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Easy Steps to Caring for Your Horse's Brushes

Updated on February 22, 2015

A Clean Horse is a Healthy Horse!

We all like the way a clean horse looks, but keeping him clean is more than just for aesthetics. Dirt and sebum build up can lead to skin conditions and disease, not to mention the damage it does to your tack. In addition, a dirty horse is an uncomfortable horse. So brushing and bathing your horse is a daily must.

But caring for your brushes counts, too. Dirty brushes can hardly help you clean your horse. When neglected, brushes are a breeding ground for bacteria and it causes the brushes to wear out. Clean brushes, on the other hand, help you maintain your horse’s health and good looks, and makes your grooming tools last longer as well.

Here’s the best way to clean them.

If you use synthetic brushes and only have a few to clean, here’s a homemade remedy for dirt and grime. Drop your brushes into a bucket of clean water and add two or three effervescent tablets like those used to clean dentures. The bubbling action helps loosen dirt and grime.

If that alone doesn’t get them clean, or if you have more than a few to clean, follow the procedure for natural bristle brushes below.

Fill a bucket with hot water and Dawn® dishwashing soap (or another soap designed to degrease). Let the brushes soak for a few minutes and then agitate them gently. Rinse them well, making sure there is no soap left in the brushes (soap irritates the skin of some horses). Leave them on a towel to dry in a warm spot.

If your horse has a skin problem, confine a specific brush to just that part of his body so as not to spread the problem to other areas. When you wash the brushes, add a little Listerine ® mouthwash to kill bacteria. And it is always best to have a separate set of brushes for each horse you care for, to avoid spreading problems from one horse to another.

Store your brushes on their edges or nestle two brushes with their bristles enmeshed. Never let your brushes be put away bristles down or smashed. Taking just a little bit of care will help your horse feel and look better and pay off in terms of money you have to spend to replace ruined grooming tools.


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