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Set the cycle, add detergent, and let the machine fill. When all the soap is dissolved, add the blanket. Let it soak, and then wash on gentle. Add 1 1/2 cups white vinegar to the final rinse. It will give the blanket a clean smell and give it a little fluff.
You can dry heavy blankets on the line quickly and without stretching by using this technique: Hang the blanket across the line with the binding down. Then pull the opposite corners down. Water will drip from the lower corners, yet air will still circulate inside the fold.