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Do You "Wash" Your Turnouts During the Winter?

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  • Original Poster

    Originally posted by MistyBlue View Post
    Load them up in a pickup truck and drive to the car wash. Hang blankets facing one way off the sides of the truck bed and walk around the truck with the sprayer and give them a good hosing down. Flip blankets, repeat. Keep rinsing until water runs clear and spray in a downward motion. The higher pressure sprayers will also dislodge ground in dander and most hay bits and bedding, etc.
    Pile back up into bed of truck, drive home. Hang from fences to dry, flipping halfway through the day.

    I do wash mine all through the winter, as they get yucky or smelly. My washer can handle winter turnouts and in my basement there's a room that has a workshop and the furnace in it. That room stays 80 degrees and dry as a bone year round. I screwed alligater clips into the rafters and hang the blanket in there to dry. They dry overnight. But I do have back-up blankets for them to wear while the others are getting washed.

    I find keeping them clean through the winter prevents rubs and they get clean easily if you don't let them crust up all winter. Of course it depends on each horse too, one of my horses is Pig Pen and the other keeps his relatively neat. And if we have a decent snow cover on the ground and it stays cold, the blankets stay pretty spotless. Even if they lay in the stalls and muck them up, a good roll in the snow cleans them, LOL!

    Lots of folks can also go all winter without washing and their blankets don't get horrid, then just a good spring scrubbing and drying works well before putting them away for the next season.
    What a good idea! Thanks
    Barn rat for life


    • #22
      Originally posted by wcporter View Post
      What a good idea! Thanks
      I just envisioned my husband's face if I suggested that I hang turnouts (dirt! metal buckles! potential scratches! the horror!) on our truck, had a good chuckle, and resigned myself to bringing blankets home and pressure washing them on our chain link yard fence.
      Originally posted by PeanutButterPony
      you can shackle your pony to a lawn chair at the show...so long as its in a conservative color.


      • #23
        We send them out to be washed by someone. It's not too expensive and doesn't waste my time sitting and waiting for it.


        • #24
          I wash my horses blankets once a week in the winter. He doesn't get real muddy so I am able to wash them in my home washer. The more often I wash them the less hassle it is....they don't get so dirty this way. I also ride 4-5 days a week and I am not a real fan of having to deal with wet muddy blankets every day.
          RIP Sucha Smooth Whiskey
          May 17,2004 - March 29, 2010
          RIP San Lena Peppy
          May 3, 1991 - March 11, 2010


          • #25
            Originally posted by sophie View Post
            I never laundered any of my horse's sheets / blankets. Waste of energy and money IMO. I wait until warm Spring / Summer days, and power-hose them inside and out till all the muck / mud is gone, and let them air dry in the sun, then store them until next season. They're still waterproof, and still in good shape.

            However, my horse has a nice self-grown blanket all winter, and only wears extra layers in mucho bad weather. Makes my life, and my BO's life, much easier. No juggling with blankets all the time, no sweaty horse when the days warm-up, etc. etc.
            I do the same thing. The barn has a power washer we can use and railings.. it's easier to clean the blankets there, but I can also bring them home and power wash them on the driveway. Then hang them on the fence.


            • #26
              I haven't washed ours in the two winters she has had it. It hasn't gotten gross, she is out in the snow & it sort of self cleans. The inside looks like it did when I got it. The strap she pees on can be nasty. I remove that & agitate it in a bucket & then rinse it 100x.

              I wonder that washing would reduce the life of the waterproofing, and am paranoid about soap residue being against their skin full time. If I wash saddle pads it is w/out soap, as someone else mentioned.


              • #27
                Take them to the car wash, clip them to the clips for mats, hose off.

                Thankfully my washing machine can handle medium weight turn outs, however my two are so dirty this year that I think I will be doing the car wash.
                Maggie Bright, lovingly known as Skye and deeply missed (1994 - 2013)
                The Blog


                • #28
                  100 gallon Rubbermaid water trough in wash stall

                  water hose

                  3 blankets in


                  Aggitate once in a while over a couple of days with a sheetrock mud masher (think 3' long, big potato masher)

                  Drag blankets out on mat, let drain until tomorrow

                  dump water, redo for three more

                  tomorrow hang wet ones on floor on wall to drain

                  next day, or whenever, drained blankets go back in tub with clean water and leave hose running slow overnight

                  takes only a few minutes a day over a period of ever how many days it takes.

                  I only do this when we are finished with blankets for the season, and the weather has gotten warm enough. I'll start today here.

                  Dirty ones during the season just go in a pile until I start this process, and clean ones are put on.

                  I used to do the carwash thing, and even drag them behind a boat in the lake to rinse, but this was actually more trouble, and took more time. This is just a few minutes a day added to barnwork for the next week or so.


                  • #29
                    I found a heavy duty washing machine at Habitat for Humanity and it sits on the driveway outside my hay barn. I use an extension cord and attach the hose to the cold water line. The water drains onto the grass.

                    Redneck but effective
                    I wasn't always a Smurf
                    Penmerryl Sophie RIDSH
                    "I ain't as good as I once was but I'm as good once as I ever was"
                    The ignore list is my friend. It takes 2 to argue.


                    • #30
                      I was going to wash mine before the summer and then store them during, but figured they might collect more dust between now & then so I might as well just wait until the end of summer & wash them then & then put them in storage.

                      We can't use the dryer at the barn (BO's rules) but I may take them to the laundromat and wash & dry them there. So much faster than letting them hang-dry, especially because of the rips in the outer layer, the water gets inside and just pools there no matter how you hang it.

                      ETA: Or is it totally not normal to put blankets in the dryer? LOL! Guess I should have read others' replies first!
                      Originally posted by katarine
                      I don't want your prayers, tiny cow.
                      Originally posted by Pat9
                      When it's time for a horse to go to a new person, that person will appear. It's pony magic.


                      • #31
                        Originally posted by carolprudm View Post
                        I found a heavy duty washing machine at Habitat for Humanity and it sits on the driveway outside my hay barn. I use an extension cord and attach the hose to the cold water line. The water drains onto the grass.

                        Redneck but effective
                        Oh wow, I totally forgot but when I was at university this is exactly what I did. Two of us in our flat had washing machines, so since mine was an ancient rusty top-loader it got put outside in the carport and used for horse washing. Drained onto the lawn. Happy flatmates, happy me, clean blankets .

                        I still only washed the winter rugs very rarely, though.


                        • #32
                          This winter was a tough one, so my guy lived in his winter blanket the entire time and he's on pasture board. In fact, since it's still been dropping down into the 20's at night, and max of 50, and he's been shedding alot it's still on. But won't be after today.

                          It is a Rambo and has stayed in place beautifully. Is covered in mud, though, but as long as it's fine inside, not a problem. Frankly, am sure it will be able to stand on its own about now. I'm lucky enough to have a front loader, and live alone (no grumbling) and will just bring it home and wash it in the gentle cycle, but will put it through the pre-rinse first.

                          I wash covers much more often during the spring and fall when it's about these temps, but plenty muddy.

                          And thanks, Misty for the tip! I have an old canvas blanket that can't go in the wash of course, would be perfect for weather like right now - mild then chilly and mud season. But I couldn't brush off all the mud he got on it before putting weather proofing on. Car wash sounds like a plan!
                          But he thought, "This procession has got to go on." So he walked more proudly than ever, as his noblemen held high the train that wasn't there at all. H.C.Anderson


                          • #33
                            I wait until spring (or later... like early fall right before I realize it's getting cold), then wash them at the laundry mat.
                            Don't fall for a girl who fell for a horse just to be number two in her world... ~EFO


                            • #34
                              I can't imagine leaving the same blanket on a horse for 3 or 4 months without washing it. It's not about what's on the outside...it's about what's on the inside. During the winter, horses can have a blanket on nearly 24/7. And, if they're unclipped, you're just asking for problems.

                              I send mine out ($15). The service comes by the barn, picks them up and then delivers a clean blanket in a week. I never go over 3 weeks in winter with the same blanket on a horse. More likely, two weeks.

                              If the blanket can stand up by itself, it needs a wash. And, putting a dirty blanket away at the end of the winter greatly decreases its useful life. It's hard on the fabric and the waterproofing.


                              • #35
                                Tom King for the win on the coolest way to rinse blankets...dragging behind a boat!

                                Goes to show how my Polish sometimes shines through, I had no idea there were mat clips in a car wash bay, LOL! Soloudinhere...you can use those instead of draping over the truck bed! Although if you have your own pressure washer, use that.

                                Hmm, I wonder if there's a way to use a hot washer on blankets? Sounds like it might work...I've been thinking of getting one for a while now. I have water but not hot water in my barn. I don't have any outside hot water at the house. And a hot washer can do my horses, the tractors, the truck and the car. Now I'm wondering if it can do blankets too. Or stall walls? When they get gunky...hot water cleans better than cold does.

                                Okay, off to check out hot washers again.
                                You jump in the saddle,
                                Hold onto the bridle!
                                Jump in the line!


                                • #36
                                  I take mine to the laundromat once or twice a season. Even if they're just going to get muddy again anyway, I think it's better for them to be cleaned on the inside to reduce the odds of skin crud.
                                  "I'm not always sarcastic. Sometimes I'm asleep." - Harry Dresden

                                  Amy's Stuff - Rustic chic and country linens and decor
                                  Support my mom! She's gotta finance her retirement horse somehow.


                                  • #37
                                    I have horses who'll wear the same turnout for most of the winter. I took one off today that a 3 year old has worn for months...full-time..24-7. She doesn't get worked, so it only came off a couple times during the winter to check her condition and give her a quick brush. She tore one in Dec/January, so I had to switch blankets. It's a padded rainsheet and when I took it off the mare was clean underneath and the blanket is fairly clean as well. She get's it muddy, but then a roll in the snow, or a rain will rinse it clean. No crud, not itchy, nice clean coat underneath. The key is putting it on a clean horse, and a light enough blanket that won't make them sweat....and ofcourse proper fit. Sweaty horses make for dirty stinky blankets.

                                    I wash once a year and use several 45 gallon plastic drums and tubs. I will pre-soak the blankets in lukewarm water, spot scrub any really dirty spots and then transfer to a barrel with soapy water. I use a proper blanket wash which is a mild soap, not a detergent. I will either pressure wash if I do a bunch, or just use a pressure nozzle on a regular hose if I only have a couple to do. The results with the pressure washer are much better.



                                    • #38
                                      Originally posted by Go Fish View Post
                                      I can't imagine leaving the same blanket on a horse for 3 or 4 months without washing it. It's not about what's on the outside...it's about what's on the inside. During the winter, horses can have a blanket on nearly 24/7. And, if they're unclipped, you're just asking for problems.
                                      Our horses are rugged 24/7 in autumn-spring (and most of summer). The rugs are seldom washed (maybe once a season, tops), but they are changed according to the weather so that the horses are neither cold nor sweating. Most people take the rugs off at least once a week and give the horse a quick brush over, if it's not raining, but no special care. I've not heard of any coat or skin problems (apart from the occasional shoulder rub, which is solvable and mechanical, not medical). What kind of problems are you thinking of?

                                      Though if I had a pick-up/drop-of blanket washing service for $15 I'd probably wash them a lot more often!


                                      • #39
                                        I used to wash mine a lot more often than I do now. Kind of depends on how my horses are kept - now that they are at home, the stalls are clean, so no pee-soaked blankets, I don't have as much mud to deal with, and they get changed as needed so don't have sweat soaked blankets because "SomeOne" forgot to pull it off when it hit 70 degrees. This year, I have not washed the light or medium blankets at all -- they're getting done right now in preparation for storage for the summer. My turnout sheets got done just once (I also will vac/brush the dry stuff off regularly, and might hose them off too if needed). I wash all mine myself in my front loader with Rambo Wash. I won't send them out because I'm a control freak and want to make sure they get washed in a way that preserves the waterproofing and won't leave residue that makes my horse break out in hives. I also do my repairs - same reason (having seen some of the bad repairs people pay for, where the blanket basically got ruined, I would rather do it myself and make sure it is done right).

                                        Now, when I boarded, every horse had to have duplicates so I could switch them out -- one being washed while they had a clean one to wear. I often kept a spare in my car just in case I arrived to see a shredded blanket in the paddock! Another thing I don't miss... here, if anyone does any shredding, I'll see it from the house. Hopefully in time to stop them!


                                        • #40
                                          Originally posted by MistyBlue View Post

                                          Goes to show how my Polish sometimes shines through, I had no idea there were mat clips in a car wash bay, LOL! Soloudinhere...you can use those instead of draping over the truck bed! Although if you have your own pressure washer, use that.

                                          I finally got one for many useful things such as: washing the vinyl siding on the house, washing my car the lazy way in the winter when it's freaking cold, and hosing out the dog pen and sheds. Just easier. So I throw them over the chain link fence outside the kennel, and hit one side, let it dry, flip and hit the other side. I can even throw the rambo blanket wash into it to suds them.
                                          Originally posted by PeanutButterPony
                                          you can shackle your pony to a lawn chair at the show...so long as its in a conservative color.