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Cleaning Tack?

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  • Cleaning Tack?

    I'm a bit tack crazy and just ran out of my tack cleaner (I used Effax LederCombi in conjunction with Effax LederBalsm and neatsfoot)
    Before I buy new stuff, What do you use? do you like it? Why?
    My Horse Show Photography/ Blog

  • #2
    I've always used Fiebings bar glycerine. For years and years. My tack has always stayed supple without getting too sticky. I like it just a little tacky.


    • #3
      I'm a huge fan of Leather CPR. It leaves my tack clean and conditioned with no residue.
      Donald Trump - proven liar, cheat, traitor and sexual predator! Hillary Clinton won in 2016, but we have all lost.


      • #4
        I use the LederCombi to wipe down my tack after each ride. I like the way it smells, it seems to get the gunk off well and my leather seems very supple.

        I also use Tattersall soap on my saddle after each ride. Again, I like the smell of it and it seems to seal/condition my saddle well with just a touch of tackiness which I like.

        In the past I also have just used water to wipe down tack and a glycerin saddle soap bar to seal/protect, and my leather seemed to wear just as well.


        • #5
          I use Passier sattelseife and lederbalsam. They both were reccomended to me by a saddle maker.


          • #6
            I like the Passier Lederbalsam, smells yummy. I need to try something new. I have a bottle of the lexol leather cleaner and hate it. Leather keeps coming out gummy. I have heard good things about the ledercombi, it seems not to leave any residue.

            On a related note- I have an old bridle I'd like to de-goo a bit. I was looking in an old book I have, Grooming to Win, and it suggests putting a capful of Ammonia into a "bucket" (doesn't say what size) of water to cut through the crud. Anyone tried that? It is a really old bridle so I am not that concerned about it, have had it since about 1988 or so, but it does have sentimental value because it is the first piece of tack I owned.


            • #7
              I'm anal about my tack...I clean it every time I use it (even if it's just a quick lunge)
              I wipe my tack down with warm water then apply Passier Lederbalsam on my saddle and on bridles, breast plates and girths use Absorbine 1 step.

              All my tack is in wonderful condition and just a wee bit tacky but not at all gummy.


              • #8
                I too spend way too much time cleaning my tack. I use Epona's Bar-In-A-Jar (I would say that it is a 'hard' glycerine) and Effax Lederbasalm. Next time I think I will go with Passier Lederbasalm because the Effax is a little stinky (though does its job well). I also use Neatsfoot Oil for darkening orange saddles .

                I don't want to de-rail too much, but you know the bridles that no one ever cleans and have a quarter of an inch of dirt caked on? Sometimes it seems like the glycerine just moves it around. Any suggestions?


                • #9
                  Originally posted by maigenesis View Post
                  I don't want to de-rail too much, but you know the bridles that no one ever cleans and have a quarter of an inch of dirt caked on? Sometimes it seems like the glycerine just moves it around. Any suggestions?
                  I use the glycerine bar soap. Always have. The trick is to make sure your water is relatively clean - so I usually have 2 buckets and/or change the water out frequently. And have plenty of clean towels on hand for wiping/buffing. And an old soft toothbrush for the REALLY caked-on gunk.

                  Neatsfoot oil to condition.

                  I loooove cleaning tack. Its like meditation for me. In fact, I may take my bridles apart and give them a good scrubbing this weekend, just for fun.

                  Originally posted by M. Owen View Post
                  On a related note- I have an old bridle I'd like to de-goo a bit. I was looking in an old book I have, Grooming to Win, and it suggests putting a capful of Ammonia into a "bucket" (doesn't say what size) of water to cut through the crud. Anyone tried that? It is a really old bridle so I am not that concerned about it, have had it since about 1988 or so, but it does have sentimental value because it is the first piece of tack I owned.
                  Yeah, a dash of ammonia in a 5qt bucket (one of the regular sized buckets that you normally use when cleaning tack) filled with warm water. Works like a charm. Just make sure you condition afterward.
                  Adversity is the stone on which I sharpen my blade.


                  • #10
                    Effax Leder Combi is my favorite everyday cleaner, in fact I like just about all the Effax products including their Lederbalsam. Belvoir's Liquid Cleaner is very similar to Effax and that's another favorite of mine, both are gentle but thorough and quick and easy to use on a regular basis. For really dirty stuff I use Kirk's Castile Soap, first I wipe down the tack, then work up a lather with the castile soap, be sure to rinse it off too. Akene is my favorite conditioner, but I also love CWD Cream Conditioner (which is excellent for darkening leather as well) and then I like to finish by "polishing" the leather with glycerine, Epona is my favorite.

                    I have lots of other products I switch off to occasionally, I like Tattersalls Saddle Soap, Amerigo Soft Clean (another liquid cleanser), and Walsh's (aka Blue Ribbon) Oil for oiling/darkening new tack.

                    I always clean my tack after every use, and condition as needed. I only use oil on new leather, or if the leather gets caught in a downpour and gets soaked. I also change the water constantly if I am using any kind of product that requires water, make sure to rinse out the sponge and get rid of the dirt before dipping it back in clean water.


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by maigenesis View Post
                      I don't want to de-rail too much, but you know the bridles that no one ever cleans and have a quarter of an inch of dirt caked on? Sometimes it seems like the glycerine just moves it around. Any suggestions?
                      This is when I use Kirk's Castile soap, its great for heavy duty cleaning, but the glycerine residue is why I prefer to use a liquid like Leder Combi, Belvoir or Amerigo Soft Clean for everyday cleaning. It doesn't leave any buildup and it cleans very thoroughly. And since it doesn't require water its fast and easy too, just squirt a little on your sponge and wipe down your tack.


                      • Original Poster

                        @maigenesis I also spend tons of time on tack. For pesky bridles with tons of buildup, I losen it up with soap and then tooth brush it, and I wipe it down lots times with a towel and repeat until EVERYTHING is gone, then I condition/ oil it until I'm happy.
                        My Horse Show Photography/ Blog


                        • #13
                          I never use the Glycerin soap because of the buildup and the tack never feels clean to me.
                          For everyday clean:
                          - Leather CPR after every ride with a damp cloth

                          For built up dirt:
                          - Murphy's oil soap in warm water
                          - Leather CPR when the leather is dry
                          (Word of warning, Murphy's oil soap will pull out some of the dye if you aren't careful.)

                          Once a year (approximately):
                          Light coating of Warm Neatsfoot oil on my saddle


                          • #14
                            My collection of products:
                            • Belvoir glycerin bar (comes with its own dish, very convenient) - Everyday wipe down and take apart cleans
                            • Effax cream soap (squeeze bottle) - Boots
                            • Effax Leder Balsam (brown tub) - Conditioning
                            • Walsh Harness oil (white bottle) - New tack and saddle
                            • Leather CPR boot polish - "everyday" shine
                            • Boot polish kit for show shine
                            • Tooth paste - bit polish
                            • 2 toothbrushes (bit and leather)
                            • washcloth and sponge

                            I have a bottle of Lexol conditioner but I never use it. I'm trying to use it up on my dark brown schooling girth and barn halter.


                            • #15
                              Quick Question, does anyone use Antares Leather Oil? What's it made with? Should I use it on my saddle that has just had regular cleanings and conditions with lederbalsam?


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by BAC View Post
                                This is when I use Kirk's Castile soap, its great for heavy duty cleaning.
                                Agreed. years and years of pony club inspections taught me a thing or two about cleaning tack =) still use:
                                - castile soap
                                - effax (the brown tub)
                                - belvoir bar glycerin soap (i was taught glycerin seals the pores of leather, so only use it AFTER you've cleaned/oiled your tack, otherwise, conditioner won't soak in)
                                - ko-cho-line dressing- it's a fantastic valentino red (Seriously) color, soaks into the driest of dry things, waterproofs and is awesome. it's old school. beware it takes some time to soak in and will discolor your breeches if it hasn't been wiped off.
                                - nevr-dull to shine anything metal
                                - hydrophane occasionally
                                - neatsfoot if i need to but i check stitching religiously

                                i've tried tons of products, including the horseman's one-step & hated it. used to use lexol conditioner but haven't in a long time.

                                re: really gunky stuff, i've used vinegar to cut grease and avoided keeling over like with the ammonia. works well.

                                for my boots, i use the sergio grasso leather cleaner and polish b/c i'm afraid of voiding the manufacturer's warranty (or so i was told).
                                And the wise, Jack Daniels drinking, slow-truck-driving, veteran TB handler who took "no shit from no hoss Miss L, y'hear," said: "She aint wrapped too tight."


                                • #17
                                  Step 1: I use hot water plain or with a small dash of Ivory in it to get the gunk off girths/bridles/saddles when needed. Use a towel, wring it out super good, and then wipe it down. I throw my bit in the bucket too to clean it.

                                  Step 2: Grab Lexol conditioner in the brown jug and some soap, either plain glycerin, MOSS, or Tattersall. I put some lexol on a dry sponge and then swipe it over the soap a few times. Then I just wipe down my tack. No water at all.

                                  If I have metal to polish I use Brasso. I never liked neverdull. It doesn't give that same shine and it dries out if you forget the lid.

                                  If I am in a hurry I just wipe my tack down with the lexol and soap. That or the Effax Leather Cream Soap. It rocks and smells great.

                                  For my tall boots I use Leather New spray glycerin soap. Keeps the polish, which I was amazed as I was told never to use glycerin soap as it could dull the leather, and keep them conditioned. I used to use the DerDau boot cleaner/conditioner and the Leather New makes them look better.

                                  I use the Effax in the brown tub when I need oil which is not often, just after it rains.
                                  I am on my phone 90% of the time. Please ignore typos, misplaced lower case letters, and the random word butchered by autocowreck.