These are questions we have been answering for several years - we didn’t make any of them up.
My blanket is clean. Can I send it just for repairs or waterproofing?
We are happy to do whatever you require. The effectiveness of the water repellent treatment will depend on how the blanket has been washed and what previous products have been used on it. The most common problem we encounter with customers washing their own blankets is inadequate rinsing. If the items have excessive sussing we will run them through a rinse cycle which will add $10. to the overall charge.
I need an estimate first. The blanket wasn’t that expensive.
That’s why we have our basic prices published as a guideline for you. We will willingly give you a verbal or written estimate. Remember, it’s not what you paid for it but what it does for your horse.
I’m afraid my blanket will “wear out” if I have it laundered too much?
Dirty blankets harbor bacteria and fungus both of which can lead to skin irritation and potential infections. Dirt can block the ability of the blanket to maintain its loft (warmth) and clog the fabric making it more like a sponge rather than waterproof. Then there’s the smell…..
I bought a “waterproofer” at the store and it didn’t work.
Not all waterproofing products are compatible with all fabrics, waterproof membrane technologies, or construction techniques. It is CRITICAL that you read the label and follow directions. That “test a small area first” is really important. You may permanently damage your blanket or other item and it will never be waterproof again. The same applies if your blanket service uses an incompatible product. Reading the label is always important but remember it’s what they don’t say that’s just as important as what they do cover. For horse blankets please visit the manufactures web sites for fabric and construction information.
I take my blanket to the local Laundromat.
You are lucky. The rest of us probably want to know which one it is. You’ll need one of the large machines. Check the soap dispenser to make sure it’s not clogged or has residual soap in it. If it does, you’ll need to dig out as much of the soap as you can reach, then run a cycle (machine empty) to clear out as much of the residual soap as possible. Wash with your special cleaner then run an extra cycle with no cleaner to make sure it’s thoroughly rinsed. You can always send it to us.
I wash my blankets at home.
Top loading machines are not recommended by blanket manufacturers for washing. Some home front loaders can handle some blanket sizes but it is still very hard on them. Don’t you have something better to do?
Why don’t you use dryers?
We’ve seen a lot of dryer damage: shrinkage, waterproof membrane damage, actual melting of fabrics. The vast majority of blanket manufacturers say to line dry their blankets. Our plan is to help you maintain your investment- not short circuit it.
My item says "Dry Clean Only" or "Hand wash-Do Not Machine Wash"
We machine wash using water and an appropriate cleaner. It is up to the customer (that would be you) to determine if you are comfortable sending it in for cleaning. Wool items are the most common for the "Dry Clean Only" tag. We use a special cleaner for wool and hand block to maintain the shape of the item. Merino fleece saddle pads are safely washed. Wool coolers do well. Hand Wash items vary and no general statement will cover every possibility.
Do you wash Western Saddle pads?
Many western saddle pads have the Do Not Machine Wash tag on them. Woven saddle blankets will be fine as long as the string they are woven around does not break. The pads made of carpet and glued to make a pleasing pattern do not do well in the washer. Many other types come out clean and intact although there is the rare self destruct victim. Some pads have inserts. If the insert can be removed then the pad is a good candidate for washing. It is best to verify a possible warranty and washing conditions with the manufacturer (check their website) before sending it in for cleaning.
The hair didn't come out of my item.
We are a laundry service and will tell you that a LOT of hair comes out into the drains. If a blanket or pad has embedded hair then yes, not all of it will come out. Not letting a horse shed out in its blanket or brushing the hair out of a saddle pad before using it again will keep the excess hair from building up. Repairs may be declined if the item is not free of excess hair
Repairs cannot be made on this blanket due to the excess hair
I have extra parts from old blankets to use for my blanket repairs.
You are not going to save any money and it is likely we will not use them. You are welcome to send them in, occasionally there is an odd size that we do not have. Our prices include time and materials. We use American made foundry hardware that has superior construction to many foreign made hardware. It all looks alike but we are repairing it because it is broken aren't we? We do not plan on replacing the broken pieces with more inferior hardware.
Do I need to waterproof my blanket each time it is washed?
No. If you need to every time then something is wrong. Waterproof breathable blankets operate using a membrane which passes water vapor but stops larger water drops. There is a lot of science behind this but in general if the membrane is intact you do not need to waterproof the blanket. As the membrane ages and thins out then a topical application (water proof treatment) is appropriate. This helps the outer fabric shed water before it has a chance to soak in and work its way through the thinning membrane. As there is a great variety in blanket quality there is no hard and fast rule about how often or when waterproofing should be done. It also depends on how dirty the blanket gets between washings, if the horse rolls in sandy or abrasive ground, how thick the membrane was to start, if the blanket is put in a dryer or washed incorrectly. the list goes on. Be aware that the membrane WILL wear out, how soon depends on multiple factors including what the quality of the blanket was to start with.