How to Remove a Smell From a Fleece Blanket

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Things You'll Need

  • Bucket

  • Baking soda

  • Bleach-free laundry detergent

  • White vinegar

Fuzzy fleece fabric is a popular choice for blankets for several reasons, including softness, insulating properties and its easy-care nature. Occasionally a wonderfully warm fleece blanket takes on a rather unappealing odor. Safe and gentle washing techniques can most eliminate odors and restore your blanket's snuggly appeal.


Step 1

Hang the blanket outside in the sunshine or in a sunny room with the windows open to allow the sunshine and fresh air to help kill off much of the odors. Allow the blanket to air out for at least two hours.

Step 2

Fill a large bucket or sink with water. Add 1 cup of baking soda to the water and stir to dissolve. Submerge the blanket in the solution and allow it to soak overnight.


Step 3

Remove the blanket from the soaking solution and place it in the washing machine.

Step 4

Wash the blanket per the manufacturer's instructions, using a bleach-free laundry detergent.


Step 5

Turn off the washing machine before it starts the rinse cycle when the basin is filled with water.

Step 6

Add 1 cup of white vinegar to the water and allow it to soak for an hour. Turn the machine on to complete the cycle.


Step 7

Remove the blanket from the washing machine after the wash and spin cycles finish. Most fleece can be dried in an automatic dryer. Hanging the blanket in the sun to dry helps lingering odors dissipate.


Persistent odors may need repeated soaking. Allow the blanket to dry completely. Traces of moisture trapped in the fibers can cause new odors.


Make sure you use bleach-free detergent. Mixing bleach and vinegar creates toxic fumes.


references & resources

Melynda Sorrels

Melynda Sorrels spent 10 years in the military working in different capacities of the medical field, including dental assisting, health services administration, decontamination and urgent medical care. Awarded the National Guardsman’s Medal for Lifesaving efforts in 2002, Sorrels was also a nominee for a Red Cross Award and a certified EMT-B for four years.