Laundry tips for horse equipment – get it all sparkling!
Aside from just buying new stuff when the old stuff gets dirty, you may have to suck it up and get really good at laundry. Here are a few laundry tips for horse stuff:
- Know the fabric of what you are washing. Wool items will get all sorts of mixed up in the washer and dryer. For wool cleaning tips, read this doozy. Cotton also washes differently than sheepskin. Nylon things like wraps don’t take as long to dry. Some things are ok to dry in the sun (like some blankets), others should dry in the shade, like sheepskin. For sheepskin cleaning tips, read this one.
Part of my cooler collection has wool and fleece… each is laundered totally differently!
Do the prep work before you wash your horse stuff
- Get your horse laundry prepared before you toss it in the dryer. Use a brush to remove hair and the top layer of dirt. Pre-treat stains with your stain buster of choice.
- Pick your detergent wisely. Sheepskin items don’t do well with regular detergents. Avoid detergents with perfumes that may be irritating to your horse. Use bleach carefully!
- Plan on the “stain busting” cycle of the washer, and add a pre-treat cycle and extra rinse, too. The pre-treat cycle lets your horse stuff marinate for a bit, and the extra rinse helps to remove any last traces of detergent. This is especially important for blankets, as they get all squashed up in the washer, and you unfold to find gobs of soapy bubbles.
Spend a few minutes with a brush. You will be surprised/horrified at how much hair and dirt can be removed. Save your washer some wear and tear!
- Use an appropriate machine. Front loaders are super if you can use one, or you can use a top loader but try not to fill to the brim.
- For blankets, consider using a laundry additive that adds a layer of waterproofing. You can find them at most camping supply stores and easily help add back any waterproofing that detergents, time, and horses being horses will remove.
More horse laundry tips:
- Be careful where you place boot polish on your riding boots. Polish is notoriously hard to remove from saddle pads. Neatsfoot oil and other conditioners are also tricky to remove, so let your tack finish marinating before you hop on.
- If you can’t even stand washing sheepskin numnahs or western pads, use a baby pad as the bottom layer to take the brunt of grunge, you sheepskin will thank you. For western pad cleaning tips, read this gem.
So comfy, and so annoying to wash. They do make specialty detergents just for sheepskin and other leather goods. And you can put them in your washer!
- Make sure your horse is beyond clean! Proper grooming will keep everything cleaner, and for much longer.
- When you toss stuff into the wash that has velcro, make sure that the velcro is fastened back on itself to prevent it from having a torrid love affair with something else in the wash. For standing warps, wash in a laundry sack to prevent excessive tangles.
Return the hook and loops back into their upright and locked position.
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