Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Cleaning Horsey Stuff, Part 2: Grooming Brushes

This is the second instalment for newbs cleaning horse stuff. The first one I did was done out of pure necessity because the saddle pad I bought early this year smelled like every horse in the stable used it as a sweat towel. It was also the first time I've ever cleaned a saddle pad so I felt it needed to be documented properly. This time, I'm documenting cleaning the grooming supplies found in my grooming caddy. I'm washing with basic dish detergent.

Hi, I'm Buckingham!! And I'm going to help wash brushes.

I have a range of items from stiff jelly curry brushes, synthetic dandy brushes, soft jelly curry brush, soft face brush, metal mane and tail combs hoof picks, a rubbery pointy curry brush and a pair of scissors.

Contents of my grooming caddy

After emptying the contents of my caddy, I notice that I haven't washed the caddy since I bought it and that even after dumping out the loose dirt and hair, it's got a layer of grime coating the inside.

It asks for a gentle wash in cold water.

I fill up the bucket with water (I probably should have used warm but I was using the hose and it's not too cold) and several pumps of dish detergent. Then I dump all the synthetic brushes in and swirl things around and scrub them against one another until the water becomes brown. In hind sight, I probably should have manually removed the loose dirt before doing this.


Some things I use more than others and so the vigour of cleaning would vary, depending on what I'm cleaning.

After their bath
I pull out the brushes and dump the dirty water into the dry parts of the garden. Then I rinse.

It's got to be easier to do this outdoors than indoors...
Once I finish rinsing all the synthetic brushes, I decide to wash the face brush in the same fashion and see if that works. Things look dirt free again and without any suds so I leave them out on an angle, to dry.

Check the weather before leaving them outside...

Note that the dandy brush is placed with bristles down, as is the face brush. I take a rule of thumb from when I was being told about how to clean your make up brushes where you have to keep the water from entering the wood of the brush--basically where the handle meets the bristles. I figure it's not different in this case with brushes.

That face brush came out just fine!
All in all, this process took less than a full hour (I was doing a quick saddle pad wash too) to do and should probably be done more frequently. I don't travel to multiple stables nor do I use the same brushes on many different horses so I figure I'm relatively safe... but if you do, I'd suggest to wash more frequently and perhaps add a little bleach or other antibacterial agent to disinfect those bristles!

Note: I have not tested this method on animal hair brushes as I don't own any. Perhaps an opportunity will arise where I will be able to test that out!

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