How to Wash a Cotton Blanket

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Cotton blankets are not difficult to care for because they can be laundered at home using the gentle cycle of your washer and dried on medium heat. If the cotton blanket is not soiled, you can freshen it by simply hanging it outdoors briefly.


Things You'll Need

  • Washer and drier

  • Laundry detergent

  • Stain removers (optional)

Washing and drying

Step 1: Load the Laundry

Load the cotton blanket into the washing machine and close the lid. It is OK to add a moderate number of other cotton items to the washer.


Do not overload the washer. The cotton blanket needs to be able to move freely through the water for thorough cleaning.

Step 2: Add Detergents

Refer to the instructions in your washing machine manual to determine how much laundry detergent to use. A mild, liquid detergent works best on cotton blankets.


Bleach is not recommended because it can break down the blanket's fibers.


Apply stain removers at this stage if needed.

Step 3: Set the Machine

Set the washing machine for the gentle cycle. Select settings for cold wash and cold rinse to avoid shrinking. Start machine.


Step 4: Dry the Blanket

Remove the washed blanket and other items from the washer and put them into the drier. Clean the drier filter as recommended by the machine's manufacturer. Set the machine to a delicate setting with medium heat and start the cycle.


Setting the drier to high heat settings may cause shrinking. Avoid the chance of shrinking by drying the blanket for a shorter period of time at lower heat setting.


Prevent mildew by drying thoroughly. If the cotton blanket is not dry after its first cycle, continue with additional low-heat cycles. A damp blanket may also be smoothed out flat to continue drying.



Ronna Pennington

Ronna Pennington, an experienced newspaper writer and editor, began writing full-time in 1989. Her professional crafting experience includes machine embroidery and applique. When she's not repainting her den or making new holiday decorations, Ronna researches and writes community histories. She has a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and an Master of liberal arts in history.