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  1. #1
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    Jul. 28, 2006
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    Default crunchy tack?

    ugg... We were at a horse show this past weekend, and it poured rain for the 2 days. All of our equipment and tack was dripping wet and as it is drying, starting to get a little tough and crunchy.

    How should I go about cleaning this tack? Should I be re-oiling it?



  2. #2
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    Relax...some of the products used in the tanning and finishing process as well as products we put on them containing wax float up to the surface when they get soaked like that. Then they dry and get "crunchy", sometimes you get a sort of whitish crust. Sometimes you get some color bleed as the dye comes out too.

    Soooo....let them dry away from heat first to let all that crap come up. Another day or so. Then you put a couple of glugs of ammonia into a gallon of warm water. You can either dunk it in the bucket or use a sponge.

    Rinse it clean water and allow to dry away from heat. Get alot of dirt you didn't know was in there with this as well. Especially in the braided reins-use a soft toothbrush on the lacing.

    Then it's your choice, I like a light saddle oil. They will seem a bit stiff for a day or so but quickly soften.

    All this stuff we get bombarded with-including celebrity endorsements-tends to contain alot of wax and sometimes silicone and even too much glycerine can make a gloppy crust of product and dirt appear.

    I got stuff that's 40 years old and still functional with not so much as a pulled stitch.
    When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

    The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.



  3. #3
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    Default

    And here I thought you were referring to some sort of new equestrian inspired breakfast cereal!



  4. #4
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    I've had my good show tack get soaked any number of times... it always does fine. I tend to let it dry out a bit (perhaps over night, away from any direct heat sources) and then give it a light going over with regular Belvoir (glycerine) soap. That helps avoid the crunchy stage, IMO. After a day or two, I will often do a light coat of oil if it seems at all dry.
    **********
    We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.
    -PaulaEdwina



  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by findeight View Post
    Then you put a couple of glugs of ammonia into a gallon of warm water. You can either dunk it in the bucket or use a sponge.
    How much is a glug? sorry stupid question
    No running out. No refusals.
    The only options are over, under, or through



  6. #6
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    Apr. 13, 2005
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    Default

    I've also had my nice tack weather a few storms - hard to avoid the rain in NE, particularly this spring...I let it dry, then usually use soap like LucassB, then oil a couple days later if its noisy. Typically, the tack that has been through a few rain storms isn't too bothered by the weather, or so I've noticed. The quality leather seems un-phased & looks just lovely after being tx'd with glycerine.



  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by ponyhunter7870 View Post
    How much is a glug? sorry stupid question
    About thaaaaat much, wait until you start cooking with old recipes..."cook until done", "pinch" of this, "dab" of that, "enough flour to thicken".

    hmmmm, maybe 1/8th cup per glug, 1/4 cup per gallon of water. It's not critical and the smell will make you not want to overdo it.
    When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

    The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.



  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by findeight View Post
    About thaaaaat much, wait until you start cooking with old recipes..."cook until done", "pinch" of this, "dab" of that, "enough flour to thicken".

    hmmmm, maybe 1/8th cup per glug, 1/4 cup per gallon of water. It's not critical and the smell will make you not want to overdo it.
    haha thanks!
    No running out. No refusals.
    The only options are over, under, or through



  9. #9
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    Apr. 22, 2011
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    Default

    A good conditioning after cleaning should help make it supple again too - I've heard Leather CPR is especially good for crispy crunchy leather. (Mm, sounds like cereal.)
    If the pony spits venom in your face or produces a loud roar, it is probably not a pony. Find another. -The Oatmeal



  10. #10
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    Jul. 28, 2006
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    ahaa! I should start a new cereal line. Crunchy tack has a nice ring to it.

    Her boots are the worst.. I can't even get the zipper to move an inch, they are so caked in mud.

    Off to clean today.



  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by findeight View Post
    Soooo....let them dry away from heat first to let all that crap come up. Another day or so. Then you put a couple of glugs of ammonia into a gallon of warm water. You can either dunk it in the bucket or use a sponge.
    Never heard of using ammonia on leather...? Does it 'bleach' the leather at all? (polite question, not criticism)

    I'd let the tack dry (away from heat as findeight said) and slather ko-cho-line on it and leave for at least 24 hours, then give it another dose of the same, leave for another 24 hours, then polish with glycerine soap.
    Where in this wide world can man find nobility without pride, friendship without envy, or beauty without vanity? - The horse. (R.Duncan)



  12. #12
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    The ammonia wash does not bleach the leather but it is the best thing ever if you have a mold issue. It is the only thing that can really kill a persistent mold problem in one fell swoop/dunk. I've had to do that several times with stuff left for a year or two in a trunk -- you know the kind of things, extra bridles in a size that doesn't fit your current horse, martingales you don't use -- one day you open the trunk of spare stuff and voila, a garden instead of the nice soft brown tack you put in there six months ago. Particularly prone to happen in humid climates.

    Ammonia tends to make my tack a little crunchy itself though -- I de-crunch with Passier Lederbasalm and/or oil after I've allowed it to dry a bit, don't want to lock in the over-wet too much (have used neatsfoot, olive and mink, like the smell of mink the best but all do fine).

    I like Leather CPR a lot and it is great for very mild crunchiness but it will not resolve a serious crunch issue -- it would be fine for something caught once in the rain, but not abandoned for 5 years. I've put several applications on an old bridle that belonged to the horse I put down last winter, and the bridle laughed in its face. Still working on perfecting that bridle but it needs oil.



  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by fordtraktor View Post
    One day you open the trunk of spare stuff and voila, a garden instead of the nice soft brown tack you put in there six months ago.
    Where's the "like" button when you need it?
    No running out. No refusals.
    The only options are over, under, or through



  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lobelia Overhill View Post
    Never heard of using ammonia on leather...? Does it 'bleach' the leather at all? (polite question, not criticism)
    I have not had good luck with the ammonia method. While it doesn't bleach it, my leather never looks as nice as it did before the ammonia treatment, its dry no matter what I use to condition it, and the finish just isn't as nice. Many others swear by it. I only use it on cheap leather or stuff that is so filthy its the only way to get it clean. And I have to disagree about it helping with mold too. A friend has an ongoing problem with mold on her saddle and she has tried everything, including numerous applications of ammonia, to no avail. That mold is just a permanent addition to her saddle.



  15. #15
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    Hmm, ammonia has always worked magic on mold for me and my tack has not suffered long-term from very occasional use. But I do not use much, just a little in the bucket of water. Maybe 1/4 cup to 2.5 gallons of water? Guessing but that seems about right. I use lemon ammonia so it isn't so very nasty-smelling.

    Strong ammonia could well strip the finish, I would imagine.



  16. #16
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    That glug of ammonia is generally used to cut the grease that can sometimes be a problem on tack if it's been let go a bit. (Think jockeys on a saddle flap.) It works for that purpose just as it does in your dish soap, but isn't necessary if there is no grime to remove.

    The downside to ammonia is that it definitely can strip the finish, and as BAC notes, it can cause a lasting change in the tack's appearance. Years ago when saddles were made a bit differently - we all had pigskin seats, and the uber soft calfskin so common now was a rarity - it wasn't unusual to use ammonia to strip a saddle once in a while "to really clean it," followed immediately by oiling to restore some pliability to the leather.

    I wouldn't do that to my good tack now, but then I also don't ever let it get to the point where I need to remove that kind of grease/grime, either. For leather that simply got wet and is otherwise clean, I think you will find that glycerine is a good first step, followed if necessary by a *light* oiling.

    Mold is a tough one and I bet that is why Findeight recommended the ammonia approach, but a good cleaning can usually prevent the problem from getting started if you get on top of the issue promptly. My saddle has gotten soaked any number of times and is absolutely no worse for wear as a result; it's never had anything other than the Belvoir/light oil treatment mentioned above. For persistent mold, for situations like stuff left in damp conditions/bottoms of tack trunks for long periods, the best thing I've ever found is Leather Therapy... and sunlight.
    **********
    We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.
    -PaulaEdwina



  17. #17
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    Just clean it an oil it as usual. I'd use glycerine to clean it right now before it gets crunchier and then oil it and then see how it dries and do it again if necessary... Don't panic cows get wet all the time.



  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lucassb View Post
    . . . I wouldn't do that to my good tack now, but then I also don't ever let it get to the point where I need to remove that kind of grease/grime, either.
    You do realize this is not my own tack I hope. Mine is never allowed to get that dirty either.



  19. #19
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    Hmm.. unless you absolutely have to, I would stay away from the ammonia, it looks like, so maybe just see if a good cleaning and conditioning helps?
    No running out. No refusals.
    The only options are over, under, or through



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