Like any other piece of horse tack or equipment, clean bits are important. Your horse's bit should be cleaned after each use. A simple wipe down will do on most occasions (wash cloth or special bit wipes will work for this) but there are times when you will want to remove the bit from the bridle and give it a good scrubbing! The following are times when more than a wipe down is needed: exchange of bits from one horse to another; purchase of bit from a tack sale or consignment; or, when there's lots of gunk built up from use.
To clean your horse's bit, first be sure to remove it from the fastenings on the bridle. Bits are made from a variety of materials from stainless steel, to rubber and sweet iron. For most bits (made of steel), the best procedure is to soak it in warm water and a splash of vinegar, then scrub it with a toothbrush or a fingernail brush (both can be purchased from most pharmacies or grocery stores). Be sure to pay attention to the joints, as that's where much of the gunk will build up. Wiping down the clean bit with a cotton cloth will prevent spots from forming.
For more detailed information, click here. Happy Bit Cleaning!