how to wash horse blankets

An Expert Guide on How to Wash Horse Blankets Correctly

by | Jul 6, 2023 | Blog

Imagine the warmth and comfort horse blankets brings your horse during the chilling winds of winter, or the shield fly sheets provide against blood-thirsty insects on a sweltering summer day. Indeed, these blankets, play an indispensable role in safeguarding your horse’s health and well-being.
But it is not enough to simply don a horse with a blanket. The blanket itself demands care and attention to fulfill its purpose effectively. Just as one would clean a suit of armor after a hard-fought battle, so too does a horse blanket need cleaning after days of grueling usage. A properly washed horse blanket not only enhances your horse’s comfort, but also significantly extends the blanket’s lifespan.

When and Why You Should Wash Your Horse Blankets

As a horse owner, knowing when and why you should wash your horse blankets is as crucial as knowing how to ride. While there’s no golden rule etched in stone that dictates the frequency of washing, ideally, a deep clean should be performed before storing it for the off-season and as soon as it is soiled. For instance, if a horse is prone to sweating or rolling in the mud, more frequent washing might be needed.

Regular washing is not a mere act of aesthetic preservation; it harbors far-reaching implications for your horse’s health and the blanket’s durability. A dirty blanket becomes a breeding ground for bacteria and parasites, posing a risk of skin infections for your beloved equine. Additionally, accumulated grime, sweat, and hair can cause the blanket’s waterproofing to deteriorate over time.

The harsh reality is that horse blankets, much like the noble creatures they protect, are not invincible. They too fall prey to the ravages of time and use. But with the right care, their lifespan can be extended significantly. For example, using a blanket-specific detergent like “Nikwax Rug Wash” can help preserve the waterproofing and breathability of your horse blanket. Such detergents are specially designed for technical horse clothing, being gentler on the fabric and more effective on equestrian-specific grime than standard laundry detergent.

Step-by-Step Guide on How to Wash Horse Blankets

1. Preparation: Begin by removing any excess dirt or hair from the blanket with a brush or curry comb. A sturdy product like the Weaver Leather Large Rubber Curry Comb will work wonders at this stage.

2. Check the Care Label: It might seem mundane, but always follow the manufacturer’s instructions found on the care label.

3. Pre-Treat Stains: Horse blankets often come with their share of stubborn stains. Pre-treating these problem areas with a product like “Shout Stain Remover” can go a long way in ensuring a thorough clean.

4. Washing: Load your horse blanket into a front-loading washing machine – if the blanket fits comfortably, that is. If the blanket is too large, consider using a commercial laundry facility or a blanket washing service. Use a blanket-specific detergent like “Nikwax Rug Wash”. Avoid using standard laundry detergents as they can strip the waterproofing of the blanket.

5. Rinse Thoroughly: Ensure all soap is rinsed out of the blanket to prevent residue buildup, which could lead to skin irritation for your horse. Some machines offer an extra rinse cycle, which can be quite beneficial.

6. Drying: Air dry the blanket. Do not use a dryer as the heat can damage the waterproofing and other technical features of the blanket. Hanging it up in a well-ventilated area will do the trick.

7. Reproofing: After several washes, you may notice your blanket’s waterproofing starting to fail. A product like “Nikwax Rug Proof” can be used to reproof your blanket, bringing it back to its prime.

Remember, a clean blanket does more than just keep your horse warm; it protects them, comforts them, and helps to keep them in peak condition.


When a blanket is well-cared for, it serves as a guardian, offering warmth, protection, and comfort. Remember the steps and handy products recommended, and transform what might have seemed an uphill task into a rewarding experience.

Preserving your horse blanket’s condition and cleanliness aids in extending its lifespan and assuring your equine companion’s comfort. Regularly washing your blanket, while following the manufacturer’s instructions, ensures that it serves its purpose for many seasons. The process may seem daunting, but by breaking it down step-by-step, the task becomes as straightforward as leading a well-trained horse to water.

In the world of equine care, each stride we take is for our horses. Let’s make every effort, including proper blanket care, count towards a happier and healthier life for our equine companions.

About The Author

<a href="" target="_self">Issabella Mitchel</a>

Issabella Mitchel

Isabella is a remarkable equestrian and racehorse trainer, hailing from the horse capital of the world, Kentucky. Growing up in the heart of bluegrass country, she developed a deep affinity for horses from an early age.

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