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Western peeps: How to clean a wool saddle pad?

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  • Western peeps: How to clean a wool saddle pad?

    And it is NASTY!

    I don't ride western, my fiance does, and he has a saddle pad (he calls it a blanket, the thicker one on top is the pad, sez him) that is just gross. I had been asking him for a year "Hon do you ever wash that?? It's gotta be pretty icky by now..."

    Well, now it is. It gave his horse RAINROT just under the saddle the last time he rode. Ewwie. So during his deployment I was going to figure a way to clean it. My thought was a pressure washer at the car wash plus a scrubbing with my blanket/pad/wrap wash?? It's wool, so the machine is out.

    (unfortunately I had been putting it off, and today I have to go to the tack store and buy a cheapie one because I'm taking a friend riding with my horses, and I refuse to use his pad)
    COTH's official mini-donk enabler

    "I am all for reaching out, but in some situations it needs to be done with a rolled up news paper." Alagirl

  • #2
    If it really is the wool felt pad, you can't clean them really. Time for a new pad. You could TRY to gently pressure wash it but if you don't usually ride western and have never tried to clean one before I would just leave it.

    If I were you, I would just air it out well and spray it with antifungal spray to get rid of the ickies.
    Michael: Seems the people who burned me want me for a job.
    Sam: A job? Does it pay?
    Michael: Nah, it's more of a "we'll kill you if you don't do it" type of thing.
    Sam: Oh. I've never liked those.

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      Omg a new one? IIRC, it was expensive. Not as much as the pad-pad, which was more than $200, but still. Dear lord. It's real wool, too. He's never going to clean it, but I don't think I can convince him to toss it either. He did spray it with some anti-fungal, but I don't think that will get down into all the little areas where the germies are hiding.

      What about soaking it in a muck bucket with the soap? Gentle agitation? Then air drying for DAYS? I'd hate to think he's going to need a blanket (he calls it a blanket?) once or twice a year. He rides to the point of soaked pads, several times a week, when he's home. *I* wash mine after a few rides each, so I was of course aghasted.
      COTH's official mini-donk enabler

      "I am all for reaching out, but in some situations it needs to be done with a rolled up news paper." Alagirl

      Comment


      • #4
        I'm not sure where people get the idea you can't wash wool in the washing machine. You absolutely can (silk, too) - you just can't put it in the DRYER. I wash all my woolens in the washing machine on the delicate cycle, lay flat to dry after gently rolling in a towel to get the most obvious of excess moisture out. Wool felt, maybe not - but a wool blanket?

        Comment

        • Original Poster

          #5
          Hmm. I'll take a picture at the barn and post it later. I have no clue if it's wool or wool felt . I know the thick pad is felt, but the "blanket" I'm not sure about.
          COTH's official mini-donk enabler

          "I am all for reaching out, but in some situations it needs to be done with a rolled up news paper." Alagirl

          Comment


          • #6
            I took the hose to mine last year, curried it first to get the loose crud off, then hosed it, gently rubbed it with the rubber curry, then hosed it off again, it took a while drying, but it came up nicely.
            I'm not sure if I grew out of stupid or ran out of brave.

            Practicing Member of the Not too Klassy for Boxed Wine Clique

            Comment


            • #7
              On Five Star's website they have instructions for proper cleaning of wool saddle pads.

              http://www.5starequineproducts.com/saddle_pads.html

              Scoll down to the bottom of the page for easy-to-follow care and cleaning instructions.

              I've had my wool saddle pads for years (one for nearly ten years) and with proper care they still look almost like new and have never given my horses rain rot.

              You can also buy thin throw-away liners made of the same material.

              http://www.5starequineproducts.com/wool_pad_liner.html

              A very affordable way to protect your investment since replacing a wool pad will cost you 200+ dollars. Since it is also made of wool it will mesh with your (husband's) pad and there is no slippage. I started using them last year and am very happy with them.
              Last edited by saddlebum122; Mar. 27, 2011, 06:15 PM. Reason: typo

              Comment


              • #8
                Wool felt pad is usually gray and well, felt. Wool saddle blankets are usually woven fabric, not as thick as the pad and often rather colorful. Both can be tough to clean as hair gets really worked into them. You can pressure wash (no soap and cool/cold water) at the car wash and lay out flat to dry in the sun....will take a day or two for the blanket...maybe 4-5 for the pad (turn every day or so). You CAN wash in oversized washers at laudromat (if you are really sneaky) but again, cool water and minimal soap....and no dryer. Good luck.

                Better info in Saddlebum122's post...I've had the same felt pad for about 20 years (and the same blanket for about the same amount of time)...info was a bit different back then..might have to go buy a new pad although this one is really nice...the one I have is not contoured but gradually has become so with use.
                Colored Cowhorse Ranch
                www.coloredcowhorseranch.com
                Northern NV

                Comment


                • #9
                  if it's felt it's already matted

                  maybe take it to the local DIY car wash and hose it down there for the ickiest part.

                  you can wash wool, in the washing machine. BUT on the gentle/handwash cycle (and I would not use a front loader...)
                  It's the agitation that mats the wool and makes it shrink.

                  But you can also dip the thing in boiling hot water and pull it out. as long as you do not wring it or, like I said, move it much. My mom is a weaver and that is how she treats her pieces after she takes them off the loom, wool and and pretty much everything, no matting or shrinking!

                  Also, white vinegar is your friend, as well as UV light and chlorophyl.
                  Originally posted by BigMama1
                  Facts don't have versions. If they do, they are opinions
                  GNU Terry Prachett

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Albion View Post
                    I'm not sure where people get the idea you can't wash wool in the washing machine. You absolutely can (silk, too) - you just can't put it in the DRYER. I wash all my woolens in the washing machine on the delicate cycle, lay flat to dry after gently rolling in a towel to get the most obvious of excess moisture out. Wool felt, maybe not - but a wool blanket?
                    They're not blankets. They are inch to two inch thick wool felt saddle pads. You can wash them in a washing machine but they are never the same and if not destroyed by washing they are often turned into lumpy uneven messes.
                    Last edited by Grataan; Mar. 28, 2011, 12:13 AM.
                    Michael: Seems the people who burned me want me for a job.
                    Sam: A job? Does it pay?
                    Michael: Nah, it's more of a "we'll kill you if you don't do it" type of thing.
                    Sam: Oh. I've never liked those.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I curry mine with a rubber curry, then spray them out with either a pressure nozzle on a regular hose or the pressure washer. Put them in the sun to dry. No soap, but sometimes I use a bit of white vinegar to kill any nasties and do a bit of stain lifting.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Does anyone else on here use the liners? I'm telling ya, those things are great. Much easier to clean than the actual pad and when they are worn out you can just toss them. They do a great job of protecting your wool pad too and are only thirty bucks a piece.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I either curry and hard brush them when dry or when they have gotten really dirty hang them on the fence and hit them with the pressure washer (or a hose with a good sprayer) and let them hang in the sun until dry.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Thumbs up for liners! They are also useful for stacking under the thinner show pads. Love them!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by UrbanHennery View Post
                              I curry mine with a rubber curry, then spray them out with either a pressure nozzle on a regular hose or the pressure washer. Put them in the sun to dry. No soap, but sometimes I use a bit of white vinegar to kill any nasties and do a bit of stain lifting.
                              This is what I do if I'm really attached to the pad (like sentimental value/old horse/lots of wins attached) minus the pressure washer part.

                              Originally posted by saddlebum122 View Post
                              Does anyone else on here use the liners? I'm telling ya, those things are great. Much easier to clean than the actual pad and when they are worn out you can just toss them. They do a great job of protecting your wool pad too and are only thirty bucks a piece.
                              I also use these except in the show ring

                              Originally posted by Renae View Post
                              I either curry and hard brush them when dry or when they have gotten really dirty hang them on the fence and hit them with the pressure washer (or a hose with a good sprayer) and let them hang in the sun until dry.
                              Vacuuming after you curry works pretty well too (I use the hose attachment thingy)
                              Michael: Seems the people who burned me want me for a job.
                              Sam: A job? Does it pay?
                              Michael: Nah, it's more of a "we'll kill you if you don't do it" type of thing.
                              Sam: Oh. I've never liked those.

                              Comment

                              • Original Poster

                                #16
                                OK, I got pictures. Also, from reading your posts, the thick FELT pad is fine, it's the thinner WOOL blanket under the pad that is walking yucko petri dish.

                                So there's the blanket.
                                This is the normal set up, from today. The thick pad between the blanket and the saddle, and then you can see a spare Navajo blanket under that.

                                It's the blanket I want to wash.
                                COTH's official mini-donk enabler

                                "I am all for reaching out, but in some situations it needs to be done with a rolled up news paper." Alagirl

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  whatever you do, if you are going to do the water route, follow this advise.

                                  WASH THEM RIGHT WHERE YOU PLAN TO HANG THEM TO DRY!

                                  Why, you ask? because water logged wool western pads weigh as much as a dead cow. Ask me how I know...

                                  I will take my pads out in the drive by the fence where I plan to hang them to dry. I get them quite wet and use pH balanced soap to break up the grime. I use a rubber curry to scrub, then rinse thoroughly. Then I recruit two or three peeps to help my lift it up and onto the top fence rail upside down so the water drains out.
                                  ...don't sh** where you eat...

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by winfieldfarm View Post
                                    whatever you do, if you are going to do the water route, follow this advise.

                                    WASH THEM RIGHT WHERE YOU PLAN TO HANG THEM TO DRY!

                                    Why, you ask? because water logged wool western pads weigh as much as a dead cow. Ask me how I know...

                                    I will take my pads out in the drive by the fence where I plan to hang them to dry. I get them quite wet and use pH balanced soap to break up the grime. I use a rubber curry to scrub, then rinse thoroughly. Then I recruit two or three peeps to help my lift it up and onto the top fence rail upside down so the water drains out.
                                    LOL, I was kind of forgetting to mention that. not that I ever had a western pad to wash, but enough similar style things to wrangle around...
                                    Originally posted by BigMama1
                                    Facts don't have versions. If they do, they are opinions
                                    GNU Terry Prachett

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      I hose my TWH's Tucker wool pad for his plantation saddle about every other ride in the summer. A little less the rest of the year. I just put it flat in the wash bay, set the hose to "jet" and push all the sweat and dirt out of it. I have two , so that I can use the other while the other one dries. Yes, they are expensive, but it pays to have two if you're riding a lot.

                                      I hang them on a barn aisle gate to dry. They really do weigh a ton wet.

                                      A hard brush is good for getting the surface dirt off, but only water will ge the deeper dirt and germs out. I use soap very occasionally -- I'm too afraid that it won't come out and cause him skin issues.

                                      I also have a husband who doesn't think he needs to wash his saddle pads. Fortunately, he rides English and the saddle pads wash much easier. Not that he'll do it. He's inherited all my dozens of old dressage pads. Eventually, he'll run out. But I shouldn't complain. He rides and he loves our horses. I need to remember that a little more often.
                                      "Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall." - Confucious
                                      <>< I.I.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Ah, well, that which will go in the washing machine, cold, gentle cycle, goes in the machine and is hung out to dry.

                                        My thicker wool pads, this type (scroll to bottom, Diamond Wool ranch pads):

                                        http://www.bigbendsaddlery.com/saddlepads.html

                                        I hose well (on the driveway) and then suck out lots of excess water and sweat and gunk with the vacuum cycle on the carpet cleaner or the wet vacuum cycle on the shop vac. Works well.

                                        Mind you, between washings, one should brush them every now and then, either a stiff brush or one of the little toothy plastic curry combs, to get the sweat and grime off.

                                        Comment

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