Nothing is cozier than a thick, cuddly sherpa blanket draped over your couch in the fall! This soft material is perfect for cooler days, but keeping it clean can get a little tricky. If you have ever ended up with a matted, pilled sherpa jacket, you probably want to find out how to wash a sherpa blanket or jacket without ruining it!
Most sherpa blankets and jackets will maintain their fluffy texture with proper care. Using a delicate, cool water wash cycle with dye and fragrance-free detergent will prevent matting or pilling. Air-drying the jacket or blanket will protect it from scorching in the dryer’s heat, though tumble dry could offer a safe alternative.
In this article, you will find out what makes your sherpa blanket so soft. You will get step-by-step instructions on how to clean and care for this unique material. Finally, you will learn how to avoid damaging your special sherpa items in the first place!
What is a Sherpa Blanket?
Sherpa blankets typically have contrasting textures on each side, one that resembles fluffy sheep’s wool and the other a smooth knit. Most of these blankets contain polyester or a polyester blend. This style of fleece blanket is meant to resemble the traditional clothing once worn by the Sherpa people of Nepal.
Sherpa blankets provide all the softness and snuggle you could look for in a blanket! This kind of fleece often gets called the plushest of all types of fleece. The sheep’s fleece-like side has fine, brushed fibers that trap body heat and provide excellent warmth as well.
Plus, these blankets usually come in a lightweight fleece that might weigh as little as 2 pounds!
The only downside you might discover about these blankets is that proper care can cause them to mat, pill, or generally look squashed.
If you’re wondering if sherpa fleece makes a good blanket, the answer depends on what you’re looking for in a throw or bedcover. In terms of sumptuous plushness and velvety softness, you can’t beat a sherpa blanket! In terms of care and cleaning, these blankets require a bit more work than some other kinds.
Finally, you may also want to consider the question of synthetic vs natural materials in your blankets. Sherpa blankets usually feature polyester fibers. Polyester is 100% synthetic and comes from byproducts of petroleum.
Production of synthetic materials like polyester can lead to increased global plastic pollution. If you have sensitive skin, you may also have an allergic reaction to the plastic-based polyester fibers in these blankets.
The fact of the matter is that more than 60% of the clothing and household fabric times you buy contain a large percentage of synthetic fabrics these days, though. This means that you might have difficulty finding or fleece or velvet throw that contains only natural material.
Can You Wash Sherpa?
You can wash sherpa fabric in cool water by hand or in a delicate washing machine cycle. Hand washing or using the delicate cycle cuts down on the amount of friction the fabric sustains. This friction can cause tiny thread bobbles called pills to form on the surface of the material.
Special precautions such as using only dye-free and scent-free detergent will help prevent matting on the fleecy side of the fabric.
High heat, harsh chemicals, and sustained friction can cause damage to sherpa fabric. This material should never go in a dryer in normal settings. It might scorch, melt, or get irreversibly matted under these conditions.
Also, you should use cool water instead of hot water or warm water for both and rinse cycle if you use your washing machine.
Finally, avoid using any type of bleach on this kind of fleece. In dire circumstances, you can apply a non-chlorine bleach and instantly rinse it out, but even this could negatively impact the texture of the fleece.
If this seems like a lot of trouble, just remember that careful washing and drying can keep your sherpa blankets soft and fluffy for years to come!
How to Wash a Sherpa Blanket Without Ruining It
Taking a few extra precautions will preserve the soft, plush texture that makes your sherpa blanket so special.
The good news is that you can wash your blanket without doing any harm to it! The bad news is that if you wash your blanket in the wrong way, you might end up with a flat, scraggly mat instead of a fluffy blanket.
Please note that you should always read the manufacturer’s care instructions on the label attached to your blanket before attempting any kind of washing. The steps described here work on most sherpa throws, but do what the label says!
Keep reading to find out all the best tips and tricks so you can wash a sherpa blanket like a pro!
The best way to remove stains or spots on your sherpa blanket is to pretreat them before washing. You don’t want to use any type of stain remover that contains bleach or harmful chemicals, though.
The two best methods use only simple household ingredients!
For a non-oily stain, use dish soap.
- Blot the stain with a clean paper towel. This will soak up any excess moisture if the stain is still wet. Try not to rub, just gently pat the blanket with your paper towel!
- Apply just a couple of drops of dish soap to the stain. Again, gently pat the soap with another clean paper towel to let it settle into the fibers.
- Rinse the stained area under cool, running water.
- As this area dries, you may see it settle into a flat, matted mess. No worries! You can fix this by following the pretreatment with a cycle in your washing machine.
For oily stains, you may have better luck using either baby powder or cornstarch to soak up the oil.
- Blot the stain with a clean paper towel. If the stain looks dried-in, you can skip this step!
- Sprinkle a light covering of either cornstarch or baby powder over the surface of the stain. You don’t need much, just enough to completely cover the stain.
- Use your fingers to gently rub the powder on the surface of the fabric.
- Allow the dry powder to sit overnight.
- If possible, use a small vacuum cleaner with a nozzle to suck up the loose powder. If you don’t have one handy, just shake the blanket over your bathtub to remove the powder.
- Finally, follow the guidelines below to wash your blanket in your washing machine!
Once you get rid of the stain, you can learn how to wash a sherpa blanket.
Once you know how to wash your sherpa throw, you’ll find these steps quite easy! The main trick is to dodge the possible elements that can harm your blanket during this process.
- Set your washing machine to a delicate or gentle cycle. Depending on the model of your machine, you may also find this setting called “permanent press.”
- If possible, select the cold water option as well.
- Put your blanket into the washing machine, but do not add any other items such as clothing or bedding. Extra bulk in the washing machine will cause increased friction on your blanket, leading to lots of tiny, annoying little pills! Plus, non-dye fast items could bleed color onto your blanket.
- Add a gentle, liquid type of detergent. You do not want to use a fabric softener as this could cling to the synthetic fibers and cause matting. Likewise, you don’t want to use powdered detergent, which could stick to the blanket instead of dissolving.
- Finally, turn on the washing machine and allow it to run through its normal cycles!
The essential element of the machine wash process is to remember to use cold water. Heat can damage your throw blankets. Also, use a mild detergent and no add-ins like fabric softener or bleach.
If you have space and time, you may find that you enjoy washing a sherpa throw by hand! Though it takes a little more effort, this process provided the safest option to protect your fluffy blanket.
- Fill your clean bathtub, a large basin, or your kitchen sink with cold water. Warm or hot water could damage the fleece.
- Submerge the blanket in the cold water. Swish it around a bit with your hands to make sure the fabric gets wet through.
- Add just a few drops of a gentle laundry detergent to the water. Stir the soap into the water with your hands so that it creates soapy foam.
- At this stage, push the blanket folds through the water with both hands to expose all the fabric to the soap. You don’t want to squeeze or rub the blanket too much. Just tug it through the water gently.
- Drain the water away. Fair warning: you will have a heavy, water-logged blanket on your hands in this step! Lift it up and gently press the blanket between your hands to remove as much water as possible.
- Follow the recommended steps for drying below!
One thing to avoid in this process is squishing your sherpa fleece blanket into a too-small bucket or basin. Hand washing gives your blanket a delicate, friction-less wash. If you squish it, you will ruin all those benefits by flattening all the fibers!
How to Dry
If you have a clothesline, the absolute best way to dry your sherpa fleece blanket is to let it air dry outside in the fresh air! Just use gentle plastic clothespins, as the wooden kind could snag on the fleece.
If you don’t have a clothesline, you can drape your damp blanket over a clothes rack or even the back of several folding chairs lined up in a row. If all else fails, you can fling it up and over your shower curtain rod and let it dry in your bathroom.
If you’re in a hurry or don’t have space to air dry your blanket, you can put the blanket in the dryer safely. Just make sure you use the tumble-dry setting. This setting will not apply any heat.
As you now know, high heat can severely damage fleece.
How to Wash Pendleton Sherpa Blanket
Washing a Pendleton sherpa blanket requires a few variations because these blankets feature all-natural wool instead of the more common polyester. Follow these tips to keep your Pendleton blanket looking like new!
- You can remove stains in this kind of blanket by using cool water or plain seltzer.
- Use a special laundry detergent designed for wool.
- Wool can be dry-cleaned, so you can take your blanket to professionals if you like.
- Some Pendleton products require dry cleaning, so check the label before you do anything else!
- If you wash it at home, hand wash and lay it on a flat surface to dry.
- To fluff and unwrinkle it, hang it up in a steamy bathroom for an hour or two.
How to Wash Ugg Sherpa Blanket
UGG sherpa blankets contain 100% polyester and do well in a gentle washing machine cycle using cold water. These blankets have a nice bound edging and look very stylish, but they don’t have any differences from your average, run-of-the-mill sherpa blanket.
This makes cleaning them quite easy! Just remember the key steps of using cold water, gentle laundry detergent, and air-drying whenever possible.
How to Wash Faux Sherpa Blanket
Most faux sherpa blankets contain some type of synthetic fabric and can safely be washed in cold water. Always check the manufacturer’s label on your fleece throw. This will tell you what kind of fabric it contains and how to care for it safely.
Some faux fur throws, for example, feature 100% acrylic fibers. Acrylic absolutely cannot experience heat, so you need to air dry that kind of material!
How to Wash Sherpa Jacket
The key to successfully washing a sherpa jacket is to turn the garment inside out before you begin using only cold water.
You can follow the steps described earlier to either hand wash or machine wash your jacket. Just make sure you turn it inside out first. This will prevent it from snagging on anything in the wash.
Also, make sure you use a mild laundry detergent. One of the great things about sherpa jackets is their water resistance, and strong chemicals can strip that away from the fibers in the fleece.
If you find that your jacket looks worn and flattened when it comes out of the wash, try the brushing described later in this article method to fluff it up a bit after it dries!
How Often Should You Wash a Sherpa Throw?Unless your sherpa throw has gone through a catastrophe, washing it once a month will keep it clean and fresh-smelling. That said, if your dog vomits on the blanket or you accidentally squish a slice of pizza into its fluffy fibers, you will need to give it an emergency wash!
Most of the time, you’re better off not washing it very often. Washing anything creates a certain amount of friction that causes wear and tear in the long run.
In nice weather, you can just air out your fleece throw by hanging it up outside in the sunlight. The fresh air will whisk through the fibers, carrying away any unpleasant smells!
If you use your fleece throws in your bed, you may need to wash them more regularly. Just give them the old sniff test if you think they might need more than a once-a-month cleaning.
How Do You Make a Sherpa Blanket Soft Again?
If your sherpa blanket looks like it has gone through the wars, you can try the vinegar method to make it soft again.
First, make an honest assessment of the blanket’s condition. If you’ve had it for a long time and it has rips, tears, or ancient stains, you may need to consider replacing it. On the other hand, if it just looks worn around the edges and a little matted, you can almost certainly rescue it and restore it to its former glory!
For the vinegar method:
- Set your washing machine to a gentle wash cycle and select the cold water option.
- Before adding your blanket, pour half a cup of baking soda into the machine.
- If you have a separate spout for fabric softeners, pour half a cup of distilled white vinegar into it before starting the machine. If you do not have this spout, just measure the vinegar into the water in the basin.
- Run the washing machine.
- Ball up a generous chunk of aluminum foil. Toss this into your dryer.
- Put the damp fleece in the dryer on a tumble dry setting. The aluminum ball will add extra fluff so that the fleece throw dries soft and plush! It will also prevent static build-up in the synthetic fibers of the fleece.
You can’t use fabric softeners on this kind of fleece, but the vinegar method will keep it soft for you!
How to Fix Matted Sherpa
If your sherpa throw looks matted down, you may just need to apply a simple brushing technique to make it fluffy and soft again!
For this method, you need a stiff brush. You can find old-fashioned boar hair brushes at some cosmetics stores. Or you can track down a stiff-bristled pet brush that will work just as well.
- Spread out the blanket over a flat surface, like your living room floor. (Vacuum first, though!).
- Use sharp scissors to snip away any loose threads or clumps sticking up out of the throw.
- Brush across the fleecy side of the throw to fluff it up!
- If this doesn’t show good results, try misting the fleece with cool water and then brushing.
If you feel diligent, you can apply the brushing technique every time you wash your sherpa fleece blanket! It adds that bit more softness and ensures the fleecy fibers stay fluffed.
How to Clean Sherpa Blanket
You can clean your sherpa blanket using cool water, gentle laundry detergent, dish soap, or most non-chlorine laundry products. If possible, hang up the blanket to air dry instead of exposing it to the heat and friction of the dryer.
If you simply need to spot-clean your blanket, try wetting the stained area in your kitchen sink and using a dab of dish soap to work out the stain. Then just rinse it under running water, and hang it up to dry!
If your blanket gets dirty–like dropped into a scummy pond or driven over by a muddy truck–you can try soaking it overnight in a basin with some gentle detergent. Or you can accept the cruel hand of fate and spend a few bucks to get a new blanket!
Washing your blanket no more than once a month in cold water will keep it fresh and fluffy under normal circumstances.
Fluffy, soft sherpa blankets might seem difficult to care for, but following a few simple steps will keep them plush and cozy for a long time! Using old water, gentle detergent and air drying will preserve the fleecy side of your blanket.
Most of the time, you can either air out or wash your sherpa blanket just once a month to keep it nice. If you find your throw getting matted, you can add vinegar to the wash, or you can use a stiff brush to fluff it up again!
What do you like best about your cozy sherpa fleece blanket? Leave a comment below to let us know!