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Keeping Show Stuff White

This photo was taken one year prior to the main article post. See these pants and this pad? Same ones in each photo. Nice and white!

White.  The bane of the horse person’s existence…at least the English rider.  Why must we wear white pads?  White pants?  White polo wraps?  White show shirts?  White stock ties?  And even sometimes white gloves?  Tradition.  Doesn’t matter if you’re a hunter, dressage rider or 3 day eventer…your going to have something white you have to clean and it makes life a nightmare (unless you have plenty of $ and you can just buy a new “insert white item here” every couple of shows).  If that’s you…lucky duck!  Stop reading this article and go buy some Sarm Hippique.  😉

I’ve found several tricks to keep things white (or whiter) over my several years of showing and learned some mistakes I wanted to share with you.  Bleach for me wasn’t the answer…as it tends to dull white quickly…but I am pretty much obsessed with the OxiClean products now.  I should buy stock in the company I use so much of it.

Keeping Show Stuff White

My pad after Step 1 and Step 2 of the process.

How to Get your Show Stuff White

–  Invest in some OxiClean Spray Stain Remover.  You will use a lot of this.  I always have about 3 bottles on hand…nope…not joking.

–  Also buy some OxiClean powder (if you can find the White Revive…by all means buy that one but I find it really hard to find locally!).  If not…the regular one is good too.  The regular detergent WITH the OxiClean added isn’t enough.  Sorry!

–  Get some tooth brushes or nail manicure brushes.  Those the dentist gives you and you never use are good (they’re good for cleaning tack too)!

–   For Option 2, buy a large hardware store paint bucket and some heavy-duty cleaning gloves to protect your hands.

Keeping Show Stuff White

Your new best friend!

Option 1

For items you don’t want ruined, with special fabrics or delicate things follow the below instructions (like nice show breeches, expensive show shirts, etc).  I did not follow these instructions with a pair of full seat breeches a few times and ended up with the full seats randomly turning pink from a bizarre chemical reaction…don’t be like me.

  1.  Spray the bajesus out of your white items with the OxiClean Spray Stain Remover ASAP after your show.
  2.  Scrub the heck out of those now damp stains with the toothbrush/nail brush until the stain starts to fade.  Some stains wont fade as much (like leather dye stains…they will a bit…but won’t come all the way).  Dirt, slobber, food, etc should come quite white with just a little scrubbing.
  3.   Take your whites to the laundry room and put in a scoop of the OxiClean powder.  Wash the load as hot as the fabric can take.  Make sure you look at your labels.
  4.  Once the wash cycle is done, pull everything out and look at it.  If you stain treated it correctly to begin with the stains will be gone…or at least minimized.
  5.  Hang to dry.  Please don’t dry your stuff.  It will last longer. 😉

Note…I wash my show stuff in separate loads.  Show pants/shirts/stock ties in one load.  Saddle pads and polo wraps separately in another.

Keeping Show Stuff White

My pad after Step 1 and Step 2 of the Option 2 process below.

Option 2

For heavier duty items like saddle pads (without sheepskin) and polo wraps, use this option!

  1.  Again, Spray the bajesus out of your white items with the OxiClean Spray Stain Remover ASAP after your show.
  2.  Scrub the heck out of those now damp stains with the toothbrush/nail brush until the stain starts to fade.  Some stains wont fade as much (like leather dye stains…they will a bit…but won’t come all the way).  Dirt, slobber, food, etc should come quite white with just a little scrubbing.
  3.  Grab that large bucket and follow the instructions on your OxiClean powder.  That means put as hot of water as you can in the bucket and mix in the power.   Shove your saddle pad/polos into the bucket and close the lid.  Try not to burn yourself on the scalding hot water. Those rubber gloves are helpful here to prevent burns and to prevent getting all that OxiClean on your hands.
  4.  Soak that sucker at least for a couple of hours.  The longer the better IMO (granted I think over 24 hours is overkill and doesn’t do any more.
  5.  Dump out the excess water and rinse the items lightly and take them to the washing machine.
  6.  Put more of that OxiClean powder in the washer (follow instructions on the container) and wash in as hot water as the fabric allows.
  7.  Once the wash cycle is done, pull everything out and look at it.  If you stain treated it correctly to begin with the stains will be gone…or at least minimized.
  8.  Hang to dry.  Please don’t dry your stuff.  It will last longer. 😉
Keeping Show Stuff White

Same pants and pad…still white one year later! Nice results!

 

Using these methods, I have managed to keep using the same show pad for the last two and a half show seasons.  I did have to replace one pair of breeches for that whole accident pink seat thing mentioned above, but the replacement pair have gone through a season and a half and they look fabulous still.   I’ve gone through a few more show shirts simply because it took a while to find one I actually think is comfortable, but my favorite Sarm Hippique one is still bright white and going strong after one full season of showing.

Want to know what I did with those otherwise perfect pink seated show breeches?  Check out this DIY Project!