Cleaning is key. 

A decent roll in a muddy paddock is all it takes to convert a fresh new winter rug into a filthy sheet of mud. 

The grime of paddock life is the main reason your rug collection isn’t as rain-resistant as it once was, but there’s no need to fork out for new ones. Providing your straps and buckles are all in good working order and there are no rips or tears, you can get plenty more life from your existing collection with a little laundry time. 

Rug wash will refresh

 Cleaning covers properly will leave them smelling better and feeling fresher and lighter by lifting sweat, poop, mud and turnout residue build-up. 

If you’re unsure how to tackle cleaning a poop-encrusted 200-fill cover these are your options: 

  1. Use a local laundromat that has pet machines. 
  2. Wash by hand using a barrel or drum, a hose, and a broomstick for stirring.  
  3. Scrub by hand first, (a stiff bristle broom can be very effective), then wrestle the heavy mountain into your home machine.

Being a gentle cleaner, Nikwax Rug Wash deep cleans while ensuring the best possible waterproof performance and breathability without irritating your horse or the environment. 

Conventional detergents leave behind residues that harm water repellency and remember never to use fabric softener, as it deteriorates the blanket’s breathability, water-repellency, and wicking capabilities.

Rug Proof will bring back the beading

If the weather has been especially challenging, or your rug is a couple of seasons deep, you’ll need to waterproof it again. Water repellency isn’t forever. Every time your horse rolls the factory-applied waterproofing is slowly wearing off. 

You’re probably regularly sticking your arm down the neck or shoulder to check for dryness as a precaution anyway, so you’ll likely already know which rugs aren’t as effective as others.

When that soggy feeling is happening you do not need to relegate the cover to the parts pile, because once you’ve given it a clean with Nikwax Rug Wash, use Nikwax Rug Proof to restore water-repellency while maintaining breathability. 

There are some weird homemade waterproofing concoctions out there, but none that support breathability like Nikwax Rug Proof will. Your pony needs to be able to regulate their body temperature effectively for well-being and happiness through weather and temperature changes. 

The idea of throwing out a perfectly good rug every year is bananas when it is possible to save money and the environment by maintaining the hear you already own.  

A handful of hot tips: 

  1. Waiting for caked-on mud to dry and then brushing it off before washing is easier than scrubbing thick wet mud.  
  2. If you’re doing both treatments you don’t need to wait for the rug to dry between Rug Wash and Rug Proof. Wash first, then Proof straight after. No, you can’t do them at the same time. 
  3. Some cover manufacturers recommend laundering inside a mesh bag to contain and protect straps and the machine. It’s your call, but either way, do up straps and buckles before you machine wash.
  4. Regularly using a cotton day sheet as a base layer under a heavy rug can prolong the time between washes, as it will work as a barrier between your horse’s sweat and dirt and the protective cover.