Save my show saddle!
I need advice on cleaning a light colored leather without darkening it. My Circle Y WP show saddle was stored in my parents basement with plastic over it to protect it, an obvious great-intentioned mistake by my Mother. Now, the saddle has patches of light white, green mold on it. My concern is that I do NOT want to darken the leather in the process of cleaning.
I've read about a chemical called EM Clean that is made for leather, but I've never heard of anyone using it and am apprehensive. Any ideas would be GREATLY appreciated!! I would post pics, but I don't think it's possible from a smart phone.
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Oh my! Sorry, no ideas other than get the mold off of it now and condition it with a product that claims (they all do to some degree) not to darken the leather. Wipe that leather down with soft dry clothes to remove any further moisture as well. Good luck and let me know how it turns out.
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Most cleaning products I am aware of could darken very light leather.
You could try some clear glycerin soap in a small area that is partially hidden, whether or not it darkens will depend on the leather and how it was originally processed and conditioned from the manufacturer.
If the test area darkens, the other solution would be to wipe all the mold off with a dry cloth, using disposable gloves and throw the cloth away after this.
Then use Lexol Non-Darkening Formula, even with the Lexol it might darken very slightly, just make sure you do not leave the Saddle in the sun to dry.
Many cleaners, conditioners or protectant when still wet on leather, have a chance of making the leather darker when leaving it in the sun to dry.
I would try Horseman's One-Step once you've wiped off the excess mold with a dry rag. It's a cream that has never darkened any of my leather, and I've used to to remove 20+ years worth of mold on bridles that have done nothing but sit in the basement after a flood. Test it on the underside of a fender or another remote location to make sure it won't darken the leather.
Show saddles have a protective finish. If you penetrate that, anything wet that touches the leather will darken it. Try a soft brush and wear a mask.
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