Top Tips On Washing Your Horse Rugs 


The importance of horse rugs in all seasons cannot be overstated. With many different types of horse rugs available on the market, a horse may need multiple rugs throughout the season. Whether it’s to protect them from rain and wind, to keep them clean before competitions, or to keep them warm in their stables, they can be an important addition to your tack room. Keeping your horse rug clean will not only help them to last longer, but they can also protect your horse – helping to keep them healthy and clean. In this article, we’re breaking down our top tips to keeping your horse rugs clean at all times to help with longevity and hygiene. 

Wipe Down Your Horse Rugs 

If the rugs are being used every day, then it’s a good idea to wipe them down on the inside regularly to avoid a build-up of dirt and grease, which could lead to skin irritations and rubbing. You can also gently brush your rugs, however it’s important to avoid any scrubbing as this could potentially damage the material. 

Avoid Machine Washing Winter Rugs

For winter horse rugs in particular, machine washing can significantly damage the rubber-like waterproof membrane of the fabric’s underside. This can also stretch the rug and if you were to use a detergent or any other type of chemical, it can damage the waterproof feature of the rug. Instead, consider gently hosing down the outside of the rug or use a stiff brush to remove dirt and horse hair.

Airing Your Horse Rugs

Air your horse rugs outside where possible during the drying process to avoid any mould or mildew build-up, and ensure that if the rugs are drying out in the sun that they are allowed to cool to room temperature before being packed away.

Make sure to avoid using a tumble dryer as this can damage the rug and the spin can damage the material itself. Keep rugs stored away from sunlight when not in use, in a cool and dry environment.  

Avoid Very Hot Water

Very hot water can damage the bindings on your rug, as well as the fittings. This is why it’s important to ensure that you wash with cool or mild water at most to ensure that the rug remains protected while being cleaned. 

It’s also important to avoid any detergents that have a large number of chemicals in them as this can potentially cause an allergic reaction in your horse. Some washing detergents can be severe and cause damage to the material of your rug too. 

Contact A Professional Company 

There are many professional companies on the market that can help to professionally launder a horse rug. They can also help to reproof the rugs where they may have been worn down throughout the season. This will help to ensure that the material of your rugs does not get damaged as some of the materials, particularly the waterproofing, can be particularly delicate. 


As you can see, there are many tips to making sure that your horse rugs remain in tact when washing them. Where you can, try to alternate between different rugs so that each rug has optimal time to be cleaned and aired to dry, while your horse remains protected from the elements or cozy and warm throughout the process. If you’re ever unsure on the best ways to wash your horse rugs, then consider contacting a professional company for help.