Cleaning help please! Leather tack. - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 03-14-2013, 08:32 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Iowa
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Cleaning help please! Leather tack.

I have a saddle that I would like to clean for the first time this weekend. However, I haven't cleaned a lot of leather tack before (because I used to use mainly synthetic stuff) and I would really appreciate some advice on how to do it properly. My main concerns are loosing color and damaging the leather. I love this saddle to pieces and I saved up forever to get it, so the last thing I want to do is mess it up in anyway! All the advice on techniques and products would be appreciated immensely!!

Thanks so much in advance!!
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post #2 of 7 Old 03-14-2013, 09:33 PM
Join Date: Jun 2010
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I have used different products, but I like the Leather New, Pure Neatsfoot Oil(not the compound), Murphy's Oil Soap or Olive Oil. If you have a concern about the product changing the color of your leather I would suggest a patch test first.

I use the air compressor and a soft natural bristle brush and get all the dirt off I can. Then depending on what I am using I will use a soap to clean the saddle using a rag and a toothbrush for the tooling to clean it. Wipe it down with a clean rag.
For conditioning I set it in the house or out in the sun to warm up and open the pores and give it a good wipe down with a rag soaked with a conditioner.

Everyone does it different but that's how I do it :)

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post #3 of 7 Old 03-14-2013, 09:49 PM
Join Date: Aug 2009
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My favorite product is Horseman's One-Step cleaner and conditioner. It's a cream that you use with a damp sponge on the leather and works really well. It's relatively inexpensive and virtually impossible to screw up.
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post #4 of 7 Old 03-14-2013, 10:57 PM
Join Date: Nov 2011
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If something's really dirty, and maybe has residue from unknown past products, I like using Murphy's oil soap to get everything off and really super clean. I use a shishkabob stick to really get into the grooves and around hardware to get every bit of grit and grime out. Then rinse. Then dry. Then I go for the saddle soap (I use Passier, but any good glycerin saddle-soap will do) and really scrub and detail. Then rinse and dry. Then I sit in front of the fire or in the sun and massage in a healthy amount of Passier Lederbalsam. Let it soak in, then buff off the excess. Repeat as necessary.

If it's not grimy or sticky to start with, I skip the Murphy's Oil Soap step.
freia is offline  
post #5 of 7 Old 03-15-2013, 05:53 PM
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Illinois
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I really like murphy's oil soap to get a really filthy saddle clean, it has such a nice lather!

Here is a step by step guide to cleaning your tack:

How to clean your tack

Good luck!

"Riding: the art of keeping the horse between you and the ground."
~Author Unknown
SaddleOnline is offline  
post #6 of 7 Old 03-15-2013, 08:19 PM
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Ontario
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Is this a new saddle? Color? Maker? How much have you used it? I've cleaned hundreds so I've learned a thing or two.
Saddlebag is offline  
post #7 of 7 Old 03-15-2013, 11:37 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Iowa
Posts: 29
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It is a Circle Y Topeka Flex 2 Trail Saddle. It is Walnut. I bought it about a year and a half ago but have only ridden in it like 6 times because I usually ride english. However, it has been sitting in my tack locker for two summer and winter seasons so I would like to freshen it up and prevent mold.
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