What do you use to clean a bit and how often? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 19 Old 03-22-2018, 12:49 AM Thread Starter
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What do you use to clean a bit and how often?

A new horse owner. It has been over thirty years since I owned a horse. I have been taking lessons and getting my mare in a few weeks. I was wondering what do you use to clean bits and how often do you need to clean them? Is it every time they are used? Just want to make sure I keep her tack clean.
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post #2 of 19 Old 03-22-2018, 02:09 AM
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Maybe I am not a very hygienic horse owner, but I never clean bits unless I buy a used one. Then I try to sanitize it somehow.......hot water, mouth wash, maybe a tiny bit of bleach. But once bits are in my own stable, I never clean them.

It might be nice, but I don't think it's necessary.

You could probably wipe it down after each use if you wanted to and I have even heard of people putting them in the dishwasher (although I have yet to try that myself).
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post #3 of 19 Old 03-22-2018, 05:52 AM
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I usually don't clean bits that much either. I will rinse them off if the horse decided to grab a little grass when the bit is in there mouth. I just used water.
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post #4 of 19 Old 03-22-2018, 07:33 AM
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I don't clean, as in sanitize often...but I do wipe it off carefully and look/feel for rough spots or burrs that could irritate, cut or bother the sensitive mouth of my horses every time.
A quick dunk in a water bucket and swish normally knocks off any saliva and "gritty" material.
This only take a few seconds done.
I also check before putting that bit back on the horse for damages to bit and bridle...
Always check your stitching with a quick once over as you tack up...your life depends upon it.
If in doubt, don't use it and have it evaluated or throw it out and replace.

Welcome to horse ownership...
Enjoy the journey.

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post #5 of 19 Old 03-22-2018, 08:05 AM
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I clean my bit with water and a 'scrubbie' pad every single time I use it. The scrubbie is to get the dried saliva etc. off. I ride in a loose-ring three-piece snaffle with a lozenge, and with all those moving parts I want to make sure gunk doesn't build up in the joints and holes. At the same time I wipe the bridle down with a damp cotton rag to get trail dust etc. off. I take everything apart and clean and oil my whole bridle every month to couple of months depending on how much I am riding and how dirty it is out there.

As @horseloving guy says, your life depends on your tack. In my opinion one of the best things you can do is to develop safety habits that you ingrain into your routine so that it feels wrong to skip them. Check your girth one last time before you swing up, go over your bridle every time you take it off, that sort of thing.

Short horse lover
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post #6 of 19 Old 03-22-2018, 08:53 AM
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I do like @Avna .

If I'm using a bit on several horses, though, I disinfect it between rides.
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post #7 of 19 Old 03-22-2018, 10:04 AM
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I don't clean bits, maybe i should lol. I usually just wipe off grass or something that got into it off with a towel.
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post #8 of 19 Old 03-22-2018, 12:47 PM
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So I just use a warm wet rag.
Typically you wan to clean it each time after you ride, but if you don't it should be okay. I also think it matters depending on the type of material your bit is made out of (mine is made out of stainless steel) so I don't always clean it each time.
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post #9 of 19 Old 03-22-2018, 01:42 PM
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I dunk bits in water or spray them with the water hose as soon as I am done riding ---- then I dry them off with a towel.

When I went on overnight rides, I always had something to dip water out of the drinking bucket, pour the water over the bit, then dry it off.

Even as a kid I washed my bits --- unless of course I wanted mom to tell granddad who in turn would see to it I was grounded off the horses for a time----

My bits are all curb bits without any intricate openings that need scrubbed, elst they would be scrubbed with a brush and Dawn dish soap.

Ditto sterilizing a bit if it has to be used on more than one horse.

This is a bit Ot but I wash feed pans after every single feeding --- even when I had four horses and had to drive two hours to my job-- don't get me started on not keeping tack, feed pans, and water buckets clean-----

A Good Horseman Doesn't Have To Tell Anyone; The Horse Already Knows.

I CAN'T ride 'em n slide 'em. I HAVE to lead 'em n feed 'em Thnx cowchick77.
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post #10 of 19 Old 03-22-2018, 02:07 PM
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I can't imagine not cleaning it at all! Taking it out covered in spit and slime and hanging it back up to dry, ugh!

At the least I will dunk it in a water bucket, your hand or a something scrubby real quick if needed (not usually).

I rarely actually clean but Listerine is amazing, good basic disinfectant while being safe to injest and having a pleasant flavor. Hot water plus Listerine plus scrubbing. I wouldn't worry about anything more unless you have a new bit or it's super dirty or something. I would avoid anything chemical unless you need it then obviously clean VERY thoroughly after, I'll usually "rinse" in Listerine either way so if there's a taste it will be a pleasant one.
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