View Full Version : Sweat and keeping clean (helmets, boots, girths?

Mar. 26, 2012, 08:50 PM
Anybody have any suggestions for sanitizing after a sweaty ride? My guy has neoprene lined open fronts (http://www.doversaddlery.com/dover-pro-open-front-horse-boots/p/X1-04232/#ProductTabs )and a neoprene girth. He usually doesn't sweat a terrible amount (it's not summer yet!), but he does sweat some. The girth (think pro-choice non-slip) I'm not terribly worried about, I hose it off and it dries fast. However, rinsing his boots every ride is impossible, they never dry before my next go! The neoprene is "soft" and more like fabric. Honestly, I really don't like the boots but they were a gift and they work for the little stuff we do. He has semi-sensitive skin, which may be making me hyper-sensitive to the dirty boots. I thought about alcohol wipes, but wasn't sure. Anybody have any thoughts?

Additionally, what do those of you with non-removable liners use to clean your helmets? Alcohol is a no-go for me because it makes my forehead break out. Thanks for any and all advice!

Mar. 27, 2012, 10:25 AM
I have a neoprene girth and rinse and scrub it with just water and hang it out to dry (but not in sun) after almost every ride. It's lasted for 4 years and still looks brand new.

Mar. 27, 2012, 11:19 AM
Do you need the boots on in the first place?
I am a huge fan of leaving legs bare as much as possible, unless it is absolutely necessary. If boots are necessary, I dont like to use Neoprene, as it worries me that it retains so much heat - especially since you mention that he has sensitive legs!

But that being said, I did have a horse that had to wear front and back boots (not neoprene), plus bell boots because he was constantly stepping or knocking himself.

Also, my helmet (the T2) has a removable, washable liner and it is KEY! I throw it in the washing machine on the gentle cycle and voila! Its clean...and no longer stinky! lol

Mar. 27, 2012, 11:28 AM
Make sure your helmet is dry before putting away to avoid smell. My schooling helmet has a liner that is removable and I toss it in the wash. My other helmets hat do not have a liner that comes out, I just let them dry before I put them away in their bags. I put a dryer sheet in the bag as well to keep them smelling nice. I can smell it when I ride so make sure you pick a scent that you can live with.

If they get really dusty and dirty I wipe with a damp cloth. I have gotten the advice to put it in the dishwasher with no soap and run the cycle. I am a bit afraid if this but may try it one day.

For girths, I have leather but I have used neoprene. I just wipe with a damp cloth and let dry out of the sun. The sun will ruin the neoprene.

I have Woof boots and they are neoprene. I use them everyday except for jumping which I use his open fronts and ankle boots or when I use polos. I just brush off the dust and dirt with my boot brush and then I wash them once a week with some soap and water. Then just toss them in the dryer on cool or lay them out in the sun. I have a very sensitive TB that has not broken out from this treatment yet.

Mar. 27, 2012, 12:25 PM
I have gotten the advice to put it in the dishwasher with no soap and run the cycle. I am a bit afraid if this but may try it one day.

This might not be a good idea -- the heat in your dishwasher is really intense and could damage your helmet.

Mar. 27, 2012, 12:30 PM
If your budget allows for new boots, replace the neoprene ones with ThinLine. They are great for sensitive skin and the lining cleans really easily, I just use a sponge to get the gunk off while I am cleaning tack, and they dry quickly. They are less than $100, so not super expensive as boots go.

With my old GPA (non-removable lining), I would put it outside to dry in the sun while I was cleaning tack and doing my post-ride routine. Making sure it dries before putting it away helps to ward off stink and funk, and the sun will kill bacteria. I would also spot clean it once in a while with a damp cloth and some dish soap. Some people also stick a panty liner in the front where the helmet meets your forehead; once it gets yucky just change it and you don't have to worry about the helmet lining getting gross.

Mar. 27, 2012, 12:46 PM
This might not be a good idea -- the heat in your dishwasher is really intense and could damage your helmet.

I know at least one helmet company (GPA?) warns against using the dish washer method, as the extreme heat can compromise the integrity of the materials. I wash my GPA in the kitchen sink with sudsy water, rinse thoroughly and hang to dry (not outside). It looks like brand new when dry.

Mar. 27, 2012, 01:03 PM
Charles Owen makes a helmet cleaner and deodorizer that work really well and smell good too.

Mar. 27, 2012, 01:41 PM
I don't love neoprene boots either, so I bought a pair of the Toklat Valenas. They're made of woolback, so great for sensitive horses. I wash probably every couple weeks, and in between just brush out the dirt with a little wire brush.

For the horse I used to lease who had neoprene boots, I would always brush off, then spray down with alcohol and leave on the saddle racks until the dried. They still managed to get funky smelling though.

As for the helmet, you could always spray with diluted tea tree oil or witch hazel, and then blot afterwards and let dry fully before putting away.