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Discuss Best product to make leather shine? at the Tack & Equipment forum - Horse Forums.

I was wondering what you all use to get a nice glossy, shiny finish on ...
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    Best product to make leather shine?

    I was wondering what you all use to get a nice glossy, shiny finish on your saddles and tack? I have tried Leather CPR, Bick 4, Leather Therapy and Black Rock...none seem to give the nice glossy finish I'm looking for! Any suggestions?

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    Senior Member+ pleasurepony's Avatar
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    If you want it to really shine, you have to use some kind of a wax-based polish product. I honestly don't know what it is, I can't give you specifics because I don't use it lol. But I sent my saddle in to the people that made it to get it adjusted, and they cleaned it up for me and told me they applied a wax polish.

    Glycerin soap and a good conditioner/oil are your best bets. I've used Lexol and Leather CPR, don't really care which one I use. Now I've got a really high quality oil designed for light oil leather and I'll use that when I clean my western saddle....which is kind of never but you didn't hear that

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    I was wondering if I'd have to resort to wax. Would a beeswax product work as well as a neutral shoe polish type product? I like to use natural when possible.

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    IMO, shiney leather = cheap leather. Good leather becomes soft and pliable with age, and takes on a nice "glow."

    Products like Leather CPR, Horseman's One Step, etc., will often put a nasty film on your saddle (cleaner/conditioner creams).

    To get it looking its best, thoroughly clean with a glycerine bar or other liquid saddle cleaner. Clean it over and over until your sponge and cloth come back clean. Clean gently, so you don't hurt the finish. NEVER scrub leather with a sponge or toothbrush.

    If the leather was dry and/or stiff before you started, condition it with something a bit heavy, like Passier Lederbalsam, Pharmaka Balsam, or Leather New Balm, or an oil like Hydrophane Leather Dressing, Pharmaka oil, or pure Neastfoot oil.

    If the leather wasn't dry or stiff to start, then you can use a lighter weight conditioner, like Hydrophane Conditioner, Bick 4, Oakwood Leather conditioner, or Leather Therapy Conditioner/Restorer.

    Once the leather is dry and all of the conditioner is soaked in, use a piece of real sheepkin (wash mitt or scrap) and buff the leather to a shine.

    List of good products:
    http://saddlesource.com/products.asp?cat=253
    http://www.equestriancollections.com...orses&cc=87221
    http://www.rods.com/dg/139,121_Leath...-Cleaners.html
    Arete Stables
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    Agree, unless it's harness leather or tall boots, you don't want that glossy shine

    Be careful with gylcerine - it can leave a dulling residue, and some makes tell you absolutely not to use glycerine, ever. So-called "leather cleaners" can be different - some are just glycerine, but some are not and are much better for actually cleaning leather.

    Then there's the conditioning aspect, done sparingly but as necessary.
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    Leather CPR is the only thing I've found that will put a sheen on oily leather. You know, the kind that's been a little over-oiled and needs to dry out and not be oiled again for another 15 or 20 years, lol.

    Sometimes you have to clean off a gummy residue of cleaners / conditioners first. I've found the old glycerine bar saddle soap and Fiebing's Leather New both strip off gunk pretty well.

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    If I'm going to "strip" leather to get rid of a good build up of gunk, I prefer to *gasp* put a few glugs of amonia in a bucket of water. That requires a good conditioning (not necessarily oiling!) after though. But it's really, really good at getting that nasty greasy buildup of stuff off.
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    so my question is, do you or do you not use water to clean your western saddles? especially rough out?
    Amy

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    Shiny leather does not always equal cheap leather. Many custom leather saddle shops use a top coat sealer to bring out the detail of their carving work. This is the product that they use.

    http://www.tandyleatherfactory.com/h...ture=Product_5

    Here is an example of shiny but not cheap saddles. Both of these saddles sell for just under $5000.


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    Quote Originally Posted by LateralFlexion View Post
    Shiny leather does not always equal cheap leather. Many custom leather saddle shops use a top coat sealer to bring out the detail of their carving work. This is the product that they use.

    http://www.tandyleatherfactory.com/h...ture=Product_5

    Here is an example of shiny but not cheap saddles. Both of these saddles sell for just under $5000.

    Right, but once it's lost it's shine, it's not "safe" to put it back on yourself. A saddle repair shop can strip the finish and re-do it, but I wouldn't recommend someone doing it themselves . Plus, old leather just looks nicer IMO when it has a "warm" glow.
    Arete Stables
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