Common Leather Care Myths from Lexol Leather Care

Common Leather Care Myths from Lexol® Leather Care

Posted by Carolyn Adams, Tue, July 9, 2013

It’s summer! Hopefully that means you are riding more often, which means that you’re probably paying closer attention to the condition of your saddle and tack. Keeping your leather in good shape isn’t complicated, but can raise questions about the best way to keep these items in top condition.

Here are a few myths and misconceptions about leather.

  1. You shouldn’t get leather wet. So not true! Leather is, in fact, made in water. Hardened leather isn’t the result of getting wet, but of improper drying (never use heat!) or a lack of essential lubrication in the fibers. Using appropriate cleaners and conditioners, such as those provided by Lexol, can help your leather goods look great and last longer.
  2. One-step products are a good way to both clean and condition leather. Yes and no. No question, one-step products are the height of convenience, and in a world where all of us are constantly rushed they offer a great solution for quick cleaning and conditioning. However, since cleaning requires oils to be removed from the saddle and conditioning requires oils to be added back, single-step treatments should be complemented with the more time-consuming (sorry!) process of a full cleaning followed by the use of a great leather conditioner.
  3. Saddle soap is a good leather cleaner and conditioner. Well, not exactly. Saddle soap products are extremely economical and very commonly used, but aren’t necessarily your best choice for keeping your fine leather saddle and tack in top-notch condition. Soaps are high alkaline, which can damage and darken the leather. Soap also removes leather’s tanning agents, which can lead to hardening and cracking as the leather is detanned. We recommend using a pH-balanced leather cleaner (we happen to like Lexol!) and conditioner in combination. If you do choose to use saddle soap, be sure to follow up with a nice deep conditioning treatment for your leather items.
  4. A blond or light-colored saddle will darken with age. Not necessarily. Typically, darkening is due to the application of the heavy, raw oils and alkaline of saddle soaps. The use of a quality cleaner and conditioner (such as Lexol Neatsfoot for your lightest leathers) can keep a light saddle looking great for years!


Beth Ann Swonger 09/23/2020, 4:55:18 AM

A latigo tie strap on a new saddle is ridiculously tight, desperately needs softened. What is the best product to use and method to get it flexible. Thank you.

In reply to by Beth Ann Swonger

Buster 03/23/2022, 4:56:15 PM

Beth Ann. It has been awhile but were you able to find a product for your question on the latigo strap? I have used Lexol® conditioner on old dried latigo and it has helped. In your case I think it would help some but just using the strap is going to soften it. The latigo tanning process is different and if not done correctly can add a bit of extra stiffness the leather doesn't have naturally. Hope you have luck.

Tim 09/25/2020, 3:46:47 PM

I ordered another 3 in 1 leather care product in a spray bottle and it arrived without a sprayer. Can I pour it into the previous 3in1 spray bottle and expect the same great results I've gotten in the past?

MECUM6342 01/09/2021, 10:09:29 AM

Thank you!!1

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