How to Care for Your Horse's Blanket

Keeping your horse blanket in good repair isn’t an easy task, especially when your horse does everything in their power to get it off, cover it in mud, or snag it on things in the pasture. Here we’ll explain the best ways to keep your horse's blanket in good condition whether your horse is a pasture angel or a recognized blanket destroyer.


Daily Blanket Care

Getting into the habit of regularly caring for your blanket will increase its life and make yearly cleaning less overwhelming. Every time you notice caked mud or dirt on your blanket, brush it off with a hard brush and tap it off the metal snaps and buckles. After you finish getting most of the dirt off make sure to store or hang it in a dry area where critters and mold can’t get to it. The Dura-Tech® EZ-View Storage Bag or the Dura-Tech® Horsewear Storage Bag are some good options that will protect your blanket while it's not being used.

Washing Your Horse Blanket

The life of a blanket can be lengthened by properly washing it. However, over-washing a blanket, using the wrong detergent, or washing it in hot water can damage the fabric. Here we will walk you through how to wash the blankets your horse will wear throughout the year.


Properly wash your horse blankets with Schneider's Blanket Wash

Waterproof Blankets - Turnout Blankets and Rain Sheets: A waterproof winter horse blanket, turnout blanket, or rain sheet should be washed about once every season. Washing it too often can damage the integrity of the waterproof fabric so make sure you only wash your blanket when it's incredibly dirty.

To clean a waterproof blanket, first find the manufacturer's instructions on the tags to ensure there aren't any special instructions for your blanket. Next, remove all the excess dirt and hair from the blanket with a hard brush. You can also use a shedding blade for the inside of the blanket if there is a lot of hair build-up but use it gently to prevent damaging the fabric. Then, hose the blanket down with cold water and scrub it with detergent specifically made for delicate fabrics (this is especially important for waterproof blankets). Never use fabric softener on your blanket as they can irritate your horse's skin and weaken waterproof fabric. Try using Schneider’s Blanket Wash which is specifically designed to clean your blanket without hurting the blanket or your horse's skin.

You can also wash your horse blanket in a washing machine. However, home washing machines are usually too small to wash blankets. Alternatively, many equestrians use their local laundromat’s bigger washing machines to wash blankets. Either way, be sure to wash your blanket with cold water and a delicate detergent. Also remember to clean any leftover detergent from previous washes out of the detergent dispenser to ensure the blanket won’t be washed with a stronger detergent. When loading your blanket, place it inside a mesh washing bag to make sure the machine isn’t damaged from the metal buckles and straps. To prevent hair from getting on your other clothes, wash the blanket by itself and try to remove all the hair before putting it in. Also pull the leftover hair from the drain after the blanket has been washed to limit the likelihood of clogging during the next wash.

Coolers

Non-Waterproof Blankets - Coolers and Stable Blankets: A non-waterproof blanket is much easier to wash in a machine as the fabric is similar to the clothes that we wear. To wash your non waterproof blanket first read the manufacturer's instructions to make sure there are no special recommendations. Then, remove all excess dirt and hair from the blanket so it doesn’t clog up your washing machine. Next, put it in the washing machine in a mesh wash bag to keep the buckles and straps from damaging the machine. Then wash the blanket on a cold setting using delicate detergent. If you prefer you can also hand wash a non-waterproof blanket in the same way you would wash a waterproof blanket.


Professional Cleanings: Your blanket can also be cleaned once a year using your closest blanket cleaning service. If you live locally to Schneiders Saddlery you can utilize our quality blanket cleaning service to clean your blanket. Professional cleaners can take the stress out of cleaning your blankets while also giving them a quality cleaning. This can be beneficial if you have a blanket that has special cleaning instructions or is made from fabric that is easily damaged.

Drying Your Horse Blanket

To dry your blanket hang it over a fence post and let it air dry. It is not recommended to dry your blanket in the dryer, but if you must, dry them on a cold setting. Do not use forced hot air to dry your blanket as it can damage the integrity of the waterproof fabric and in some blankets it can potentially cause the fabric to melt.

Make sure your blanket is completely dry before you store it to prevent it from molding.

Re-Waterproofing your Horse Blanket

Ensuring that your blanket remains waterproof consistently every season can make a big difference in its effectiveness during the cold seasons. A wet horse is a cold horse, which makes waterproofing your blanket an essential step in preparing for the colder seasons.

There are many different products you can use to re-waterproof your blanket. Look for fabric protectors like Nikwax Synthetic Rug Proof, Nikwax TX-Direct Spray-On, Schneiders® Spray On Blanket Re-Proofer, or Revivex Instant Water Proofing. These products can be spray-on, or wash-in, and some are specifically designed to waterproof fabrics that weren’t originally waterproof. All of these products will work to re-waterproof your blanket.

Once you have chosen your product make sure your blanket is dry and spotless. Waterproofing products work significantly better when the blanket is clean. Then, hang it outside and make sure that your hands and face are covered so the fumes don't get into your hands, eyes, or mouth. Apply many thin coats of your waterproofing spray to ensure the blanket is completely covered. Try to apply extra product on areas where the blanket may have experienced more wear.

After the product is on the blanket, let it dry outside either in the sun or shade depending on the product instructions. After the blanket is dry, test it with some water to see if it has successfully been waterproofed.