I’m a bit of a hoarder. Shocker, right? Horses, dogs, DIY potential projects, and grooming supplies. Recently, I went away for a wedding and found a tack shop near the hotel. So naturally, I stocked up on the newest bathing and grooming supplies.
But what happens when the dirt, gunk, hair, and general nastiness that comes from grooming multiple horses makes your grooming tote look like this?
Eww. It’s time to clean up the grooming tools, which is a super easy process that involves just a little bit of time.
I prefer to use Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap (the peppermint is my favorite) to get rid of the gross gunk and dirt AND (BONUS!) it won’t irritate the horses’ skin if there is any residue.
TIP: If your horses have any contagious bacterial or skin infections, it may be wise to use bleach instead to sanitize the crap out of those nasty germs.
Using a large bucket and a generous amount of castile soap, I filled the bucket with water to create the tool bath. It’s best to separate the tools into “categories”:
- Rubber/Plastic: curry combs, plastic combs, plastic shedding blades, brushes with rubber bases
- Wooden: most brushes have a wooden base which requires some additional time in the bath tub
- Metal: metal shedding blades, hoof picks, bot egg knives
After separating, I removed any excess hair or dirt by using a metal shedding blade and banging them against a hard surface.
Afterwards, I went in the order of the categories and started to scrub away. I’ve found that soaking alone won’t get down into the bristle of brushes or the crevices of a rubber curry comb. I like to use the tools against each other (like a twisted version of Game of Thrones) to loosen up and remove as much dirt and gunk as possible.
Then I let them soak for 10 minutes, remove, and rinse using the hose on a high power setting.
Once all of the tools had been cleaned, I set them out in the sun to dry. It is best to set wooden base brushes bristles down to dry for a little bit and then flip them over to dry out the bristles.
While the tools are drying, this is a good time to wash out the grooming tote itself. A rinse to remove the dirt and a quick scrub with the castile soap = a new looking, clean grooming tote. I also let that outside in the sun to dry.
Your horses will appreciate the like new (or for real new tools if you are like myself) – heck the peppermint smell might draw them away from the mud puddles and into the barn.
Have a suggestion for equipment or cleaning tips for horse gear? Let me hear it, people!