How to Clean a Horse Blanket

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Horse blankets may need to be cleaned before being packed away for the summer. If your horse blanket is particularly messy when in use during colder months, it may also need to be laundered. It is not recommended to just throw horse blankets into home washing machines without prepping them first. Most domestic machines are not made to handle the amount of dirt and hair that comes off the blankets when they are washed. The material may be too heavy for home washers to spin when it is wet. Washing horse blankets could also cause problems in pipes, which could back-up from horse hair and mud coming off of the horse blankets. If your budget doesn't call for dry-cleaning or professionally cleaning your horse blankets, then you may want to try washing them at home by hand. Some lighter weight blankets may fit into washing machines.

Things You'll Need

  • Fence
  • Shedding blade
  • Stiff brush
  • Hose
  • Detergent

Decide if your washing machine can handle the blanket or not. If it is a lighter weight blanket, such as a show sheet, then you may be able to wash it like you would your regular laundry. Make sure that there is plenty of room for the blanket to spin around or all the dirt will not be removed. You may want to run the horse blanket through two rinse cycles to make sure all the soap has been washed out.

Hang heavier blankets over a fence. Use a shedding blade to remove as much horse hair as possible. Then use a stiff brush to brush the dirt and remaining hair off the horse blanket. Do not put heavier, thicker, or larger blankets into your washing machine. When in doubt, wash by hand.

Hose the blanket down with clean, cold water. Cold water should be used when washing horse blankets because it reduces the chance that the blanket will shrink, and it doesn't break down the fabric as quickly.

Scrub the horse blanket with detergent that is fragance-free or for sensitive skin, if possible. Rinse the blanket with cold water until the water running off the blanket is clean with no soap suds or dirt.

Allow the blanket to dry completely before folding it up for storage.

Tips & Warnings

  • Make sure to dry the horse blanket completely before folding it up and storing it, or it can become moldy over the summer months. Store it someplace safe, such as in a tack trunk--away from mice.

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