Keeping your saddle pads clean and looking like new isn’t as hard as you think. Here are four tips to help keep your saddle pads looking crisp and clean for longer.

Wash regularly. When trying to keep saddle pads, polo wraps, horse boots, stable sheets, and or any garments looking their best for longer, it’s important to wash them regularly.  

“It is not necessary to use a cleaning agent on these items every time they are laundered,” says Yvonne Bryant, of Equine TLC, an equine equipment laundering and repair service in Dickerson, Md in a Dressage Today article. “If you clean them with water frequently, you will be amazed at how clean they can remain.”

If the weather is dry enough at a multi-day show, you can hose down your saddle pads after your ride and hang them up rather than bringing them home dirty. 

Don’t overload the machine.  If you try to put too many saddle pads in the washing machine, they won’t be free to move around and get evenly cleaned. To prevent damage to your washing machine, don’t fill it over 3/4 of the way and make sure sure the items are evenly distributed.

Use a good detergent. To wash Ecogold pads, a good chlorine-free detergent plus a good chlorine-free bleach, like Oxyclean, works very well. “Chlorine should never be used to wash products that are in direct contact with the horse’s skin,” says Ecogold president  and textile engineer, John Da Silva. “It can cause skin irritation. For fabrics, with the exception of cotton, it will discolour them.”

Don’t forget the details. Don’t be afraid to treat the soiled areas with stain remover or soak them prior and brush them. “We’ve never tried it ourselves but we had a rider suggest toothpaste to remove black boot stains,” suggests Da Silva.

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