How to Waterproof Horse Blankets
With Susan Barron, Skyline Equine
By Jess Hallas-Kilcoyne
Q: How do I waterproof my horse’s blankets and how often do they need to be re-waterproofed?
A: “No blanket stays waterproof forever,” says Susan Barron of Skyline Equine, Canadian supplier for Bucas Ltd. “After it’s been well used for a few years, the waterproofing will wear off.”
“Re-waterproof as needed,” she continues. “You’ll know it’s time when you notice wetness along the midline of the horse’s back and the croup.”
There are many water repellent sprays specifically formulated for horse blankets available on the market. However, there are other options.
“I use the same silicone spray product to waterproof blankets as I do on my patio cushions – Scotchgard™,” says Barron. “It’s cheap, you can pick it up just about anywhere, and it works. KIWI Camp Dry® is another good one.”
Make sure your blanket is clean before applying a water repellent. More important than water repellents, however, the key to a waterproof blanket is in washing it correctly so that the waterproof coating on the blanket exterior is preserved. “A lot of people have to re-waterproof because they’re not cleaning their blankets properly,” says Barron.
Harsh chemicals and heat can destroy the waterproofing on a blanket and damage the material itself, making it less likely that a water repellent will adhere properly to the blanket when you do re-waterproof it.
“Wash blankets on gentle cycle only at a maximum of 40 degrees Celsius,” advises Barron. “Always use a blanket wash approved by the manufacturer. Household detergents can damage the protective coating. Do not put your rug in the dryer but hang it to air dry. If you clean them this way, your rugs should not need re-waterproofing for many years.”
Don’t dry clean your rugs, and if you do use a professional blanket cleaning service, make sure that they’re washing and drying your blanket according to these instructions.
Susan Barron, of Skyline Equine, is the Canadian supplier for Bucas Ltd., a leading manufacturer of horse blankets and other accessories.
Main Photo: Clean your horse's blanet before you waterproof it, but make sure you wash it correctly to preserve the water repellent coating on the blanket's exterior. Credit: Shutterstock/Volnnata