HOW CARE FOR YOUR "Blankets By Brian" Items:
Blankets By Brian only uses the HIGHEST quality Faux Fur & Minky Material. I have found that this material extremely durable. The only thing that wears them out faster is heat in the wash/dry cycles and fabric softener.
So, lets jump in....
- Wash in Cold Water
- Washing Large items separate is ideal, smaller blankets can be washed in pairs.
- Use "Sensitive Skin" or "Eco-Friendly" soaps. (1-3 Tablespoons! That is all you need, I promise.)
- Add 1/8 Cup (or less) of Baking Soda & 1/2 - 1 cup of White Vinegar
- No FABRIC SOFTENER (Never, Ever!). No Laundry Pods. No "scents" or additives in the soap.
- Tumble dry, in Dryer, with NO HEAT, Air Dry only. I like 20-30 minutes, it will soften and fluff the item.
- Before it is 100% dry (I like 90% dry), lay or hang item to finish drying. This helps eliminate Static Buildup.
Cleaning in Detail:
The Basic Science of washing items in the washing machine and how "Water Surface Tension" plays an important factor.
Water Surface Tension Defined: "Surface tension is the tendency of liquid surfaces at rest to shrink into the minimum surface area possible. Surface tension is what allows objects with a higher density than water such as razor blades and insects to float on a water surface without becoming even partly submerged."
So, basically when it comes to washing items, breaking down "Surface Tension" on water makes the cleaning cycle more effective. Some might say that if surface tension could be eliminated completely you wouldn't need any cleaning products at all. So the question becomes, "What is the most effective way to breakdown the surface tension on water?" The answer is OXYGEN. The more oxygen you can introduce into water the better it will clean. So when you put soap with "lavender" or Fabric Softeners into the cleaning cycle it will hinder or even prohibit it all together. The easiest way to add oxygen into the cycle becomes simple chemistry. When Baking Soda and White Vinegar (or Hydrogen Peroxide.) are combined makes a lot of Oxygen. In fact, these 2 items can sometimes completely eliminate the need for any soap at all. (see additional cleaning tips below.)
Wash your Items with Eco-Friendly Soaps. Which means... No Dyes, perfumes or Fabric softeners in the soap, these additives will cling to the fibers and over time will create a residue that weighs down fibers. Makes the blanket feel sticky or greasy. Use COLD Water most of the time. Warm water is OK when dealing with oily, or extra soiled blankets.
Why I don't use Laundry Pods: Pods have Fabric Softener & scents in them, these are "death" to Faux-Fur/Minky (polyester) fibers. Plus, the dissolving pack will often not fully dissolve and will cling to fibers and hang on like gum. DO NOT USE with Faux Fur/ Minky products (Click on the link to see a few examples - Eco-Friendly Laundry Soap).
What I like: I recommend 1-3 Tablespoons Eco-Friendly Soap. "Eco-Friendly" or "Sensitive Skin" soaps are known for keeping the ingredients simple. They leave out the unnecessary ingredients that DO NOT make your laundry cleaner. Baking soda and Vinegar (or Hydrogen Peroxide) is an excellent way to get rid of body oil, lotions, dirt, or stubborn stains. I will add a 1/8-1/4 cup of Baking Soda and a 1/2 - 1 Cup of Vinegar (or 1/3-1/2 cup of Hydrogen Peroxide) to the wash cycle. To get rid of stubborn smells, use White Vinegar. Both methods are extremely effective and work brilliantly. I use both methods, alternating them throughout the year. This method will make everything Clean and Soft. (See additional cleaning links below)
NEVER Use Fabric Softeners!
Heavy Soaps (Heavy= soap that includes scents & fabric softeners) & Fabric Softeners will cling to the fibers and will drastically reduce the softness. Vinegar is an excellent fabric softener & is an amazing substitute. Just add it to the "fabric softener" dispenser. Vinegar in the rinse cycle will also help reduce static. If you are worried about the smell of vinegar after the cleaning cycle, don't. Vinegar dissipates quickly and after a couple of hours smell is gone.
Drying your Item-
I recommend using your dryer with NO HEAT. Use the "Air Dry" setting with no heat. Air Drying is the best. Use "Wool Balls" in the Dryer to help reduce static. (Be careful with dryer sheet, most have fabric softener in them. Look for sensitive skin dryer sheets with NO Fabric Softener.)
Tumble air dry until the item is about 90% dry. (average blanket takes 25-40 minutes) Then pull it out and hang it to dry the rest of the way. I can guarantee this process and you will love the results.
If you use Dryer Sheets, make sure that they DO NOT contain Fabric Softener. Faux Fur materials dry quick. One 55" x 65" blanket will dry in 25-30 minutes on the "Air dry" Cycle. Remember, your Faux Fur Items will feel softer if you tumble dry until it's about 90% dry. If you tumble dry until it is 100% dry, or use low heat, static cling will dramatically increase. This means that if you dry the item 100%, you will see increased static. However, don't worry if you have static, a light misting with plain water and spray bottle will remove it, or you could partially start over with a rinse cycle in the washer. (See additional information below)
I suggest that you wash your faux fur/minky items often to remove dirt, body oils, smells, and lotions that accumulate with use. Even a light wash can be effective, or even just running the Items in a Rinse & high speed spin Cycle can dramatically revive the item. Just add a 1/4 cup of White Vinegar, depending on the load size, to the rinse water.
Vinegar in your Wash note: I get this question/comment all the time. "I hate the smell of vinegar. I don't want that smell on my clothes and blankets." Please try this method once and I promise you will love it. There is very little smell when cleaning with vinegar, you might smell it during the cleaning process, but it dissipates quickly after everything dries.
Follow these suggestions and your Blankets by Brian item will last for years and years, and feel like new after every wash. There is no need to Dry Clean, but it's perfectly fine to dry clean if you desire. I haven't tried dry cleaning, because I prefer washing with hydrogen peroxide, vinegar, baking soda, and eco friendly (sensitive skin) soaps.
** If the Minky item is extremely soiled, dirty or smelly, you can add Vinegar to the "wash" cycle. Follow these steps: Add 1-2 cups (or more, depending on the load size) the the wash cycle. I recommend that you do a "soak" cycle with vinegar only, nothing else. Let it soak for 30 minutes ( or more). Vinegar is a great way to sanitize. After soaking, start a wash cycle with the baking soda and soap. (see "wash" instructions above)
I Consider both methods, Vinegar or Hydrogen Peroxide, great cleaning methods. Very gentle cleaning, better for the environment and Minky will feel new again.
If your order DARK RED or BLACK Faux-Fur/Minky items, You should wash them separately 3-5 times. These 2 colors MIGHT (rarely) have a tendency to "bleed" which mean that the color can run off and stain other articles. A simple way to test the fabric to see if it has stopped bleeding, wash the item with a old White Sock or White towel that you can throw away. If the White sock comes out white then you are safe to wash it with other items.
This is a great "How To..." Video from our friends at One Good Thing by Jillee. They know how to DIY everything. In this video Jill teaches us how to remove stains with baking soda. With Minky or Faux Fur Material you can use either Warm or Cold Water. Both are equally effective.
1/4 - 1/2 Cup Baking Soda
1/2 - 1 Cup Hydrogen Peroxide
Eco Friendly Soap ( Use smallest amount as directed)
Vinegar in the "Fabric Softener" cup