Washing your Alpaca blanket is quick and easy, but it’s important to know the right way to do it. Take a look at our step-by-step guide below:
Step 1: PICK YOUR PERIMETER
It’s important to know which direction you should be washing your blanket in. The best method of ensuring you’re going in the correct direction is to follow either one of these rules:
A) If possible, always face the front/back of the blanket when looking at it. You’ll notice there are two different coloured ends (or fringes), this will give you a clue as to how the back and front meet up when washed. Simply ensure you’re following the direction of the white end to ensure you’ve picked the correct washing direction. OR,
B) If you can’t see the fringes on your blanket, or you’ve given up identifying them for fear of never unravelling another ball, simply pick a corner of your blanket and follow it around to the other side. Ensure you’re following this edge all the way around so once again, you have picked the correct washing direction.
Step 2: PRE-WASH
Before tossing your blanket into a standard (domestic) washing machine, we recommend giving it a good pre-wash in cold water and detergent to remove any excess dirt and grime. We also recommend getting this out of the way prior to starting the main wash as it will help prevent staining or any fraying during the process. Once done, simply put it into your washer at 30 degrees with detergent and allow it to run through one cycle before stopping and allowing it to soak for 20 minutes. Then run through another complete cycle before removing it from your machine and allowing it to drip dry.
Step 3: BLEACH?
If your blanket is looking a little grey and has become a bit dingy over time, we recommend adding ¼ cup of bleach into the washing machine with detergent prior to starting the cycle. This will help brighten things up a little and bring back that original luster. Please note, if you’re washing a white/light coloured alpaca blanket, we wouldn’t recommend using any bleach as it could cause staining or colour loss. If this applies to you, skip this step and instead just allow your blanket to soak for a further 20 minutes after the initial cycle is complete.
Step 4: COLD WATER ALWAYS
Whilst it might be winter now where you are, we still recommend not washing your alpaca blankets in hot water (unless of course, you’re dealing with an actual alpaca who’s decided to leave some lanolin-based droppings on their blanket). As mentioned earlier, 30 degrees is around as hot as we’d go without risking shrinkage or colour loss – but if you’ve got multiple blankets this low heat won’t harm them at all. If they’re particularly dirty, however, it’s always best to run a pre-wash first in cold water and detergent before starting your main wash.
We recommend at least 40 degrees for alpaca blankets that are still in need of a clean; even if you’re washing your blanket at home it’s always best to err on the side of caution and stick with cold water for now (rather than risk costly dry cleaning or professional laundering). If you’re using a laundry service, let them know that the water should definitely not be hot – but scolding is still recommended.
If it’s particularly bad, you might have to run two consecutive cold washes before moving on to something hotter. But once again this is where getting multiple blankets starts paying off because chances are they won’t all turn out equally dirty – so running one through twice will only mean extra drying time rather than extra washing time!
Step 5: DRYING YOUR ALPACA BLANKET
Drying your alpaca blanket is not a difficult process – but it is an important one. To start with, you need to find somewhere dark and covered to dry your blanket. Do NOT hang them in direct sunlight or near any heat sources – this will lead to colour change and also might shrink the material (which again leads to that crinkly look). As before, we recommend hanging outside if possible; but wherever you do hang make sure there’s plenty of air circulating around it; don’t put it in a cupboard or under any shelves where it’ll get trapped and stay damp for longer than necessary.
If you can afford extra drying machines like tumble dryers, fluff driers or even just fans – then great; they’ll all help to reduce the amount of time you need to leave your blanket outside (or in front of a window). Depending on the humidity levels where you are, drying times can vary but generally speaking we recommend leaving alpaca blankets out overnight to air dry. If it’s windy, take them inside and hang them up for an hour before returning them outside if possible – this will speed up the process.
There’s not much else that needs saying here; unless your blanket is completely encrusted in mud or something equally unmentionable, these tips should apply every time! They’re easy to follow and should keep everyone around you happy too.