Friday, December 28, 2007

Blanket stealth

Before I became a real grownup with my own major appliances, I used to do my own laundry in laundromats. While this was not fun, each foray into the dingy world of public laundry was a reconnaissance mission. I needed to find a place to wash my horse blankets.

Washing horse blankets is a stealth operation. You have to find laundromats with managers that a) aren't on site, b) don't care, and c) have a clientele that don't care. All of this is critical info needed if I'm to avoid a face-off with either the manager or my fellow-launderers. The best case scenario is during low-use times, usually weekend nights. Then I can run in with my smelly contraband, dump it in, start the wash, and leave before the buckles start clanging mercilessly. For those of you who have not attempted this, here are a few tips:

-- Find the right laundromat, and I don't mean the best one, in fact you usually want the worst, dirtiest, least kept up ones, often on the seedier side of town.
-- Before you bring in the blankets, walk in and claim the big washers. You don't want to wait around with your smelly, filthy blankets. People do notice.
-- If you are questioned, the blankets are "boy scout tents."
-- Always bring a load of crap personal laundry and run it through the washer after the blankets. This is to be courteous and so no one has occasion to complain.
-- Use rubber bands to tie socks over the belt buckles to reduce clanging.
-- In the summer at least, don't use the dryers. Use garbage bags to tote the blankets and waterproof your car (lay bags across the trunk). Air dry them at home. It saves money and reduces the time spent there.
-- If waterproofing is something you want, don't bother with Scotchguard, go to a Cabelas or sports store and get tent waterproofing.

My 18 month old horse is turned out with adult horses w/low tolerance for babyhood, and they seem to enjoy destroying his blankets. Since the blankets seem to be in constant need of repair, so I'm taking them to a laundress who does repairs. I can actually afford it, and I'm at a point in my life where "getting caught" is just a little too embarrassing...


  1. This post is both hilarious and useful (if I raised/rode horses, of course). For several years before I got married, I had to use a laundromat regularly. Not a fan, but when I have to take my large comforters in, it brings back memories of my quarter-packing youth.

    Your blog is so interesting, even for a non-horse person such as myself. Keep it up. I'll be looking for more articles and stories in the future!

  2. Or...You can wait until the blanket is REALLY REALLY dirty, and then you have a one shot at washing in the REALLY nice washer at the house, before your non-horse savvy mother figures out what you are up to!

    Then scamper back to college!

    However, it does make washing machines at boarding barns that much more of a perk!


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