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Saddle Pad Cleaning

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  • Saddle Pad Cleaning

    So I like saddle pads. I like them a lot. I like them so much I have. Uhm. Hang on.

    At least a dozen. For one horse.

    The problem is, that that makes it easy to get one dirty, then move on to another. But now they're [i]all[i] dirty and I should probably not use that as an excuse to go buy another one, LOL.

    I've tried putting them in the washing machine before, but they just didn't really get the job done (and I partially scorched one I put in the dryer...oops).

    So I guess, what are your favorite methods for cleaning really dirty saddle pads? My current plan is to use a stiff brush to get the horse hair off and the surface dirt, then hose them down and squeeze them out and [i]then[i] maybe use the washer and finally just let them air dry.

    Reasonable? Not reasonable? Anybody got better ideas?
    The Trials and Jubilations of a Twenty-Something Re-rider
    Happy owner of Kieran the mostly-white-very-large-not-pony.

  • #2
    Are we talking about the average English style saddle pad here? Not a thick Western pad or something that is sheep skin?

    I try not to let mine get so gross that they need much more than tossing into my washing machine to get them clean. I use Tide, warm water and oxyclean. I then hang them to dry. If they got lots of hair because someone is blowing their coat I run the stiff brush over them to remove hair and then toss into the washing machine.


    • Original Poster

      Yeah, the average English style saddle pad here. Sorry, forgot to mention that.
      The Trials and Jubilations of a Twenty-Something Re-rider
      Happy owner of Kieran the mostly-white-very-large-not-pony.


      • #4
        My LG front loader does a much better job than my old center agitator washer on pads. I have never had a problem cleaning them in there. Laundromat time? You could pile them all in a 5 loader and then line dry
        Doubled Expectations (Roxy, 2001 APHA)
        Al Amir (Al, 2005 OTTB)
        Ten Purposes (Rosie, 2009 OTTB)


        • #5
          A dozen is a lot?
          I like having a lot so I can take them to the Laundromat that allows horse laundry and wash them all at once in the huge front loaders. There is always some staining that never comes out, but oh well.


          • #6
            I'm a saddle pad whore too - and I just take them to the laundromat because my newer top load without an agitator does NOTHING on the stiffer, poofier items (like fleece).


            • #7
              I use my regular agitator washing machine. 3 is the magic number...balances the best (still not great...the washing machine sounds like it's going to take off). I soak it with soap, then add more soap and put it on the extra wash cycle. I put mine in the dryer. I put everything in the dryer They come out pretty darn clean. I used bleach once when one of my boys had some skin fungus, and the pad didn't die! So I use a little bleach during the soak if they're super gross (only on white pads though). But then I only use them a couple times (once if pony is super dirty or super sweaty) before I wash. I mean, I have like 15 of them...might as well use them all!
              My Art - Equine and Pet Portraits


              • #8
                I remove as much hair as I can with a shed flower. I take them all to the laundromat and use the big heavy duty washer meant for blankets and stuff. (Washing about 15 of them at once.) I always wipe out the machine or run an empty cycle afterwards to clean it. And then just put them in the dryer. Some of the cheaper ones have shrunk a bit, but otherwise this does the job.


                • #9
                  1. make sure pad is totally dry.
                  2. take a stiff brush and get as much hair/dirt off the underside of the pad as you can.
                  3. if pad is really disgusting, soak in warm water with a scoop of oxyclean for an hour or two.
                  4. wash in warm water on heavy duty setting with woolite or another gentle detergent.
                  5. I absolutely NEVER put pads in the dryer because they shrink. I hang them to dry outside, in the basement, or over the shower curtain rod.

                  I also used bleach on a white pad once, and only once. This was the result, even after putting the pad through TWO rinse cycles:



                  Custom Painted Saddle Pads and Ornaments


                  • #10
                    My solution to this is to school in darker colored pads and save any white ones for show. I will brush them off, soak in a tub with a little orvus then just put in the washing machine and do a heavy duty wash with an extra rinse.


                    • #11
                      I have a dixie midnight. It has cut way down on my saddle pad laundry. And just yesterday a friend pointed out the GROOMA® AiRider Pressure Relief Pad: http://www.petandhorse.com/grooma%C2...-555-new-price - 19.99$. So I invested in one of these for when I have a friend ride my other horse. Hopefully it works well enough for the price. The dixie midnight is very spendy unless you catch a sale (and even then it is $$$). It is oh so worth it though to not have to clean pads but maybe 2x a year.


                      • Original Poster

                        What is a Dixie Midnight?
                        The Trials and Jubilations of a Twenty-Something Re-rider
                        Happy owner of Kieran the mostly-white-very-large-not-pony.


                        • #13
                          A shop vac with the brush attachment works nice for getting all the hair out of the dry underside of a pad.

                          A laundromat front loader works nicely to get 'em clean. Half a cup of baking soda and/or an oxiclean additive mixed in with the detergent. Double rinse to make sure everything is out of the pad, then hang to dry.

                          A bluing agent might be safer for white pads than bleach.


                          • #14
                            I brush the loose hair off of pads after each ride, right away. Makes 'em last longer between washes.

                            Ditto the poster who said that modern top-load no agitator washing machines are completely worthless for cleaning saddle pads. Actually, for cleaning anything that is really and truly dirty. :-( I can't wait for this washer to die (Die, washing machine, DIE!) so that I can get an old-style machine again that will actually clean things.

                            Laundromat is a good option. It also helps to do a bit better job of grooming the horse where the saddle pad is going to sit. less work all around.
                            I tolerate all kinds of animal idiosyncrasies.
                            I've found that I don't tolerate people idiosyncrasies as well. - Casey09


                            • #15
                              I actually just wash them in my regular old washing machine. It's not even a front-loading, robotic, back-scratching, effervescent whatever kind!

                              But I do several steps: First I soak them for at least several hours, then I do a pre-wash, then I do a regular wash cycle. If they are not super hairy, I will just hang to dry, but if they are furry or fuzzy, I put them in my (bought in garage sale from a house fire, LOL) dryer and they de-hairify nicely.
                              Life doesn't have perfect footing.

                              Bloggily entertain yourself with our adventures (and disasters):
                              We Are Flying Solo


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by furlong47 View Post
                                shed flower
                                That's a really good idea! I hadn't thought of that before.

                                I wash mine in my front loader, with All free & clear, no fabric softener, extra rinse. Haven't tried a steam cycle on them yet to see if that makes a difference in how clean they get. Then I hang them to dry on the tops of doors. My sheepskin pad was reserved for shows only so I haven't washed it in forever.
                                Gracious "Gracie," 2002 TB mare
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                                I have Higher Standards ...do you?


                                • #17
                                  Dixie Midnight: http://www.dixiemidnight.com/ No sweat vent pad - you can cut them to any shape.


                                  • #18
                                    I hang mine on the fence and give 'em a good soaking with the hose nozzle on the "squirt the skin off your face" setting. Then into the washing machine they go for two cycles, ring them out and hang dry.


                                    • #19
                                      Im ocd so mine dont get very knarly, if its a light pad then add that stain remover to the pad before thowing it in, wash cold water, purex free n clear(i have allergies) works great

                                      For sheepskin same as above but on delacate

                                      Hang on banisters to dry, fluff sheepskin with cat comb or reg comb
                                      Beyond the Ring-para dressage, training, coaching

                                      Proud Team Four Star Minion! Renegade for Life!


                                      • #20
                                        If they are really dirty I take them to the car wash, hang them on the clips used for floor mats and spray the bejeesus out of them with the hose on the "No Soap" setting. The high pressure hose will get it very, very clean. I scrape out as much excess water as I can, then take them home and let them dry either outside or hanging in my laundry room.

                                        If they are just a little soiled, I toss them in the washing machine at the barn.