How to Wash Your Horse Blanket and Horse Gear.

We are often asked about different ways to use Blanket Safe for washing horse blankets, and how to get the best results. Can Blanket Safe wash light, medium or even heavy weight blankets in muck tubs, water troughs, or personal washing machines? Absolutely! You can use Blanket Safe with any washing method you wish. When using a smaller laundry machine or muck tub, make sure to get off any excess mud and debris before washing. This will make sure that you get a better result and preserve the machine. Keep reading to learn how to wash even your heavy weight horse blanket and horse gear, safely!

If you are going to a laundromat, it is especially important to take the time to do some pre-care. This is in the hope that you do not give equestrians all over the world a bad name. Take the time to use a hose, brush, broom, or even a power washer to remove any excess hair and mud before washing a horse blanket in a machine; especially one that is used for human clothing and bedding.

Follow these steps to wash your horse blanket and other gear:

  1. Knock, brush, or hose off excess hair, mud, and grime
  2. Attach all of the leg straps, tail straps, and metal clasps to themselves. Anywhere there is a snap, make sure to attach it. In addition, attach all tail straps back to their own D-ring so that they all start and finish in the same area. This helps avoid tangles, stretching, and breaking.
  3. Fold the blanket so the dirty part is on the inside. This allows the fabric to scrub against itself and gives you the best possible clean.
  4. Make sure your washing machine is big enough. Don’t use a machine with a center agitator. A horse blanket tangled around the agitator, may strain the motor and could destroy the machine. If the washing machine is too small, the water and dirt will not be able to escape, and the blanket will come out streaked with dirt. *A heavy weight will need more room than a light weight, or even a medium weight.
  5. Turn on the cold water setting. Cold water is essential. Hot water destroys factory applied waterproofing, causes shrinking, and destroys the fabric.
  6. Always follow the care labels on the blanket. Most say to run a gentle wash cycle. From my experience, I can tell you a gentle wash cycle may not get your horse blanket clean. You probably don’t need a heavy wash cycle; the normal wash works best for me. 
  7. Hang the blanket to dry. So whether you decide to hang your blanket on a blanket rack of your choosing or the fence, you will be providing care according to the care labels. Make sure to never let your horse blankets bake in the heat for too long. This may also cause damage, and as a reminder, never use heat to dry your blanket.

A Few Bonus Tips:

  1. If you are washing wool gear never let it spin out in the washing machine. Make sure to stop the machine before that spin cycle to prevent devastating consequences to the natural fibers. If you don’t the wool will come out mated. Let wool dry naturally on a flat surface. You may notice that the wool naturally clumps up, have no fear. Once the wool is completely dry, a good brushing with a slicker brush will help restore the fluffiness to your product.
  2. We have a wash in waterproofer that can be added in during the final rinse cycle of your horse blanket wash. When you use this, you have to skip the spin cycle; otherwise, the waterproofer will be spun out of the blanket before it gets a chance to set. After the wash, you want as much water left on as possible so the waterproofing can dry into the fabric, therefore leaving behind a light water-repellent treatment once cured.
  3. Our other option for waterproofing is a spray. Ultimately, when the damp blanket finishes washing, and hung to dry, spray the water-repellent on liberally. Always use on damp fabric, and depending on what the blanket fabric type, and how tightly the stitch, it usually needs 24-72 hours to set into the blanket and cure.

When your blankets or other gear are clean and dry, it is essential to promptly store it properly. I like to hang my blankets up high year-round.  Horse blankets are very expensive. You don’t want mice to ruin your valuable gear, and they can easily find their way into plastic bags, totes, or canvas zipper bags. The best way to protect against mice if you can’t leave your blanket’s hanging is to use a tote or tack trunk and get it up high on a shelf.

Spring is coming, and you are probably getting ready to retire your horse blankets for the season. Make sure you wash your horse blankets immediately after they are done for the season, and not when getting ready to use them again next winter. The quicker you wash your horse blankets and remove all that mud and grime the longer they are going to last, and ultimately provide your horse a better service for years to come!

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