Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Spring Cleaning

Do your saddles and tack look dingy?

It's springtime and if your saddles and tack look like mine do, it's time for a good cleaning. Here are my favorite cleaning supplies and how I clean my saddle: I like to have a detail brush that comes with two size heads that attach to it. One smaller and a little stiffer for the tooling and hard to reach areas. Then a bigger, softer head for the larger smoother parts of the leather. I also like a very soft round headed brush for the suede seats if you have one. You will also need to have a good supply of old rags or socks on hand for wiping all the cleaners off. You can never have enough rags I find.
For the silver pieces, if any, I love the Hagerty Silversmith's Spray Polish. (http://www.horsesaddleshop.com/silver-spray-polish.html) All you have to do is spray it on the silver and rub until it shines. How easy is that! You don't have to worry about the over spray that will get on the leather. It wipes right off without discoloring any of it. It's nothing like the white residue that is left by some of the other silver cleaners.
Hagerty Silversmiths' Spray Polish 85-6379

Farnam Leather New ln032601 Lexol Neatsfoot Formula lcjt009

For cleaning the leather, I use Farnum Leather New (http://www.horsesaddleshop.com/farleatnewln.html). It cleans the leather better than anything I've found so far and is easy to use too. Just spray it on to a smaller area, not the whole saddle, and with the brushes you have, scrub in a circular motion until you get a good lather. You may need to do this a couple of times, depending on how dirty your saddle is. Once you have a good lather, then wipe off with the rags you have on hand. If you have a lot of tooling or deep tooling you may need to use one of the detail brushes to get the lather out of all the tooling. Once you've gone over your whole, I always finish with Lexol Neatsfoot Formula Oil (http://www.horsesaddleshop.com/lexneatforac.html) to give it a final shine and protectant. You really should oil your saddle quite a few times a year to help keep the leather soft and pliable. Spray the oil onto a piece of fleece or something of similar material and rub it all in the leather. Don't use this on rough out or suede. The fleece works very well for this because it gives the leather a good even coat and doesn't absorb all the oil itself. This will help save on your saddle oil supply greatly.

Whala!! you now have a shiny clean, beautiful saddle that will be the envy of the trail.

Linda Fish
Used Saddle Dept.

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