What do you clean tack with?

tikkitti

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Mar 8, 2015
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Years ago we used presleas leather dressing(does anyone remember it) and saddle soap in metal disc shaped tub. Nowadays I use kochaline as recommended by a very wise old horseman local to us and occasionally saddle soap in a pot but have also found leather settee cleaner spray for the £ shop does the job for a quick wipe down. Just wondered what others use.x
 

Cremola Foam

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Jan 11, 2005
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Effax leder balsam. Was recommended by saddle fitter when I got my new saddle, and was something I had used before. It's got bees wax in it and smells amazing! (Actually need to clean my saddle this weekend, so thanks for the reminder!)
 
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Skib

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Dec 21, 2003
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At home on my own leathers I use Effax (wonderful softener for your hands too). But at the yard tack was cleaned every single day using very little old fashioned solid saddle soap with water, no idea of what brand. When I started helping I was set to tack cleaning which was the lowliest and simplest job.

But unlike other things about horses and riding which were explained to me in depth, I never did discover what saddle soap was or why one used it. May be Wally or someone experton leather might have views?
 
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tikkitti

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Yes @Wally I'd love to know too. I always rightly or wrongly thought saddle soap was a cleaner and in my case kochaline was the feeder, previously presleas leather dressing.This may be totally wrong though, the local elderly horseman who recommended kochaline said although it wasn't identical it was similar to some leather grease saddlers use. As for saddle soap no real reason for using it but its just something we have always used. x
 

Trewsers

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I use a damp sponge on my saddle underneath after each ride as I don't use a saddle cloth. I have some Naff liquid soap spray which is good, but they've stopped making it, so things just get a quick wipe now! If I want to moisturise my tack then I have Effax. Same for my long riding boots - Effax or Lincoln leather dressing.
 
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Wally

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Abbey 1984 is the same curriers grease that the Saddlers use. it Used to be called Hoopers 1884, then Abbey bought Hoopers and renamed it. I used to be known as 'Ooper's 'Orrible as it is fish oils and waxes and dis not smell all that nice. Abbey, I think have added a fragrance to make it less 'Orrible.

I clean with plain warm water, Saddle soap atthis stage just adds to the grease and dirt, ONce it's clean soap it and occasionally feed with anything grease not thin oil Having said that, a wipe over with anoily rag will do it no harm, soaking saddlery leather in oil is not a good plan
 
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LindaAd

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I use Ko-Cho-Line for softening new tack if it needs it, or for old, stiff tack. For cleaning (never often enough) just water and the old-fashioned saddle-soap bar - it's a pity it doesn't come in those round tins any more; I have a couple that I've saved to use as bridle racks.
 
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tikkitti

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Abbey 1984 is the same as grease that the Saddlers use. it Used to be called Hoopers 1884, then Abbey bought Hoopers and renamed it. I used to be known as 'Ooper's 'Orrible as it is fish oils and waxes and dis not smell all that nice. Abbey, I think have added a fragrance to make it less 'Orrible.

I clean with plain warm water, Saddle soap atthis stage just adds to the grease and dirt, ONce it's clean soap it and occasionally feed with anything grease not thin oil Having said that, a wipe over with anoily rag will do it no harm, soaking saddlery leather in oil is not a good plan
I wonder if that curriers grease is what the elderly horseman was refering to when he said kochaline was similar to the grease what saddlers use? So I am right in thinking the kochaline feeds and saddle soaps cleans obviously as long as tack isn't dirty as such?
 

tikkitti

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BTW does anyone remember presleas leather dressing or am I the only one who ever liked it, remembers it? x
 

Skib

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But what is the saddle soap? I was taught to sponge away any visible mud or dirt using water, then put a different, clean sponge on the surface of the saddle soap and apply it to the still damp leather. There was to be very very little soap used and then we polished with a dry duster (I think).
I know that soap we use for our own hand washing etc is made of hardened fats but what is one putting onto the leather when one uses saddle soap? And why does that rot the stitching less than the modern dressings?
 
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Wally

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Sunlight rots modern stitching more than saddle soap. I would rather replace the stitching in good , well cared for lather than have to deal with leather that has been used and abused and can no longer take a stitch
 
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sbloom

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Saddle soap - soap which is the wrong ph for leather so dries it out, glycerine which is a poor cleanser and is a humectant so attracts moisture to the surface of the leather. I never recommend it, if you use it for cleansing then rinse off, but there are better cleansers, including a good old fashioned cotton dishcloth, hand hot water and elbow grease! Add a drop of washing up liquid for filthy tack.

Totally with Wally but I use unicornleather.co.uk's conditioner and we are likely to soon be recommending Sedgwicks, I believe they are similar, not identical. I used to recommend Effax Lederbalsam until it was revealed it's full of petroleum solvent distillates, the two I mentioned give a much better result but are slightly harder to apply.
 

Wally

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I have a bridle still in use today, IN fact it was used today, bought new in 1969. Spent its life hunting and being greased up with Co Cho Line every summer and put away in cotton rags. But I have heard that Co Cho Line has changed it's recipe. A freind used to use it on all her falconry anklets and jesses, but last year several of the birs had nasty skin reactions on their legs, The only common factor was the Co Cho Line, so whether it has changed composition is anyone's guess. I don't use Co Cho Line now on anything that goes next to the skin on my birds or the horses now
 

horseandgoatmom

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Dec 3, 2014
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I use Murphys Oil soap
and Pure Olive OIl.
If I get a pc of used tack that I want to" sterilize"
I put a little liquid lysol in the Murphys oil soap
Then clean it again with Murphys.
If I want to condition leather but don;t want it to darken like Oil will
I use Lexol.
I have some tack that is 30-35 years old and still like new.
 

Jessey

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Dec 20, 2004
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As I understand it the leather of western tack leather is tanned differently to that of English requiring slightly different treatment so I used oil on my western gear but use Jefferies Leather Balm on my English stuff....on the rare occasions I clean it :)
 
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