Fivehorses, I have a Whirlpool Duet front loader -- I knock the mud off as best I can with my hand outside, but my horse stuff has plenty of hair on it when it goes in the wash. The only inconvenience is that I usually take some Windex or something and wipe out the seal/get the hair out after a run of horse laundry. Happy with the Duet for cleaning strength on my turnouts and saddle pads and horse boots and God knows what else I throw i there. I don't see why it would break it but if it doesn, I bought the extended warranty because I use my washing machine a LOT. I like stuff clean.
My turnouts do not go in the dryer, obviously but everything else does. It gets the hair off the saddle pads and into the lint thing!
An aside on the Duet... I just discovered that indeed my washer ate socks. I found a pile of "stuff" under the seal of the door! Somehow, it got sucked under there... now DH believes me when I say the washer eats socks!!
I've always done everything I can fit in the house machine. Just got a spiffy new Whirlpool Cabrio (after reading both tales of woe and tricks to succeed) for horse blankets. I guess relegating our old beater machine for human use is a little backwards lol
Vinegar users- very intriguing. Do you use it on turnouts? Does it interfere with waterproofing?
@Fillabeana- care to share the secrets to scoring a commercial machine?
Yes, I wash saddle pads in my front loader washer and everything's fine. I don't wash several at a time tho, that would be too much for the washer. I don't wash blankets/sheets. If they are really filthy at the end of the season, I give them a good power hosing and let them air dry before storing.
Every time I've tried washing a rain sheet in my washer, it lost its waterproofing. I tried to re-waterproof it but it didn't work.