In a message dated 9/18/2001 8:28:24 PM Central Daylight Time,
> Hi Calvert:
> You said, "Don't use saddle soap as a treatment (or even as
> a cleaner---there are much better products available)". What are the
> products you recommend?
> Roy H. Drinkwater
There are a number of good leather cleaners out there.
Those cleaners that claim to also be conditioners I am suspicious of. I take such combos as shortcuts that pander to folks who fear getting messy.... but maybe some of these work okay. I'll let someone else do the clincal research.
For general cleaning I buy Lexol-pH by the liter. Get it from a tack shop or better yet a wholesale/retail leather supply company. Here in KC its Konomos on Truman Road. They also have Barge cement for bonding leather and lots of other stuff.
Restoration basics(not much more than common sense):
Always brush away the loose dust dirt & salt FIRST
For undoing mold, white vinegar--a good soaking, followed by a good wet lather of Lexol-pH applied with a soft bristle brush.
Vigor of scrub depends on the condition of the surface.
Mold and salt can badly deteriorate a surface so go easy on leather thats old or has been abused with sweat or allowed to molder. Flooding the leather with plain water can remove a lot of salt and dirt without chewing up the surface details.
Rinse out the Lexol-pH
Apply the Lexol conditioner before the leather drys out. If doing a saddle don't apply too much Lexol before applying the Proofride. Beyond its widely known usefulness Proofride also does a good job of restoring and toughening up surfaces.
For an even coverage and minimum waste I like to apply the Lexol with a spray bottle. If your saddle sucks up the the first three or four thin Lexol applications too quickly you may not want to ride on it any more. Fibers that have gotten too dry can sometimes suddenly fail on that unexpected speed bump or pot hole.
But I digress....the subject was cleaners