Rumour has it that the answer to “how to clean a horse grooming kit” is not simple; that you don’t know the right methods and you’re unsure of what the outcome will be. And that as a result, you abandon this idea altogether and go on to buy new brushes every season.
Well, to be honest, it’s fairly simple.
All you need to know is an obvious and focused method and a few precautions that you can take and avoid an unpleasant situation, and voila. You have your brushes renewed.
But… before answering how, let’s answer why.
Why Do I Need to Clean My Horse Grooming Kit?
A groomed and clean horse is a result of groomed and clean tools. Dirty tools won’t be removing any dirty and instead will be adding more.
Here’s a simple thought process.
You try to clean your unclean horses. You use unclean brushes. The horses get infected. The infection spreads. You pay the doctor, buy medicine for all of them, and then buy new brushes to avoid this from recurring.
You’re in an endless loop, this keeps happening.
One day, you get a special idea: you break the loop. You wash the brushes and take care of them. Your horses get cleaner instead of dirtier. Their hygiene is taken care of, there are no infections.
You save a ton of money.
If you read that again, you’ll realize the only thing missing for them first scenario was cleaning your equipment.
See, cleaning your grooming tools is not only sustainable but also hygienic for your horse. And it’ll save you tons of medicine money and energy.
Let’s now quickly see how to clean a horse grooming kit. And by the way, if you don’t already have one, you can have a look at our favorite grooming kits in this article.
How to Clean Horse Grooming Equipment
Natural or man-made brush; horse grooming in winter or summer, no matter what the scenario is, one thing is confirmed: you’ll be needing quite a lot of warm water.
Synthetic Horse Brushes
In simple words, the nylon (man-made) brushes/bristles are called synthetic brushes. Cleaning them is easier, as it’s more of one ring to rule them all sort of job – you don’t have to pay separate attention to each.
Firstly, use a curry comb or your hands (if the former is unavailable) to pluck out the tangled horsehair off your brush in a hairball and dispose them off. Look for thicker dirt residue in the base of the bristles and shake it off, as well.
Submerge the brushes into a warm and soapy water bucket, ensuring they get entirely wet and soaked. Scrub the brushes at the bottom of the bucket to wash the remaining dirt away.
Leave them be for 30 minutes, and let the soapy water do its job.
Once your timer rings, take the brushes out and rinse them thoroughly. Finally, put them under direct sunlight and let them dry.
Collect them in a couple of hours or so, your brushes will be as clean as new!
Natural Fiber Horse Brushes
Made from natural fiber (hence the name) like animal hair, these brushes are sensitive and unlike synthetic brushes, you’ve to be more careful with them.
You won’t be cleaning them with a lot of water.
Start of with a wet curry comb to scrub off the dirt in bristles—nicely and gently.
Use a vacuum cleaner to pull out the remaining dirt. By this time most of your brush would be clean, but there still would be dirt stuck in the bristles (most probably).
To completely get rid of it, wet your curry comb (or your hands, if you don’t have one) with warm water and start scrubbing. Be sure not to go too deep in the bristles to avoid damage.
You can also rub the brushes against each other with minimal water (just to moisturize the bristles a bit). Don’t add too much water, little bit is enough.
Once done, let dry under the sun until they’re completely dry.
Now that you’ve probably mastered the art of cleaning horse grooming brushes, let’s now see how to disinfect them.
Disinfecting Horse Grooming Equipment
Disinfection is the next step of the process. While a wash drains all the dirt and hair residue, disinfection drains germs that cause infections.
This is the part where you make the brushes safe and hygienic for your horses. We’ll be using bleach as a disinfectant.
Just like washing the brushes, fill your bucket/sink with warm water and then add bleach (4 – 12 tbsp per 4 liters), depending on the number of brushes you’re using.
Thoroughly scrub the brushes (while wearing protective rubber gloves) and then rinse well to wash away the disinfectant. Some passionate equestrians would add detergent to add some good scent to it as well.
You can use bleach with synthetic brushes fearlessly, but again, be a little careful about the natural brushes as excessive bleach may damage the bristles.
Once the bleaching is done and the brushes are dry, you’re ready to reuse them.
Important Pointers to Note Before Going Through the Cleaning Regime
Now, this was the complete game-plan on cleaning horse grooming equipment. Still, keep these important pointers in mind before and once you begin.
Always keep a health check on your horses.
Not doing so will allow diseases to spread as you would continue to groom them using your horse grooming kit.
Better buy separate tools for all horses.
Another way to avoid contagions is to use separate kits for all your horses. This would also allow you to clean the brushes with greater intervals as they won’t be getting dirtier too soon.
Read instruction manuals for brushes.
The best way to avoid damaging any brush before washing them is to read precautions from the manufacturer. If you’ve lost the original package, try from the manufacturer or seller’s website (in most cases, Amazon).
This would pinpoint the exact safety measures you can take before washing these brushes.
Set a washing routine.
Washing horse grooming tools is only sustainable as long as you’re doing it regularly (not daily). The best way to do this is to set up an inspection schedule to decide when to wash them.
Always conduct pre-wash cleaning.
Pre-wash cleaning, in simpler words, is knowing how to get the hair out of horse brushes along with dirt and other debris. This would make washing tidier for you.
Wash your grooming kit carrier, too.
What’s the use of bathing when you’ve to wear the same stinky clothes again? Washing your carrier (a bag/case/bucket) is nearly as important as cleaning the brushes.
This would keep them from getting dirty and infected again.
Pro tip: You can wash your soap/detergent and bottles of your horse health supplements, as well. They might be greasy and dusty, too.
FAQs About Cleaning of Horse Grooming Tools
This section will help clear out any additional queries/confusion that you might have.
Depends on how frequently your brushes get dirty and in need of cleaning. If you’re on a budget and are using a single kit for all your horses, the rewash date will arrive sooner.
The best way to organize this is to keep your Sundays as brush inspection days. Every Sunday, inspect your brushes to judge if they need cleaning or not.
Most likely you’ll be washing them once a month if you have multiple horses, or you’ll be washing them twice a year if you have separate kits for all horses.
The rapid twist-turn oscillations in washing machines are likely to damage your brushes and machine inner drum too by banging them around.
However, some brushes can be machine washed. It depends on what type of brush you’re washing and how you’re doing it.
We just learned how to clean a horse grooming kit manually (using a bucket, warm water, and gloved hands).
However, if you’ve got a heap of nylon-plastic brushes only, they’re most likely going to be safe being machine washed. Do not put your natural brushes in the machine at all. Keep them away from water.
While there’s a wide range of brushes, you’ll most frequently be needing a curry comb, a body brush, a tail brush, and a hoof brush.
A curry comb is used to loosen the dirt on your horse’s skin. A body brush removes relatively smaller particles and helps the horse coat shine. You can go a step ahead and buy one of our favorite horse coat supplements. A tail brush is used to maintain the tail (loosening dirt and debris). And finally, a hoof brush is used to clean the hoofs.
Additionally, you might also be using a hoof pick to pull out stuck rocks and dirt.
Ideally, your best horse grooming brush has to be from a trusted brand, has to be durable, and has to be a rave-reviewed one.
While many brands claim high-quality service, these products are market-leaders and promise the best purchase:
ECS Mane and Tail Brush by Oster
Stiff Horse Body Brush by JT International
Professional Horse Grooming Brush by Wahl
Great Grip Hoof Pick & Brush by Tough 1
These brushes will complete your smart horse grooming kit. After all, what’s an equestrian without a groomed equine?
First, pluck out horsehair and dirt before wetting the brushes. Then pour warm water in a bucket along with soap/detergent. Submerge your synthetic brushes and scrub them thoroughly underwater.
Let them stay in water for about 30 mins, then take them out and let them dry. Once dried, submerge them in warm water again but with bleach (4 – 12 tbsp) and thoroughly rinse them.
Finally, take them out and let them dry in direct sunlight. This would also kill any remaining bacteria and would renew your brushes.
Remember: first clean, then disinfect.
The Oster Equine Care 7-Piece Grooming Kit is the best horse grooming kit out there. That’s because it has everything you’d need to groom a horse on a regular basis which eliminates the need to buy additional grooming equipment.
If you’d like to see more options, you can check out this list of our favorite horse grooming totes.
To choose your best grooming kit, firstly look at the contents. Does the kit have all the equipment you’ll be needing? Secondly, look at the material the contents are made of: synthetic or natural.
Finally, ensure that the products are from a trusted seller (a brand) and that they’re durable (because they’re an investment).
If you’ve made it this far, you can confidently call yourself educated on how to clean horsehair brush and disinfect it when needed. You learned how to clean synthetic horse brushes and natural fiber horse brushes.
Then you learned how to disinfect both and all types of brushes to avoid contagions. And finally, you learned six life-saving tips for this cleaning regime.
Your brushes are an investment. Keep them clean, avoid infections, avoid medicine expenses, and save money as a result.
And don’t forget, the one who reads more, rides more!