Monday, November 17, 2014

Conflict over horses: Bob and I face off

I've been lucky. Bob and I usually agree about the horses and their care--but in the last week our thinking parted ways -- dramatically.

Harv has been wearing leg wraps on his hinds since April, due to his incontinence problem. I wash his filthy, urine-saturated wraps every day using a bucket, a hose, and a bottle of woolite.   I've stayed on top of the cleaning, and the used wraps are cleaned within a half-hour of removing them. This way they are dry by the next day and ready for use..

That was fine this spring and summer. It's too cold to do that now.

Winter wash
How can I handle the washing needs now that outdoor washing is not an option? Several issues:

  1. It's too stinky and disgusting to wash at a laundromat. 
  2. It's too cold to wash outside. 
  3. There is too little volume to justify a separate load every day.

Bob's power of veto
What I need is to be able to wash Harv's wraps every two days in our washer. I brought this up to him casually about ten days ago. He was pretty vehement in his response -- NO! No week old urine-soaked wraps in the same washer we use for our clothes!

Usually a wistful "poor Harvster" is enough to sway Bob. Not this time. He refuses to allow the wraps in the garage, much less put them in our washer.

Okay, so I snuck them in and washed them Tuesday while Bob was asleep. Laundry at 1am. What I need now is a long term solution. Ideas?


  1. My mother use to soak the cloth diapers while waiting for enough to do a load. Perhaps a similar system for the wraps?
    The wraps may require an initial 'rinse' before going into the soak bucket (my parents called it the fu-manch-pail ... a black and white pail with a lid).

    Check and see what current user's of cloth diapers do. Hopefully Harve's legs are more sensitive than a baby's bum.

    M in NC

  2. I used cloth diapers for both my kids so to me the idea that you wouldn't just bring them home and wash them seems odd. You can do a hot water/bleach or hot water/white vinegar cycle after you put the wraps through to make sure the washer is clean if Bob feels squeamish. Personally, horse urine is so much less offensive to me than cat urine is in terms of smell.

    But - maybe you can just go on Craigslist and find an old but still working washer and dryer and donate it to the boarding barn for use by all? Then you can just do them there.

  3. Get enough wraps for a week and then spray them off after use and stick them in a bag or bucket or something then sneak in a 24 hour place when its least crowded. Just go to the laundromat once a week. Less stress on the relationship and you get clean wraps.

  4. I am going to second what the previous comment said- research what cloth diapering parents do to clean their diapers. I have two friends who cloth diapered and while I don't know all the specifics I do know that they did wash their diapers in the regular laundry. I think they rinsed/soaked prior to the wash cycles.

    There are a ton of cloth diapering websites and forums, I'm sure you'll have no problem finding a solution there.

  5. Agree with the cloth diapers posts and will add that a pre-soak in a bucket with white vinegar might help, too. The vinegar will help neutralize the odor and will also disinfect. Maybe Bob will be okay with using the washer after a vinegar soak?

  6. Soak them in a bucket prior?...or just do it husband does not appreciate my horse laundry but its a fact of life it needs to be done and it is...I always run a load of clorox through a cycle after horse clothes ate washed

  7. I cloth diapered and did as the previous commenters above said. Kept a bucket of water and laundry detergent in the laundry tub, rinsed a diaper, added to the soak bucket, and did a load when the bucket was full. Wash on hot to sanitize. You can run a hot water and bleach cycle in your empty washer to clean it if it makes you feel better, but I didn't do that very often.

  8. We've solved the Domestic Washer Standoff in our house by buying a new washing machine for human stuff, leaving me with the older one for everything horse related, including riding clothes. An expensive solution, but well worth it in terms of domestic harmony, if you have room somewhere for another machine.

  9. I agree with the first two comments, but can you buy more leg wraps so you are laundering it least a load at once and they last longer?

  10. Hi! Long time lurker here. I cloth diaper, and was just coming to comment to that effect, but it seems some people were already on that wavelength! Urine ain't no big deal :) I just do a hot wash cycle w/ rinse, no soap, followed by a hot wash cycle, with soap (I just use regular detergent) and 1/2 C of borax because I have ridiculously hard water, and put an extra rinse on that second cycle. Easy peasy, gets the stinks out, no problem.

  11. Simply remind Bob that your horse Harv's sense of smell is infinitely more acute than his own. So honestly, if HARV is ok with his wraps being washed alongside Bob's underwear, BOB should be quite content with the situation as well.

  12. What about something like this?
    Wonder Wash

    Don't know if this would work for your purposes or not, but it looks interesting for small stuff.

  13. Get a bucket washer, they sell them at racetracks for doing bandages......they work pretty well.


  15. I agree with the others. I would soak them. You can even soak them in vinegar water if you want. Vinegar is a disinfectant. Maybe telling Bob that will help? Then there would be no germs in the washing machine. :)

  16. Lots of good suggestions, particularly the soaking to disinfect. Also, many laundromats prohibit the washing of animal clothing in their machines (I live in California, and there are laws against everything here. Am surprised they haven't tried to tax our air, ha!). Having extra pairs of "leggings" for Harvey, soaking them before they are washed, field washing them at home and line drying them in the laundry room, garage, or somewhere NOT "in the house" but where they WILL dry as opposed to "freeze solid" would work. I love my horse and dogs, too, but I don't want their stuff in MY stuff. When I put dog stuff in my washer, I always have a load of "rags" to wash afterward with bleach to "sanitize" and also get the hair out of the tub.


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