Poll Recap: Spring Blanket Cleaning

Poll Recap: Spring Blanket Cleaning

Of the 1,160 respondents, 471 (41%) said they wash their horse blankets in a washing machine

Photo: Erica Larson, News Editor

Last week we asked our readers how they get their horses' winter blankets clean once spring arrives. More than 1,100 people responded and we’ve tallied the results!

Of the 1,160 respondents, 471 (41%) said they wash their horse blankets in a washing machine, while 229 individuals (20%) indicated that they send their horses' winter blankets to a professional equine laundry service. Another 159 individuals (14%) said they use a hose or pressure washer to clean their horses' blankets. Thirty-eight respondents indicated they clean their blankets with a brush, and another 16 individuals (1%) said they don’t wash their horses' winter blankets. The remaining 247 (21%) respondents said their horses do not wear winter blankets.

Additionally, more than 70 people commented on cleaning horse blankets. 

Many people commented that they use a combination of methods listed above:

Poll Results

  • “I first use a sticky tape lint roller to get the hair out, (then I) wash and re-waterproof before storing.”
  • “I use a brush then a wet cloth.”
  • “Pressure washer and a brush and lots of hard work!”
  • “I first hose them off, then machine wash.”
  • “Hose them off and dry on the fence, and then (take them to a) Laundromat.”
  • “After grooming hairy horses, don a painter's mask: air compressor, pressure washing, washer.”
  • “I start with a hose and brush, then the Laundromat.”
  • “I brush them thoroughly before sending them to be pro-cleaned. They get very dirty in fall and winter!”
  • “I brush blankets to get of any loose dirt and hair. Then use Nikwax rug wash and waterproofing.”
  • “First I hose them, then I fence drip them, then I haul to the big machine Laundromat and fence dry.”
  • “I use the pressure washer first, then machine wash and triple rinse”
  • “I use a hose and brush with Woolite”

Several people said they wash their horse’s blankets in a washing machine at home, at the barn, or at a Laundromat:

  • “(I use) an old wringer washer...works great!”
  • “Having a washer in the barn means blankets can be washed when needed.”
  • "The large washing machines at the Laundromat are best.”
  • “Laundromat with Charlie's Soap or other no-residue cleanser, and remove the hair tribbles from sheets.”
  • “If it gets really dirty, I use a Laundromat.”
  • “Our Laundromat has machines for horse blankets. They're not quick, but they're cost-effective.”
  • “If they are not too thick I wash them at home”

Others said they send their blankets to a professional equine laundry service:

  • “The service is reasonable and it's not worth messing up my washing machine.”
  • “I found it's much easier to send them out and it's less damaging to my washer.”
  • “I have been using a horse laundry and repair for the last 40 years.”
  • “The heavy ones go to a professional. I wash the light weight ones with permission from the Laundromat.”
  • “The professional service does any needed repairs, and I then store them in rodent-proof boxes until fall.”
  • “Coolers I do myself, but I send out the winter blankets and rain sheets.”

Some said their horses don't wear winter blankets, so they don't have anything to wash but their equids come spring:

  • “Our horses seldom wear blankets and grow a good coat of warm hair.”
  • “Our farm horses all have warm, furrry, naturally provided blankets.”
  • “Our ponies in non-extreme weather definitely don't need a blanket.”
  • “It was a very cold, long winter, but my horses did fine without blankets.”
  • “I wash my horse's 'blanket' every time he gets a bath. Nature knows best.”
  • “All three horses wear their natural "blankets." The 33-year-old Arab/ Welsh is always a wooly beast!”
  • “Horses are better off without blankets!”
  • “Horses have survived for around 6,000 years since creation without blankets; they can do without.”

A few mentioned alternative methods or locations for washing winter blankets:

  • “I take them to the car wash over the side of my truck. Bring home, scrub spots, and re-waterproof them!”
  • “I hand wash them in a 40 gallon stock tank, drain in a laundry basket, and hang dry.”
  • “At a carwash!”
  • “I rinse them in a wash tub six times: The first tub is non-allergenic detergent, and the next five are clear water.”

Others left general comments about washing their horse’s winter blankets:

  • “Washing protects the life of these expensive blankets.”
  • “It's a chore I do not look forward to!”
  • “Always use designated cleaner for waterproofing.”
  • “I use vinegar and baking soda...and then spend three days "de-hairing" the washer!”
  • “My horses had brand new blankets this year. I need to know best way to clean them.”
  • “I wash my blankets every couple weeks”
  • “I wash mine two or three times, dry them in the sun, and store them in plastic.”
  • “I wash my blankets several times during the winter.”
  • “I air dry, use cedar chips, and store in plastic bags. Nice ones get hung in climate control room.”

You can find additional information on fitting a horse blanket and how to make blanket repairs on TheHorse.com. 

This week, we want to know: Does your horse wear leg protection when exercising? Vote now and share your comments on TheHorse.com! 

The results of our weekly polls are published in The Horse Health E-Newsletter, which offers news on diseases, veterinary research, health events, and in-depth articles on common equine health conditions and what you can do to recognize, avoid, or treat them. Sign up for our e-newsletters on our homepage and look for a new poll on TheHorse.com.

About the Author

Jennifer Whittle, TheHorse.com Web Producer

Jennifer Whittle, TheHorse.com Web Producer, is a lifelong horse owner who competes with her Appaloosas in Western performance events. She is a University of Kentucky graduate and holds a bachelor’s degree in Community Communications and Leadership Development, and master's degree in Career, Technical, and Leadership Education. She currently lives on a small farm in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky.

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