For many people, the idea of washing and re-waterproofing a garment or horse rug equals a draw on time, which these days many of us just don’t have enough of. However, there are a wealth of products currently on the market that have been designed to be easy to use and quick to apply.
Nicola Link, Head of Customer Services at Nikwax – manufacturers of high-performance cleaning and waterproofing products for horse rugs, blankets and outdoor gear – explains how to clean and re-waterproof your horse rugs, blankets and jackets in preparation for storing them over the summer months.
Do it now to save money
The benefits are well worth the time investment. Proper care of your horse blankets and rugs will help to maintain the products’ insulating properties so they’ll continue to keep your horse warm. From your point of view, those few minutes spent maintaining the rug will reward you with renewed water repellency and revived breathability. All in all, proper care will prolong the life of your rugs and blankets, postponing a potentially costly replacement purchase.
Before you waterproof, always make sure that you have washed the garment with a cleaner designed for use on horse rugs to remove any traces of dirt, grease and perfumes. Or have it professionally cleaned by a rug- cleaning company – your washing machine would probably much prefer this option.
Standard cleaners may leave a water- attracting residue, so try to get a cleaner specifically for use before re-waterproofing. The idea is to prep your product to make it as receptive as possible to the re-waterproofing solution. If you’re using a washing machine, make sure all traces of detergent are removed from the dispenser before washing the rug.
Here we go…
- Choose a waterproofing solution that suits your needs. Many can be used in a washing machine and will be quicker to administer than something applied by hand. Some solutions are suitable for machine or manual application.
- If treating by hand, apply the waterproofing solution with a sponge or by soaking. If using your washing machine – a more effective and thorough method – pour the specified amount into the dispenser drawer and put on a synthetic wash cycle. Usually 500ml will treat one rug or blanket in a washing machine. The water-proofing solution will need to be added to 1.5 litres of hand-hot water before applying if washing manually.
- If applying by hand, try to ensure even distribution of the active ingredients so that they penetrate throughout the fabric. Finally, be sure to rinse the fabric thoroughly with plenty of clean water.
- Drip-dry the garment or if the care label allows, tumble-dry on a low setting. Remember to always check the garment product care label first and follow any instructions. And that’s it – simple. You can now fold and store your clean, waterproof rug until the winter.
For more information on Nikwax stockists, call 01892 786400