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Washing winter blankets at home?

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  • Washing winter blankets at home?

    Rats, I just found out that both of my local horse blanket wash and repair people have gone out of business.

    I can do sheets and light blankets in my washing machine but there is no way I can fit the big winter turnouts in there.

    Back when I was much younger and I had more time than money (and only one horse) I washed them myself. I snuck them into a laundromat but I'm not sure I have that chutzpah anymore (plus I really don't want to hang around in the laundromat for the time it will take to wash several blankets and give them an extra rinse)

    What are my options? Our pressure washer is broken.

    I think I read on this board about taking blankets to the coin op car wash. Do I lay them on my car? The ground? Drape them over the back of my pickup? Can I use the soap from the car wash if I am careful to really rinse? Will they really get clean?

    Or should I just wear glasses with a fake nose and mustache and sneak into a laundromat?

    Any other options?

  • #2
    This is why I went out and got the front load Duet washer and dryer...now I can even wash my heavy weight Bakers at home. Love it!!!


    • #3
      Of course you can go to a laundramat. I can think of several which have no attendants during the day and on certain days at certain hourse are fairly quiet. I'm not going to ruin the washer - I'm washing something that needs washing. The commercial washer I am paying good money for is more than cpable of handling the size and the dirt. I do like privacy so other users don't cry out and run, vomiting.

      On the other hand, my current regular top load washer is 'extra capacity' and handles my blankets just fine. Yes, my wethabeeta extra winter duty with fiberglass straps and rubber gaskets. Almost.

      I wash in Simple Green and laundry soap. Most winter blankets are synthetic and therefore colorfast, and I include several cups of bleach. The Simple Green really really cleans all the fibres really well, its bizarre. And oh does it smell good after. Get it at home de-pot.

      If you can't get simple green, use pine sol. Really gets dirt out, but not as well as simple green. And only use about a cup - boy that stuff smells afterwards.

      However, you are a busy, hard working person with serious laundry to clean and go find the quiet backwater mat and use it. I'll be rooting for ya.
      Airborne? Oh. Yes, he can take a joke. Once. After that, the joke's on you.


      • #4
        I go to a laundromat that doesn't have "no horse blanket" signs. I've always been able to find one, though some places it's harder than others. Out here I actually use an attended laundromat, and they are fine with the horse blankets (I asked beforehand). I always rinse them first at the barn with the hose, and if there is anything caked on I scrub it off with a stiff brush, and I clean up any hair I leave behind in the washers - don't want to wear out my welcome!

        It takes me about an hour at the laundromat (I don't dry them all the way, for the sake of the waterproofing - but I do dry them somewhat, for the sake of not hauling around dripping wet horse blankets!); I actually find it kind of nice as it's an hour where I don't have to feel guilty that I'm just sitting there reading a book.
        Proud member of the EDRF


        • #5
          Horse blankets aren't any dirtier than some of the other stuff I've seen people bringing into wash...like dog blankets, rugs, sleeping bags, etc.

          I'm lucky though...we have a fabulous service that picks up, washes and delivers blankets in a week, for a grand total of $14. Can't beat that.


          • #6
            I am another person who if they do not fit in my home machine I take them to the laundromat. I have never sneaked in either. Just go in, wash in the triple loader. When I am done I make sure the machine is cleaned out and the floor is clean (sometimes the older water proof models pull a bunch of water out with them when you remove them from the machine). I actually bring some towels with me for cleaning up afterwards.

            If we horse people do not leave a mess behind the laundromat is far less likely to make it so we are not allowed.


            • #7
              We have a laundromat that has an entire section of older machines that are exclusively for horse blankets. Smart.

              I have also just used one close by....my horse laundry is far less disgusting than many things that those machines see I'm guessing. Nobody has ever said a thing.
              "look deep into his pedigree. Look for the name of a one-of-a-kind horse who lends to his kin a fierce tenacity, a will of iron, a look of eagles. Look & know that Slew is still very much with us."


              • #8
                I bought the biggest front loading washing machine I could find, and all of mine fit. I can set it to an "Heavy" cycle with an extra rinse. It does a good job on blankets. The extra-icky ones I might turn inside out and run through for a 2nd time. Then just air dry on the line.

                AnotherRound: I have not heard of Simply Green. Is it in the normal household cleaner aisle? Sometimes if I am washing something coming off a horse with skin problems, I'll put Lysol disinfectant into the load to help kill the pathogens. The only thing I don't know is if Lysol is really hard on the waterproofing coating? So far I am not seeing a problem, but I admittedly only wash horse blankets when they really need them.
                Veterinarians for Equine Welfare


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Mozart View Post
                  Or should I just wear glasses with a fake nose and mustache and sneak into a laundromat?

                  Any other options?
                  That's what I would do, and use Rambo blanket wash.



                  • #10
                    Originally posted by philosoraptor View Post

                    AnotherRound: I have not heard of Simply Green. Is it in the normal household cleaner aisle? Sometimes if I am washing something coming off a horse with skin problems, I'll put Lysol disinfectant into the load to help kill the pathogens. The only thing I don't know is if Lysol is really hard on the waterproofing coating? So far I am not seeing a problem, but I admittedly only wash horse blankets when they really need them.
                    Simple Green is a general use cleaner, but can come in concentrates so watch the labeling! I'm pretty sure it's a disinfectant (someone correct me if I'm wrong), we used it on everything at Basic Training... sinks, toilets, stripping floors, washing floors.

                    Put me in the laundromat group. Though I do power wash the grime off first!


                    • #11
                      If there is a racetrack around, there is often a laundromat near it that has no problem with people who want to wash horse blankets.
                      Robin from Dancing Horse Hill
                      Elmwood, Wisconsin


                      • #12
                        Simple green in awesome!
                        Barn rat for life


                        • #13
                          car wash

                          I went to the nearby self-service car wash recently and they have these clips on the wall where you can hang up your floor mats and "power wash" them. I thought that might work well for blankets. However, then you have to take wet blankets home in your vehicle.....


                          • #14
                            I take wet blankets home when I use the laundromat. I do not dry them there. I bring clean large garbage bags and toss the clean but wet blankets into them and remove them immediately when I get home, hang to dry.


                            • Original Poster

                              Okay, it seems there are enough people going to the laundromat that I don't have to feel too badly about it. I promise to clean up after myself.

                              What time of day is likely to be the quietest? I have in the past always enjoyed taking a book with me but now I will have to take a two year old girl with me.

                              I use Simple Green for a lot of things and love it; I never thought of using it for horse laundry. Thanks for the tip!

                              We do have a racetrack; it is about 45 minutes away though. Good idea though.

                              Yanno, I live in a very horsey little town, I'll bet if someone started up little laundromat with all big commercial washers they would probably nice little business.

                              Thanks for the ideas. And encouragement