Horse blankets, especially outdoor turn-out rugs take a lot of wear and tear. They’re made to resist rain, but often get ground into the dirt when the horse rolls, are stained with manure and can be pulled and chewed during the normal course of wear. This is hard on the waterproofing as it’s literally worn. Your blanket will probably need a good cleaning at least once a year, preferable in the spring, before you pack them away for the summer. Other rain sheets may be in use all year long, but still need a bit of maintenance to keep them in good condition.
After you’ve cleaned your rug, it may need a little more waterproofing so that it stays dry in the rain and snow. With today’s breathable linings and materials, like Goretex, it’s important to use a waterproofing agent that does not damage the textiles breathability while still maintaining it’s water repelling qualities. Horse’s blankets must breathe, or the horse will actually become chilled as sweat and condensation build up. Nikwax, along with it’s Rug Wash, offers a product specially made for hores blankets that addresses these issues. As will all Nikwax products I’ve reviewed, the Nikwax Rug Proof is a biodegradable, non flammable, non hazardous product that is safe for your horse and the environment.
Nikwax Rug Proof is waterproofer that that can be applied to wet fabrics. This makes quick work of washing and protecting the waterproof and breath-ability of the blanket as you don’t have to wait for the blanket to dry before applying the Rug Proof. It’s easy to apply as you simply slosh it on with a sponge. Treating your blankets with Rug Proof protects the blankets from mildew. It has no lingering odor after the blanket dries.
How Nikwax Rug Wash Works
We laid my blanket out on the patio to wash it. After scrubbing the rug with the Nikwax Rug Wash, we rinsed the blanket thoroughly. We used the bucket and hose method, but there are machine washing instructions as well. We mixed the recommended amount of Rug Proof with hot water. Using a soft car brush, we applied the mixture to the still wet blanket and allowed it to set for about ten minutes. We then rinsed the blanket well and allowed to air dry. (Choose a hot sunny day if you can’t hang your blanket indoors.) You can also tumble dry your blanket on low heat. Be cautious about putting large heavy blankets in your home dryer however. Nikwax recommends protecting your hands while working with the product.
To begin with, I was a bit confused about how much water to mix in to use to hand wash one large turn-out rug. We ended up with more solution than we really needed. Nikwax recommends putting any extra over the back area of the rug—the part that really needs the most waterproofing. That area was well covered with the solution in our case! It was a bit alarming to see, as the rug dried a bit, that there were white streaks left on the fabric. The streaks also had a waxy feel to them. These washed away as we rinsed and the blanket, after it dried, doesn’t feel waxy.
I was disappointed with the waterproofing aspect. When water pours on the outer fabric of my blanket, it seems to soak in. This product is made specifically to resist flexing and abrasion, but I don’t know that it improved the water repellancy of the blanket we used it on. Because of this, I feel I may have to spray on a different type of waterproofing product. Nikwax recommends this product for new items. To me, it doesn’t make sense to wash a brand new item to apply the Rug Proof.
While I thought the Rug Wash was a good product, I’m less impressed with the Rug Proof. I feel there are more effective products out there, especially for use on brand new items.