Washing up liquid and your horse

The dreaded washing up liquid debate rears its head quite a lot on social media.. to wash your horse or not to wash your horse in the green stuff. Some swear by it, others are dead against it. At Pommel we have done some research, after all - washing horses is our thing. We know our four legged friends have skin just as sensitive as our own, so below we look at the argument and present the facts...

"Washing up liquid removes grease from my horse's coat" Yes, washing up liquid is designed to cut through grease. If you were to use it on your horse it would really strip the coat. This isn't necessarily a good thing, the grease on the coat is part of the healthy biome of his skin - the sebum (an oily secretion of the sebaceous gland) helps preserve the flexibility of the hair and keeps the coat water repellant. Stripping this down with washing up liquid could cause problems.

"If it's safe for human skin, then it must be safe for my horse" We contacted a well known washing up liquid brand owner and asked for comment as to whether it was OK to use washing up liquid as a shampoo on horses and they came back with the following:

"We have not tested the product for this purpose, so we cannot recommend its use for washing any pet. It is possible it may irritate your horse's skin"

"Washing up liquid is much cheaper than horse shampoo" Yes, it's cheaper. This is down to the chemical components that make washing up liquid being readily available and used in many household products. It is not designed for the purpose of washing pets and often contains petrochemicals. Petrochemicals are toxic and can penetrate the skin, which is why we wear gloves when washing up.

"A little goes a long way, I use it with clothing stain remover' Whilst this may bring about short term shine or stain removal, the longer term problem is that household cleaners are not designed for use on animal skin and fur. Using harsh chemicals only weakens the hair, making it dry, brittle and prone to breakage and stains. On top of this washing up liquids often carry warnings such as 'causes serious eye irritation' and 'dangerous to aquatic life', this is worth bearing in mind if you are considering covering your horse in it.

Pommel shampoos are designed to be kinder, with minimal preservatives and harsh chemicals. SLS, Paraben and Silicone free, our mild and gentle formulas condition and promote shine using key ingredients like coconut oil. The full range can be discovered at

#horse #horsegrooming #horseshampoo #equestrian #horsecare #smallbusiness

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