I use Kirk's on a damp sponge. Work the sponge over the soap, then clean the leather. Rinse the sponge out when it get's dirty, squeeze out alllllll the water, then repeat! I follow up with a thin coating of Vogel's leather conditioner.
I only use castille on my tall boots. Saddles and bridles get cleaned with glycerin soap or murphy's.
I use either Kirk's in a bar or Dr. Bonner's liquid. I use a sponge a little wetter than I do for glycerine. Rub it around, then wet my sponge with clean water, ring it out, but not too much and "rinse" the soap off... This is where you will really see the dirt come off. Oil the leather if it needs it. Then I get a clean sponge and glycerine soap. Wet the sponge, wring it out well, rub the glycerine bar and apply a coat of glyerine. The glycerine seals and conditions the leather. The next time I use that peice of tack I will wet a sponge, wring some of the water out, rub the tack with the damp sponge to remove the dirt (and the coat of glycerine) and then reapply glycerine. Castile is only used once every month or two.
Great tips - thank you! I've never found anything that works really well - at least on all of my tack - which seems like different leathers respond differently. I have a very nice bridle, a couple of middle of the road, and one I like but it's not the greatest leather, so I want to try out these methods over the Lexol and other "prepared" cleaners I've been using. Thanks again!
I was taught to clean tack as Ironwood suggests - but for the past 7-8 years have done an about face. I use Kirk's much like I use soap in the shower - plenty of lather and hot water - then run a sponge with clean water over it. Follow with a light coating of Hydrophane conditioner (plastic bottle - not the can) or something similar. No more sticky tack. Oil occasionally. I do this on all of my tack (Stackhouse saddle, Country Saddler bridle) but my boots, which only get Kirk's and polish. It's great stuff - just don't drive the price up!