How do I clean my horse’s bling?
In a nutshell, easily - if you stay on top of it. Bling is probably about the easiest thing to clean that is even remotely associated with horses.
There are a few things to note about bling on tack:
Bling can scratch easily, so skip the brillo pads and other scratchy surfaces for cleaning.
Bling is often squished right up to leather, so you need to be careful when cleaning the leather. Soaps and leather goops can take the sparkle away from your bling and act as a dirt magnet.
Most craftsman of bling are clear on what is safe and unsafe to clean their bling with. It’s important to do a bit of reading. (Forget that old adage about only reading instructions when all else fails and read the instructions first.)
Have fun with bling and take care of it.
Some great suggestions on bling cleaning:
Be careful with your tools. Use soft items (cloths, brushes, cleaners) to do the dirty work.
Avoid harsh and abrasive cleaners, sometimes Simple Green, Fantastic, and Windex are OK. You may need to let the cleaner sit a bit and get to work, then brush away. You may need to rinse with water when you are done.
Channel your inner detail oriented self.
Don’t worry if it’s not perfect, you will likely be going too fast for anyone to notice the nitty gritty. And also, perfect doesn’t exist, especially with hand crafted items like silver, gems, and beads.
Your old toothbrush is your friend.
Know that some metals will oxidize over time, regardless of what you do (or don’t do).
Have fun with your bling! How do you care for your bling?