How to wash a fleece blanket – experts explain the best cycles to keep them fluffy

Learn how to wash your fleece blanket so it keeps you warm and cozy during the colder months

three images of washing machine, blankets and bed
(Image credit: Future PLC / Pottery Barn)

A fleece blanket is a versatile and cozy addition to any home, made from synthetic fibers that are soft, warm, and lightweight. This makes it an ideal choice for snuggling up on the couch or adding an extra layer of warmth to your bed.

During the colder months, our fleece blankets come out of storage and are used more frequently. So it's worth knowing how to wash fleece to keep them clean and fresh.

Fleece blankets are an excellent choice for cozy comfort and an alternative to electric blankets or woollen blankets but they require special care to maintain their softness and durability. 

How to wash a fleece blanket

Here are a few expert tips to help ensure your fleece blanket stays as cozy as the day you bought it: 

Miele washing machine in a chic farmhouse style laundry room with striped wallpaper and flowers in the sink

(Image credit: Miele)

Check care instructions

‘Before washing, always check the care label on the fleece blanket for specific instructions,’ says Parveen Garg, manager at Ola Clean. ‘This will guide you on the appropriate washing temperature, detergent, and any other care considerations.’

When it comes to washing any type of fabric, it's essential to choose the right setting on your washing machine. Fleece blankets can be delicate, so using a gentle or delicate cycle is the best option. This will help prevent any damage to the fabric while still effectively cleaning it.

Place the fleece blanket inside a mesh laundry bag from Amazon before tossing it into the washing machine. This extra layer of protection helps prevent any potential snags or tears. 

Parveen Garg
Parveen Garg

Parveen Garg is the Manager at Ola Clean, a successful cleaning services business.  With 4 years of experience, he possesses a deep understanding of the industry and excels at leading teams to deliver outstanding results. 

Use a mild detergent and a low heat

Small utility and boot room by John Lewis of Hungerford

(Image credit: John Lewis of Hungerford)

When washing your fleece blanket, cleaning specialist Shayne Jeramos suggests using a milder detergent that is specifically made for delicate fabrics. Harsh detergents can damage the fibers of the fleece and leave behind residue that can irritate your skin. So, opt for a gentle, hypoallergenic detergent to ensure your blanket stays soft and cozy.

Fleece is known for its ability to retain heat, so washing it in hot water can cause it to shrink or lose its softness. To avoid this, always wash your fleece blanket in cold water. This will not only help maintain its softness but also save energy and prevent any color fading.

Steer clear of fabric softeners

Another important note is to not use fabric softeners when washing your fleece blanket. Although fabric softeners may seem like a great way to keep your fleece blanket extra soft, they can actually do more harm than good. Fabric softeners can leave a waxy buildup on the fibers of your blanket, making it less absorbent and leaving behind an unpleasant odor. So, avoid using fabric softener when washing your fleece blanket.

Use dryer balls from Amazon instead of fabric softener sheets. This can help reduce static cling in the fleece without leaving behind any residue that might affect its softness. 

Shayne Jeramos
Shayne Jeramos

Shayne Jeramos has been a cleaning specialist at Bright Cleaners for over 2 years and has extensive experience with residential and cleaning services. 

Air dry or use a low heat

After washing, it's best to either air dry your fleece blanket or tumble dry it on low heat. High heat can cause the fibers to melt and shrink, leaving your blanket misshapen and stiff. 

‘Before placing the fleece blanket in the dryer, give it a good shake to remove any excess lint or hair,’ says cleaning specialist Janille Mangat. ‘This helps prevent these particles from accumulating during drying. Air drying is the gentlest method for drying fleece blankets.’

If using a dryer, use a low-heat setting to prevent damage. Avoid high heat, as it can cause the fibers to become brittle. If possible, air-dry the fleece blanket by laying it flat. This method prevents the blanket from stretching or losing its shape that can occur when hung on a line.

Avoid ironing your fleece blanket. The high temperature can melt the synthetic fibers and ruin its texture. If you need to remove wrinkles, simply shake out the blanket or use a fabric steamer on a low setting.

Janille Mangat

Janille Mangat has been working as a cleaning specialist at VMAP services for more than 2 years and has extensive experience with residential and cleaning services. 

Spot clean stains

white bed in neutral bedroom

(Image credit: French Bedroom)

For small stains or spills, spot-clean the affected area with a mild detergent rather than washing the entire blanket. This can help maintain the overall cleanliness of the blanket between thorough washes.

Stains ought to be pretreated with an enzyme-based stain remover or a dab of heavy-duty washing detergent. Use a smooth-bristled brush or a microfiber material to work it into the fibers. Allow at least 10 minutes before washing.

Storage and maintenance

After washing and drying, fold the fleece blanket instead of hanging it. Hanging may cause the fabric to stretch, especially if it's a larger blanket, leading to an uneven appearance.

According to cleaning specialist Prerna Jain you should store your fleece blankets in a cool, dry place. Avoid direct sunlight and damp areas, as they can cause the color to fade and mold to develop. If you're storing the blanket for a long time, consider placing it in a breathable cotton bag to protect it from dust and insects.

Maintain your fleece blanket's softness by giving it a quick brush after washing and drying. Use a soft-bristle brush from Amazon and gently brush in the direction of the fleece. This will keep it fluffy and prevent matting. 

Prerna Jain
Prerna Jain

Prerna Jain is the founder of Ministry Of Cleaning, a top-rated cleaning service with years of industry experience. 


How often should I wash my blankets?

You should wash your blankets on average once or twice a month. However bed throws or those used in guest bedrooms can be washed less frequently. Wool blankets are the exception as they do not hold on to as much dirt and fluff as cotton or fleece blankets so they can be washed every 2-3 months. 

Remember, each fleece blanket may have unique care requirements, so always refer to the care label for specific instructions. Even though fleece blankets are durable, they still need a little pampering. Try not to use them as ground cover or for outdoor activities. This can cause unnecessary wear and tear and reduce the lifespan of your cozy blanket.

Seraphina Di Mizzurati
Contributing Editor

Seraphina is a contributing editor at Homes & Gardens, writing Solved features on organizing and storage. She loves to decorate and also grow her own produce from her home in London. Her previous experience includes working at Women's Health and Fabulous Magazine.