wash a fleece blanket, several factors come into play. I’ll provide a comprehensive guide on washing fleece blankets, focusing on selecting the right detergent, reading care labels, choosing water temperature, and more.

1. Choose the Right Detergent

Selecting the right detergent is crucial for maintaining the quality of your fleece blanket. I recommend using a gentle or mild detergent specifically designed for delicate fabrics, avoiding bleach, and fabric softeners which can damage the fibers and reduce the blanket’s ability to keep you warm.

2. Read the Care Label

Before washing fleece blankets, always check the care label for specific instructions. Some fleece blankets may have unique care requirements or suggestions that will ensure your blanket remains soft and cozy.

3. Select Your Water Temperature

Choosing the right water temperature is essential when washing fleece blankets. Generally, fleece blankets should be washed in cold or cool water to prevent damage to the fabric and preserve its structure.

4. Use Gentle and Delicate Cycles

To avoid pilling or matting, wash fleece blankets separately in a gentle or delicate cycle (and light soil level). This cycle preserves the quality of the blanket and ensures a thorough cleaning without unnecessary roughness.

5. Pretreat Any Stains

For stains or soiled spots, use the following numbered steps to properly pretreat your fleece blanket:

  1. Apply a drop of mild dish detergent to the stains.
  2. Let the detergent soak in for 10 minutes.
  3. Carefully dab away as much soap as possible using a paper towel without rubbing, as it may spread the stain.

During the pretreatment process, it’s important to treat the stains gently to ensure the fabric isn’t damaged. Lastly, consider taking a look at how to wash a minky blanket for some additional washing tips, as they may be relevant for washing fleece blankets as well.

Drying Your Fleece Blanket

When drying a fleece blanket, it’s important to follow each of the following recommendations.

Avoiding Fabric Softeners

Avoid using fabric softeners. These can coat the fibers, reducing the softness and insulation properties of the fleece. After washing your blanket with a gentle detergent, it’s best to let it air dry or tumble dry on low heat without any fabric softeners.

Using a Drying Rack

I prefer using a drying rack or clothesline to air dry my fleece blanket. This method helps maintain the fibers’ integrity and prevents unnecessary wear. If you use a drying rack, be sure to lay the blanket flat to prevent stretching or distortion.

Lint Removal

Fleece items, like blankets, may produce lint that can cling to other clothing in your laundry. To keep my other clothes lint-free, I use a lint roller or lint brush on my fleece blanket immediately after washing and drying. If you notice any stubborn lint on the fleece, you can pass a lint roller gently over the surface after it is completely dry.

Controlling Shrinkage

Fleece materials may shrink if exposed to high heat during drying. One essential step in learning how to wash a fleece blanket is controlling shrinkage. I always select low heat or air dry settings on my dryer to prevent this issue.

Tumble dry on low heat works well for preserving the shape of your fleece blanket and preventing shrinking.

Selecting Dryer Accessories

If you choose to tumble dry your fleece items, consider using dryer balls. These accessories can help to fluff the material and prevent static buildup. Do not use dryer sheets, as they can leave a residue on the fleece.

In summary, properly drying fleece items is crucial in maintaining their softness and durability. By avoiding fabric softeners, using a drying rack, removing lint, controlling shrinkage, and selecting appropriate dryer accessories, I can make sure my fleece blanket stays in great condition.

4 Types of Fleece Materials

different types of fleece materials for blankets

1. Natural Fleece vs Synthetic Fleece

When it comes to choosing a fleece blanket, it’s essential to understand the differences between natural and synthetic fleece materials. Natural fleece is made from a blend of real wool and cotton, making it incredibly soft and tactile, perfect for luxurious throws and blankets.

On the other hand, synthetic fleece, typically made from polyester or microfibers, offers different benefits like being lightweight and quick-drying, making it perfect for outdoor activities and jackets.

Knowing the type of fleece you have will help you better understand how to wash a fleece blanket and maintain its quality.

2. Polyester Fleece

I find polyester fleece to be an excellent choice for various applications such as blankets, jackets, and throws. This type of fleece is not only durable but also naturally stain-resistant, making it easy to clean.

A cold water wash with detergent should get your polyester fleece blanket clean, and for tough stains, pre-treating with dishwashing liquid can do the trick.

3. Microfiber Fleece

Next, let’s talk about microfiber fleece. Made from finely woven synthetic fibers, microfiber fleece is extremely soft, lightweight, and warm. It’s excellent for use in blankets, throws, and jackets as well.

Just like polyester fleece, microfiber fleece is typically easy to clean, and you can follow similar washing instructions.

4. Various Textures

One thing I love about fleece materials is the variety of textures available. From fluffy and soft to more dense and plush, the texture of your fleece blanket affects its appearance and feel. Depending on your preference, you can find fleece materials with different textures to suit your needs.

Remember that understanding your blanket’s texture will help you determine the best way to care for and wash your fleece blanket.

Proper Fleece Care Techniques

handwashing fleece blankets

Hand Washing Alternatives

Although machine washing is often the go-to method for many people, hand washing is a gentle option to consider when wondering how to wash a fleece blanket.

I like to fill up a basin or tub with cool water and add a gentle detergent to create a mild solution for the fleece material to soak in. After letting the blanket soak for about 15 minutes, I gently agitate the blanket in the water to help release any trapped dirt or stains.

Using a soft brush can also help scrub away stubborn spots.

Storing Fleece Items

When it comes to storing my fleece blankets, I make sure to fold them neatly and store them in a cool and dry place, avoiding direct sunlight or damp environments. This helps prevent the fabric from developing mold or mildew, and also keeps the material fresh and ready for next usage.

EXPERT TIP: if you do get mold in your blanket (or your clothes), follow these steps on how to get mold out of clothes.

Maintaining Fleece Material

A key aspect of how to wash a fleece blanket is its ongoing maintenance. To avoid pilling and keep my fleece items looking and feeling new, I follow a few simple steps. First, I use cool water and a gentle detergent, washing the fleece separately from lint-shedding fabrics.

If the fleece starts to show signs of matting, I carefully brush it with a soft-bristle brush while still damp, to restore its original texture.

Keeping Fleece Fresh

Although fleece is a durable material, it’s essential to keep it smelling fresh and clean. I avoid using fabric softeners, as they can cling to the fibers and weigh them down, reducing the blanket’s fluffy texture. Additionally, I follow some helpful tips on how to make a blanket soft again to ensure that the fabric stays soft and comfortable.

Frequently Asked Questions

How often should I wash my fleece blanket?

I find that washing fleece blankets every few months is usually sufficient. However, if you have pets, it’s a good idea to wash them once per month to keep them fresh and hygienic.

Which water temperature should I use when washing a fleece blanket?

I prefer using cold or warm water when washing my fleece blanket, as it helps maintain the integrity of the fibers2.

What should I avoid when washing a fleece blanket?

When learning how to wash a fleece blanket, it’s important to avoid using bleach, fabric softeners2, and direct heat when drying the blanket1, as these can damage the fibers.

Does the rinse cycle matter when washing a fleece blanket?

Yes, I recommend soaking the blanket for 15 minutes to help release dirt and odors3, and then selecting a gentle cycle for a couple of minutes before switching to the rinse cycle.

How can I prevent static cling after washing a fleece blanket?

To prevent static cling, I make sure not to use fabric softeners or dryer sheets. Instead, I opt for air-drying or using dryer balls to help reduce static1.

Should I be concerned about dyes when washing a fleece blanket?

To avoid any issues with dyes when washing your fleece blanket, always follow the care instructions listed on the label. Using a mild detergent and cold or warm water can also help prevent any unwanted color changes.

Can I wash my fleece blanket in a tub?

Yes, you can wash a fleece blanket in a tub by soaking it for about 15 minutes in a solution of water and a wool-safe detergent. After soaking, gently agitate the blanket to remove dirt and stains, then rinse thoroughly.

Can I Wash a Crochet Blanket?

Yes, you can wash a crochet blanket. If your blanket is made from a machine-washable yarn, you can wash it in a washing machine on a gentle cycle with cool water and a mild detergent. Be sure to place the blanket inside a mesh laundry bag or pillowcase to prevent snagging or stretching.

Final Thoughts on How to Wash a Fleece Blanket

wash a fleece blanket with care

Knowing how to wash a fleece blanket properly can significantly improve its longevity and maintain its softness. When washing a fleece blanket, I follow some essential steps to ensure the best results.

First, I tackle any difficult stains with a store-bought stain remover, soap and water, or a small amount of dish detergent. It’s crucial to dab the stain remover gently onto the area and leave it for 10 minutes before proceeding with the wash.

When it comes to washing the fleece blanket, I use my washing machine set on a gentle cycle with warm water to prevent any potential damage to the fabric. It’s important to wash fleece items together or in a separate load to avoid abrasion with other clothes. Adding a mild laundry detergent is essential for a thorough clean.

Once the washing cycle is complete, I prefer to air dry my fleece blanket rather than using a dryer. This helps to maintain the blanket’s softness and prevent any potential heat-damage that might occur during the drying process.

Following these steps on how to wash a fleece blanket has helped me keep my blankets clean, hygienic, and soft for many years. A proper washing routine significantly contributes to the overall quality and lifespan of fleece blankets.

Ken Lyons
Ken Lyons is one of the founding members of Cleaner Digs. He is also the senior editor and contributing author. Ken has owned and operated two cleaning companies in the past: one commercial and one that serviced residential customers. He writes for Clean Digs to share his professional expertise on cleaning and organization. He's been a fastidious cleaning nut and writing about it for more than a decade.