How Do You Wash a Calf Jacket?

How Do You Wash a Calf Jacket?

An essential investment in your herd, calf jackets help maintain growth rates at a target 750-800g/day by allowing the calf to partition energy towards growth when ambient temperature drops.

Our calf jackets are tough and durable and are made to last many many years, however how you care for them can greatly increase the longevity of the rugs ensuring you get the most out of them and saving you money by not having to replace any worn out ones.

There are 2 main benefits of washing a calf jacket, these are:

  1. Calf Comfort - With no excessive dirt build up you eliminate the possibility of damp areas or hives for bacteria to grow which means the calf has no irritation and is more comfortable. 
  2. Jacket Longevity - By not letting dirt and bacteria build up the material of the rug stays in better condition for longer. It also gives a chance for you to see any damage or tears which you can fix up while they are still minor.

Calf Jacket Cleaning Options:

Washing Machine

The AHDB recommends using a machine to wash the jackets as it is the most effective at killing bacteria after their study found "50% of calves experience some sort of scours, with vets reporting that the vast majority of cases are due to cryptosporidiosis".
Follow these steps to wash your calf jackets.

  1. If there is visible mud and muck on the jacket, hose it down first so your machine doesn’t have to deal with it.
  2. Clip the buckles closed so they do not bang around in the machine and catch on anything.
  3. Cold washing or warm washing (below 40˚C) is the ideal temperature to prolong the life of your calf jacket.
  4. If your calf jacket shows signs of scours, wash at 60˚C to kill the bacteria.
  5. Wash jackets with mild detergent but don’t add fabric softener.
  6. Afterwards you may want to do an empty cycle to get rid of any hair or dirt before you put your clothes in for a wash.
  7. Hang out to dry. Do not put them in your tumble dryer.

Hand Washing

There are 3 main ways to hand wash a calf coat:

  1. Use a large container filled with water, add mild detergent and scrub the jacket with a brush to replicate what a normal washing machine would do. Rinse thoroughly after washing to ensure no detergent remains.
  2. You can lie the rugs flat on some clean concrete, spray with the hose, add your detergent and then scrub them with a brush or broom. Again rinse well after to clear out all detergent.
  3. If you have a power washer you can hose the rugs with that which will do an effective job at cleaning or even take them to your local car wash and use their high-pressure nozzles.

Post Cleaning Tips

Ensure the coat is completely dry before putting them back on the calves or into storage, a damp jacket on a calf will suck the heat out of them and can cause skin irritation.

Storing away a damp jacket can cause mold to grow which will require another clean before you can use it again so save yourself time and do it right the first time.

If you find a rip and you want to sew it shut you can use dental floss as the thread as it is thicker and stronger than normal sewing thread and will last longer.

After cleaning and refitting them to the calves it is a good time to ensure you have the right sizes in your inventory to ensure the jacket fits the animal well so your avoid in issues with rubbing or sores. We offer 4 sizes of our Super Calf Jacket, review our size guide to help you choose exactly what you need.

Be sure to see our guide on caring for your calf jacket to see a list of the top tips to get the most out of them which along with washing them will greatly increase their longevity and therefore offer a better return on investment for you and your business.