How to Clean a Horse Brush

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Your riding buddy loves a good grooming and deserves all the extra attention you can shower upon them. You head to the barn with your curry combs, hoof dressing, fly spray and coat sheen determined to make Horsey Spa Day a reality only to return to the tack room a few short minutes later because your face and body brushes are caked with dirt, oils and hair and aren’t fit to use on your patiently awaiting pony. Would you brush your own hair with dirty combs and brushes? No. But the good news is a good brush cleaning isn’t all that time consuming so Spa Day can be saved.

Things You'll Need

  • Mild detergent
  • Bucket
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothed comb
  • Bleach

Clean a Horse Brush

Most horse brushes fall into two categories: synthetic and natural bristle. If you have both, you’ll have two separate cleaning routines. However, you begin in the very same way: with a curry comb or toothed comb, rake across the brush to loosen and remove as much hair and dirt as possible. If you have a vacuum handy, run the suction hose over the bristles for a good minute or so for extra loose grime removal. Now, this is where the natural bristles and synthetic bristles differ in cleaning and it is advised to use two different regimens.

With a synthetic brush, immerse it into a bucket of hot, sudsy water, add ¼ cup of bleach, and presto, in about an hour you have a squeaky clean brush. You can also clean your synthetic brush in the dishwasher as long as it’s the only item in the dishwasher.

For natural bristles, the cleaning routine demands a less harsh method. After combing and vacuuming, place the brush, bristles down into a shallow pan of sudsy water. Do not immerse the entire brush as the backing is normally made of wood or leather and the water will damage the brush. Use a mild detergent, scrub with an old toothbrush and rinse. Lay the brush in direct sunlight to dry.

For natural bristles, the cleaning routine demands a less harsh method. After combing and vacuuming, place the brush, bristles down into a shallow pan of sudsy water. Do not immerse the entire brush as the backing is normally made of wood or leather and the water will damage the brush. Use a mild detergent, scrub with an old toothbrush and rinse. Lay the brush in direct sunlight to dry.

Grab your clean brushes, a few carrots and have a happy Horsey Spa Day.

Tips & Warnings

  • Each horse should have their own brushes.
  • If you use brushes on multiple horses, they should be bleached often.
  • Make sure to thoroughly rinse out all cleaning products from the brush.
  • Never immerse a natural bristle brush in water or other liquid cleaner.

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