Ask anyone about leather care and tack cleaning, get a different answer each time.
The main thing to focus on in taking making leather tack last is, actually cleaning and conditioning it…
Everyone I’ve met believes in doing it different ways. Many either completely ignore doing anything, until there’s just useless cracked pieces of leather hanging around. Or over-conditioning (Yes, I’ve been there.) to where the leather is “slimy” and gunky.
I love old-fashioned saddle soap. Cheap, long-lasting, and easy. Used regularly it will cause a little buildup on the leather. Remove that with a “degunking” product occasionally and it’s good to go again. Other concoctions are often overkill, as long as you do clean the tack often.
Much more fun though, is all the various great smelling products out there, with various promises on the bottles 🙂 Here are the ones I’ve found work really good.
This stuff is great: Farnam Leather New Foam.
You can tell I like it – it’s almost out!
This one is a really light conditioner, soaks right in without getting greasy: Lexol Leather Conditioner. I’ve used it to soften new boots on the inside.
I sometimes use a conditioner made specifically for light leather, it’s a Lexol “Neatsfoot oil for light leather“, even though all my tack is black. It goes on super thin and easy without any greasy feel, and dries to a shine which is great.
Favorite quick once over cleaner is this one: TLC Saddle Soap and Conditioner.
TLC Saddle Soap and Conditioner is made locally in Lincoln, CA by Dana Stremple, although available at many online stores now too. Love it! I have tried the Lavender and the Green Apple ones, both are nice and I’d love to try the Red Grapefruit too. They smell yummy and leave no residue. And nope, I’m not sponsored to say that haha!
Right up there with Passier Lederbalsam, I love this Saddle soap. Smells good enough to eat. You can find Dana’s products here.