How on earth do I wash wool coolers??
Washing and caring for your wool coolers is part easy, part pain in the neck. There are many, many benefits to using wool as your horse’s cooler or blanket liner:
- Attractive and classy
- Superior ability to wick moisture away
- Easy to store
- Toasty warm in winter, cool in summer after a bath
- Rarely needs to be cleaned
- No need for detergents or soaps
Raid the pet store for a rubbery hair removal tool and go to town.
Downsides to wool?
- Can be a pain in the rump to clean
How can you keep your wool looking nice? Well, let’s understand wool first, and then you will get the idea of how to keep it nice.
Wool is natural, coarse, wavy and kinky, and all sorts of bent and twisted and interlocked. This is great, as it creates tiny air pockets that wick moisture, keep things warm in winter, and keep things cool in summer. However, if you get wool wet with hot water and agitate it, you can turn your wool horse cooler into a felt pony cooler. This goes for “rough handling” as well as using a washing machine. It’s also incredibly hard to rinse detergents and soaps from wool, so your horse may develop a reaction to the remaining soap if not rinsed enough. Luckily, wool is pretty self cleaning and a tiny drop will do the trick.
So cleaning your wool can be broken down into some simple steps-
- Brush lightly to remove hair and dirt. You can beat it on a fence also, but why put the fence through that.
- Soak in cold water. You can do this for about 30 minutes or so. Very likely this is all the cleaning your wool will need.
- If you absolutely must add some detergent, use a micro drop of castile soap (not woolite or your regular laundry soap) and soak some more (another 30 minutes or so should do the trick.)
- Rinse. The easiest way to do this is drain your soapy water, and soak in cold water.
- Remember that shrinkage and “felting” occur with agitation and heat, so no need to swish around and rub against itself to get the soap working.
- You can use your washing machine or a tub to do the soaking. For pete’s sake, don’t let the wool spin around in the machine, this will be your one way ticket to wool shrinkage. If you use the washing machine, you need to basically fill it with cold water and shut it off to do the soaking.
- You can use the spin cycle to get rid of most of the water.
- No dryer, instead lay your wool flat to dry. You can also roll up the cooler and place inside of a towel to get some of the moisture out if you don’t use the spin cycle.
- The dyes may run or fade over time.
A tiny bit works well to clean wool coolers!
Easy peasy!! What tips do you have?