Washing a horse blanket in a domestic washing machine is not recommended as they are simply not built to handle such large bulky items. In addition, if you want to maintain the waterproofing on the rug you will need specialist detergents.
Commercial Washing Machine It is recommended that you always use a commercial washing machine that has been designed to take much larger loads and can deal with the amount of dirt and hair that will be washed out of the rug or blanket during the wash cycle.
If you have a stable, or an equestrian facility, then providing your clients with the facility or service to wash their horse blankets is a great way of adding extra value. Many commercial washing machines have been designed with antibacterial washes, as well as deep cleaning programs which will allow you to wash a range of blankets, saddle pads, and accessories to acheive excellent results.
Choosing your Washing Machine? You need to know what type of rugs and blankets you will be washing and how often, as this will help you decide what commercial washing machine you need.
For example a standard commercial washing machine such as the Miele PW 6065 could wash 7 saddle pads, or 2 summer blankets or 1 winter blanket. Which is great if you don’t have lots of items to wash.
However, if you are a larger equestrian facility with lots of rugs to wash on a regular basis then the Miele PW 6321 would be a better option as it will wash up to 18 saddle pads, or 4 summer blankets or 3 winter blankets.
So before you decide what type of commercial washing machine you need, take some time to think about how many rugs, blankets, saddle pads etc. you will be washing and how often.
Drums and Filters Many commercial washing machines have specialized drums which allow the fabrics and detergents to move freely around the heating element. This is important as it stops hair and debris from the blankets getting stuck in the machines and giving poor wash performance. In addition, look out for machines that provide filters that will prevent horse hair from blocking the drain and causing an obstruction.
Detergents Equally as important as the washing machine you choose, is the detergent you use. It’s important to choose one that will be gentle on the horse’s skin and not cause any irritations, but still give a great deep down clean.
If you want to make sure that your blankets remain waterproofed then you can use detergents along with a wash cycle that can use a waterproofing agent such as Nickwax within the wash to maintain the blanket’s resistance to rain and showers.
Wash Programs Commercial washing machines provide a far greater range of programs than domestic machines, and can also be programmed specifically for your needs, setting exact temperatures throughout the washing cycle.
There are cycles that can disinfect fabrics that have been near open sores or wounds, as well as delicate programmes for washing smaller items such as horse bandages. What’s more there are full waterproofing programmes that can be used in addition with detergents such as Nickwax.