cleaning a saddle

Please can you suggest a reasonable way to clean a fairly old leather cycle saddle? I didnt realise how dirty it is until I had to leave the bike in the rain & then the wet saddle made a nasty stain over my trousers. Thank you, Mark
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A mild detergent and warm water usually does the trick. Finish off with a buff of ordinary leather feed, but buff it right in or it to may leave a stain on your trousers.
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Go to a saddlers and horse outfitter who will be only too pleased to sell you a tin of saddle soap. This is a product designed to clean leather and to replace the natural oils which would be removed by detergents. The leather remains soft and pliable and incidentally ends up with a pleasant smell.
Richard
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Since it's skin, you could use the same as on your own - ie toilet soap. Then perhaps some hide food.
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wrote:

Almost anything you like, so long as it's not a detergent. Old saddles usually have a somewhat tired surface, made smooth only by burnishing. If you clean it right out, then it turns into a dirt sponge and it's worse than ever.
To clean it, use soap. Saddle soap is good if it's in good condition, but less useful if the surface has already started to deteriorate. It's also a reasonable dressing for it afterwards. Ordinary bathroom soap is pretty good on tired saddles, but they'll need treatment afterwards with either a _little_ neatsfoot oil, or Nikwax. Use too much and you'll get the "greased arse" effect of a Turkish wrestler.
If it's filthy with oil, Ecover washing up liquid is your best bet. It'll want a good seasoning afterwards though (see "dirt sponge" above)
To be honest, the best way is with a time machine. Once they get particularly skanky, there's not that much you can do about it.
http://www.sheldonbrown.com/leather.html
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