I have a couple Weatherbeeta winter turnout blankets that I need to wash and store. I know not to use regular detergent, but can I use anything else I can easily get my hands on, or do I really need to buy the specially prepared blanket wash products?
Also, is there any way to test the waterproofing (without it being on the horse in wet weather)? How often do they typically need re-waterproofed, and any general idea of cost?
For washing, I've always used Woolite. Usually takes 2 cycles to get all the grime and smell out, but my guys have never had problems from the detergent. As for re-waterproofing, by the time mine have needed it, they're usually pretty well worn and get replaced anyway.
I use Rambo wash. I do run them through one cycle and soak with just water to get the worst of the grime out, then a soak and rinse with Rambo wash. After a couple of years, they all get the Nikwax treatment in the washing machine too. I've started sending all my blankets out to be washed though. $12 each and they come back looking wonderful. He doesn't waterproof thought, so those that need it, I use Nikwax. For anyone in KY, it's Fred's to the Rescue in Frankfort and he does repairs too.
However, many of my blankets are now the Schneider's blankets and their waterproofing is revived by heat...and my blanket guy uses a dryer.