Washing stable rugs

  • Expert advice from HORSE magazine on the best way to clean your stable rugs

    Q: My horse has several rugs and I’d like to get some of them cleaned. However, they are too big to fit into my washing machine at home. Can you tell me where I can get them cleaned.

    Carolyn Henderson replies: Even though many rugs are made from machine-washable fabric, they are too bulky to fit into most domestic machines. However, there are three ways round this.

    • Use a rug washing service
    • Find a launderette which allows people to wash horse rugs.
    • Use a home power washer.

    Most areas now have companies that wash rugs; your local saddler should know of one or may even operate a service. Prices vary but seem to average at about £3.50-£6.50 per rug, depending on the type and whether you can supply a bulk order.

    Some launderettes will let you use their machines, and many will have one machine designated for dirty items. Check the wash temperature before you use them, as some are set too high.

    My favourite method is a power washer. Most DIY-type stores sell them and although prices start at about £80, they are also useful for washing cars! Hang your rug somewhere suitable, such as over a fence, and you’ll be surprised how much dirt you remove.

    To minimise rug washing, use a summer sheet under stable rugs. They are easy to wash in domesticwashing machines and it means your horse has a clean layer next to his coat and skin.

    Read more rug advice:

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