Written by Kate Stone.
We all know how important it is to clean and care for our tack regularly, especially leather! For the amount of money we invest in our tack we should do everything we can to ensure that it lasts for years. There is a large variety of recommended cleaning products and techniques, and everyone has their own personal preference. I have used a variety of different products and have found my personal favorites; although I am always looking for new products. I currently use some basic products such as Dawn, as well as products made locally in my area.
- To clean my EquiFit boots I use a wet rag to wipe off any mud, dirt, or sand. Then, if needed, I use my leather cleaner on the outside part of the boot and the straps, I use warm water, Dawn, and a toothbrush to scrub them back to their original white color (Follower Suggestions: Tide To Go Pens work really well in removing stains from EquiFit boot straps.) For the inserts of the boots that I own (T-Boot Original) I use the washer on gentle and air dry.
- To clean my saddle, girth, and bridle, or anything leather, I use my Mad Cow Leather Care for cleaning. It does not have a harsh smell and really works well into the leather. To waterproof, soften and condition, I use Hydrophane Leather Dressing. They also have darkening oil. Also, don’t forget a tack cleaning sponge.
- For cleaning my bit, I usually soak it in hot water which lifts any residue on the bit and a toothbrush if there is anything left. Using children’s fluoride free toothpaste on a toothbrush is another technique and soak in hot water after.
- To clean my splint boots I usually will wet and scrub with Dawn then rinse out the soap and lay out to air dry. This gets the boots clean from dirt, sand, mud, and sweat.
- Saddle pads and Ogilvy half pads are easy to wash in the washer on a gentle cycle and laundry detergent then lay out to dry. (Note: We have a whole page on washing your Ogilvy half pads and baby pads here. Additionally, if you want to get stains out of your white pads, try OxiClean.)
- My show boots are off the rack DeNiros, and I use a wet rag to get dirt, mud, and sand off. Then, I use the boot cream that came with them to polish and condition them. (Editor’s Note: I also highly recommend Sergio Grasso boot cleaner, which is not as harsh as some other tall boot cleaners, and DerDau Boot Conditioner.)
This is what I use on my tack, products and techniques work differently on different types and qualities. It is important when testing new products or techniques out to try them on a less noticeable location and only try a small amount until you are sure you will be satisfied, and that the product or technique will not ruin your equipment!
Got any tack cleaning tips? Let us know in the comments below!
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