If you’re like me, you may have hastily stored your horse blankets last spring without cleaning them first. And now that it’s almost time to use them again, you might be regretting that decision (I am, ha ha). Fortunately, it’s never too late to give them a good cleaning.
The trouble with blankets, as most of us know, is that they aren’t always washing machine friendly. There are other options for washing them, however. Here’s a rundown on how to get your horse blankets in tip top shape before winter:
Start by unfolding your blanket and taking a good look at it. Are there any rips or tears that need mending? Buckles or straps that need replacing? Mud dauber nests that need to be removed? Make sure to check both the outside and inside of the blanket well.
Give it a Good Brushing
Using a stiff brush, clean off as much dirt, hair, and debris that might have accumulated on your blanket. Again, brush off both sides. This will make washing your blanket easier.
Once the above steps have been taken, you now have several options for washing your blanket. The first is to take it to a professional blanket cleaning service if one exists in your area. This will be the easiest for you, but it’s also the most expensive obviously. A second option is to use a power washer, if you have one. If using this method, place the blanket on an incline, if possible, to allow for water runoff. Simply spray, lather with laundry soap, scrub, and rinse.
A third option is to take your blanket to a car wash and use their power washer. Some car wash stations have giant clips on the wall for holding floor mats, so those can be ideal for blankets as well. Again, just wet, lather with soap, scrub, and rinse. It’s best to use laundry detergent rather than the car wash soap, however, as harsher soaps might break down some of the waterproofing on the blanket.
A Few Final Tips
No matter how you choose to wash your blanket, always opt for cold water as this will help keep the waterproofing in tact. Also, use a mild laundry detergent since harsh chemicals can interfere with waterproofing. If you’re concerned that your blanket may have lost some waterproofing, you can touch this up with wash-in or spray-on options once the blanket is clean and dry.
Finally, always air dry your horse blankets. You can use a fence, railing, or even two cross ties latched together to get this done, but you will need to flip the blanket over to allow both the outside and inside to thoroughly dry.
As always, feel free to share any blanket cleaning hacks you use in the comments!
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