I'm curious how you all handle washing your horse laundry, specifically winter blankets. I just washed my 2 heavy and 2 medium winter turnouts at my local laundromat. I spent $15 to wash and $12 for the bottle of Rambo wash. I left them out for a few days to dry and now they're tucked away for the season. It was cheap and painless, but it seems more people are sending them out for profession cleaning. What do you do?
I do the lightweight blankets myself and sometimes send the heavy one out at the end of winter before I put it in storage. It doesn't seem worth it to me to send them out given what a lot of places charge. After one or two washings, I can buy a new blanket if I get one on sale.
I send winter blankets out. I hardly save much money going to the laundromat, plus it takes a whole day, plus I can never, ever, ever get horse pee smell out on my own. I do wash stable sheets, fleece coolers, and Back on Track blankets myself because I wash them so frequently that they would be very expensive to send out.
I got a heavy duty washing machine at Habitat for Humanity for $125. It sits on the driveway outside my hay barn and runs off an extension cord and hose and drains into the grass. It is GREAT....no more horse laundry in the house.
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Where I used to live in MN, I had a great lady who very cheaply washed and repaired blankets, so I always sent them out because there were always minor repairs that she could do. With three horses and 4 blankets/horse, it was worth it.
Now that I've moved to the deep south where there is no such thing as winter, and I haven't found someone like my repair lady here, I wash them myself in my own washing machine. I just have to hide it from the hubby.
I send my winter blanket to the cleaner--it's $18 with waterproofing. They do a great job, and they'll fix tears too. I have mended holes before, but eventually I just give up and slap duct tape on them, so it's better to leave it to a professional in my case...
Saddle pads are what I have a hard time with. I hate going to a laundromat, but my washer is old and plumbing is old and even with a lint trap I still end up clogging the basement sink.
I take the pressure washer to mine to knock as much of the crusty/tough stuff as possible, then I send them through my own washing machine. Haven't had any problems. (Knock on wood, my horse has been pretty kind to his blankets and I haven't had to do any repairs for 5 years now.)
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I forget how much I pay to wash them but with repairs and re water proofing I am pretty sure it isn't much more than $30 at worst (that is with repairs). With two kids under two, I would do anything to avoid going to the laundromat for a whole day. Love having them sent out!
It is why I have so many saddle pads I prefer not to use them more than twice before washing again, this way I only have to go to the laundromat once in a while.
I send them out to wash...$12 each. I do have to reproof them myself, but most of my blankets are now Schneiders and you put them in the dryer to revive the waterproofing. So, I have two or three every year that I reproof in my washer after they've been cleaned.
I always washed saddle pads myself weekly, And light sheets as needed.
BUT winter blankets were not possible, there was a woman who had a laundry service at my old barn, You could bag them up and put your name and phone number on them, and she would pick them up and for 10.00 each they were back in about a week. She even did small repairs. That is the best.
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I used to send them out, but then got cheap and now wash them myself. I curry off the hair, then vacuum them to get out the dirt, then launder them in the washer and hang them out to line dry. They come out nice!
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I use a pressure washer, hang dry and repsray with waterproofing from the outdoors store. It is pretty dry here so the waterproofing doesn't get to much use - I need the blankets mostly for the cold. I do my own repairs in general - the repairs aren't always pretty but they get the job done. Too many blankets for sending them out to be affordable.
I'll wash day-to-day stuff at home - saddle pads, wraps, etc. But blankets (used to) go to the tack shop to be cleaned. My local shop in IL would wash, repair any minor boo-boos, and give it back to me in a polybag for summer storage for about $25.
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My local dry cleaner bought a designated "horse-blanket washing machine". They wash, waterproof, and pack in a zippered storage bag for $15 each. Those blankets come back looking like they're brand new from the store!
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I wash mine at home. I've seen too many come back without waterproofing or with bad repairs to trust mine to anyone else. Or, worse, the ones that didn't come back at all! I hose the worst crud off, scrubbing with a brush, or just vac off if it is just hair and such. Then wash in the washer with Rambo wash. Line dry in our mud room shower. I also do my own repairs.
After doing mine myself for two years (one rain sheet, one heavy stable blanket, and one medium turnout) I will be sending (driving, actually, because gas will be cheaper than shipping them ups) them to a woman who does this sort of thing. They need repairs, so I am expecting a bill of close to $150. That is, however, less than replacing one of them, so I figure it is worth it.
Regular stuff (polos, pads, sheepskins, saddle covers, grooming rags, etc.) I do at home.
If you're in the Lousiville, Lexington KY area, Fred's 2 the Rescue (in Frankfort, right off I-64) does a wonderful job. Their main business is cleaning and repairing fireman's gear. They pick up and deliver in the Bluegrass area...unfortunately, I'm just a little too far. They do a wonderful job and it's not expensive. Their repairs are top notch. They just don't reproof.
Well in my area a MW wash costs about 25 and the HW are about 30.
There were a couple times that I did them myself- but then it was like 10 at the laundromat (each), they weren't getting completely clean, and I don't have a pressure washer to hose them down first, and then add in the cost of the detergent and the hassle and the time it took me to do it... Sigh. Totally worth it to pay for someone else to do it, but ridiculously expensive.