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  1. #1
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    Jul. 22, 2012
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    CA
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    Default Castile soap for leather care/whitening stitching?

    I've heard people swear by using castile soap for their basic leather care and for whitening stitching on bridles. Currently I wipe down my tack with a damp cloth, clean with LeatherNew liquid soap, and condition as needed with Sedgwick or CWD Leather conditioner. I'm interested in switching to castile soap for the basic cleaning/whitening (I refuse to give up my cream conditioners ), but I'm not sure what kind/brand people use, and how. If you use castile soap, do you use bar or liquid soap? & how do you prefer to apply it?



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun. 29, 2004
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    I love castile soap, not only does it do a thorough job of cleaning, but its cheap. I use Kirk's Castile Soap, which many local tack shops carry, although I can usually find it in small grocery stores as well in my area.

    I use the bar, first I wipe down the tack with a slightly damp sponge to remove any dust, then I use either a damp sponge or a wash cloth to clean with, and then rinse off any soap residue with a sponge or cloth dipped in fresh water. Like your face, you wouldn't want to leave a soap film on your leather. And I love CWD cream conditioner too, its one of my favorites.

    According to Paddock Saddlery's instructions, this is the one time you can work up a bit of a lather when cleaning tack, but I still try not to use an excessive amount of water.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep. 11, 2011
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    Charlottesville, VA
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    269

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    Quote Originally Posted by BAC View Post
    I love castile soap, not only does it do a thorough job of cleaning, but its cheap. I use Kirk's Castile Soap, which many local tack shops carry, although I can usually find it in small grocery stores as well in my area.

    I use the bar, first I wipe down the tack with a slightly damp sponge to remove any dust, then I use either a damp sponge or a wash cloth to clean with, and then rinse off any soap residue with a sponge or cloth dipped in fresh water. Like your face, you wouldn't want to leave a soap film on your leather. And I love CWD cream conditioner too, its one of my favorites.

    According to Paddock Saddlery's instructions, this is the one time you can work up a bit of a lather when cleaning tack, but I still try not to use an excessive amount of water.
    I use a bar of Kirks in the exact same way. It can be a bit drying so I only clean with it when I'm also going to oil or condition. It's great for getting that waxy stuff off bridles and reins. I've recently started using Stubben cream conditioner after I saw a friend use it with great results. In between Castille soap cleanings i just use a damp sponge then condition. I have developed a hatred for LeatherNew liquid soap
    "No hour of life is wasted that is spent in the saddle" - Winston Churchill

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  4. #4
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    Jun. 29, 2004
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    Quote Originally Posted by OTTBcooper View Post
    . . . It can be a bit drying so I only clean with it when I'm also going to oil or condition.
    You're right, it can be a touch drying so always good to condition afterwards. However, I only use the Kirk's for when I am doing a heavy duty cleaning or for something that is really dirty, the rest of the time I just wipe down with either Effax Leder Combi or Belvoir Tack cleaner, both of which are liquids, its a fast but thorough way to clean in between times.



  5. #5
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    Sep. 11, 2011
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    Charlottesville, VA
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by BAC View Post
    You're right, it can be a touch drying so always good to condition afterwards. However, I only use the Kirk's for when I am doing a heavy duty cleaning or for something that is really dirty, the rest of the time I just wipe down with either Effax Leder Combi or Belvoir Tack cleaner, both of which are liquids, its a fast but thorough way to clean in between times.
    Agree 100% - best to save it for heavy duty cleanings.
    "No hour of life is wasted that is spent in the saddle" - Winston Churchill

    Check out Central Virginia Horse Rescue



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov. 1, 2005
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    The Prairie
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    I use it the same way; reserved for those times when I have let the tack get a little too dirty and I definitely will have time to condition afterwards. Does a super job but can be a bit drying.

    If my tack is reasonably clean and I am doing a quick post ride clean (I sometimes do a quick clean before I even take it off the horse. I let him in the stall to eat hay and quickly wipe down the saddle) I go old school with glycerine saddle soap bar. Wipe off all dust with a soft cloth, dip glycerine saddle soap bar in water and wipe with a sponge, trying not to work up a lather.

    I use the Kirk's Castile (never seen any other brand) and I buy it at Greenhawk but I also occasionally seen it in grocery stores in the detergent section.

    I personally have not noticed any difference with the white stitching.
    I love cooking with wine. Sometimes I even put it in the food.



  7. #7
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    Jun. 29, 2004
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mozart View Post
    . . .
    I use the Kirk's Castile (never seen any other brand) and I buy it at Greenhawk but I also occasionally seen it in grocery stores in the detergent section.

    I personally have not noticed any difference with the white stitching.
    There are lots of other brands of castile soap, but none that I would use on tack. But for yourself, check out http://www.drbronner.com/DBMS/LS.htm - especially the peppermint one, its to die for. Kirk's also makes a liquid version, but I have never tried it, I stick to the bar stuff for tack.

    And I don't notice any difference with the white stitching either.



  8. #8
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    Jul. 2, 2003
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    Woodland, Ca
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    I use either Kirk's or Dr. BonnersI. Dr. Bonners liquid is easy to use and you get to read all the crazy stuff on the bottle... I've found that the rinsing is when most of the dirt comes off. I always follow up with a coat of glycerin soap. If it is really dry olive oil amd thrn glycerin.



  9. #9
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    Jan. 25, 2009
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    Rock Chalk!
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    Kirk's here. If you have a Cracker Barrel store around, they carry them too. Of course, then you end up eating there...

    We use it on everything. Great for sweaty icky bridles and martingales in the summer, especially. Get a travel soap dish at the $1 store, small sponge, old toothbrush and you're set. I do oil after with olive oil or hydrophane sometimes, but not always. We use small amounts and never have felt it dried things out.
    A proud friend of bar.ka.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep. 30, 2007
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    I make homemade tack wipes by mixing about 1/3 liquid glycerine with about 2/3 water Attempt to wipe off leather every ride. I use cut up old t shirts and just wash and reuse- much cheaper than store bought wipes.

    When I have really filthy tack, I go over it with a mixture of warm water and ammonia (and a scrub brush) This gets the yucky yucky dirt off. Then kirks castile (also with a scrub brush) that gets any other dirt off. Then lederbasalm (great moisturizer). Then a once over with glycerine soap.

    I have to say, I LOVE my biothane bridle. Just throw it in the washing machine and it comes out like new!!! And.....it's PURPLE!!!

    http://www.equinenow.com/store-item-28598



  11. #11

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    Has anyone had similar success with the liquid soap version?



  12. #12
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    Jul. 2, 2003
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    Woodland, Ca
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    I use the Dr. Bonner's liquid. I've used the unscented baby version and the tea tree version on my tack. Works just like Kirk's only it's easier to use... the added bonus is that if you forget your horse's shampoo when you pack for a show you can just use your tack soap on the horse!



  13. #13
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    Oct. 11, 2006
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    I actually just started using castile soap (Dr. Bronner's bar soap) again after my Arc de Triomphe bridle got SO STICKY from using Leathernew liquid soap that it was DISGUSTING to use. I've used castile soap on it a couple of times..with no follow up conditioning and the stickiness is starting to go away...



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb. 1, 2001
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    Finally...back in civilization, more or less
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    I've used both the bar and liquid Kirk's for tack that has gotten sweaty and/or sticky after a hard ride. It does a great job. I don't find any difference really between the cake and liquid versions, and buy the liquid one when I can find it, just because it's easier to store - no damp bar to deal with in my tack trunk or locker.

    That said, castile soap isn't going to whiten stitching IMO. Most of the time, the stitching has darkened from conditioners/oils, and that is a permanent condition. Personally I don't mind it at all, as I greatly prefer tack that has been (properly) broken in over time. It gets that beautiful patina from use and proper care that no new bridle can match.
    **********
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  15. #15
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    Jun. 29, 2004
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    Quote Originally Posted by fourmares View Post
    Works just like Kirk's only it's easier to use...
    Kirk's makes a liquid version too, although I've never used it. I've seen it at local tack shops and small grocery stores in area, just like the bar Kirk's.



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