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D0gsledboy01 Posted - 08/24/2015 : 12:53:37 PM
I have been running in mud and puddles a lot and my dogs harness is full of dirt. Do I need to do anything to clean the harness?
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kissAnew Posted - 01/31/2016 : 09:25:04 AM
This is good. An interesting and informative thread. I often wondered why certain things happened to certain harnesses. I am for sure going to take heed to all this wisdom. Thank you so much for assisting me to save a few bucks and more importantly K9 comfort and health.
I think more mushers should think about/research/do stuff like this.
Again thank you all.
DSerbousek Posted - 09/10/2015 : 11:41:24 PM
At Windigo Outfitters, we like our customers to wash in a gentle cycle , cold water , drip dry. Presoak if they are really soiled. Now if you want to help keep your harness colorful, BEFORE you use them, use 1 cup of Kosher salt to 5 gallons of water, soak your harnesses, jackets, etc. overnight. Then rinse in cold water. This has helps the neon colors from fading out over time.
IN Posted - 08/31/2015 : 09:40:58 AM
It depends on the type of webbing/manufacturer. For best results I have always washed our harnesses in warm water and put them in the dryer on low. Never had any issues. Did it with Taiga once and we needed to get a whole new set (as Art says)!
Razor Posted - 08/31/2015 : 08:29:29 AM
I have a set for training, and a set for winter use/racing. We run through a lot of water and dirt. I usually spray mine with a pleasure sprayer, and let them hang dry. I have had them for at least 10 years. I also use harnesses with nylon, not fun fur.
Art Stoller Posted - 08/30/2015 : 2:44:19 PM
Roy, I would never recommend washing in hot or warm water. When I worked with Taiga back in the late 90's, we tested a bunch of harnesses for shrinkage. The differences between the types of webbing used were amazing. Some shrank just from hanging in a warm room! Unless you do a test on your specific "brand" of harnesses, you risk shrinking the whole lot of them.
Storing them in a hot shed over the summer can have the same effect.
I have used the shrinking to "custom fit" a harness to a specific dog if it was hard to fit.
Having said all this, most harnesses will stretch somewhat with use.
I think your advice to pre-soak before washing is good if they are really dirty. Putting some coarse salt in the water will help too.
Main point is dirty harnesses will wear faster.

Dogs run better in clean harnesses! Just like your car drives better after you wash it.
RSmith Posted - 08/27/2015 : 4:33:01 PM
Never put them in dryer.

I never had mine shrink when washing in fairly hot water with soap. In the washer, ALways hang dry.

Hot or warm water will get them a lot cleaner with the mud,etc. than cold water or even luke warm water.

However, it will cause fading in color a lot quicker than if you use room temperature water.

Cold water works only after you wash them pretty much asap after using them.

I wash mine 2-3X per week during mud season or crud.

IF you soak them in soapy water for 15 min. or so asap after running, they will get cleaner in cold water than if you don't soak them. Pre soak.
mbeers Posted - 08/25/2015 : 10:29:10 AM
I have always washed mine in cold water to minimize shrinkage. Keeping the harnesses clean has made a big difference in minimizing harness rubs.
MSeavey Posted - 08/25/2015 : 12:01:24 AM
After each run just rinse well to get the dirt off, so you minimize harness rub. Wash as IdahoMusher says once weather freezes up.
D0gsledboy01 Posted - 08/24/2015 : 6:29:08 PM
And then just air dry
IdahoMusher Posted - 08/24/2015 : 5:24:00 PM
If they are nylon webbing, you can wash them in the machine on gentle cycle with warm water and minimal detergent. But don't put them in the dryer; they might shrink.

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