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Tips for making fly-spray bottles and sponges last longer

During a hot, buggy summer, sponges and fly-spray bottles get a lot of use. Here are a few tips for making these items last the entire season.
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Sprayers

A person applying fly spray to a horse's legs.

A more expensive spray bottle is more likely to last an entire season.

  • Invest in quality. A $9 bottle that lasts the whole season is less expensive then cheaper bottles that need to be repeatedly replaced. Look for commercial-grade sprayers used by cleaning services or greenhouses. You may also want to consider a pressurized sprayer.
  • Clear the uptake tube and nozzle regularly. Spraying hot water through the equipment will clear out any clogs.
  • Do not set spray bottles on the ground. To avoid nozzle-clogging dirt as well as the risk of being stomped by human and equine feet, place bottles on a tack trunk or chair as you work.

Sponges

A person using a blue sponge on a horse's neck.

Rinsing sponges after use will prolong their useful life.

  • Go natural. Sea sponges tend to be more durable than man-made varieties.
  • Rinse well. Soap or liniment residue can break down a sponge over time.
  • Dry thoroughly. Mildew can grow in a perpetually wet sponge. Store sponges in mesh bags or a hanging produce basket to allow air to circulate and facilitate drying.

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