by Staff Writer
Fleece blankets are a warm option on an icy day. However, just like any other piece of bedding, fleece blankets are subjected to body oils, hair products, food and spills. In order to keep your fleece blankets in the best condition, you must launder them in a way that is specifically suited for fleece fabric. Laundering them as you would cotton blankets will likely damage fleece blankets, causing them to pill and quickly lose their shape.
Treat stains. Treat stains or soiled spots with a drop of dishwashing liquid. Allow the liquid to soak into the stain for 10 minutes, and then blot away as much of the soap as possible with a paper towel to lift the stain. Do not rub the stain because you may spread it or press it deeper into the fabric.
Wash. Place the blankets in your washing machine. To prevent abrasion with other clothes, it is best to wash fleece items together, combining like colors. Before you begin, set the washer on the gentle cycle. Stronger washing cycles may cause the fleece to form knots. Use only lukewarm water on fleece. Add powdered laundry detergent to the washing machine, but do not use a laundry detergent that contains bleach. It's also a good idea to avoid fabric softeners when washing fleece because they will damage the water-repellent finish that is applied to many fleece items during manufacturing.
Dry. Tumble dry fleece blankets on the gentle cycle with low heat. Never use a high heat setting on fleece blankets, as it will damage the fabric. Remove the blankets immediately after the dryer stops and fold them to prevent wrinkles. If the blankets are too fluffy, lay them on a flat surface and press them down with your hands. Make sure to never iron fleece blankets. Irons will melt the synthetic fabric and leave marks on the fleece. If you have the ability and the weather permits, consider hanging your fleece blankets outdoors to dry for a fresh smell.