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
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
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"
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.
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