Today we're working to revive this beautiful Brooks England B17 Saddle made from a high quality vegetable tanned leather dyed black. We'll first be using our Saddle Soap to give the leather a quick clean to remove grime from the surface and also open up the pores of the leather. We'll follow that with a light coat of our Leather Salve to restore hydration and repair dry-cracking. Finally, we'll follow up with a thin coat of our Leather Oil for an extra kick of hydrating nutrients and to revive natural luster and shine.
For cleaning, you'll need a container of warm/hot water, a tin of Saddle Soap, and one of our medium-abrasive Tampico Cleaning Brushes. The hot water helps to loosen any grime while also opening up the pores of the leather and the Tampico bristles are coarse enough to scrub off grime without scratching or damaging the leather.
Dip the brush in the water, swirl it in the soap until it softens up, and then apply directly to the leather. Repeat this process until you've covered the entire leather surface. It's important to always treat the entire item in order to achieve an even finish and coloration.
Use a damp rag to wipe away the Saddle Soap and any lingering white soapy residue. Repeat the cleaning process if necessary until the surface is completely free of any dirt, grime, dust, debris, etc. Use a soft-bristle Horsehair Buffing Brush to buff away any soapy residue still present in hard-to-reach spots like seams and edges.
Once you've thoroughly cleaned the surface of the leather, you'll want to immediately apply a thin coating of our Leather Salve while the pores of the leather are still soft and open. Create a divot in the middle of the tin with a lint-free cloth and swirl until it begins to soften. For this process, a rag cut from an old t-shirt works great. Use smooth, circular strokes and massage a thin layer of the Salve into the leather.
Let the leather rest for an hour or until you see a very thin, white residue begin to appear on the surface of the leather. This happens as the leather absorbs the oils and nutrients while forming a protective wax barrier that adds a layer of protection as well as helps to seal in the leather treatment for a long-lasting conditioning treatment. Use a soft brush or cloth to buff the thin wax layer until the white residue becomes transparent.
It's perfectly fine to apply the Leather Oil immediately after the Leather Salve. Leather is like a sponge, it can only absorb as much as it can absorb. So the Leather Oil helps us maximize absorption. Apply the Leather Oil with a cloth or soft brush and then allow it to sit for an hour or so. After an hour, if the leather surface isn't dry to the touch, any excess oil can be buffed or wiped away.
After letting the leather rest overnight, give the leather a quick buff with the horsehair brush and you're ready to ride.
Going through this whole process 1~2 times a year is likely all that your leather will require, but we recommend giving it a light coating of Leather Oil every week or so during the riding season to help maintain moisture and hydration.