Tuesday, January 3, 2023

Cleaning Leather with Saddle Soap

As long as I can remember my father always had a can of saddle soap handy for cleaning leather. Since I grew up with saddle soap, I still use it today to clean my leather boots.

Cleaning leather with saddle soap
Saddle Soap - Reviewed

We live in Western New York where the winters can be pretty brutal. If you have been following the news and weather recently, then you know that Buffalo New York was hit with what they are calling the storm of the century over the 2022 Christmas holiday weekend.

With all this bad weather the roads and sidewalks are salted heavily. This is bad news for your leather boots. The dirt, grim, and salt stains on your shoes and leather boots are unavoidable.

Saddle Soap was originally marketed for cleaning horse saddles. Since we didn't have any horses, therefore, we didn't have any saddles to clean we use saddle soap to clean our leather shoes and boots.

Saddle soap cleans by pulling dirt, grim, and stains out of the leather. It also will pull out the much-needed wax, and oils from the leather. Although saddle soap does contain some oils it really doesn't put enough back into the leather.

After I clean my boots with saddle soap I always apply a generous coat of original mink oil leather waterproofing or petroleum jelly (Vaseline) works just as well. Either one will help add back oils to keep the leather soft and waterproof.

Saddle soap can also be used on leather luggage, handbags, and belts. Saddle soap should not be used on suede products.

How to use Saddle Soap:

First, remove any excess dirt with a brush or damp cloth. Use a moist cloth to apply the saddle soap to develop a lather and rub it into the leather. Then, wipe off the excess lather with a damp cloth. Buff with a soft cloth when the leather is dry.

After the leather is dry is when I apply the mink oil. It adds oils back into the leather and waterproofs and helps prevent stains.

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These are the two products that I have been using on my leather boots for many years.

Kiwi Saddle Soap, 3.125 OunceKiwi Saddle Soap, 3.125 OunceKiwi Saddle Soap, 3.125 OunceMink Oil for Leather Boots,SALTY FISH Leather Conditioner and Cleaner 3.52oz-Waterproof Soften and Restore Shoes,Saddles,Jackets,Purses,Gloves and VinylMink Oil for Leather Boots,SALTY FISH Leather Conditioner and Cleaner 3.52oz-Waterproof Soften and Restore Shoes,Saddles,Jackets,Purses,Gloves and VinylMink Oil for Leather Boots,SALTY FISH Leather Conditioner and Cleaner 3.52oz-Waterproof Soften and Restore Shoes,Saddles,Jackets,Purses,Gloves and Vinyl


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  1. I remember my dad using saddle soap on his boots many years ago. An excellent product and enjoyed your helpful review, Sam.

    BTW, I thought about you last week when the 'storm of the century' hit the Buffalo area. Since I grew up just an hour east of there, I remember those winter storms well. :)

  2. Great review! I haven't used saddle soap for this purpose although I do know about it. My granddaughter is very much into horses! I will have to try this on my leather products! Thanks Sam!

  3. Saddle soap has been a tried-and-true leather cleaning solution for generations! I haven’t used mink oil to replenish the natural oils in the leather, but have used Meltonian and other “cream-based” shoe polishes and other leather conditioning products afterward. I recently purchased a new one to try to restore some old black dress shoes. If I don’t like the results, I might try mink oil. Thanks very much for your review!

  4. This sounds like a must-have product! I have heard of saddle soap before, but I have never tried it myself. I also appreciate your tip to follow-up with the mink oil. I would imagine the mink oil helps prepare your boots to be more resistant in the next storm. When you have a pair of boots (or shoes) that are perfect for you, it really is important to take the time to give the proper care. Great boots are extremely hard to replace these days!

  5. Sam, I'm sure we've used this over the years. I like your suggestion about using mink oil afterwards as well. I'll have to remember this - I'm in the market for a new pair of boots right now!

  6. Sam, I have always loved saddle soap and mink oil. I haven't had as much need to use them in the recent past. But my BFF mink oils his leather work boots at least once annually. It is really helpful to extending the life of the boots.


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