How to Clean and Condition a Saddle

Use tips from a leather-care pro to protect your saddle investment.

The steps to cleaning a saddle are similar to those for cleaning leather boots: Clean, condition, and buff. Here’s how.

1. Apply glycerin saddle soap with water and a saddle soap brush.

2. Use a toothbrush for crevices.

3. Wipe off soap with a towel.

4. Apply suede cleaner for a suede seat and silver polish for silver.

5. Condition with good olive oil. This was a tip from a saddlemaker in California, and I’ve found that it’s a delicate oil that really preserves the leather with a nice shine.

6. Wipe off excess oil with a towel. Buff with a soft brush.

Frank Holland of Fort Worth, Texas, started shining boots at age 10 and has been in the leather-care business ever since. In addition to cleaning boots at major Western events Cavender’s Boot City in Hurst, Texas, he also cleans saddles for top exhibitors.

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