Elastic and velcro - how do you clean these “different” materials?
Velcro closures are on almost all parts of our tack and equipment - boots, polo wraps, saddle pads, our own breeches, everywhere. For the most part, it’s fairly “wash and wear” stuff - until there is more lint and fuzz on the hook portion and it’s lost a bit of stick. For this, I like to use a dog/cat brush or the mane comb to scraps those bits of fuzz and strings out. (Coincidentally, the dog slicker brush is also great for maintaining your sheepskin accessories and your dog.) Now your hook and loop closures are more likely to actually work correctly… No need to toss in the trash!
All sorts of dog brushes/blades work wonders for de-fuzzing velcro.
Most boots (and polo wraps) have a nice big patch of hook and loop closure which makes for easy on/easy off and can do with a regular de-fuzzing. This is most often attached to a big piece of elastic, which can be warped and stretched in the dryer.
For the longevity of your elastic (and the lining of your horse boots), wash in the washing machine and air dry in a breezy and light area, but try and keep your items out of the direct sun.
This style of dog brush works for sheepskin and velcro.
You may also find that some elastic will need some special attention, like the elastic on your girth, breastplates, etc. It’s vital to the rider’s safety that this elastic is inspected as you clean it to check for warping, broken threads, etc. If you find that the elastic is rather “gunky” or “icky”, it’s time to get serious about cleaning it. Use a sponge or toothbrush, some water, and a mild soap. Glycerine or a very gentle laundry soap will do, but I caution you to avoid using laundry soap if the elastic will rest on your horse directly. Some horses are quite sensitive to detergents. You can rinse the elastic under the hose to wash away your soap of choice. This gets tricky if you have leather right next to the elastic. The leather can get pretty wet, you just need to take the time to air dry (which is needed for the elastic anyway) and then condition the leather to restore some shine and health to it.
This is my jumping girth - it's as old as the hills but still in great shape.
A word of warning about some harsher detergents - these can actually breakdown the elastic and be quite difficult to rinse out. Start with the theory of “less is more” and go from there.
Elastic blanket straps can get a good brushing and then a hosing to clean.
A mane pulling comb is great to use on velcro closures, like on this blanket.
For anything that you “air dry” at the barn, a nice breezy spot out of direct sunlight is usually best. If you have a nice spot in mind, a laundry drying rack or bridle hook is a good bet, just be sure to bring it in at the end of the day!
How do you clean the elastic on your horse's tack?