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Agility Tunnel Cleaning in 1,000 Steps or Less

Lilly’s competition-grade agility tunnel spent most of the summer stacked up in the shade near our chimney. But, with winter coming, I figured I’d better clean it, condition it, and get it stored inside — away from the brutal, high-altitude snow, wind, and sun. Except, it turns out that cleaning a full-sized, ribbed tunnel isn’t a simple thing.

My back and neck still hurt.

First, I scrunched it up and lugged it around to our tiny patch of real grass so that I could water the lawn while washing the tunnel. I really wanted to drape it down our big hill so that it would drain better, but Tom said the lawn was a better idea since the hill is so dusty.

So, I blasted the heck out of the outside with the hose. All those crinkles between the ribs really hold in the gunk.

Then as I rolled it around, the tunnel’s exterior drained no problemo.

The inside, however, was a total pain. I tried stretching it full out and blasting each section from both ends. I tried scrunching it for a better reach.

I mostly succeeded in loosening the dirt that encrusted inside, but getting it OUT was pretty much impossible. I was already pretty wet from hose splatter, but I was NOT about to crawl inside and squeegee the middle. While amusing, for sure, I didn’t want to get stuck inside.

So, I sprayed and tilted. I tilted and sprayed. I shook it. I rolled it. I lifted it from the middle … hoping each end would sag enough to let the water out, but those ribs really form a barrier.

Eventually, I gave up and let the tunnel sit in the sun, hoping for evaporation.

With Tom’s help, I treated the outside with some vinyl reconditioning polish, but the inside still looks pretty gritty.

Is there some huge bottle-washer thing I don’t know about? Surely, there’s a better method.

Roxanne Hawn

Trained as a traditional journalist and based in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, USA, I'm a full-time freelance writer for magazines, websites, and private clients. My areas of specialty include everything in the lifestyles arena, including health and home, personal finance and other consumer interests, relationships and trends, people and business profiles ... and, of course, all things pet related. I don't just love dogs. I need them in my life. Seriously.

Dog-geek - October 2, 2008

Yep – all that sounds familiar! I lay my tunnels on a hill to spray them out – it really does make it a lot easier, but I guess it would be counterproductive if your hill is dusty. And then I’m afraid I do usually crawl inside with all the crud and dried-up worms, and use a large soft-bristled brush to scrub them out. I have a friend who took hers to the car wash, but I don’t know if it was any easier in the end.

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