Frequently Asked Questions
Do care labels matter for horse blankets?
Yes, especially for wool coolers. Wool by itself can either be laundered or dry cleaned. The care label instructions are based on either the dye used to color the wool and/or the trim and binding material. In any case we have found, even though we use only cold water, that shrinkage is a concern, especially the first time wool is cleaned.
Why do you pre-rinse?
If you don’t pre-rinse, the soap will combine with the surface dirt and will be consumed before it can reach the dirt, urine, sweat, hair and feces embedded in the blanket. There are at least two pre-rinses programmed into all of the cycles.
How can I help maintain my blankets?
Don’t store them dirty. The chemical products in horse urine and feces will degrade the fabric, stitching and waterproofing. Also, dirty blankets attract little furry critters looking for a home. We operate year round call us whenever you have blankets to be cleaned. Don’t wait until “blanket season” is over. Fix small repairs. Don’t wait until they get large and expensive.
Why do you place stuffing tissue in the folds of the blankets?
Because they are air dried, we cannot be sure that the insulated blankets are completely moisture free, especially in the humidity of the summer months. The stuffing tissue will absorb any of this residual moisture and prevent mildew during storage. We have recently acquired a moisture tester to better measure residual moisture.
What other services do you offer?
We can repair anything the horse wears, including tack. There are three seamstresses available, three commercial Janome sewing machines and all the fabric, thread, hardware, binding and strapping material needed to professionally repair any blanket. We offer three choices to waterproof your blankets.
Does the size of the washing machine matter?
Yes, size does matter when choosing washing machines for cleaning horse blankets. You need a small (40-50lb) commercial, programmable front loader for cottons, polar fleeces, wool cooler and saddle pads. They must be run on a gentle cycle without too much agitation. This machine is also used for turnouts that are severely damaged and must be washed alone.
The large commercial, programmable front loaders, (we have an 85 lb and a 100 lb machine) are used for turnouts, insulated or otherwise. Turnouts, being waterproof in various degrees, hinder the flow of soap and water through the fibers and subsequently, the dirt and soap cannot be completely rinsed out.
You end up with what is called “re-deposition;” where some of the dirt & soap is re deposited back onto the blanket. This is easily seen on the black shiny lining of the blanket when it is dry. It appears as streaks or swirls. Not only is some of the dirt not rinsed out, neither is the soap; left behind to irritate your horse.
To prevent this condition and to insure proper water circulation, we limit our 85 & 100 lb machine to 3 & 4 turnouts respectively.
Do you service any tack shops?
Yes. We service these shops on a regular basis. Check with your favorite for our service schedule.
Do you accept credit cards?
Yes, we accept American Express, Discover, MasterCard and Visa.
What areas do you service?
Can I drop off blankets at your location?
Yes. However, we are primarily a pick up & delivery service and don’t maintain regular business hours. Please call ahead to schedule a drop off.
How does a seamstress “train” to repair horse blankets?
They learn by training with an established blanket seamstress. We are fortunate to have one in our area and she has spent numerous hours with our staff and continues to be our “consultant.”
Do you offer discount for “barn accounts?”
Yes. Please email or call for more information.
What is your normal turn-around time?
Generally it is two weeks. During blanket season, April thru August, expect four weeks.
Why do you clean the Velcro?
Embedded hair in the Velcro can impede its function. If the Velcro pulls opens, it can put excess stress on the blanket fabric, possibly causing damage.
Other blanket cleaners use clear garbage bags. Isn’t that just as good as your comforter bags?
No. Clear garbage bags do not breathe. Any residual moisture cannot escape during storage. Also, with our breathable comforter bags, the blankets are easily stackable and the label and invoice are clearly visible, making for easy identification.
How do you remove the hair from the blankets?
As much as we have researched machine cycles, static reducers and air flow options, it comes down to the old fashioned lint roller. While we have “industrial strength” lint rollers, they still require a person to do the rolling. During the blanket season there are five “fur rollers” on our staff.
Do you repair leather?
Yes, for everything the horse wears except saddles. On the “Human” side of the equine equation; paddock boots, tall boots, half chaps, etc.. We can also repair any leather clothing; snaps, zippers, rips, etc.
If I have a wool cooler with no care label, what should I do?
There is some risk no matter what you do. Call us and discuss your particular situation.
I have a wool cooler that says “Dry Clean Only” but is very hairy or is heavily soiled by the tail cord. Will a Dry Cleaner clean it?
Generally, they will not. Remember, the dry cleaning machine cleans people clothes and has several types of filters. The excessive hair may clog the filters requiring an expensive filter change. Also the soil from the tail cord goes into the solvent, requiring premature cleaning of the solvent. We can dry clean your cooler as long as it is not excessively hairy and dirty.
Are you computerized? I don’t want my blankets to get lost or switched out.
While computerization does not eliminate errors, it does establish a electronic trail should something go wrong. We are computerized with a tagging and tracking system that follows the blanket from mark-in to packaging.
How big is your facility? How many washing machines do you have?
Our facility consists of the following:
- 2500 square feet
- Four Unimac Commercial machines, 20, 40, 85 & 100lbs
- Custom made drain trough & hair filter
- 60 rolling drying racks
- Four custom made rolling and packaging tables with individual ceiling lights for visibility
- Repair area with three Janome sewing machines, hardware, fabric, strapping & over 50 parts blankets
Things we don’t have:
We do not have boilers & dryers. Everything is washed in cold water and air dried to take the best possible care of your horsewear.
How many blankets did you clean and repair in 2018?
We cleaned more than 9,000 in 2018. We are not a “Mom & Pop” shop. We do not have other jobs and do this part time. Horse blankets are all we do, period.
Why should I use Horse Duds & Suds? You are more expensive than the person I use now.
Review these FAQ’s and view the video on the Services page. Ask your blanket cleaner if they use the same procedures and then ask yourself if your horse deserves a REALLY CLEAN BLANKET.
What’s In Your Blanket?
Why do you test for residual moisture in the blankets?
During the summer months that the blankets are stored, the residual moisture is host to the growth of mold and mildew. We also place a large sheet of stuffing tissue in the folds of the blankets to further absorb moisture.