Taking good care of your horse tack is an essential part of horse ownership.
Whether you have inexpensive or premium quality tack, regular cleaning will prolong the leather’s life.
In today’s tack shops, you will see a huge selection of leather cleaners and conditioners. Some are better than others.
Here we will introduce you to some of the best leather cleaners for horse tack
Let’s start with a quick look at our top picks, then keep reading for all the glorious details.
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Check the table below for a side-by-side comparison of our favorites!
Tack Cleaning Product Categories
Bridle and saddle cleaning products come in a variety of forms.
You will also see conditioners, which you can’t go without if you want to take proper care of your tack.
These are the categories you will see.
- Bar soaps
- Tinned soaps
Solid Soap Leather Cleaners
First, we’ll show you soap leather cleaners. These are the tack soaps that have been around longer than any other type.
The most recognizable is the rectangular bar of glycerine soap. However, other established brands come in metal tins.
These solid soaps are very easy to use and only require a damp sponge, some warm water, and a towel.
Oils do not really clean your horse tack, and should not be used for this purpose. It is one of the oldest and most traditional ways to condition new leather.
Many years ago, oil and solid glycerine soap were pretty much the only options available for tack care.
Oil is best used on brand new tack that needs softening. It will also darken leather. However, today it is not the only good option.
Creams for cleaning your tack come in different textures, ranging from smooth to clumpy goops.
Some creams combine cleaning and conditioning elements, while others do one or the other.
More recently on the scene are tack cleaners in spray bottles.
Spray cleaners are handy because they are not as messy to use as other types of saddle soap. They also allow for quick spot cleaning.
Liquid tack cleaner comes in bottles. It is thicker than water but easy to apply to a sponge and then your tack.
You will find both soap and conditioning liquids for leather.
Many tack brands, particularly high-end tack manufacturers, such as CWD, make their own leather cleaners and conditioners.
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5 Best Leather Cleaner For Horse Tack (Review)
To help you pick a good option, we’ve highlighted some of our favorite tack cleaners here.
1. Belvoir Tack Conditioner
Don’t confuse this horse barn staple for a true leather conditioner. You will find a bar of this saddle soap in just about every horse barn around the world.
It is an old-fashioned bar of glycerine soap that contains some coconut oil. The coconut oil helps to condition the leather, but it is primarily cleaner.
|Traditional and proven||It can get very wet and lathery if you use too much water|
|Safe for most leathers|
- Contains coconut oil and glycerine
- Used to soften and condition saddlery leather
- Dispensed in a tray
2. Fiebings Saddle Soap
One thing we love about this tack soap is that it comes in a tin, which makes it easy to store in your grooming box.
Feibings is an American brand that is one of the oldest leather care manufacturers in the United States, founded in 1885.
Their saddle cleaning product is tried and tested and continually comes at the top of lists for the best tack cleaners.
This is a semi-solid soap that has a paste-like consistency.
|Great storage tin||Some people don’t like the smell|
|Reasonably priced||Not always packaged well.|
|Long established brand that consistently gets your leather clean|
|Keeps leather soft|
3. CWD Leather Soap
This leather soap is an own-brand made by one of the most prestigious saddle makers in the world.
It comes in liquid form and is easy to use. The soap is made with glycerine and coconut oil.
|Easy to use||Expensive for the amount you get|
|Cleans tack really well|
|Doesn’t require water to use|
|Helps soften leather|
4. Lexol Leather Cleaner
Lexol leather cleaner has been around for many years and comes in liquid form.
It doesn’t leave any residue on your tack and is great at removing any dirt build-up. A nice feature of this cleaner is that it is Ph balanced specifically for leather.
|Won’t damage leather like some leather cleaners||It is a little runny inconsistency|
|Suitable for leather shoes as well||Can leave behind a sticky feeling|
|Helps to soften the leather|
- Clean, condition and protect leather auto interiors, sporting equipment, furniture, baseball gloves, leather jackets and boots, and tack and saddles
- Contains (1) 8 ounce Lexol cleaner, (1) 8 ounce Lexol conditioner, and a 2-pack Lexol applicator sponge
- Lexol pH-balanced Cleaner is purely a cleaner. NO silicones, alcohols, waxes, oil, or additives to interfere with its cleaning action or to cause dirt to be trapped in the leather.
- Lexol Conditioner leaves no greasy residue and it contains no harmful silicon ingredients which dry out leather over time. Lexol Conditioner results in supple, strong, and beautiful leather.
- Pack of 2 non-abrasive, Microfiber applicator sponges that are safe to use without damaging surfaces.
5. SmartPak Leather Cleaner & Conditioner
This is a very popular combo cleaner for your horse tack. It does not leave a greasy or sticky residue like some cleaners, and won’t darken your leather.
|Cleans and conditions with just one product||Not quite good enough for really dirty tack|
|Made with natural ingredients||Can be sudsy, so make sure to have a towel to wipe of excess|
|Comes with a tack sponge|
3 Best Leather Conditioners For Horse Tack
In addition to tack cleaner, you also need to use a leather conditioner. It is a good idea to use this at least once a week after you clean your tack.
It will keep the leather from getting brittle, hard, make sure your tack lasts for many years.
1. Effax Leather Balsam
Effax Leather Balsam is made by Effol, a German brand established in 1906.
Their leather balsam has an excellent reputation and is made with several leather nourishing ingredients.
The ingredients include beeswax, lanolin, and avocado oil.
The beeswax helps give your leather a water-repellent coating. Another great reason to use this product is the beautiful shine it gives your tack.
|Not expensive||Some love the smell, others hate it|
|Fantastic conditioning qualities|
|A favorite with many riders around the world|
- Ingredients include Beeswax, Lanolin and Avocado Oil.
- Leaves leather with a brilliant shine.
- Available in 150ml and 500ml.
- If you want to try the product first there is also a 50ml mini tube available.
2. CWD Conditioner
|Very good at conditioning leather||It is a little greasy, but if you buff it in well, this isn’t a problem|
|Good shine||Doesn’t smell very nice|
|A little goes a long way||A little pricey|
CWD conditioner’s texture is not quite a cream and not quite a paste. It is thick and soft. The company recommends you use it on your tack monthly.
It will give your leather a deep condition and a great shine. The ingredients include wax and vegetable oil.e7f5fe
3. Absorbine Horseman’s One Step Cream Leather Cleaner & Conditioner, 15-oz tub
Horseman’s One Step Cream is an all-in-one leather care solution that cleans and conditions leather and synthetic leather items in a single step.
The simple washing conditioner penetrates the leather’s interior fibers, releasing deep-down filth, perspiration, and grime and gently pulling it away.
|Can be used on natural and synthetic leather||Leaves a white residue|
|Provided deep cleaning that removes dirt and sweat quickly|
|Has lanolin that provides that extra moisturizing restoring suppleness and |
color to old or dry leather
The leather conditioning cream protects and softens the leather, making it smooth and flexible.
This unique cream leather conditioner protects both new and old leather from drying and cracking while leaving a gorgeous satin shine and no tacky or sticky residue
Other Tack Cleaning Products
When looking at tack cleaning options, you will see sprays and wipes.
While we haven’t tried every brand of spray available, we found that they just don’t work as well as non-sprays.
They are handy to have for a quick wipe down on a daily basis. However, we found they tend to not be great at moisturizing the leather.
Wipes aren’t for deep cleaning your tack. However, they are great to put in your grooming kit for ringside at a show.
You can use them to give your tack a quick wipe to remove any dust before you enter the ring.
Lexol makes a wipe that comes in a convenient container. Just make sure to keep the cover closed, so they don’t dry out.
If you are new to tack cleaning, take a look at this helpful video.
Sometimes the manufacture will recommend the best leather cleaner for their horse tack.
It is a good idea to ask them if there are certain types you should not use on their leather.
In an ideal world, you should give your tack a quick clean after every ride to maximize its health, and longevity.
However, for many people daily cleaning just isn’t possible, so do the next best thing and clean it as much as possible.
Finally, don’t forget to condition it regularly.
What leather cleaner for horse tack do you use? Please share with us!
Siun is an all-around animal lover, with a passion for horses. She grew up in the United States, competing in the hunters, equitation, and jumpers. Now living in Ireland, she competes with her own showjumping horses. She is experienced in the care and training of horses, as well as teaching riding lessons. She loves to combine her love for horses with her work. When not working, Siun will be found at the stables, rain or shine.
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