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Your horse will always find some way to get dirt and mud on their horse rug especially when there is wet weather and mud around, GoHorse offers some useful tips on the best methods to get a rug clean.
There are a few options available to clean your horse rug.
Commercial horse rug washing services are available that do a great job. They often advertise in horse related publications or you can do a search on the internet to see if there are services available in your area.
Some general retail laundries and laundromats also provide a cleaning service but you need to shop around as not all are happy to take on what might be a muddy, smelly and hairy horse rug.
If the cost outweighs the convenience of getting somebody else to do the dirty work then there are a number of options for you to clean horse rugs at home.
Rugs can certainly be washed in your washing machine if it is big enough, this is a good option for cotton and poly cotton horse rugs and polar fleece rugs. Rugs should not be washed on an aggressive cycle and only warm water and mild detergents should be used. Some people add a Eucalyptus wool wash which leaves a pleasant smell to your rugs and a soft feel.
For synthetic waterproof rugs the machine is not recommended as it has potential to shorten the life of the fabric waterproof treatment.
The best option for synthetic horse rugs is to hand wash in warm water with a mild detergent. The rug can first be hung up on a line and mud and other dirt hosed off and then finish with hand washing.
Another method is to hang the rug on a line and use a pressure washer to blast dirt off. Some pressure washers come with an attachment to apply a detergent or you can do this by hand and then finish with a blast to remove the dirt. Finish off with extra attention to stubborn areas. A wide spray should be used at a distance as a concentrated spray close to the material will damage the waterproof lining.
Horse rugs should be hung up over a line and allowed to thoroughly and completely dry before folding up and storing until next season. Failure to do this will result in a mouldy smelly rug when you go to use it next, blanket rugs will take some time to fully dry.
By following some simple steps you will extend the life of your rug and keep it looking good for longer.