Courtesy of SmartPak
Cleaning and storing your horse sheets and blankets properly is essential to making them last. You should store them up off the ground with a blanket rack, bar, or bag during blanket season and in a sealed container during the off-season. At the end of blanket season, you can wash and re-waterproof them yourself, or send them to a professional horse blanket washing service. Read on to learn more about our smart storage tips and to check out our blanket washing guidelines.
Storing Horse Blankets and Sheets
On a chilly winter day, the last thing you want to be doing is digging through piles of blankets in your tack room to find the right one for the weather. Luckily, there are several ways you can keep your horse’s blankets neat, tidy, and off your barn aisle or tack room floor during blanket season. Our top picks for blanket storage include blanket racks that can be hung on the wall, blanket bars for your horse’s stall door, and blanket bags that can be hung on your horse’s stall door. Whatever your situation, we’ve got a blanket storage solution that will meet your needs!
Once you’ve gotten your blanket rack, blanket bar, or blanket bag, your next step is to fold your blanket so that you can store it neatly. If you’re tired of struggling with unruly blankets or leg straps hanging out all over the place, we’ve got you covered with a how-to video on the easy way to get a tidy fold in no time flat!
Once blanket season is over, your work isn’t done yet! Storing your horse’s blankets properly during the off season will protect your investment and help ensure that they’re ready to go when the cool weather comes again. Before you store your blankets, it’s important to wash them and make any necessary repairs. Once your horse’s blankets are clean, dry, and in good repair, store them in a sealed container such as the bag they came in, a tote or trunk, or a vacuum seal storage bag to keep dirt, mold, mildew, and any pesky critters out.
Cleaning Horse Blankets and Sheets
When it comes to washing your horse’s blankets, you have two options: washing them yourself, or using a laundry service.
If you’ve chosen the do-it-yourself route, you can use your own washer or head to the laundromat. If you’re going to try a laundromat, be sure to call first to make sure that horse blankets are allowed. It’s also a smart idea to do a pre-wash at the barn first to help save your washer. Just use a stiff brush to get any excess hair, mud, or dirt off the blanket, hose it off, and hang it to dry.
After your pre-wash at the barn, it’s time to hit the laundry! Ideally, you should follow the washing instructions provided by the manufacturer, and consider using a detergent specifically designed for horse blankets. Once your blankets have been through the washer, you can hang them to dry. To help prevent the color from fading, consider hanging them in the shade rather than in the sun. Once your blankets are clean and dry, you’ll also want to consider re-waterproofing them.
If you’ve decided that you’d rather not wash them in your own washer, many areas offer horse blanket washing services. If you’ve never used a blanket laundry service before, ask your barn mates or other riders you know for recommendations. When you’re researching the different services available to you, a few things to consider are whether they apply a waterproofing coating after they’ve finish washing them, if they offer blanket repairs, and if they’ll pick up your dirty blankets and deliver your clean blankets back to your barn.
Re-Waterproofing Horse Blankets and Sheets
A number of factors, including age, improper washing, and improper storage can cause the waterproof coating of your horse’s turnout blankets and sheets to break down over time. If you’re noticing that water no longer “beads off” your horse’s turnout blanket or sheet, this may indicate that it needs to be re-waterproofed. Just like with washing, you have two options when it comes to re-waterproofing your horse’s blankets: doing it yourself or sending your blankets to a professional blanket washing and repair company.
If you’re already planning to send your blankets and sheets to a professional to be washed, look for a laundry service that also offers re-waterproofing services. If you’re planning on washing your horse’s blankets yourself, then it may make the most sense for you to re-waterproof them yourself while you’re at it. Keep in mind that before you re-waterproof your horse’s blankets on your own, it’s a smart idea to check with the manufacturer and see whether re-waterproofing it will invalidate any warranties on it in the future. In addition, you can see ask if they have any specific recommendations for what type of re-waterproofing product to use on their blankets.
Once you’ve determined that you’re definitely taking the do-it-yourself route, it’s time for you to hit the store (or the Internet!) and find a re-waterproofing product. There are a variety of spray and wash-in products that you can use to re-waterproof your horse’s blankets. You can use products that are designed specifically for horse blankets, or you could even head to an outdoor or camping store and check out waterproofing products designed for general use. After you’ve chosen a product, read the instructions on the bottle carefully and apply it as directed for maximum benefit.