Usually when we think “wipes” we think “waste,” since wipes are single-use disposable cloths. However, a few wipes filled a niche so perfectly we wonder how we got along without them and decided we need them.
That said, we caution that most grooming wipes are no more intended to be used as a replacement for a curry and brush than leather-care wipes are for a complete cleaning and conditioning of your tack. Wipes are a timesaver and a pricey convenience, so you need to start by knowing how to use them and why.
One of the best spots for a wipe “cleaning” is when it’s too cold to give an actual bath. The wipes remove stains and dirt without drenching the horse’s skin. You may need to rub a bit more than when you give a bath, but you won’t have to worry about the horse getting chilled.
The wipes are excellent for quick dust removal and light stains. Tougher stains took longer to remove, but overall these products were as effective as a regular spray-on spot remover. Although some of the wipes seemed to also condition the hair, it was difficult to penetrate any deeper, a reminder that these are intended as a quick fix.
Pay close attention to what the wipes are intended to do. We had testers try the wipes on riding boots and leather tack (our testers are always willing to go the extra mile). However, we found they can remove polish and color from leather.
We quickly deter,omed that the wipe has to stay moist to be effective. We like re-sealable containers that hold several wipes, and we want the wipes to easily dispense one at a time. We dislike trying to pull one wipe and having two or three come out.
The Bickmore Mac Wipes had a terrific hard-plastic container, but it wasn’t the simplest to start up. Soft-pack products need a press-and-seal type of closure that helps eliminates air. The Weaver Wipes came in a great package that kept the wipes moist a long time. Quick Bath didn’t reseal well, but seemed to stay moist for a reasonable amount of time. We wonder what their shelf life might be if the package did close securely.
The individually wrapped Canter Shine wipes from Carr & Day & Martin are excellent for sticking in your pocket and giving your horse a quick last-minute polish before he enters the ring. All you need to do is toss the wipe and its packaging in a nearby trash container and forget about it. No bottles and rags to juggle while you wait at ringside.
We’re also picky about the size of the wipe. Our testers preferred the larger wipes. Many of them found it less wasteful if you were able to fold the wipe over as you used it, so you could use up every inch of the product. We don’t want wipes that tear easily either, although even the thinnest-feeling wipes in this trial were durable. The thickest-feeling wipes in our trial were the Quick Bath.
For actual dimensions, you can’t beat the MacWipe Equine Body Grooming Wipes from Bickmore. These 11” x 17” wipes will remove a lot of dirt and grime and allow you to fold them over and continue to use them.
The Quick Bath, Miracle Groom and Weaver wipes removed even the most difficult stains and dried-on dirt. Miracle Groom produced the best shine, while the Weaver Wipes left coats feeling softest. However, Quick Bath leads the pack for actual cleaning. Its thickness held moisture well and felt good in our hand as we used it, making it our top choice for a general-use grooming wipe. Weaver Wipes handily earns Best Buy.
The Carr & Day & Martin Under The Tail wipe will always be on hand in our barns for cleaning the sheath, under the tail and udder. It effectively removed dirt and “grease” from these areas, leaving the skin soft. It isn’t an excuse to avoid a full sheath cleaning, but it helps. It’s also helpful when you note tail rubbing and need to do a quick udder and under-the tail area cleaning to eliminate that possibility. These wipes are worth the cost to us.
Another wipe that we think is worth the money is the Dermacloth. This wipe will do general cleaning, too, but its prime purpose is for skin abrasions, such as the start of a fungal or bacterial skin infection, girth abrasion or rain rot. If used as soon as the spot is noted, we found it would usually clear up the area nicely with a minimum amount of effort.