Of the 1,063 voters, 385 (36%) said that they washed their horse blankets at home, while 211 (20%) said that they use a professional, off-site blanket laundry service.
Photo: Michelle N. Anderson, TheHorse.com Digital Managing Editor
In last week’s online poll, TheHorse.com asked readers how they maintained and cleaned their horse blankets. More than 1,000 readers responded, and we’ve tallied the results.
Of the 1,063 voters, 385 (36%) said that they washed their horse blankets at home, while 211 (20%) said that they use a professional, off-site blanket laundry service. Meanwhile, 201 voters (19%) indicated that they take their horse blankets to a laundromat, while another 199 readers (19%) responded that their horses do not wear blankets. Still, 67 voters (6%) said that their barn has an on-site washer and dryer for horse blankets and other equine laundry.
Additionally, 100 respondents provided comments on how they clean and maintain their horse blankets.
Some readers explained that they wash their horse blankets at home in their washing machines:
- “I wash at home, but then have to 'de-hair' the washer!”
- “Front loading washer and dry on fence. Timed when spouse is away...”
- “Fleece sheets go in the washer, and insulated blankets are washed by hand in a 40 gallon stock tank.”
- “I brush them ... until brushing doesn't do any more, then wash.”
- “I brush the mud and manure off them regularly and rotate wear through several turnout sheets and liners.”
- “I wash, hang-dry, apply water repellent, and store in a Rubbermaid tote.”
- “Not the best for my washer, but more convenient to do them at home.”
- “I wash mine at home but wrap all the metal clips etc. with cloths and elastics.”
Other readers said they wash their horse blankets at home, but without a washer and dryer:
- “I spread them out on my driveway and wash them with the hose and a horse blanket detergent.”
- “I use the hose on my turnout blankets in the spring, then hang on the line to dry.”
- “Machine washing/drying is hard on them. Only hose off and hand wash with mild soap. Hang to dry.”
- “Scrub by hand, rinse with hose, hang over metal gate to dry. Can only do this in warm weather, though”
- “Good stiff brushing and a strong hosing off.”
- “Hand wash outside once a year before storing otherwise they are wearing them!”
- “I wash them at home with a power washer and re-waterproof them as often as necessary.”
Several respondents said they use a professional service to clean and maintain their horse blankets:
- “Professionals use the right products and procedures and also repair damages.”
- “It ends up costing less to have a pro do it—and the results are better.”
- “My blankets and washed and repaired yearly by a blanket repair service.”
- “(Mine get a ) year-end professional cleaning, but brush/broom throughout season to take off excess mud, manure, etc.”
- “I do also use a professional service as well, especially for repairs, but mostly wash them myself.”
- “For repairs, I use a blanket service.”
Many readers responded that they take their blankets to a dry cleaners or laundromat for cleaning.
- “Laundromat only after sweeping, vacuuming, hosing, and whatever else necessary to get the chunks off!”
- “The really puffy winter blankets go to the laundromat.”
- “It's a real problem—you have to sneak into the laundromat when no one is there. It's frowned upon.”
- “Laundromat works better than home machine!”
- “Back when I did blanket, I took them to the laundromat (which had heavy duty machines for such uses).”
- “I'll go to the laundromat for the really heavy blankets!”
- “The laundromat I go to in Lexington, Ky., has several machines solely for washing horse blankets.”
Others said that they use more than one method to take care of their horse blankets:
- “I also do some at home (lighter ones), and send out ones to a service (only if they need repair)”
- “I sometimes wash the lightweight ones at home, but the pro does a better job and does repairs.”
- “I use a blanket service for heavy blankets. But I wash sheets in the barn washer/dryer.”
- “I wash the heavier ones at the laundromat and the lighter ones at home.”
- “Wish I could choose more than one option—the easy cleans I do at home, others I send to a professional cleaner.”
- “I wash fly sheets at home, but take winter/rain blankets to the laundromat.”
- “I wash some at home but have them all professionally cleaned and boxed in the late spring.”
And a couple readers say they take their horse blankets to the car wash for cleaning:
- “I take mine to the car wash and put them in the hooks for car mats and power wash them.”
- “Actually car wash! Clip to mat clips and pressure wash, then spray with vinegar and line dry!”
Others commented that they don’t blanket their horses:
- “I am no longer competing, so our horses no longer wear blankets.”
- “(My horses have) shelter, windbreaks, and plenty of feed—they don't need blankets."
- “Don't need blankets often. Just when really cold. I usually brush blankets well and air out for storing.”
- “I live in Southern Calalifornia and do not show my mare. So I just let her grow her coat as nature intended.”
And finally, some readers offered tips for cleaning horse blankets:
- “Always remember to hang dry waterproof sheets!”
- “I launder them as infrequently as possible to protect waterproofing per manufacturer recommendations.”
- “A great trick is to lay them out on the garage floor and vacuum them before laundering!”
- “I always wipe out washers and dryers, so that no horse hair is left in the machines.”
- “Do check the cleaning instructions. Putting in a dryer could ruin the rain repellent blankets, etc.”
In this week's poll, we want to know what kind of feeder do you use for your horse's hay? Vote Now!
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 every week!
About the Author
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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