How To Clean an English Saddle Pad
You Need A Clean Saddle Pad When You Show Your Horse
A clean white saddle pad is a must if you are thinking about showing your horse. You can buy them in all different pretty colors and patterns but for a show, conservative is the way to go. Stick with clean, white, and bright. The brighter it is, the better. If you can afford it, you should keep one special saddle pad that's just for showing.
Horses that are at a show are usually nice and clean. That means the pad should stay fairly clean too. It will save you a lot of work in the long run if that's the only time you use it. You won't have to worry as much about all those dark, hard to get out sweat spots.
Step 1 - Scrubbing in the Laundry Detergent
I usually start with plain old laundry detergent. I pour it directly on the worst spots and then rub it in with a scrubby brush. Once the detergent is rubbed in, I let it soak in for at least an hour. This step is important. Try not to skip the soaking.
Step 2 - Extra Stain Removing Power
Bleach and/or Stain Remover
The next thing that I do is put it in the washing machine with at least 1 cup of bleach. I let the washer fill up for awhile and then I leave it soaking in there for another hour.
If you would rather try a stain remover, that might work too or maybe rub the stain remover on and let it sit for awhlie before putting it in with the bleach water.
Please read the labels first to make sure they can mix in the washing machine.
There's lots of stain removers out there. It might take a few tries to find one that works for you but it will be worth it. You can use a regular laundry one or look for something at your local tack shop. They might have something heavy duty for getting out horse sweat and dirt stains.
Have you ever tried TideTo Go Instant Stain Remover?
Step 3 - The Washing Machine
I start up the washing machine again and make sure to have it on two rinses. It will get a good washing in there and by the time the washer is done, it should be fairly clean. Look at all that dirt already!! You can run it through the washer a few times if you want to. This is a good idea to make sure all the bleach is out of the pad too since the pad goes directly onto the horse. You want to make sure that all the bleach is out of the pad so it doesn't irritate the horse's skin.
Another good option is to go to a laundromat and use their industrial strength washers. They'll be able to power out a lot of the dirt but make sure there's no signs hanging up anywhere that say "No horse items in the washers please".
Step 4 - Hang It Out in the Sun
Hang to Dry
Once the washer is done, hang the saddle pad up in the sun. The sun acts as a natural bleach. The pad should be pretty clean by now so this is just to add the finishing touch. It will bring out that extra brightness. This really works!
I try to do this on a warm, super sunny day. It only needs a couple hours but if I can, I try to hang it out in the morning and leave it for the whole day.
The Sun is A Natural Bleacher
Things get bleached in the sun. Even when we don't want them too. Those nice bright outdoor play toys even fade when left out too long so it's only natural that when you want something to get nice and white, you put it outside and hang it where it will get flooded with sunlight.
Have you ever tried sun bleaching something?
Step 5 - Super bright! - TA-DA!!!
A day in the sun and the pad is nice and bright white! It's ready for a show! No need to go buy a new one. Just follow these simple steps and your pad should be show ready in no time at all!
White or Colorful?
The show world can be a strange place sometimes. One judge likes colors, another prefers white, but it's hard to figure it all out and remember which judge prefers which one. Should the color of the pad even matter to the judge or should it be personal preference?
Do you like to blaze your own trails with fun colors or do you prefer to stick to a more conservative white?
Still Need a New One?
Sometimes you just can't get all the stains out and it's time to break down and buy a new one. There's usually a percentage of show points that are determined by appearance. That's why you should make sure to have a nice clean saddle pad just for the shows. It might mean the difference between first and second place.
Are there any other products that you use to get your white saddle pad bright white? Do you have an extra pad or do you only have one? Do you have any other tips?
© 2012 Jen withFlash