Disclosure: I was not compensated for this post, however I did receive a sample for my review. All opinions are my own and not influenced in any way.
I admit it: cleaning tack is not my favorite chore. I know it’s necessary to care for the leather, so I do it occasionally but I could probably be better about cleaning and conditioning my tack regularly. In the summer it gets cleaned a lot before shows, but not necessarily conditioned. Part of why I don’t like cleaning tack is that it takes forever and makes my hands cramp up. I have used plain old saddle soap, and also liquid glycerin but I don’t like the chemical quality of it, even if it is faster than saddle soap. Enter stage left: Leather Honey Leather Cleaner and Conditioner.
Review: Leather Honey Leather Cleaner & Conditioner
Order from: www.leatherhoney.com
Products: Leather cleaner, leather conditioner, 2 lint-free application cloths
Star Rating: 4.5 out of 5
The products arrived in a cute little package with one bottle of concentrated leather cleaner, a larger bottle of leather conditioner, and two lint-free application cloths. The cloths are really soft and I wanted to save them both just for the conditioner, so I used a plain white rag to clean my tack.
One ounce of leather cleaner is mixed with 8 ounces of water in a spray bottle. I like that it was cleaner with a very liquid consistency. That is what I like about liquid glycerin but the Leather Honey Leather Cleaner is all natural. In fact, they state on their website that the products are made completely “without the use of any animal products, silicone, toxins, solvents, or other harmful chemicals.” This is a big deal to me because it’s literally impossible to clean tack without getting cleaner all over your hands. Plus, I’ve never loved using chemical cleaners on my bridle and then putting that on my horses’ faces, especially near the bit where it goes in their mouths or near their eyes. Another nice thing I noticed was that the cleaner hardly smelled like anything. It had a very faint, pleasant scent but it was hardly noticeable.
My tack was really dirty. There were a bunch of scuffs on my saddle from the stirrup leathers, and some un-identified dirt on the seat. I have no idea where it came from or what it was. I couldn’t really seem to get it off with a plain gloved hand, nor did it come off on the seat of my breeches while riding.
So I grabbed my cleaner and got to work. The Leather Honey Leather Cleaner goes on very easily and gets the leather clean without too much elbow grease. The mystery dirt on the seat of the saddle came off with minimal scrubbing. The scuffs on my saddle absorbed the cleaner and darkened a lot, to the point that they nearly matched the rest of the leather again. I was happy about that. I took my bridle all the way apart to clean it thoroughly (ugggh I hate doing that – it’s so tedious), and it went very quickly. My bridle is super old and when I bought it there was some gummy sort of dirt embedded where the cheekpieces buckle that I have never been able to get off. The Leather Honey Leather Cleaner didn’t get rid of it either, even with some fairly intense scrubbing. I wasn’t surprised and don’t count that against the cleaner at all. Otherwise the cleaner worked well. I liked that it didn’t get that sticky/tacky feeling that I’ve had with other cleaners. It seems to actually clean the leather without leaving residue behind.
On to the Leather Honey Leather Conditioner! This was when I figured out why these products are called Leather Honey. The consistency of the conditioner is exactly that of honey. It’s very thick but not sticky. At first it was kind of weird because I’ve never used a conditioner quite like it. It took a few minutes to get the hang of how to apply the conditioner. The lint-free cloths seemed to want to stick to the conditioner and not spread it onto the leather. I experimented a bit and figured out that if I swiped a thick streak of the conditioner onto a section of leather and then spread it from there, it worked well. The bottle of conditioner also recommended using the product at room temperature or warmer; I was working in a room with a space heater so I set the conditioner bottle near the heater and warming it slightly also helped it go on more easily.
Once I had the hang of application, I really liked the conditioner. It smells nice; slightly sweet, but not a strong scent at all. My poor saddle was so thirsty, it absorbed a lot of the conditioner right away. I kept applying and soon the leather started looking richer and more supple. The scuffed spots on my saddle drank in a lot of conditioner and darkened even more to a shade similar to the rest of the leather.
You’re supposed to leave the conditioner on for at least two hours before wiping off the excess product, and I left it overnight. There was barely any product left to wipe off. I am considering another application of the conditioner in a few days. Clearly my saddle needed it. It looks very clean and is shiny but not too shiny, and not slippery at all. It fees very soft and supple without any residue. My bridle was nice and supple, too. There are usually some stiff straps but everything felt much easier to work with and putting the pieces back together was fast and easy.
Overall, I really liked the Leather Honey Leather Cleaner and Conditioner. The package that I got seemed a bit on the expensive side, but if you don’t need the cloths you can order the leather cleaner starting from $15.95 and the conditioner from $17.95, which seems reasonable for a high-quality, chemical-free leather cleaner and leather conditioner. Another bonus is that the products make leather water-repellent and mildew-resistant. Next up, I’m definitely using both products on my tall boots and on my non-riding leather boots that I wear all the time.