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How to Wash and Care for a Horse Blanket

Posted by Mary's Tack & Feed on 28th Dec 2021

How to Wash and Care for a Horse Blanket

When it comes to taking care of your horse gear, those big, bulky horse blankets are some of the trickiest pieces. How do you wash them when they get dirty? Do you have to spot clean them? How are you supposed to dry them? You've got questions about how to wash your horse blankets - but luckily, Mary's Tack and Feed has answers.

Whether you're interested in cleaning your waterproof horse blankets or non-waterproof blankets, we'll show you how to properly wash these essential pieces of tack before the next wear.

How often should you wash your horse blankets?

Generally, you don't want to wash your horse blankets too often or you'll risk them wearing out too quickly or damaging the waterproof material. These blankets really only need a good washing once per year, and many horse owners choose to wash them at the end of each winter season.

Can you wash a waterproof horse blanket?

While you can throw some lightweight horse blankets in the washing machine, waterproof blankets require a bit more consideration and care. Heat can damage the waterproofing on these types of blankets, so while you can wash them, you'll want to avoid any excessive heat from a washer or dryer.

How to Wash a Lightweight Horse Blanket

Lightweight sheets and horse coolers can be washed in a traditional home washing machine - here's how.

  1. Remove any excess dust, dirt or built-up hair from the exterior of the blanket before washing it. You can do this by hanging the blanket over a fence or spreading it out on the ground outside, then going over it with a hard-bristled grooming brush. Make sure you thoroughly clean this dry debris before adding any water.
  2. Hose the blanket off well to remove any remaining mud or caked-on dirt. This will prevent any debris from clogging up your washing machine, and it will ensure that the blanket gets thoroughly cleaned in the wash. Simply rinse it with a standard hose, working out any tough stains with the brush.
  3. Carefully place the blanket in the washing machine, using a mesh laundry bag to prevent the straps and buckles from tangling. Wash the blanket on the gentle cycle in cold water, using only a mild, horse blanket specific detergent (make sure to avoid fabric softener, especially if your blanket has a waterproof coating).
  4. To dry the blanket, hang it outside on a sturdy clothesline or over a fence. Make sure to remove the blanket from the wash quickly, as it can start to develop a mildew odor if you leave it in the washer for too long. Because the blanket is so large, it may take a full day to dry.

How to Wash a Heavy Horse Blanket

Heavy winter horse blankets are usually too large for home washing machines, so you'll have to wash it by hand. Simply follow these steps to make it easy and efficient.

  1. Remove any excess dust, dirt or built-up hair from the exterior of the blanket by laying it on the ground or over a fence, then carefully working a hard-bristled grooming brush over the surface. Move in circular motions, and be careful to avoid damaging the waterproof surface.
  2. Hose off any remaining dirt with cold water, using the brush to remove any remaining stubborn debris.
  3. Scrub the entire surface of the blanket using the same hard-bristled brush and a gentle laundry detergent. Work your way around in circular motions.
  4. Completely rinse the soap from the blanket by spraying it with a hose.
  5. Line dry the blanket on a clothesline or over a fence, making sure to allow it to thoroughly dry before packing it away for the season.

When it's Time to Replace a Blanket

Sometimes, a good cleaning reveals a faded and worn blanket beneath the dirt. When you realize it's time to order a new horse blanket, trust the brands carried by Mary's Tack and Feed. You can even score on other gear too, as we have all the tack and supplies you need for your horse. As always, be sure to consult the manufacturers guidelines for care of your blanket. If you have any questions, give us a call or stop by the shop!