Go Equestrian To Wash Away Heavy Dirt

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Washing horse clothing isn?t rocket science, but there are differences between it and human laundry. First, if you have access to a front-load machine, use it. These machines are roomier than top loads (never overstuff dirty loads), and they use less water and produce fewer suds (that's good, since you might have to do a double-rinse in a traditional machine).

Front-load machines instruct you to use HE detergents, which are low sudsing (too much suds ?confuses? these high-tech babies). However, each of the horse-laundry products is acceptable for front-loads, too.

Wash your blankets and pads as directed by the manufacturer, but if the instructions are long-gone we suggest you go with a cold-water wash on a permanent-press cycle (that won?t spin as hard as stronger cycles).

Take the time to hose and/or brush off heavy mud/dirt before washing the item, as it just impedes the washing process. Avoid the temptation to use more detergent than suggested by the label, especially in a front-load washer. We?d rather wash twice than risk suds remaining in the fabric and getting on our horse's skin.

For odor control, well, each of these products deodorize fabrics. However, we found Schneider?s Odor Eliminator, which must be put in during the rinse cycle, was best of the lot. Otherwise, we went for cleanliness.

Bottom Line.? Our favorite results were obtained with both the Leather Therapy Saddle Pad And Blanket Wash and Lettia Rain. They did a good job through the first wash, removing dirt and light odors. We also used the Leather Therapy Saddle Pad And Blanket Rinse, which did soften materials, but if you're on a budget we think you can skip it.

Best Buy was Saddler?s Blanket Wash, which seemed to last forever. We also used it as a simple pre-treatment for stubborn stains.