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Best Washing Machine for Blankets? FOUND ONE!!

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    Best Washing Machine for Blankets? FOUND ONE!!

    It is almost that time of year for the great annual winter blanket washing event. The *best* thing I ever did was to put a washing machine hook-up in the barn when we built it. But the washing machine that we bought for ten bucks at a country auction (if we could haul it out of the basement and move it that day) is coming to the end of its life. It just doesn't clean as well each year.

    So, what washing machine do you have that you LOVE! What cleans big turnout blankets with ease? What handles all the filth you can throw at it and still gets your blankets clean? And does NOT break down? Please be specific about brands, makes and model numbers Please!

    Are front loads better? Do you use a spindle-less top load? Do you just go for the biggest load capacity?

    Any information is appreciated!

    ***Update on Page 2***

    Last edited by LLDM; Mar. 21, 2009, 07:27 PM.
    The above post is an opinion, just an opinion. If it were a real live fact it would include supporting links to websites full of people who already agreed with me.

    Front load Sears from their outlet(scratch and dent) store-put my big Rambos with neck covers attached -love love love it!! It's a Kenmore Elite HE 3-bought it quite a few years ago-it's my house machine but it doubles for barn duty. Don't know about top loads and using less detergent but the front loads use barely any detergent and they do a good job.


      I'll ditto a front load for sure. I've got a Whirlpool Duet washer that cleans really dirty heavy weight Rambo's and Weatherbeeta's as well as mid and light weights. I've had it for at least 5+ yrs. When I wash the turnouts, I first put them on a soak cycle, followed by a rinse and spin. If they are really dirty,which they usually are as I'm on clay, they will probably get a 2nd soak and rinse and spin cycle. Then a wash cycle and out on the clothesline to dry.

      I do about 6-8 turnouts a season, and except for fading, my Rambo's look as good as new!

      PS. I hate you (not really ) for being near blanket washing time. We still go down into the teens at night and it's only in the upper 20's today. I won't be washing anything till at least April and then only the heavyweights.

      I'm not saying let's go kill all the stupid people...I'm just saying let's remove all the warning labels and let the problem sort itself out.


        Frigidaire front loader 3.5 lb capacity. Hose machine that does horse stuff.


          Kenmore Elite HE 4t front loader. Got largest capacity they offered. It is my home washer but I will use it to wash blankets as well. I put baby sock or toe only socks over the metal buckles and secure with rubber bands so it wont scratch the inside but not at all concerned about the amount of dirt, debris, hair, etc that goes in with the blankets. It can handle it just fine. Am able to wash regular clothes/towels etc right after and never had problem with finding hair or residue on anything after .


            Any frontloading. Great for horse blankets, even the heavy weight rambo wugs with attached neck rugs, and king sized comforters and big dog beds.
            I've had 2 maytag neptunes over the years and they are great.
            Never buy a washer with a wringer!


              Love my LG front loader. One cycle does it.
              The aids are the legs, the hands, the weight of the rider, the whip, the caress, the voice and the use of extraneous circumstances. ~ General Decarpentry


                The BEST washing machine for blankets would be a commercial front loader. I know Chester County is horsey because there is a local appliance place that advertises commercial front loaders for horse barns.

                However, being poor I have made do with the Sears brand front loader from the Sears Scratch & Dent Store in Delaware in Eagle Run, as mentioned by mkevent. I bought that washer in 2001. Since August 2004 it has been dedicated to blankets & other horse wash only. I wash somewhere around ONE HUNDRED blankets every year - maybe more as we own 100 blankets/sheets/coolers & quite a few get washed several times a year. Anyway, I've had to have it repaired once which I think is pretty good considering the hard use I put it to.


                  I bought a Kenmore Elite Smartwash (about 4.0cufront loader) that is SUPER.

                  It's super efficient and uses very little water but the blankets come out looking brand new. The sanitary setting is great for all the barn towels.

                  Not cheap but worth it. If you have a boarding facility I'm not sure I'd spend the money. Boarders might trash it. But for a private facility or a dual purpose home/barn use.... big thumbs up.
                  Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
                  Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
                  -Rudyard Kipling


                    Front load commercial laundromat type machine, I've been at 2 barns that had them, both had picked them up at auctions.


                      Original Poster

                      Thanks everyone! Looks like the front loads have it. I will start looking around now for something used.

                      It can't do double duty. The *ONLY* thing my husband has *EVER* insisted on is that I not wash horse stuff in the house washing machine. No problem. I can live with that! But I do not want to drop a huge load of $$$ into the barn machine!

                      Thanks for all your suggestions. I hope the smaller frontl loads will work, as my barn spot is limited.

                      The above post is an opinion, just an opinion. If it were a real live fact it would include supporting links to websites full of people who already agreed with me.



                        Agree w/ easyrider. I have the LG 4.0 front load and one cycle the blanket is clean.
                        "You gave your life to become the person you are right now. Was it worth it?" Richard Bach


                          Do any of you guys have trouble with stuff getting caught in the door gasket and eroding it? I've read on-line reviews of complaints of that and causing the door to leak water all over everything. I'm looking for a new machine right now and the reviews are very mixed, leaning to bad, on front loaders.
                          Tranquility Farm - Proud breeder of Born in the USA Sport Horses, and Cob-sized Warmbloods
                          Now apparently completely invisible!


                            You gals are fancy.

                            I look for old wringer washers, they live forever, and you can find them just about anywhere.

                            I keep one in the washbay for any horsey clothing
                            FMO:OMG I almost put my eye out hunting clique.


                              Go to the scratch and dent section of the big box stores--I got a real deal on a front load W/D set last fall that I put in the house. Never in my wildest DREAMS did I think I would have such machines!

                              Whirlpool Duet.

                              $750 for BOTH.

                              Then I got to the CS counter, got 10% off for using a Lowe's card.

                              Then I noticed a no money down no interest for six months offer for purchases over $250...

                              It was the most painless purchase I have ever made!
                              Inner Bay Equestrian


                                Originally posted by Tiki View Post
                                Do any of you guys have trouble with stuff getting caught in the door gasket and eroding it? I've read on-line reviews of complaints of that and causing the door to leak water all over everything. I'm looking for a new machine right now and the reviews are very mixed, leaning to bad, on front loaders.
                                I've been washing horse stuff in front loaders (3 different brands) for over 15 years now & never had that problem


                                  Best Washing Machine for Blankets....

                                  Easy, somebody else's machine. Take your blanket to the local laundramat when it's not busy...put all your blankets in their own machines and do em' all at one time.
                                  "Sic Gorgiamus Allos Subjectatos Nunc"


                                    Originally posted by Trakehner View Post
                                    Best Washing Machine for Blankets....

                                    Easy, somebody else's machine. Take your blanket to the local laundramat when it's not busy...put all your blankets in their own machines and do em' all at one time.
                                    That would get your picture posted on the walls of the laundromats around here and your name on their blacklist.


                                      Home Front loaders....don't think so. I have been in the horse laundry business for years and yes I own a beautiful HET3 front load machine for the house. Washing some blankets in it taught me that it doesn't use enough water to actually soak and swish the blanket. If you figure out the ratio of gallons to your blanket, it "sprays" the blanket, then throws it around the machine barely wet and does the repeat on the rinses. They claim it can wash up to 16 pairs of jeans or a king size bedspread...NOT. I finally learned to connect a garden hose to my sink and add water to the machine via the deterget compartment and placing it on pause. The machine will only tolerate so much extra water before it goes to flashing F9 and dumps the extra water. Horse blankets need to be swished THROUGH water in order to remove sand and grit that has gotten into the binding and straps. The bigger the machine (commercial) and the more blankets you can wash at the same time, the cleaner they will come. I get blankets in for repair all the time that were done at home. Sorry...they get re-washed in my commercial triple front loader and you wouldn't believe the dirt that comes off. After my water adding revolution with my home washer, I now do all my personal laundry adding the extra water. The first few weeks I did this, I didn't need to add detergent to the laundry. The soap was STILL coming out of the clothes!! Major detergent build-up. I have friends who have the front loaders and they too have discovered what I did. Regarding washing blankets at home....if you are on a careful. Horse dander and hair will NOT break down and can cause damage to your system.
                                      As for laundermatts, in most places, washing pet bedding and horse blankets is a no-no.....a health law.


                                        FYI, before doing the blankets in my home front loader, I hose them off and scrub the mud off them, then I wash them once or twice (until the water is clear) in a tub in the back yard. Then, I wash them in the machine for a final cleaning.