How to Clean a Dirty Leather Saddle
Cleaning a saddle requires special care and supplies. A saddle soap, saddle oil, and a soft fingernail brush are all necessary for this purpose. You can also purchase disposable rubber gloves and a two-gallon pail of lukewarm water. While cleaning a saddle, avoid using household chemicals and caustic soaps.
Using saddle soap
Saddle soap is one of the oldest methods for cleaning and protecting saddle leather. It is used to remove stubborn stains and add moisture to the leather. However, it is not suitable for delicate or sueded leather. If used incorrectly, it can damage the saddle leather.
Saddle soap has two types: acidic and alkaline. Its acidity is measured from 0 to 14, with 7.0 being neutral. It is important to use saddle soap sparingly, as too much can cause the leather to lose its protective oil and discolor. However, a light coat is enough to remove surface-level dirt.
If you are going to use saddle soap to clean a dirty leather saddle, it is important that you start by cleaning the saddle thoroughly. You should use a damp cloth to wipe the saddle, but not so wet as to prevent the conditioner from being absorbed into the leather. Once the saddle is clean, you should dry it with a clean, dry cloth.
To clean a leather saddle, you should first gather the tools you will need to clean it. You will need a two gallon bucket, one cup of Murphys Oil soap, a soft fingernail brush, a rag or towel, saddle oil, flannel, and disposable rubber gloves. Then, you should wet the saddle thoroughly and then pat it dry with a clean cloth.
You may want to use a saddle soap that contains glycerin. This substance helps leather retain moisture, which is why it’s a great choice for saddle cleaning. You can even use a saddle soap that is made for leather.
If your saddle is looking a little dingy, you can easily clean it with a few coats of Tan-Kote, a lightweight polish. This product imparts a soft shine to the leather and also helps to repel dust and dirt. Depending on the type of leather you have, you may need to apply a second coat. Once the saddle is dry, it can be waxed or oiled.
Saddle soap can also be a good option. It contains glycerin, which feeds the leather while removing embedded dirt and oil. It dries to a long-lasting shine, protecting the colour and texture of the saddle. If you choose to use saddle soap, it is best to use a light coat so it doesn’t damage the leather.
Avoiding caustic household chemicals
When cleaning your saddle, try to avoid using household chemicals or caustic solvents. These chemicals can damage the finish of leather and can extract the dye. They can also leave a puckered pore structure. Caution is recommended, and you should only use leather tack cleaning products, such as saddle soap, for the best results. Apply a saddle soap after each ride to remove dirt, mud, and other buildup. For best results, use a saddle soap that is liquid glycerin based. Avoid using paste-based saddle soaps, as they tend to settle in crevices. A toothbrush is recommended for cleaning the saddle soaps.
Another option for cleaning your saddle is to mix baking soda with water and use it as a cleaning solution. Baking soda has an alkaline nature, which helps break down soils and remove them from leather. It also works as a natural deodorizer.