Keeping your horse clean is optimal for their health and wellbeing and you may have the perfect routine for doing so. But cleaning stable rugs can be quite tricky as they can get covered in dirt, debris, and straw. You can opt for them to be professionally cleaned or you can keep reading and get some top tips on how to clean their stable rug at home.

Using A Washing Machine

Some rugs can be put in the washing machine, but you’ll need to double-check the manufacturer’s specifications for both the rug and machine to ensure it’s safe to do so. If it can be machine washed, you’ll want to take some extra steps before putting it in the machine to protect the interior of it.

Firstly, you’ll need to remove as much straw, hair, and dirt as you can. Try using a stiff-bristled brush to get the majority off, then switch to a vacuum cleaner to try and suck up the remaining hair. Hair can be pretty tough to get off, but if not enough of it is removed, it can build up inside your machine and cause problems with the drum. You may want to consider popping the stable rug into a washbag as well. Not only will this protect your machine, but it will also catch any of those pesky hairs that were lingering.

When you choose your cycle, it’s always best to go with the gentlest option. You also need to make sure you use a detergent or cleaner that’s safe for horses. Stay away from strongly scented detergents and definitely avoid fabric conditioners as they can affect any waterproofing of the rug. There are detergents out there specifically for washing stable rugs, so for peace of mind, you might prefer to use one of these. These cleaners also help to reproof the rug and keep it waterproof for longer.

Hand Washing

You may not want to use your machine for your stable rugs, or they simply might not fit. If this is the case, you can still hand wash them, but it will take a little work. Again, you’ll want to prepare it similarly to how you would if you were machine washing. Brush and vacuum as much dirt and hair off it as you can. Then you’ll want to soak the rug in a large vat of hot water and suitable cleaner. Once you’ve left it to soak for a while, remove it and lay it flat on the floor. Give it another hard scrub with your brush and you should hopefully have removed any stains and smells too. Then be sure to rinse it with clean water to remove any rug cleaner.


You should never tumble dry your stable rugs as this will cause damage and can make them lose their shape. It’s best to hang them out to air dry in a spot with plenty of sun and wind and make sure they’re completely dry before putting them away.

When it comes to washing stable rugs, machine washing and hand washing are both as effective. It’s just up to you how you prefer to clean them, and which method works best for the rug you have. As long as you take the precaution of using a suitable cleaner, you’ll find it easy to clean their stable rugs and keep your horse feeling fresh and comfortable.

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