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Bensmom saddle soap - the review thread (if that's okay with Bensmom)

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  • So I have finally started cleaning my tack! I have the Citrus Ginger, and I actually can't really smell anything in mine. When I opened the container I could smell it a bit but not really while I used it. Anyway, I cleaned my saddle, which desperately needed it and my new leather halter last night and took "after" photos of the saddle today in the daylight. The halter had packaging dust and stuff on it and I'd used it a few times already and now it's all smooth and shiny and pretty.

    My saddle had so much come off of it, it's not even funny. I do a thorough cleaning 1-2x a year of everything (riding a few times a week, maybe not as often in the winter and in the 100 degree heat of the summer) so it's been cleaned and conditioned with different products several times in the last 12 or 13 years. My stirrup leathers were so dirty that my hands were orange (and I cleaned them last before I flipped them so it wasn't the soap at all!) The giant spot in the seat wouldn't come off with anything before and there's a tiny bit of it lingering and I plan to work on it some more. I put a good dent in that Gladware container, as in, I have my round sponge stored in there now.

    I loved that there was no residue left behind on my hands or my leather, It was effortless to use and scrubbed some ickyness off pretty easily! Now everything is soft and my halter is just buttery! I didn't take a picture of the halter because there was no miraculous transformation happening with it, lol. It does look really nice though, shinier than it did from the store. I'm planning on getting the Rosemary Mint next.

    Saddle Before

    Saddle After1
    Saddle After2
    Saddle After3
    Last edited by cottonXCblondie; Apr. 22, 2013, 09:32 PM.
    Gracious "Gracie," 2002 TB mare
    Facebook me!

    I have Higher Standards ...do you?

    Comment


    • My new fav horse product

      Bensmom, thank you again for the wonderful soap, i received it today. I got the vanilla lavender. Throwing in the very much wanted confidence soap was beyond appreciated. I love both although I think the cofidence scent is my favorite. If you could put that in candle form or soap I think I would get a small shipment. . I cleaned like other's have said more Today than ever before. I love the scent it's a perfect balance and note.

      My saddle, halter and paddock boots were done in no time. I was shocked, i am used to spending an hour or two wiping rising drying conditioning. I usually use expensive imported euro soaps etc. No more they are all being donated to our barn therapy program. This soap cleaned stall stomped halters and bridles today. They look and smell wonderful eg no super horsey stinky smell. I am not a eventer but heard the news here and checked it out. I am telling all my dressage riding buddies they have to get this.

      The note and puffy mints were the sweetest touches. I was eating the fruiT flavored? In pure joy singing your praises to my DH why cleaning tack. He told me get two more as he has not seen me this thrilled ever cleaning tack. Thank you again another happy customer!!

      Comment


      • Reporting! Got my citrus ginger along with some Halloween candy.

        All my tack is clean and stored until I get back to riding (two months from last Friday). So, I used it on the red shoes I was wearing. I bought these red aerosoles two months ago, and the color was always yucky. Waxy looking and sort of beat up. Not any more! The color deepened to a cherry red and they look better than when I bought them.

        Love it!
        A helmet saved my life.

        2017 goal: learn to ride like TheHorseProblem, er, a barn rat!

        Comment


        • I also got mine today! Smells great but not too strong (rosemary mint), and I will report back tomorrow after I try it out. Have to go to the barn to get my tack...and it's pretty dirty since it's been sitting unused in the tackroom all winter. Plus two pairs of nasty boots. I'm actually looking forward to cleaning tack!
          Caitlin
          *OMGiH I Loff my Mare* and *My Saddlebred Can Do Anything Your Horse Can Do*
          http://community.webshots.com/user/redmare01

          Comment


          • I too am NOT a tack cleaner and when I do clean tack I do not use soap so while I wasn't necessarily a skeptic, I wasn't real enthused either. That said, I like it! My saddle looks great and is not greasy or filmy. The only suggestion I would make is to put the instructions on the jar somehow. I know the stuff will last a lot longer than I can keep track of the note. So you get points for hand writing the instructions on a note but lose points because I lost the note!
            McDowell Racing Stables

            Home Away From Home

            Comment


            • I'll add my review!
              First, I'm a glycerine, lather it up kind of person. So I will preface by saying its going to take some getting used to by me that there's no lather.

              In my package was the container of soap, a note about how to use it, and some candies (ponies loved em!) Ine suggestion is to make the instructions smaller, ss they got a bit rumpled in the shipping process.

              Out of the package, I opened it and it smelled awesome! I ordered Rosemary Mint. I wish this was soap for me. It's really nice.

              I used it on 2 bridles and a pair of boots. At first I was like "ok" about it with the bridles, so I moved on and did my boots. Woweee on the boots!
              Here's a pic
              Left one dirty, right one clean. And no, it's not the lighting.
              http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y56...ps91533593.jpg

              Then I went back to the bridles, and they are so incredibly soft! Not in a gooey, coated way, but in a clean, fresh? way.

              Comment


              • I received mine this evening as I walked back in from the barn, so the Edgewood Revival Project will be commencing tomorrow. My "I'm just going to hang on the down arrow and then hit tab quickly without looking" method to picking a scent pulled up the Citrus Ginger scent, which I find very mild in the jar. I would actually prefer a little more scent for just me, but as I am the poster who asked for the least appetizing scent for horses, and as my horse is in one of his moods where he's extra mouthy and intrusive, I probably shouldn't complain about that.

                Looking forward to trying it out tomorrow! It will be used on an ancient beat-up crappy schooling bridle, an older Edgewood in rough shape, and my saddle. I've seen others post before and after photos- would those be of use/interest to anyone (Libby, you especially?)

                Loved the candy in the envelope- that was a nice touch, and thanks for reading my mind and knowing I love butterscotch!
                "I'm not always sarcastic. Sometimes I'm asleep." - Harry Dresden

                Amy's Stuff - Rustic chic and country linens and decor
                Support my mom! She's gotta finance her retirement horse somehow.

                Comment


                • Wow -- I'm beginning to wonder if I have a fairy godmother who is paying you guys for these nice reviews?!?!

                  We are working on the label for the jar that will have the instructions. I've got someone developing that and a permanent label for the top of the jar, which will also be a logo for the soap in general.

                  spacytracy -- I have found that if I get the sponge really wet, and use a good bit of soap, I have two much lather, so you may want to try that and see if it gets more bubbly for you.

                  I LOVE the before and after pictures!! missamandarose and I are working on pulling together testimonials and photos, and I will contact folks by PM in order to get permission to use their kind words, once I've had a chance to pull it all together!

                  This has really become a joint COTH project! I may ask for opinions on possible logos as we keep working on it!

                  Libby (who has now packed and readied for shipping ALL of the pending orders -- now to move on to the sponsorship prizes and remaining samples!! )
                  I have Higher Standards ...do you? Find us on FB!
                  Higher Standards Custom Leather Care -- Handcrafted Saddle Soap

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by cottonXCblondie View Post
                    ...My saddle had so much come off of it, it's not even funny. I do a thorough cleaning 1-2x a year of everything (riding a few times a week, maybe not as often in the winter and in the 100 degree heat of the summer) so it's been cleaned and conditioned with different products several times in the last 12 or 13 years. My stirrup leathers were so dirty that my hands were orange (and I cleaned them last before I flipped them so it wasn't the soap at all!) The giant spot in the seat wouldn't come off with anything before and there's a tiny bit of it lingering and I plan to work on it some more. I put a good dent in that Gladware container, as in, I have my round sponge stored in there now.

                    Saddle Before

                    Saddle After1
                    Saddle After2
                    Saddle After3
                    Those pics are IMPRESSIVE!!! Approximately how long did you spend cleaning your saddle? And since certain areas were significantly more dirty than others (ex: stirrup leathers) did you rinse the sponge out in a separate dish before adding more soap and moving on to the next area?

                    Comment


                    • Will try that! If you have any of the confidence samples, would you send me one? I can cover shipping. I want to share this with a friend and I think she'd like that scent.

                      Comment


                      • Wow I cannot believe the difference in that Bates saddle. Incredible!
                        http://www.lucysquest.blogspot.com

                        Custom Painted Saddle Pads and Ornaments

                        Comment

                        • Original Poster

                          So happy for you Bensmom, 14 pages of glowing reviews!

                          Well done
                          Always be yourself. Unless you can be Batman. Then always be Batman.

                          The Grove at Five Points

                          Comment


                          • Used my soap last night - love it! Recently purchased a "new-to-me" figure 8 noseband - it was in really nice shape, but very stiff. After cleaning, it was so much softer, hard to believe it was the same piece. Next step was dying the noseband black (to match my dressage bridle) - took the dye well, followed up with another cleaning and then a light coat of oil. Looks and feels lovely. Can't wait to use it on saddles, boots and yes, another couple of bridles!
                            http://fromdressagehorsetocowpony.blogspot.com/

                            "I am still under the impression that there is nothing alive quite so beautiful as a thoroughbred horse." -- John Galsworthy

                            Comment


                            • Has anyone used the soap on black suede seats yet? I have a Lauriche dressage saddle that was seriously sweated in by another rider. Yuk.

                              What kind of dye stays on the leather and not doesn't come off on the horse? Or white breeches? Or does the pre-treatment with the Awesome soap handle that too?
                              Intermediate Riding Skills

                              Comment


                              • Just placed my order and I am beyond excited! I do love cleaning tack as it is, but am always looking for a new favorite product. Love reading all the reviews and the "before and after" pictures.

                                Comment


                                • [QUOTE=TBPONY;6954399]Those pics are IMPRESSIVE!!! QUOTE]

                                  AGREED! That is an amazing result! Thank you for sharing the pictures!

                                  And to reiterate what Libby has already said... thank you all for encouraging her and providing such positive feedback! She and the soap totally deserve it!
                                  I have Higher Standards... do you?
                                  Apalachicola Native (Alfie), '02 TB Gelding,
                                  Wild Man of Borneo (Hank), '03 Redtick coonhound,
                                  Augustus McRae (Gus), '01 Bluetick coonhound

                                  Comment


                                  • Ah, I would NOT suggest using it on suede as I have not ever tested it on suede. I would use only cleaners that are specifically for suede and would mostly go at the suede with a stiff brush.

                                    I have a suede seat and knee pads on one of my black country saddles and I don't use anything on it -- You don't want to do anything that will make the nap of the suede go "flat" as it were -- the grippiness of the suede will be lost if the nap lies flat after treatment with conditioners.

                                    There are some cleaners made specifically for suede -- Kiwi makes one that is available at Walgreens for instance, and Timberland makes one that can be ordered here that is a spray.

                                    My soap seems to be working miracles, but I would NOT use it on suede (note to self -- add that to the directions!).

                                    I've had pretty good luck with dye, but mostly on my Danskos, which get knocked around a lot -- once the dye soaks in and is dried, it doesn't rub off. I've also (shhhhhhh) been known to take the scuff cover stuff sold for shoes and use it where I have leather wear marks on my black saddle. Never has come off on my breeches or me, but I'm not issuing any guarantees as to that!

                                    I love all your reviews and pictures! Such fun!!

                                    Thank you -- Libby
                                    I have Higher Standards ...do you? Find us on FB!
                                    Higher Standards Custom Leather Care -- Handcrafted Saddle Soap

                                    Comment


                                    • Originally posted by TBPONY View Post
                                      Those pics are IMPRESSIVE!!! Approximately how long did you spend cleaning your saddle? And since certain areas were significantly more dirty than others (ex: stirrup leathers) did you rinse the sponge out in a separate dish before adding more soap and moving on to the next area?
                                      I spent a good hour on my saddle. I had a red Solo cup with some water in it that i would wring the sponge out in every now and then and then get a good lather going again on a large area. I put the sponge back into the soap a lot. My saddle really needed it and really looks great. That's probably one good thing about the orangey saddle, that you can see the differences so easily (my mother had absolutely everything to do with picking that thing out; i was 12 or 13).
                                      Gracious "Gracie," 2002 TB mare
                                      Facebook me!

                                      I have Higher Standards ...do you?

                                      Comment


                                      • Today I cleaned a couple different pieces of tack- my Edgewood bridle, a beat up old low-quality schooling bridle and martingale, and my saddle.

                                        Let me talk about the Edgewood's situation here, as it's going to be relevant to my review. The bridle is about 8 years old. Last summer we had some really freaky weather that brought some odd atmospheric conditions, and my bridle DID NOT like it- in the space of three days, it went from "fine" to "so dry it felt crumbly in my hands." Mind you, it was in the tack room the whole time. Since then, I've been trying to get it back to condition, and I've used the gamut of products on it; it drinks up oil but never really feels "done" and the best thing I found to do for it was to soak it in Kocholine, which really improved the dryness, but also made it sticky (as Kocholine is wont to do) so now it grabs onto anything it can and tends to really attract and stick to dirt. It also looks dry when flexed, even though it doesn't feel dry in the hands. I used to pay my way through horse shows by rehabbing people's old tack, and I've never encountered a problem like this before.

                                        I have pictures forthcoming of all of these pieces of tack. I am usually a Castile soap user, but I have flings with Leather Therapy.

                                        On the Edgewood bridle: did a good job of removing dirt, but I had to do a fair bit of scrubbing on some of it. Not good on the jockeys that have developed- and which nothing has been able to get off, and that includes a toothbrush. I am beginning to suspect that they're not dirt at all, but another thing the bridle is just doing now in its temper fit, which would explain the problem. I really liked the feel of the leather afterwards- I often feel residue left behind on this particular bridle, and that was not the case. A good cleaning job.

                                        A pair of $15 web reins was next- these were purchased as an alternative to my horse chewing my good show reins, and haven't been cleaned in two years because for $15, I don't care. Pictures forthcoming- these reins had a lot of dirt built up on their leather parts, and the soap did a great job with breaking that up.

                                        Crappy grain leather type bridle and martingale- did a really good job. The leather on both is stiff by nature and I don't think the soap did anything in particular to soften it up, but they were a lot easier to clean than they usually are, and again, no residue.

                                        Saddle- this is a calf leather Devoucoux. The seat really did not like this soap. The flaps thought it was fine. The grain undersides of the flaps and the billets thought it was great. The seat got a little streaky and turned green on the sides, which I have never seen before. Like on the schooling bridle, the soap did a really nice job with the grain under-flaps. This saddle did have jockeys on the flaps and I think will need the toothbrush treatment for that, because those didn't come away with today's cleaning. I don't know what was going on with the seat. I did balsam the heck out of the saddle afterwards (it needed it, and that episode freaked me out) which may have solved the problem, but we'll see.

                                        Overall, based on today's experience, this soap seems to do an exceptional job on grain leather, and a good job on calf or soft bridle leather. Reading this thread, I was kind of expecting a tack cleaning miracle, which may have been unfair to the soap! This reminds me a lot of my favorite Castile only with less lather and with a better finish to the tack after the fact. I think it will be a good daily product and will probably replace Castile for that. I may or may not try it again on the saddle to see what happens, and I'm curious to see how the Edgewood looks like tomorrow and after consistent cleaning with this, as it is more conditioning than the alternative.
                                        "I'm not always sarcastic. Sometimes I'm asleep." - Harry Dresden

                                        Amy's Stuff - Rustic chic and country linens and decor
                                        Support my mom! She's gotta finance her retirement horse somehow.

                                        Comment


                                        • Hmm -- that reaction on the Dev saddle seat is *really* strange!! We had pics of a Dev saddle cleaned earlier in the thread and it was fine, and at least one, if not more of the BNRs that have used it ride in Devs and have had no issues.

                                          Now, I'm *really* curious as to what might have caused it! Has anyone else had any issues at all?
                                          I have Higher Standards ...do you? Find us on FB!
                                          Higher Standards Custom Leather Care -- Handcrafted Saddle Soap

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