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Cleaning a smooth-leather saddle?

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  • Cleaning a smooth-leather saddle?

    Ok, so how do you all clean your smooth leather saddles?! For the first time in my life I have a smooth skinned one, and the darn thing shows every streak of the sponge, even after rubbing with a towel afterward! I don't know if I'm doing something wrong and my old saddle (which has sorta textured leather all over, almost like a smoother football) just hid it well enough (though the thing is 20+ years old and still in fine shape so I can't be doing anything HORRIBLE), or what, but the streakies are driving me crazy.

    What I do:

    1) Wipe off dirt with a dish towel
    2) Apply Belvoir cleaner to damp sponge and apply to saddle
    3) Be horrified by all the streaks that appear and how the saddle appears to be 3 shades lighter thanks to the streaks, even when dry
    4) Quickly spray on Belvoir conditioner and spread around with second sponge
    5) Run away from saddle and pray the conditioner helps the streaks
    6) Come back, see the saddle is normal coloured and the streaks are only apparent when you're 6" away
    6.5) Buff saddle with clean towel - steaks still there, no matter how much I buff
    7) Be terrified that am somehow ruining saddle as have never encountered streaks on old saddle

    I also use the Passier lederbalm, but only every couple of months - I actually have yet to use that on this saddle as I haven't had it that long.

    Sorry to add to the zillion saddle cleaning threads, but I couldn't find one that specifically addressed this!

  • #2
    What kind of saddle is it? What you're describing sounds strange... I've never had it happen before.


    • Original Poster

      It's a Dover Circuit Premier - so not the best quality leather, I'm sure, but...! This is actually a replacement - the first one I had the dye totally came off when I tried to clean it. This one, the sponge doesn't come away brown like with that one, but these streaks! Oy!

      ETA - this one Dover had someone in-store test clean before they sent it out to me, to make sure the dye was fast, so I've been going on the assumption that if anything else had been wrong, they would have noticed it then and not send it to me, hence my assumption I'm doing something wrong and it's not the saddle But i suppose it could be just something weird about this make of saddle.


      • #4
        What kind of cleaner do they recommend? Different leather is tanned differently, so the manufacturers recommend different cleaners.

        I use castille soap on absolutely everything, though
        A proud friend of bar.ka.


        • #5
          What Hunter Mom said.

          I like just good old saddle soap. I don't like anything to do with saddles (or other leather goods) that has "cleaner" anywhere in its name. Have not had good experiences with such products.

          Love Lederbalsam; what about neats foot oil?
          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


          • Original Poster

            They didn't recommend anything! When I had issues w/ the first one that was my first question and they didn't specify anything.

            I'll give the good ole saddle soap/castile soap a try - it probably is the most gentle.