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I put the bridle in the washing machine

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  • I put the bridle in the washing machine

    I have decided to start riding our percheron again and found all of his tack. Saddle - fine. Bridle - OMG. It is faux leather and no matter how much I scrubbed when it dried it still had a film on it. Maybe it was dirt and soap residue. At any rate, I took the entire thing apart and put it in the washing machine with a bunch of towels. The bit went into the dishwasher.

    The bridle looks brand new. It is black with white padding and the white is snow white again. Since we do not show I am tempted to get rid of anything leather. Who knew it could be so easy? I wonder if the saddle can fit in the washing machine.

  • #2
    Reminds me of the day I found my dad happily cleaning his saddle with Armor All.
    He thought it was awesome! (I just kept walking.)
    Originally posted by ExJumper
    Sometimes I'm thrown off, sometimes I'm bucked off, sometimes I simply fall off, and sometimes I go down with the ship. All of these are valid ways to part company with your horse.


    • #3
      I put halters and dog collars in the dishwasher. I find the dishwasher detergent gets them cleaner than in the washing machine.
      I realize that I'm generalizing here, but as is often the case when I generalize, I don't care. ~ Dave Barry


      • #4
        Biothane and all of its cousins, kith and kin, is a wondrous thing, and I've washed all of the variations I owned in either the washer or the dishwasher as needed. The dishwasher did a wonderful job on the bits, too, and made the never-rust metal bits glow.

        I never really thought about sticking the Wintecs in the washer, but it WOULD fit in a large front-loader...and we have one of those now. They don't really get that dirty compared to the bridles, and there is always the wash rack.

        If I lived in a climate where leather was prone to mold and mildew, or if I bought new harness now, I'd definitely go synthetic. I'd even consider showing in it, depending on the activity and level of the show. I've seen some nice harness that was not as absolutely nice as top of the line leather, but it was functional. If judging, I'd rather see well fitted equipment of faux leather than poorly fitted.

        Did you see "Ratatouille?" The movie wasn't the best, but I loved the scene where the rats were going through the industrial dishwasher to get clean so they could help in the kitchen. Now one of those would do a fine job on a saddle!
        "I couldn't fix your brakes, so I made your horn louder."


        • #5
          All I can say is that I'm SOOO happy that there are others like me in the world


          • #6
            I have sometimes thought about (although so far I've never done it) putting my leather halter into the washing machine with Leather Therapy (the washing liquid that I use for deerskin fullseats).

            Anybody ever done that?
            "The formula 'Two and two make five' is not without its attractions." --Dostoevsky


            • #7
              Not the washing machine, but the dishwasher

              Adventures in tack cleaning - with dressage rally approaching my friend cracked open the old club rally trunks that had not been opened for three years. Thick green fuzz covered all the leather and mold spores filled the air. The thought of replacing several hundred dollars worth of leather was weighed against the many hours that would be required to rescue the tack using conventional methods. In despair, the woman summed up her courage and did the unthinkable.

              She fired up the dishwasher.

              Thirty minutes and several nervously chewed fingernails later, she reported that the tack was indeed sparkling clean and scum-free.

              The dishwasher tack cleaning method has been a PC urban legend for many years, but it seems to work. The wash cycles can run very hot so turn it down a bit if possible, the leather will also need a good conditioning afterward.


              • #8
                Originally posted by Posting Trot View Post
                I have sometimes thought about (although so far I've never done it) putting my leather halter into the washing machine with Leather Therapy (the washing liquid that I use for deerskin fullseats).

                Anybody ever done that?
                Not my halter -- that I do in the dishwasher. I do wash my, and the rest of my family's, leather half-chaps in the washing machine with Leather Therapy.

                I regularly use the dishwasher for bits, halters, lead ropes, brushes, and anything else that has big metal stuff that could damage my washing machine.

                Everything else, including my fancy schmancy leather jacket, goes in the washing machine with Leather Therapy and Leather Therapy Conditioner. I dry them either air and flat or I put them on the shoe rack in the drier, air only. No heat.

                Mad Mare™ Studio
                Custom Swarovski®, Czech glass and gemstone browbands in Circlet, Diadem and Tiara styles. Matching stock pins, bracelets and belts.


                • #9
                  I know a woman with four pony clubber children who would routinely clean tack by sticking all of it in the washing machine on gentle with Murphy's Oil Soap...I'm not advocating it, just sayin' it's been done....


                  • #10
                    I routinely toss one of my bridles into the washing machine. One of those leather ones with the white padding that's impossible to get clean.

                    It's a bridle I paid $20 for about 20 years ago, and it's still going strong, so it's working for me. I'm always careful to take it out right away, and oil it as soon as it's dry.

                    Might make a difference that I have a front-loading washer, so it's pretty gentle.

                    I've done bits in the dishwasher, but not leather goods, and since there doesn't seem to be a way to turn the temp down on ours I don't think I'll try it. It's pretty steaming hot in there.
                    "In order to really enjoy a dog, one doesn’t merely train him to be semi-human. The point of it is to open oneself to the possibility of becoming part dog."
                    -Edward Hoagland


                    • #11
                      Will you people stop already????!!!! I'm sitting here looking at a whole bunch of tack that needs cleaning- mostly halters and work tack that wasn't expensive to begin with- and now I'm seriously thinking about throwing it all in the washing machine and hoping for the best... I have plenty of neatsfoot oil for conditioning...


                      • Original Poster

                        Shakeytails - just do it. I weighed the time needed to really clean the tack versus the value of said tack and it turns out that my time is just too dang valuable. Instead of spending an hour or so cleaning two bridles I cut my horse's three acre pasture and spread all the manure. It looks like a golf course now AND I have to sparkling clean bridles.


                        • #13
                          LOL! I was telling DH about it and he said- "Don't you dare.........try that while I'm sleeping!" It might just be tommorrow's project. Do you throw towels or saddle pads in with the tack to tame the thunking of metal?


                          • Original Poster

                            Yes I put a towel in the bottom, laid the bridle pieces on that, put the detergent in and then another towel on top. It didn't make anymore noise than usual. Now as far as the Leather Therapy I am not sure how much to use. My bridles are synthetic.


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Weighaton View Post
                              Yes I put a towel in the bottom, laid the bridle pieces on that, put the detergent in and then another towel on top. It didn't make anymore noise than usual. Now as far as the Leather Therapy I am not sure how much to use. My bridles are synthetic.
                              For synthetics I would use some Murphy's oil soap in instead. Cheaper!

                              I'm thinking of trying that instead of Leather Therapy next time I wash an older pair of half chaps.

                              Mad Mare™ Studio
                              Custom Swarovski®, Czech glass and gemstone browbands in Circlet, Diadem and Tiara styles. Matching stock pins, bracelets and belts.


                              • #16
                                What a timely thread! I have a couple of trunks full of old bits of strap goods, and I was trying to think of a way to clean it all without spending two weeks doing it. COTH has done it again! Now I can wash my strap goods in the dishwasher, and just oil them afterwards. Yay!

                                Oh, and all you Hydrophane fans out there? My saddler told me to use olive oil instead. Cheaper by far, and works just as well. No kidding.
                                In loving memory of Laura Jahnke.
                                A life lived by example, done too soon.


                                • Original Poster

                                  Just to clarify on my synthetic bridles - I used hot water and SURF laundry detergent!!! They look brand new. Bits went into the dishwasher along with some of the hardware from the bridles.


                                  • #18
                                    OK, I've done it- tossed a bunch of tack in the washing machine with a couple of saddle pads and a towel, and some Murphy's oil soap. They'll almost done with the wash cycle. I just pulled out a couple of thinner pieces, rinsed them off and wiped them with a towel.

                                    Should I oil now or wait for the leather to dry a bit?


                                    • Original Poster

                                      I would do most of the conditioning once dry but it certainly wouldn't hurt to put some on while the leather is moist and pliable and really work it in.