Having weathered all sorts of storms, it’s a good idea to make sure your winter rugs are in good order ready for next autumn when you will need them again. Rugs are designed to last, if carefully looked after and maintained while being used and stored.
During the winter
During the winter months, it is crucial to take care of your rugs, and following a few simple steps will ensure that they last for years to come.
To get rid of muddy stains, use a stiff brush or a wet sponge on the area. Try to keep all fastenings clean, to ensure they work effectively.
Regular checks for damage will allow you to repair a tear before it gets worse, and at the end of the winter season, turnout rugs may benefit from being re-proofed to keep them in top condition. Fabrics nowadays can be treated with special outer coatings such as Teflon, which improves stain removal, or special UV-resistant chemicals for protection against bleaching from the sun.
When they are not in use, always hang rugs up to be aired and, where possible, store in a warm place to dry.
As the warmer months return, you can still use winter lightweight turnouts – remove any neck covers and just monitor your horse’s temperature to ensure he is not too hot or cold.
When storing rugs away, place in a sealed bag and keep in a cool, dry place, ensuring the rug is not damp. Some rugs are sold with zip-up bags, which are extremely useful to keep your rugs in over the months when they are not required.
And if you’re cleaning rugs to store, it is recommended to take them to a professional cleaning service to avoid any damage.
Credit crunch rug care
If you are rug-care conscious but also saving pennies, hand-washing non-waterproofed rugs is still an effective way to spruce them up!
1. Start by scrubbing the dirt off the rug, then hose it down.
2. If the rug will fit in your washing machine, simply wash at cool temperatures with non-biological products, as high temperatures can harm the rug by reducing its waterproof capabilities.
3. Never use a tumble dryer, just allow the rug to dry naturally.
H&R TEAM TIP
Vacuum-pack your rugs for storing over the winter – it’s easy, saves space and you don’t have to buy expensive machinery!
1. After cleaning, wrap the rug in a bin bag
2. Remove the main attachment from your vacuum cleaner
3. Insert the nozzle into the bag, switch it on and hold the opening of the bag closed around the nozzle
4. When all the air is gone, quickly twist the opening of the bag so it closes, knot tightly and hey presto – airtight rug storage!