Keep your walls looking like new with homemade stall cleaner
This recipe works better than harsh chemicals, it's way cheaper too
In case you haven’t picked up on it already I love clean barns! I love the way they feel when you walk in the door. The bright, airy, dust-free walls. Being able to see all the stall details and the wood grain. Taking a deep breath, distinctly smelling horses, clean shavings, and fresh hay. There is just something about the good vibes that you get being in that space when it’s all polished up. Call me cheesy but I feel like it makes it just that much more magical.
Goodness knows these beautiful barns don’t keep their magical sparkles by themselves. The amount of time, effort, and energy to keep up with the mess a horse makes are truly amazing. Not to mention how expensive it can be to keep your barn looking like new. I used to use whatever bottle of concentrated cleaner I could grab at the store that looked like it was strong enough to get the crud off the walls but still cost-effective enough to use such a large space. I started leaning away from these products for a few reasons, the main one being that I didn’t feel right about putting all those harsh chemicals on surfaces that I knew horses would be licking and rubbing against. Shelling out so much extra money for a cleaner that still left me doing a ton of extra scrubbing for mediocre results was also really annoying. If I’m going through the effort of deep cleaning, it better pay off. After doing a bit of trial and error I found the simplest recipe to be the most effective.
Why go through the extra steps of making your own stall cleaner?
1. It’s way cheaper to make it than buy it. Especially, if you are scrubbing down a large number of stalls or large area of the barn.
2. You know what’s in it, which means you know it won’t hurt your horse. Horses love to lick everything possible. Not to mention they are unreasonably sensitive to chemicals so might as well stick with safe ingredients and avoid the adverse.
3. After testing both store-bought chemical cleaners and natural homemade cleaner I can say hands down homemade works way better. It cuts through the grim better, there’s less scrubbing and it rinses off easily with no residue to clean up
Natural Homemade Stall Cleaner
*Recipe has affiliate links for the products that I love and trust to feed to my horses
10 Drops Lemon Essential Oil
1 Cup Cleaning Strength Vinegar*
6 Cups Water
Its handy to mix up the DIY cleaner in a bucket (I used an old pail from supplements). Then just dunk your scrub brush in it and go to town. Mixing up smaller batches makes it easy to dump it when it gets too grimy and without feeling like you’re wasting a lot. You can also mix up a concentrated batch in a spray bottle to use on areas that need extra attention. Follow the same recipe but double the Lemon Oil and leave out the water. Just be sure to shake it before you spray it on.
If I’m using the Lemon Essential Oil for cleaning does it actually matter what quality it is?
Yes. It might seem like a waste to use high-quality oils for scrubbing poop off of walls but for it to be effective it needs to be powerful. Mediocre/diluted oils are not going to cut through the dirt as easily, which means you will have to use a lot more and scrub a lot harder. If you want more info about the specific brand of oils that I use, get in touch with me here.
Before and After
Quick Tips For Sparkling Success
A Little Dusting Goes A Long Way
Before beginning the big scrub down its best to de-cobweb and dust everything off so your not just schmeering around all that gunk after it gets wet. I picked up an extra long extension duster to easily reach the tops of the stalls and the ceiling. By using one that extends farther it meant I didn’t have to get out a big ladder or stand right under the area I was dusting. Buying a decent one also means it will stay adjusted to the length I want it to no matter much I move around. Woohoo, no more duct tape on the handle. You can check it out here.
Scrub And Rinse In Sections
Wetting, scrubbing and rinsing only small sections at a time will help prevent flooding out your stalls by having to re-wet the walls when they dry faster than you can scrub and it will make everything rinse off much cleaner. If you have access to hot water that also helps a ton but it is still do-able with cold water.
Top => Bottom
Always start at the top of each section and work your way down. This will keep you from rinsing grimy water over areas you’ve already cleaned. Might seem obvious but sometimes it’s tempting to get in there and scrub the dirtiest areas first. This will set you up for extra work and extra water everywhere.