Blanket washing issues HELP

This topic contains 8 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  G & S 2 months, 1 week ago.

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  • Musicalmunkie Original Poster
    Topics Started: 1Replies Posted: 2

    Please help. I’m washing horse blankets. First I vacuum then powerwash. I hand scrub the putter surface and power wash again. I put the blanket in the wash using nikwac rug wash. After the blanket is clean and lined dried it has these marks all over. What am I doing wrong?

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    G & S
    Topics Started: 16Replies Posted: 249

    A couple things could be happening. The first one that comes to mind is that the marks may have been first hidden by the dirt, then hidden by the wetness of the washing. The material typically turns darker when it is wet and that could easily hide the marks, if they are white. It does not mean that the blanket is damaged unless the marks are also holes.

    The 2nd possibility is that your washing machine may not be big enough for the larger blankets, which are rubbing on the sides of the tub. What kind of washing machine are you using? I used one of the over-sized non-commercial front loaders for about 8 years, but I was not warned when I bought it that all of these big front loaders do the spin cycles with the tub at a right angle to the ground, and that every one of these machines is intentionally designed so that they will only last 6 – 8 years, and that is without washing anything as heavy as larger horse blankets. The washing machine makers only make money if we consumers have to replace the washing machine, so they intentionally designed these machines so that the bearings will wear out, and are so placed that it costs almost as much to replace the machine than to repair it, as the entire machine has to be disassembled to get to the bearings. Planned obsolescence at its worst. So this year I will bite the bullet and find a used commercial machine. And I would not recommend that anyone buy these machines even if only to wash their own clothes.

    As long as the white streaks do not result in holes, you should be fine. Blankets should be re-waterproofed once a year, and the best waterproofing I have found is the one Wall-Mart sells in the camping section, the one with the orange cap that costs right around $5 per can. For a 78, you will need approximately 3 cans, depending on how much of the old factory applied top layer is still intact. What destroys the top layer waterproofing is UV rays, and there is no real way to protect the blanket from UV rays, since the t/O blankets are designed for the the horse to be turned out in. But there is a 2nd part of the waterproofing, and that is the membrane that is laminated to the underside of the top layer. As long as this membrane is intact, you can replay the blankets and they will be waterproof. But the UV rays do penetrate the blanket, and will eventually cause the membrane to de-laminate, and at that point, respraying the top layer will not be enough, and your T/O becomes a stall blanket or a blanket liner.

    The blanket makers seldom release this type of info, and most horse people, even the experienced ones who have horses all their lives don’t know this. I know it because I repair horse blankets and I buy rolls of the same material the blanket makers use both for repairs, and for mini T/O’s, and the people who sell the material are a bit more forth-coming about what makes the T/O’s waterproof. Especially if one manages to ask the right questions.

    Hope this helps.

    Musicalmunkie Original Poster
    Topics Started: 1Replies Posted: 2

    Thank you SO much for getting back to me! I am using a commercial 30lb machine by MachineX. They sell them for equine laundry needs. I’ve gotten some feedback from other blanket washing companies saying that the powerwashing is probably separating the material, that the Nikwax product is adhering to the blanket and causing these chaulky stains, and even that my hand scrubbing is the reason why. I noticed on one of the blankets there were a ton of scratch marks prior to cleaning, however, they were not White chalky scratch marks.
    My problem is that I am having severe anxiety about people complaining about it. I mean I would too! I am really worried that something is wrong with the waterproofing also. I looked into what delaminating means or looks like and really couldn’t find anything. I’m wondering if it’s possibly doing that then the high spin is sucking it through the material? I don’t know. And, none of the blanket manufacturing companies have any insight on what is going on.

    neiner neiner
    Topics Started: 1Replies Posted: 8

    Musicalmunkie: Personally, I have found washing blankets with Nikwax and tossing them in the largest commercial washer I can find (at a laundromat) the best way to clean turnouts. I’ve never felt the need to do anything more; in my experience, that product gets them magically clean on its own. My gut feeling is that you are actually damaging the material by powerwashing it–twice. I mean, powerwashing will take the paint off a car…so I can only imagine what it would do to any type of fabric. I have used Wal-Mart waterproofing (as G&S mentioned), and much prefer Nikwax. It does a better job and does not damage the material like traditional detergents and waterproofing spray will. I have also owned front-loading washing machines and have never had an issue with them (poster G&S may have, but I’ve found it depends on what brand you buy and how it’s designed), although I would never wash a horse blanket in my personal machine. I ALWAYS take them to laundromats and use the biggest washer they have in order to ensure that I don’t damage anything (the machine OR the blankets). I’m not sure what’s happening with your blankets (I’ve never seen that before), but I would try doing as little as possible…skip the powerwashing, scrubbing, and anything potentially abrasive. The material isn’t made to withstand that kind of abuse.
    Good luck! I’m​ a clean freak with horses and dogs, so I totally understand the struggle.

    "Gentle in what you do; firm in how you do it." -Buck Brannaman

    Joan Fry
    Topics Started: 11Replies Posted: 324

    Wow. Just reading about washing horse blankets tired me out! Both replies were interesting because I don’t blanket my horses as a rule, and I had no idea there was so much involved, especially with waterproof blankets. OP, let me ask you some questions. No need to answer, I’m just thinking out loud. Is your horse indoors or outdoors? Do you show? And where do you live? The only blankets I’ve ever put on a horse are fly sheets, because my mare is allergic to fly bites, and I hand-wash mine in a big sink at the barn using horse shampoo. What I’m getting at, is there a reason why your horse needs blankets?

    G & S
    Topics Started: 16Replies Posted: 249

    All the big non-commercial front loaders are made the same way, regardless of manufacturer. The problem is in the basic design, which is essentially the same for all. What happens is that the bearings wear out because the tub spins at a right angle to the ground, and is supported only by the bearing structures. In a and of itself this would not is not necessarily an issue, but the washers are designed so that to get to the bearings to replace them, almost the entire washer has to be disassembled, the the bearings replaced, and then reassembled. Planned obsolescence at its most insidious.

    neiner neiner
    Topics Started: 1Replies Posted: 8

    When it comes to front loaders, all of my evidence is purely anecdotal. I understand the basic design of front loading washing machines, and I’ve had the same front loader with no issues for 10 years. So to say that they “all” are poorly designed… I’m merely suggesting that some manufacturers​ may have gotten it more right than others. Maybe I just have insane luck! I don’t manufacture washing machines, so I don’t know. I have not performed any sort of peer-reviewed study, so again, I don’t know. I also don’t know why it matters, since the OP never asked for opinions about washing machine obsolescence. This is why I rarely contribute on forums like this: too often, someone offers an opinion​ and other responders misunderstand, take things personally, or worse, assume the poster to whom they are responding is an idiot (which I am not).
    I wish the OP luck finding a process for washing horse blankets that works!

    "Gentle in what you do; firm in how you do it." -Buck Brannaman

    Joan Fry
    Topics Started: 11Replies Posted: 324

    OP, maybe the best solution is to find a professional blanket cleaner–who gets paid for her services–in your area and let her figure out the best way to clean your horse’s blankets!

    G & S
    Topics Started: 16Replies Posted: 249

    When I bought my large capacity front loader, I specifically told the store employee that I was buying a machine to wash horse blankets and asked if the machine I was looking at was suitable for this purpose. I was told it was. Since it was a pricey washer, which I was able to purchase only because it was on sale, I tried to ask all the right questions. But I did not ask one critical question – – life expectancy. So I was quite shocked to be told by the repairman that while the machine could be repaired, it would cost almost as much as what I had paid for it. And the same thing would happen in 6 – 8 years. The OP did not say in her original post what type of washer she was using. I mentioned the short life span of these machines so that anyone reading this thread would have information I did not have when I bought my large capacity front loader and make the same mistake I did. My intent was to get info into the hands of people who might need it, not to treat any body like they were stupid, as I had been when I bought the large capacity front loader without asking every critical question.

    The only one who was stupid was me, first for not asking the right question, and then again for thinking this was important info for anyone looking to buy a washer that could handle horse blankets. Luckily, I am comfortable being stupid if my mistake can save somebody else from making the same expensive mistake I did.

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