How to Clean a Horse Blanket: A Step-by-Step Guide

How to Clean a Horse Blanket: A Step-by-Step Guide

Cleaning your horse blanket is crucial for maintaining your horse’s health and comfort. It’s also a great way to save money on professional cleaning services. In this step-by-step guide, we will provide you with effective tips for cleaning both lightweight blankets and heavy turnout rugs at home.

Key Takeaways:

  • Regularly cleaning your horse blanket is important for your horse’s well-being.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s washing instructions for the best results.
  • Use a mild detergent and avoid fabric softeners.
  • Air dry your horse blanket to prevent damage.
  • Consider re-waterproofing your blanket to maintain its effectiveness.

Lightweight Blankets & Sheets: Cleaning Tips

When it comes to cleaning lightweight horse blankets and sheets, it’s important to follow a proper cleaning process to ensure their longevity and effectiveness. Here are some helpful tips for washing your blankets:

  1. Start by brushing off any excess dirt and hair using a hard dandy brush. This will help remove loose debris before washing.
  2. Hose off the blanket to remove any remaining soil. Make sure to use a moderate water pressure to avoid damaging the fabric.
  3. Check the washing instructions provided by the manufacturer. Use a mild detergent specifically designed for horse blankets and follow the recommended dosage.
  4. Set your washing machine to a gentle cycle and use cold water. Avoid using fabric softener as it can strip away the waterproofing properties of the blanket.
  5. Once the washing cycle is complete, hang the blanket to dry. It’s best to dry it outdoors, preferably in a well-ventilated area, to prevent any musty odors.

By following these tips, you can effectively clean your lightweight horse blankets and sheets, keeping them fresh and in good condition for your horse’s comfort.

Cleaning TipDescription
Brush off excess dirt and hairUsing a hard dandy brush, remove loose debris from the blanket before washing.
Hose off the blanketUse a moderate water pressure to rinse off any remaining soil from the blanket.
Follow washing instructionsRefer to the manufacturer’s guidelines for the correct detergent and washing temperature.
Avoid fabric softenerUsing fabric softener can compromise the waterproofing properties of the blanket.
Hang to dryAllow the blanket to air dry, preferably outdoors, to prevent musty odors.

Heavy Turnout Rugs: Hand Washing Tips

Cleaning heavy horse blankets, such as turnout rugs, requires special care to maintain their durability and effectiveness. Hand washing is the recommended method to prevent damage to your washing machine and ensure a thorough clean. Here are some expert tips to help you properly clean your heavy horse blanket:

Gather Your Supplies

Before starting the hand washing process, gather all the necessary supplies. You will need a hard-bristled grooming brush to remove any dirt and hair from the blanket’s surface. A utility tub or bucket filled with water and gentle laundry detergent will serve as your cleaning solution. Additionally, keep a soft-bristled brush handy for scrubbing the fabric. Once everything is ready, you can begin the cleaning process.

Pre-Treat and Scrub

Before washing the blanket, pre-treat any heavily soiled areas by directly applying a small amount of detergent. Use the soft-bristled brush to gently scrub the detergent into the fabric, working it in circular motions. This will help loosen dirt and stains before soaking the blanket.

Soak and Rinse

Next, fill the utility tub or bucket with water and add a suitable amount of gentle laundry detergent. Place the blanket in the soapy water and allow it to soak for about 30 minutes. This will further loosen any remaining dirt and help eliminate odors. After the soaking period, thoroughly rinse the blanket with clean water to remove all traces of detergent. Make sure to rinse until the water runs clear, indicating that all detergent has been removed.

Drying and Storing

Once the blanket is rinsed, gently squeeze out any excess water without wringing or twisting the fabric. Hang the blanket to dry in a well-ventilated area, preferably outdoors on a clothesline. Avoid direct sunlight, as it can fade the fabric and cause damage. Ensure that the blanket is completely dry before storing it to prevent the growth of mold and mildew.

Hard-bristled grooming brushBrush off dirt and hair from the blanket’s surface.
Utility tub or bucketFill with water and gentle laundry detergent to create a cleaning solution.
Soft-bristled brushScrub the pre-treated areas and gently clean the entire blanket.

Waterproofing Your Horse Blanket: Steps to Follow

Ensuring that your horse blanket remains waterproof is crucial for protecting your horse from the elements. Over time, the waterproofing on your horse blanket may deteriorate, but luckily, there are steps you can take to re-waterproof it and extend its lifespan. Here are some tips to follow:

Step 1: Choose the Right Product

When re-waterproofing your horse blanket, it’s important to select a waterproofing product that is specifically designed for horse blankets. These products are formulated to provide optimal protection and durability. Look for a reputable brand that offers a spray-on waterproofing solution.

Step 2: Clean and Dry the Blanket

Before applying the waterproofing product, make sure your horse blanket is clean and dry. Use a stiff brush to remove any dirt or debris, and if necessary, spot clean any stains. Allow the blanket to fully air dry, preferably outdoors, before moving on to the next step.

Step 3: Apply the Waterproofing Spray

Once your horse blanket is clean and dry, it’s time to apply the waterproofing spray. Follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer for the best results. Begin by spraying a thin, even layer of the product onto the entire surface of the blanket. Take care to cover all areas, including seams and edges.

Note: Wear gloves and a mask when applying the waterproofing spray to protect yourself from the chemical fumes.

Allow the first coat to dry completely before applying additional coats. It’s usually recommended to apply two or three thin coats for optimal waterproofing. Make sure each coat is fully dry before reapplying, as this will help the product bond effectively to the fabric.

Once you have applied the desired number of coats, allow the blanket to air dry completely before using or storing it. This will ensure that the waterproofing is fully set and ready to provide maximum protection for your horse.

By following these steps, you can effectively re-waterproof your horse blanket and keep your equine companion dry and comfortable, no matter the weather conditions.

Step 1Choose the Right Product
Step 2Clean and Dry the Blanket
Step 3Apply the Waterproofing Spray

Other Options for Cleaning Horse Blankets

If you prefer not to clean your horse blankets at home, we understand. Not everyone has the time, resources, or desire to tackle this task themselves. But don’t worry, there are alternative methods available for cleaning your horse blankets.

One option is to take advantage of horse blanket cleaning services offered by some tack stores or specialized cleaning companies. These professionals have the expertise and equipment to thoroughly clean and maintain your horse blankets, ensuring they are fresh and ready for use.

If you prefer a DIY approach but don’t want to use your washing machine, you can try using a pressure washer. Be sure to use a low-pressure setting and a mild soap when power washing your horse blankets. This method can effectively remove dirt and grime, but be cautious not to damage the fabric or the waterproofing.

Another unconventional option is to visit a local car wash. Many car wash facilities have high-powered hoses and brush attachments that can be used to clean horse blankets. Again, be mindful of using mild soaps and avoiding harsh chemicals that could harm the waterproofing properties of the blankets.


How do I clean a lightweight horse blanket or sheet?

Start by brushing off excess dirt and hair with a hard dandy brush, then hose off the blanket. Follow the washing instructions provided by the manufacturer and use a mild detergent on a gentle cycle. Avoid fabric softener and hang the blanket to dry.

How do I clean a heavy turnout rug?

Remove excess dirt and hair with a hard-bristled grooming brush, then hose off the blanket. Fill a utility tub or bucket with water and soap, soak the blanket, and scrub it with a brush and gentle laundry detergent. Rinse thoroughly and hang to dry.

How do I re-waterproof my horse blanket?

Choose a waterproofing product designed for horse blankets. Spray multiple thin coats on the clean, dry blanket, allowing each coat to dry before reapplying. Wear gloves and a mask, and do this process outdoors to avoid inhaling fumes.

Can I have my horse blankets professionally cleaned?

Yes, some tack stores and blanket cleaning services offer professional cleaning for horse blankets. Alternatively, you can use a pressure washer or take your blankets to a local car wash. Mild soaps and avoiding harsh chemicals are important. Air-drying is crucial before packing the blankets away.

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