I learned this when I was riding for an FEI dressage judge and breeder in Wisconsin. I have used this method for over 20 years and have not found anything better for cleaning and for restoring dry leather.
Now, if your leather is dry rotted or damaged, cleaning it won’t save it. Be safe and smart and don’t use anything that has passed its useful life! There’s no amount of clapping that will bring that leather-turned-sawdust back to life! 😉
A small tack sponge is the tool of choice here. dampen and squeeze out excess water. You’ll need Lexol brand leather conditioner (not the cleaner!) in a spray bottle and Fiebing’s saddle soap in a can are magical when combined! Simply spray a little Lexol in the can of Fiebing’s and rub your damp sponge in to mix the two.
Work into leather on saddles, bridles, boots…. it cleans and conditions in one step! And, I especially love the ‘tackiness’ it creates. I hate my saddle and reins feeling slippery. And, if you are caught in the rain, it won’t make a mess. Leather loves this combination and becomes super supple over continued use.
My second choice, when I can’t find this specific combination is horseman’s one step. I use this on my leather car seats as well!
I’d love to hear your feedback and favorite leather cleaning ideas!