To Clean or Condition First?

You spend so much money and so much time on your leather saddle, it makes sense that you spend just as much effort on cleaning and maintenance for your saddle and the rest of your leather items. Dry leather can actually have harmful effects on your horse. Due to chafing and rubbing from dry, stiff leather, saddles that aren’t properly taken care of can create raw spots on your horse. It is essential for you and your horse that you make sure your leather is completely pliable. How can you protect your leather items from oxidation, chemical damage, internal wear or breaking fibers and abrasion?


Most people turn to leather cleaners and conditioners, absolute must-haves when it comes to the upkeep of your saddles and other leather items. Using leather cleaner and leather conditioner is a simple enough process, something that anyone can become highly competent in with a bit of practice. However, there is some question as to whether, when cleaning your leather items, which item should be used first.


As leather cleaning and conditioning experts, we suggest using Leather Honey Leather Cleaner to clean your leather items thoroughly before using Leather Honey Leather Conditioner. Cleaning your items after conditioning could cause a few problems — most notably your leather will begin to dry out again. The leather conditioner is meant to be absorbed so it can restore the flexibility in the fibers, and sometimes it needs more than one coat and must sit overnight. Cleaning immediately after conditioning limits the amount of conditioner that can be absorbed. It is OK, however, to use a bit of leather cleaner to remove excess conditioner — but only after you have already performed a deep clean, conditioning, and allowed the conditioner ample time to absorb. We recommend 24 hours.


Cleaning and then conditioning your leather saddle and other items is essential to ensuring their longevity, flexibility and durability, as well as the well-being of your horse. Conditioning helps preserve the natural oils and moisture in leather, meaning you won’t have to replace your saddle nearly as frequently as you would if you neglected maintenance. Cleaning and conditioning your leather items regularly means your items are protected and your horse is happy.

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