I inheirited a lot of bridle parts and the newer pieces seem to be leaving quite a bit of dye on my hands when I clean them. They look like it may be the first cleaning from the lack of wear. I doubt they are knock offs as they are stamped ( royal oak, otto schumacher...) there are still bridle parts and makers I have not yet identified.
Is this normal for a first cleaning? I do not think they are couterfiet ebay knock-offs
Either way I will not look a gift bridle (or six) in the mouth but I would like to treat them with the respect that they deserve.
Glycerine soap will alter the dye. Not good on black especially. Fine on brown.
The black leather seems to work well with cleaning with hot water wrung out of the sponge, then use a conditioner that is more of a "grease" base ... lederbalsam (Passier or similar). Can also use Neatsfoot (100%) Oil to soften things up when breaking in or as needed, maybe twice a year.
I know Fiebing's makes a black saddle soap especially for black leather (of course). It's the paste kind that comes in a can, though, and I've never tried it myself, so I don't know if it's what you'd want.
I use Skidmore's on my black tack (and all the rest). Can't say enough good about it, fantastic stuff. The woman who handles the orders at Dixieland Saddlery turned me onto it, it's what they treat all the saddles with that they build before shipping them out.
I have an arsenal of leather cleaners and conditioners (mostly because of a tendency to try something different).
My favorite everyday cleaner is Leather Therapy Wash; it's humid enough here that glycerine soap attracts and holds too much moisture.
Serious grunge gets a castile soap scrub, which is great for metal-on-leather wear points.
I do really like Stubben Hammanol for really dry leather. My horse is a big-time sweater, so it can really make his breastplate and reins stiff. I also really like to swipe it on my saddle before riding when I need extra grip!
If I was still in a drier part of the country (or even was in a drier tack room), I would probably use more Lederbalsam or Stubben glycerine soap but they really seem to over-moisturize the leather, leaving it prone to mold in my situation.
Of everything I use, nothing seems to strip the black from my tack (saddle or strapgoods)
Failure is always an option*
*As long as you figure out what you f'ed up and fix it! -Me