Washing and Storing Rugs

IT IS THE FIRST DAY OF BRITISH SUMMER TIME!!!!!!!! Hooray we made it 🙂 now most ponies and horses are enjoying being naked and covering themselves in mud, which means its time to get those rugs sorted and stored for another year. We have put together a handy guide to help you get your rugs sorted .

  1. Get all of your rugs out together in one big pile – and i mean EVERY SINGLE rug you own. Next go through the pile one rug at a time, rugs for cleaning put in one pile, damaged rugs put in another pile, rugs you will never use again in another pile, and finally clean rugs ready for use in a fourth pile. Be ruthless when doing this.
  2. Go to the damaged rug pile and again go through each individual rug, assess the damage – is it worth keeping and repairing? If it is move it into the cleaning rug pile. If not place it in another (fifth pile) do this until all the damaged rugs have been sorted. Now with the ones you are not going to repair you can go through them again and cut off all the straps and buckles, keep these for spares, the rugs themselves you can cut the fabric up into squares to use for repairs, or ask your rug wash if they are any use to them. once you have finished put all the rugs in this pile into a bag ready for the tip.
  3. The clean rugs being kept, put them away,
  4. The rugs for wash and repair need to be folded and labelled ready for the rug wash. Remember to get the rug wash collection booked in. You could also pop a notice up at your yard and get everyone’s rugs taken together – some rug washes do discounts on bulk.
  5. The final pile of rugs you will never use again, decided if you want to sell them, if you do then you can advertise them on FB, eBay, local tack sales etc. If you do not want the hassle of selling them then ask local charities, most of them are always in need of rugs.

When washing rugs it is best to send them away to a professional equine laundry. They have specialist equipment designed for the big heavy rugs and offer a quick turnaround and competitive pricing, they also do repairs the rugs come back looking so good. If you have small rugs you can do them in your washing machine at home, but this is not recommended as it can damage the machine, and will also leave it full of hair and dirt, and smelling of horse. If you are doing your rugs in your home machine it is best to invest in an equine laundry bag, to stop the dirt and hair getting into the machine. We have a selection here. Also make sure you are using a special rug wash detergent, and if you are reproofing it use a specific rug reproofer too. Make sure you have a good drying area, preferably out of direct sunlight (to avoid sun bleaching) you can creat a drying rail by placing a broom handle on the seats of garden chairs, and the drape the rug over the broom handle. If done on a hot day the rugs will dry fairly quickly.

Another way of washing your rugs is with a power hose, this way is quite time intensive but super fun and so rewarding to watch :). Make sure you have a large concrete area where you can lay the rug out flat, and again be sure to put a proper equine rug wash detergent in the power hose, and then give the rugs a good blast, you can literally see the dirt being blasted off – it is very therapeutic. Once the rug is clean, hang it over something to dry – the broom handle idea above will work for this too. Power hosed rugs need to be hung right up so they are not touching the floor, as they will be much wetter and need to allow the water to drip off. Power hosed rugs will also take longer to dry than than machine washed rugs, due to missing out on the spin cycle at the end of a machine wash. DO NOT be tempted to put the wet rugs in the machine on a spin cycle, the weight of them will probably break the drum.Power hosing is a great way if you do not have many rugs, however if you have a few rugs it is probably best to sent them away to be washed.

When your rugs come back from the rug wash you will need to store them in a safe place ready for next winter. There are many ways of doing this and your way will depend on space and budget. It is a good idea to look into metal feed bins or rug containers as these are rodent proof, if you have a few of you perhaps you could buy one together – them metal feed bins are good for this as they come with compartments, so you could have one compartment each. Shelving/racking is also a good way and means you can put the rugs on the top shelves and use the lower shelves for other equipment you use more often. Wooden cupboard/lockers with shelves are also a very good way of storing things.If you have limited space in the tack room, you may need to store them at home, again racking is good for this. If you are storing your rugs loose on shelves, be sure to check them every few weeks for mice/ rats nesting in them or chewing them.

If you have a lot of rugs you may wish to store them in their separate groups, for example field rugs together and stable rugs together . If you like this method then we have labelled bags that are waterproof, dust proof, dirt repellent and machine washable. These work really well if you have a metal bin you are storing them in, as you can put all they different types of rugs into their own bags, and easily find them next winter ready to use. These bags also cut down on the single use plastic. We can label the bags with anything, so if you prefer we can put sizes or weights of rug on instead. We can also put your name or your horses names on the bags too.


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