View Full Version : How to fix an over oiled saddle?

M. Owen
Nov. 17, 2011, 03:46 PM
I recently bought a used saddle that was VERY over oiled by the seller. Does anyone have tips how to get rid of the excess oil more quickly? I've been wiping the saddle with a damp sponge then buffing with a towel after each ride. It is a little better I think, but still getting some brown marks on my breeches.

Nov. 17, 2011, 03:59 PM
Are you keeping the saddle at home? place it in a sun warmed room (assuming you're in a temperate or winter climate) & just keep wiping it frequently as it rises to the surface.
When nothing comes up any more on the "resting" saddle, it will likely still continue to shed under use - you could try riding in a seat "saver" but a wool one would be self defeating (lanolins), not sure what's available in cotton (absorbing).

Nov. 17, 2011, 04:02 PM
I had a way over oiled bridle and one day I got caught in a monsoon and got poured on for about 30 min. I hung the bridle up to dry and went to check on it the next day, and it was perfect. The most soft, supple, but not too oily leather. It felt like a very expensive bridle after that!

Maybe not the best idea for a saddle, but it sure worked for the bridle, and it wasn't even on purpose!

Nov. 17, 2011, 04:07 PM
My recent saddle came to me the same way - very over oiled.

I rode in it and cleaned it off with soap/water after each ride for about a week (so maybe 4 times) because just wiping it down wasn't cutting it. I used Dawn dish soap - really helped to cut the grease/oil.

Then once the saddle stopped oozing oil - I went back to just wiping it down with damp cloth after riding. The saddle company rep saw it about a month after I got it and said - wow, you won't have to oil that for a year.

Nov. 17, 2011, 04:27 PM
I would give it a thorough cleaning with Kirk's Castile soap, which should help get the top layer off and has a slightly drying effect. And keep wiping with a damp cloth after each ride to remove any excess. Ride in old breeches too. ;)

Some people will recommend you sponge it off with a solution of ammonia/water, which probably will help. I don't care for the ammonia option, I think its too harse, although many swear by it, whenever I have tried it the leather never looks as nice afterwards. But most likely it will help to remove some of that excess oil.

M. O'Connor
Nov. 17, 2011, 08:58 PM
I'm a big ammonia advocate, but just for strapwork (bridles, martingales, girths), not for saddles.

Use soap, lots of it. It will lift right out. Then let it dry, and recondition if necessary.

M. Owen
Nov. 17, 2011, 09:16 PM
I tried a very little bit of dish soap on it tonight, then rinsed that and rubbed it with a towel. It seemed to feel a little better after. I'll keep trying. I would have been way to nervous to try ammonia.

Nov. 18, 2011, 12:20 PM
Second BAC's suggestion of Castile soap. Will not harm the saddle at all but will definitely help with the oil.