I’d like to get a washing machine for horse blankets, can you recommend a particular machine you’ve had good luck with? I don’t want to fry my home machine, ruin the blanket on the agitator, or block up the water supply (top 3 complaints I’ve heard about using home machines which were meant for human laundry).
Thank you! Linda
No matter what machine you purchase and use, it helps if you brush and vacuum any horse items before you put them in the machine. That will remove hair, break up any dirt or sweat and decrease the amount of stuff that would block up the drain. And with a dryer, one must be diligent about keeping all screens and vents clean of hair and lint.
I have quite a few articles on horse clothing at my website’s Horse Information Roundup including some on care.
Now to the washing machine. The first washing machine I had for barn laundry was an industrial wringer washer. Advantage was that it didn’t have to be plumbed in – you could fill it with a hose and empty it out in the wash rack drain. It rolled around on wheels so could be stored, then rolled out to use. It did a good job of cleaning barn cloths and small sheets and blankets but because it was an agitator model, even though it had a large capacity tub, it wasn’t the greatest for the big puffy blankets. AND is was very labor intensive to wring out the items, then refill with rinse water, then wring again. And the wringer could be a bugger on some buckles and other hardware. I’ll bet you weren’t even considering a wringer washer but I wanted to mention it just in case. Some people still swear by them but I’d have to say it was great in the experience column but not one I’d recommend.
The next machine I had installed in my tack room was a Sears Kenmore agitator model. When we upgraded our washer and dryer in the house (with another Sears Kenmore Washer Dryer combo), I put the old set in the barn. That was over 15 years ago and both sets are still humming along ! It was the largest capacity at the time of manufacture (pre-1990) so nothing like the large capacity, front load machines today, and yet, it has been completely satisfactory for my needs.
However, if I needed to replace my tack room machine today, it would definitely be a front load since there is no twisting and wringing of blankets with a front load and you can purchase some very large capacity models. But then you probably know all that.
You might have been asking for a brand name recommendation so since I’ve had long standing good luck with Sears Kenmore, I’d start there. I’m not sure how Kenmore stacks up with other models, so I’d have to do some research before I bought.Consumer Reports is always a good source of comments on items like this, so I’d recommend checking their latest review of front load washers.
And I just typed “washing machine reviews” in google and see there are a number of sites with great information and ratings – once you narrow things down, that would be a good place to check on repair history and so on.
So I probably haven’t told you anything you didn’t already know but perhaps by posting this, we will get some comments here from other horseowners who have used machines for barn laundry which is what we both would be very interested in hearing about.