How much oil is too much?
I just got to thinking the other day while I was putting Neatsfoot oil on my saddle, Is it possible to over-oil a piece of tack? I oiled the crap out of my saddle and I don't think it will hurt it but I'm not sure. I know that it leaves dark oily stains on my jeans now but is that the only drawback?
Yes, you can over oil it. Let it set for an hour or so, then wipe off any excess that hasn't soaked in. Don't oil more than 2-3 times a year, or less.
Use a light weight conditioner between oilings if your tack tends to dry out. I like Hyrdophane Leather Conditioner, around $15 from Dover Saddlery. It waterproofs and conditions the leather. It's oil-based, but won't harm the leather if you use it more frequently. I use it once every 30-60 days on tack that I use and clean frequently.
It is possible to overoil tack. You want what you apply to get absorbed. If it continues to ooze oil after a few hours (or days!) it means you over did it! I don't think a few overoilings will hurt your saddle. But you do want to use a good quality oil that will absorb well. I've always heard that neatsfoot oil compound (not the pure stuff) is bad because it doesn't absorb very well so it soaks into the stitching and can rot it. I personally think that most people underoil rather then overoil. I would agree though, inbetween oiling I'd get a nice conditioner. My favorite is Lederbasalm by Passier.
Mink Oil or Hyrdophain are my favorites, but too much oiling is not good, depending on use, weather and how dusty the place you ride will determine a lot, maybe oil it 2-4 times a year, but never let the oil drip or run when applying.
My saddle maker told me that Neatsfoot oil is great to soften leather BECAUSE it breaks down the fibers.
I love Murphys Oil soap. Cleans, softens and shines!
So whats the down side of over oiling?
When i get a new croupper(sp) I literally soak it ina jar of oil for 24 hours, than take it out hanging it up for a few days to drip dry than I wipe excess off. I have many pieces of leather
I do this with and hav enot had any issues with this.
It depends on the age of the tack, I'd say.
When I got my new Beval LTD2 saddle, I oiled the crap out of it. I was nervous, at first, because I had heard that too much oil was bad, so I was very scarce. Then, my trainer said I should just oil it daily, and I did. The results were great. I just slapped on some Neatsfoot Oil (pure stuff- I'm pretty sure the compound does not rot stitching, though, just darkens faster) My saddle broke in much faster and got a great color.
I'd say if the saddle isn't new, though, don't oil it more than once every couple of months, and don't apply so much oil that it's running off. I like the idea about wiping it off after a few hours-- I can't tell you how embarrassed I was to find my butt was brown after riding in my saddle! Regular cleaning and conditioning will help imbetween oilings. I use Lexol and Passier Leaderdebalsam (sp?). The Passier stuff is a bit pricey, but it smells wonderful!
Yeah, my saddle was about a year old and that was the first time that I had oiled it. I had a rag that I dipped in pure neatsfoot oil (not the compound) and rubbed it in on both sides of the leather on every piece I could get to (found out later it is better to only oil the underside........who knew LOL). I spent hours getting into all the little nooks and crannys. I rubbed it in and didn't leave any excess sitting on the leather but it was sure oily when I got done. and the next time that I rode, my pants legs were icky and black. Not that I care about my pants but I was concerned about too much oil in the saddle. I don't plan to oil it again like that for a long time. The only thing else that I do is to lightly oil the surface after getting rained on.
Thank you all for the imput and I don't feel quite so bad now. ;p
all my new leather gets put in a pot filed with oil for about 2 days and then spends a week and a half in the hot water cupboard. after that it gets oiled before shows and after riding in the rain or at the beach. so like every week lol.
Over oiling will weaken the leather over time, causing excess wear, thin spots, and color loss or discoloration.
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