a Winter Blanket
Cherry Hill ©
While the blanket
is still on the horse, brush the outside of the blanket to remove any mud or other
debris. If the outside of the blanket is fairly clean except for a few manure
or grass stains, you can spray the spots with a solution made with your regular
blanket wash product. Let the spray set for 30 seconds and then scrub with
a textured sponge. This is easiest to do on the horse.
Remove the blanket from the horse and lay it out in a clean area such as on the
rubber mats of the grooming area. Brush the wither fleece to remove any
hair or debris and to fluff it so it will wash more thoroughly.
the inside of the blanket with a stiff-bristled brush to loosen patches of hair.
Since hair is one of the most damaging things to your washing machine and since
it will just spread in the wash water and distribute itself over the whole blanket,
the more hair you can loosen and remove, the better your blanket will look coming
out of the washer and the longer your washing machine will last.
If you have a vacuum, it will make the job of removing the hair from the blanket
lining much easier and more thorough.
Unbuckle all leg straps, chest buckles, and untie tail cords.
Clean the Velcro if necessary by using a darning needle to lift the hair pads
and duct tape to remove stragglers. Then seal the Velcro with separate pieces
of Velcro kept on hand specifically for wash day. You can buy Velcro by
the foot off the roll in varying widths at any large fabric store.
Cover all buckles with a sock to protect the inside of the washer tub from chipping.
You can tie or rubber band the socks onto the buckles.
Always read and follow the blanket manufacturer's washing instructions.
Add the laundry products to the wash water. Then load the blanket into the
machine in a specific fashion. If the outer shell is water resistant or
water proof, it is best to fold the blanket inside out. Otherwise the waterproof
shell would prevent water from flushing through the blanket and there will be
an unevenness of washing: dry spots, dirty spots, unrinsed areas and places that
are soaking wet at the end of the cycle. If the outer shell in not waterproof,
you should load the blanket with the dirtiest side facing outward. Use a
front load machine without an agitator whenever possible. If necessary to
use a home machine, carefully lay the blanket around the agitator in a circle
trying to keep all of the straps inside the blanket.