Soaps and Oils for Cleaning and Conditioning Old Leather
Is it really all right to use vegetable oil or olive oil to condition leather? And dish soap for cleaning it beforehand?
I have an antique horse brass with black leather that is very thick and very stiff (has not been cleaned or oiled in at least 40 years). A neighbor said I could use vegetable oil to condition it after cleaning it with saddle soap; when I Googled this, I found that some people use dishwashing liquid to clean their tack. I also just saw the hunter-jumper thread about cleaning tack with castile soap.
Since I have neither saddle soap nor neatsfoot oil now, and am on a very tight budget, I am wondering if I really can use dishwashing soap and olive or vegetable oil to clean and condition the leather.
What would you use if you had no saddle soap or neatsfoot oil/Lederbalsam/etc.?
Founder of the People Who Prefer COTH Over FB Clique
People Who Hate to Rush to Kill Wildlife Clique!
"I Sing Silly Songs to My Animals!" Clique
Clarksdale, MS--the golden buckle on the cotton belt
Originally Posted by candysgirl
I use Murphy's Oil Soap on all my tack for a deep cleaning. Day to day cleaning I just use a damp rag.
I condition/waterproof all my tack with either mink oil or Australian Leather Keep. I prefer the latter, but the mink oil is easier to find.
COTHer Bensmom has just started a saddle soap business through etsy. There is a huge thread on the eventer forum with reviews of her product. They all seem to be glowing. Karen O'Connor's groom used it for years, so it's been to WEG and the Olympics.
"I'm a lumberjack, and I'm okay." Thread killer Extraordinaire
As others have mentioned, a bar of Castile is super cheap and far less drying than dish soap. It will last you a good long while, too.
For old, dry tack, I like to clean well, oil it a couple times with oil (olive is great...I wonder if you could use the cheaper oils like canola or soy?) and then give it a heavy coating of lederbalsam, working it by hand.