Posted November 15, 2023 in Equine Blog by Patti Croft
To make sure your horse blankets last a long time, it’s essential to clean and store them correctly. Always store them off the ground on a blanket rack or bar, in a bag during blanket season. During the off-season, it’s best to store blankets in a sealed container. Once the blanket season ends, you can wash and re-waterproof them. If you’d rather, you can also send them to a professional equine blanket service if one is in your area.
If you prefer to wash the equine blanket yourself, you can use your washer or a laundromat. Only use a washer that does not have an agitator, as it can damage the blanket. You can also prewash with a stiff brush and hose off the excess dirt. Your blanket should have washing instructions to go by for the best results. Some detergents are specifically designed for horse blankets. Always use a detergent that is meant for horse blankets for the best cleaning method. Many blanket manufacturers have also developed cleaning products for their blankets. Horse blanket detergents often come with deodorizers that aren’t harmful to the horse. These help to get those bad smells out.
Typically, lightweight blankets will fit in a normal residential washer. A heavier blanket may be too large for a standard washing machine. If you need to use a laundromat, ask before you go if they allow horse blankets to be washed. Some will, but it’s good to ask in advance. Your local laundromat may not allow it due to the amount of dirt and grime horse blankets contain. They may be covered in urine, manure, and mud. Blankets will also leave lots of hair in the washer, so be prepared to clean out the machine after use.
After the blanket has been washed, hang it to dry in a shaded area to prevent premature fading. Since many blankets are waterproof, it’s important not to place them in a dryer. Otherwise, it will damage the material, ruin the waterproof fabric, and void any warranties. You can hang the blanket in the sun for a short time to speed up the drying time, then place it in the shade for the remainder of the drying process. Expect it to take longer during colder periods, but always hang the blankets to dry.
Different factors can cause the waterproof coating of the blanket to break down over time. You’ll be able to tell when the water doesn’t bead off as it did before. If you send your blanket to a professional service, ask if they offer re-waterproofing. If not, you should check with the blanket manufacturer to be sure it won’t invalidate the warranty coverage.
You’ll first need a re-waterproofing product. There are various sprays available, so check reviews to find the best one. Read the instructions provided by the product when applying it for the best results.
If you need assistance with finding your horse the proper equine blanket or blanket wash, contact us for more help.