MAKE SURE IT’S CLEAN FIRST
Ideally, all saddlery items should be wiped after use to remove the damaging salts found in sweat and grease and be thoroughly cleaned at least every five times it is used.
To ensure thorough cleaning, where appropriate, tack should be taken apart and each piece then cleaned individually.
Just as you would shampoo your own hair first, it is also essential to clean leather before applying a conditioner. This ensures that the surface of the leather is free from grease and dirt and therefore porous to accept a conditioner.
Belvoir Tack Cleaner is specifically designed to remove grease and dirt quickly and easily, without “over-wetting” the leather or damaging the stitching. Too much liquid may cause swelling of the collagen fibres, which ultimately stretches and weakens the leather.
Quick drying Belvoir Tack Cleaner is pH neutral to ensure that the leather structure is not weakened and contains anti-fungal agents to inhibit the growth of mould and mildew.
Traditionally, Saddle Soap has been used to clean and condition leather. This should be avoided as it does not effectively remove grease and dirt and could actually seal them in leaving a greasy residue. For muddy leather, carefully remove the mud before cleaning, taking care not to scratch the surface of the leather.
Remember to always use a saddle cloth as this will absorb sweat and grease and protect your saddle. Cleaning leather is a good opportunity to carry out safety checks; look out for wear and tear to billets, buckles, straps and stitching. Any repairs required should be carried out immediately to avoid further damage and unnecessary cost, and of course to ensure your safety.