Rug wash is one of those phrases you hear in a professional setting and think “yeah right, I have heard of it but never done it”. In all seriousness though, there are some steps that you can take to help protect your horse’s living environment. The best way to do this is by using a good cleaning product. If you are not certain on which one, here is a quick run down on the major ones:
Water Based Rug Cleaners: This type of cleaning is usually reserved for higher priced area rugs and they work very well. First, you apply a pre-spray to the stained area rug then follow with a hose to soak the area rug. Afterwards, the rug wash is applied with hot water and then a quick rinse to remove any remaining dirt and dust. Finally, a heavy dry cleaning is done by using a high heat steam cleaning machine to completely clean the stain and dirt from the rug.
Waterless Washing: A good way to start off your search for a good rug wash is to find a brand that uses a special washing machine that is designed for use with fabrics like wool. The difference is that waterless washing does not use any detergent at all, it just gently cleans the area without applying any pressure on the fabric at all. The benefits of this is that you don’t have to worry about damaging the rug or having to strip off any of the colored areas. It also works great at removing stains from a variety of different stains.
Carpet Cleaning: This is an option that should be considered if you do not want to deal with stains or dirt coming from footwear that has sat in the same spot for a long time. To do a carpet wash, you first put the carpet into a large washing machine. Most people will use a baby tub so that you can ensure the proper fit when putting the blankets or pillows into the machine. Once the blanket or pillow is in the machine, place the bottom outside corner and start turning on the machine. It will take a few minutes for the machine to get heated up enough to break apart the blanket or pillow.
Rug and Blanket Proofing: If you have an area rug or blanket that you want to keep dry and clean at all times, you may want to consider a rug or blanket waterproofing system. There are a variety of ways to go about this including a spray on system, an actual nikwax system, or even a quick rub nikwax application. For the spray on the system, it works best to lay down a small cloth, towel, or plastic bag and apply the nikwax directly onto the rug or blanket. You will then spread it evenly over the surface of the rug or blanket. You may have to repeat the process several times to get the entire surface covered.
The next method we will look at is the nikwax system, which is a two step process. First, you will need to soak the piece or pieces that you wish to waterproofing in the nikwax. Next, place the wet nikwax coated pieces onto a paper towel or plastic bag and shake off the excess nikwax. Lastly, place the rug or blanket in the washing machine and run the machine on a low cycle. It will take approximately five ounces for each square foot of rugs or blankets.