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Acrylic is very heat-sensitive. Washing in hot water or drying in too hot a dryer will cause the fabric to shrink or deform. High heat can melt the fabric, and use of an iron should be avoided.
Acrylic is a synthetic fabric created from the polymer acrylonitrile. It is very versatile and holds its shape well, is stain-resistant and does not easily wrinkle. The very soft texture makes acrylic popular as a wool substitute, especially for people who are allergic to wool. Like wool, acrylic is sensitive to heat. Special care must be taken when cleaning items made with acrylic fibers. Dry cleaning is often recommended for acrylic clothing, but with care acrylic blankets can be laundered in a regular washer and dryer.
Loosely fill the washing machine with similarly colored items, but do not overload. The blanket should move freely in the washtub.
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Add a mild detergent, and select either warm water or cold water wash and rinse.
Machine-dry the blanket on a low-heat setting and remove promptly when the dryer cycle is completed.
Wendy Brown has written for the online community since 2000. In addition to authoring several Web sites and her own blog, Brown has published articles on Groovy Green and The Hen and Harvest. She graduated from Eastern Kentucky University with a Bachelor of Arts in English.