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MN Tigerstripes 05-19-2009 09:49 AM

Help cleaning old leather bridles
I am stuck home today with my neice who has pink eye.... :-( ick. So, I thought a good project would be to clean the leather bridles that haven't been cleaned in probably 10 years or so :oops:. Anyways, I can't remove the bit and reins due to the stiffnesses and accumulated dirts/gunk. Does anyone have any ideas on how to loosen everything up so I can remove? I'm thinking of soaking them in warm water for a little while...

Thanks for the help! :D

MIEventer 05-19-2009 09:50 AM

Never had pink eye, I don't really know what it is?

What products do you have on hand for cleaning leather? Do you have Glicerine soap available? Leather balm, conditioner, cleaner?

MN Tigerstripes 05-19-2009 10:34 AM

Pink eye is a nasty highly infectious eye thingy :-). Basically as far as I can remember your eyes get really gunky and red/pink and are sore.

I only have some leather CPR. I've already cleaned Soda's, but it really wasn't that dirty. I can get some other cleaners, so any suggestions would be great on that end. But I also need to take the darn things apart w/o ruining them as I would like to maybe combine them for one to fit Soda (just in case I need another bridle?) They are so crusted with sweat/saliva/dirt around the bits that they are completely stuck.

MIEventer 05-19-2009 10:58 AM

Mmmm nummy! lol.

First I would ge a simple Glicerine Soap Bar. You can get this at TSC, any Tack Store. Get a tooshbrush, and the bar nice and wet and scrub the area's that are stuck and stiff.

Get rid of the gunk that is causing the "locking" of the leather.

I've never soaked leather in water before?

mls 05-19-2009 11:24 AM

Do you have any Murphy's oil soap?

BackInTheSaddleAgain 05-19-2009 11:46 AM

Other than the soap and oil, ketsup cleans the hardware really well. You have to leave it gunked on over night, and then wipe it off. Don't put it on any silver.

MN Tigerstripes 05-19-2009 12:02 PM

I haven't soaked it water either, just was trying to think of something that would help. I will check on the Murphy's oil soap and pick up a glycerin bar too. Would you need to condition it after using either of those? I probably sound like an idiot, but its been awhile since I've had to clean any tack! Thanks for the tip about the ketchup. I'll give it a try :-) Will it work on rusty buckles?

mls 05-19-2009 12:03 PM


Originally Posted by BackInTheSaddleAgain (Post 309938)
ketsup cleans the hardware really well.

Because of the acid in the tomato. It can also ruin less than 'good' hardware.

MIEventer 05-19-2009 09:32 PM

I use Stubben products, but they are expensive.

Another good conditioner that I have in my tack cleaning box is Horsemans One Step.

eventnwithwinston 05-19-2009 10:40 PM

Okay so... just for general cleaning after everything is degunked:

1. Take a damp sponge and go over all of the leather.
2. Take a saddle soap (preferably Murphy's Oil Soap... the gelly kind) and put some on your sponge. Scrub it into all of your leather (you want to see a white foam) and use a toothbrush for cracks and buckle areas. DO NOT get this on rubber as it will make it melt and get gooey in warm areas.
3. Wipe off the excess (gently).
4. Take an oil on a seperate sponge (like Neatsfoot Oil) and rub it into the leather.
5. Let it soak in for a few minutes. Then, take your damp soap sponge and rub it over a bar of glycerine soap (this stuff is amazing :D ). Massage the soap into your leather and work it with your hands to make sure it is supple. You should see a white foam but no bubbles.
6. Let it sit, wipe off excess, and VOILA!

To get metal buckles and stuff, I use Never Dull. This stuff is awesome! It's like a tin can full of cotton that you pull off. You rub it across your metal until you think you have gotten it clean and there is a thin film. Then wipe the metal with a cloth and it will be shiny! :) Do NOT use on bits.

Anymore questions?

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