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How often should you wash horse rugs and what’s the most cost-effective method?

As horse owners, we understand the importance of maintaining clean and hygienic equipment, especially when it comes to horse rugs. Clean horse rugs are vital for promoting excellent skin and coat health in horses, prolonging the lifespan of the rugs, and keeping the animals healthy. To achieve optimal results, it's crucial to consider the appropriate methods for cleaning and selecting suitable industrial laundry equipment based on individual needs. This article aims to explore the different types of equine laundry equipment and how they contribute to improving horse health.

Why do your rugs and other skin-facing equipment need to be washed?

Your horse's rugs will gradually collect dirt, sweat, and grime, which if left unwashed, can lead to skin infections, rashes, and irritation. This can cause your horse to become uncomfortable and may even lead to them requiring medical attention from your vet. This also applies to saddlecloths, bandages, headcollars, etc. By cleaning your equipment regularly, you'll be helping to promote healthy skin and a shiny coat. Typically, the cleaning process involves first removing excess dirt and dust by scrubbing with a brush, followed by a thorough hosing prior to the main wash.

How often should horse rugs be washed?

The answer to this frequently asked question largely depends on personal preference. Some owners prefer washing their horse rugs weekly, monthly, or quarterly, while others choose to clean and reproof their rugs twice a year or annually. It is generally recommended to clean and reproof horse rugs when they become too dirty or muddy. Regular maintenance not only ensures a longer rug lifespan but also enhances the comfort of the horses and keeps their coats cleaner. 

Is it safe to put a rug in the washing machine?

Another common query is whether horse rugs can be safely cleaned in a washing machine. The simple answer is, yes, they can. Using horse rug washing machines can save considerable time, money, and energy. For optimal results, we recommend a washing machine with a drum size of 20kg or approximately 50 lbs for washing horse blankets. Before washing, it's essential to remove all straps and removable elements of the rug, placing them in a special wash bag or pillowcase. For assistance in identifying the best washing machine for your needs, please give us a call on 01488 505971.

What are the differences between an equine washing machine and a standard home-use one?

One of the two main differences is the drum size. Domestic washing machines normally have a drum capacity of 10kg to suit your household's needs. Whereas, an equine washing machine has a drum capacity of up to 23kg because it is a commercial unit. The larger drum size allows you to wash bigger and heavier items whilst ensuring quicker washing and drying times, leading to a saving in energy costs. Secondly, equine washing machines may also have specific programming of cycles to ensure your needs are met, i.e. a cycle for washing turnouts and a separate option for re-proofing.