11 Best Saddle Soaps & Brushes for Boots & Leather Goods 2024

Saddle soaps and brushes are not only great for maintaining equestrian gear. You can also use them as care products for boots and other leather goods. In this article, we’ll be listing down the best saddle soaps & brushes on the market and what we like and don’t like about them.

If you’re looking for the best choices when it comes to saddle soaps and brushes in the market today, check out these quality products below:

Overall winner
Best value for money
Best liquid saddle soap
Best brushes for saddle soap
Saphir Etalon Noir Soap - Cleans, Restores and Protects Saddle Leather with Glycerin - 3.53 oz
Fiebing's Yellow Saddle Soap for Leather (3.5 oz Tin) - Leather Cleaner & Conditioner to Soften, Protect & Restore Leathercraft - Leather Soap for Car Seat, Couch, Shoe, Purse, Boot, Bag, & Saddles
Fiebing's Liquid Glycerine Saddle Soap for Leather (32 oz) - Smooth Leather Cleaner & Conditioner to Soften, Protect & Restore Leathercraft - for Car Seat, Couch, Shoe, Purse, Boot, Bag, & Saddles
4 Pcs Horsehair Shine Shoes Brush Kit Polish Dauber Applicators Cleaning Leather Shoes Boots Care Brushes Suede Cleaner Brush with Microfiber Shoe Cloth(4 Pcs Style A)
Form
Ointment
Paste
Liquid
shine brush, large horsehair brush, detailing shoe brush, microfiber cloth
Volume
3.38 oz (96 g)
3.5 oz (99 g)
16 fl oz (483 ml)
-
Price
$22.65
$7.99
$16.99
$9.69
Overall winner
Saphir Etalon Noir Soap - Cleans, Restores and Protects Saddle Leather with Glycerin - 3.53 oz
Form
Ointment
Volume
3.38 oz (96 g)
Price
$22.65
Best value for money
Fiebing's Yellow Saddle Soap for Leather (3.5 oz Tin) - Leather Cleaner & Conditioner to Soften, Protect & Restore Leathercraft - Leather Soap for Car Seat, Couch, Shoe, Purse, Boot, Bag, & Saddles
Form
Paste
Volume
3.5 oz (99 g)
Price
$7.99
Best liquid saddle soap
Fiebing's Liquid Glycerine Saddle Soap for Leather (32 oz) - Smooth Leather Cleaner & Conditioner to Soften, Protect & Restore Leathercraft - for Car Seat, Couch, Shoe, Purse, Boot, Bag, & Saddles
Form
Liquid
Volume
16 fl oz (483 ml)
Price
$16.99
Best brushes for saddle soap
4 Pcs Horsehair Shine Shoes Brush Kit Polish Dauber Applicators Cleaning Leather Shoes Boots Care Brushes Suede Cleaner Brush with Microfiber Shoe Cloth(4 Pcs Style A)
Form
shine brush, large horsehair brush, detailing shoe brush, microfiber cloth
Volume
-
Price
$9.69

Best Saddle Soaps – Reviews

Saphir Etalon Noir

The first on our list is the Etalon Noir by Saphir, which is one of the best brands we frequently mention on our leather care products list– for good reasons. This high-quality ointment soap can be used on saddlery, belts, shoes, and furniture. It has a natural formula made from glycerin which helps restore the softness of leather materials.

Saphir Etalon Noir Soap - Cleans, Restores and Protects Saddle Leather with Glycerin - 3.53 oz

The great thing about this saddle soap is that it is colorless so you don’t have to worry about discoloration even if you’re dealing with clogged and dirty leather items.

What we like

  • Colorless and safe for any color of leather goods
  • Natural formula
  • Great for as mild as deep cleaning

What we don’t like

  • Higher price

Fiebing’s Saddle Soap

The Fiebing’s Saddle Soap is one of the brand’s signature products when it comes to leather care. This saddle soap is perfect if you want to clean, lubricate the fibers, and prevent the brittleness of your boots, fine saddles, and other smooth leather items. With its price of almost half the Saphir Etalon Noir, you can also get the most value for your money with this product.

Fiebing's Yellow Saddle Soap for Leather (3.5 oz Tin) - Leather Cleaner & Conditioner to Soften, Protect & Restore Leathercraft - Leather Soap for Car Seat, Couch, Shoe, Purse, Boot, Bag, & Saddles

This product is great if you want to do some mild cleaning and conditioning of darker-colored leather items. However, if you own a light-colored saddle or leather, the Fiebing’s Saddle Soap may not be your best option as it has a tendency to darken the material.

What we like

  • Gives a matte shine when finished
  • Conditions leather item
  • Lessens the appearance of scratches
  • Prevents brittleness by lubricating the leather fibers

What we don’t like

  • Not ideal for deep cleaning
  • Can cause leather darkening

Kiwi Saddle Soap

Kiwi is another brand that is well-known when it comes to shoe and leather care products. The Kiwi Saddle Soap is made from a traditional blend of ingredients (glycerin and lanolin) that can effectively clean, soften, and preserve your leather goods.

Kiwi Saddle Soap, 3.125 Ounce

Compared to other brands, Kiwi is considered the more affordable option. For its price, this can definitely give you a good product payoff when it comes to cleaning and maintenance. If you’re also dealing with scuff marks on your saddle or boots, this soap can help remove them. However, for luxury leather goods, we still recommend using the Saphir Etalon Noir to avoid the risks of product darkening.

What we like

  • Can get rid of salt stains
  • Affordable price
  • Helps soften and preserve the leather

What we don’t like

  • It has a chemical smell

Bickmore Saddle Soap Plus

The Bickmore Saddle Soap Plus is formulated with neatsfoot oil and lanolin to clean and moisturize your leather goods. This soap is great for outdoor leather products such as leather boots, saddles, horse tack, and even baseball gloves. This product dries up pretty fast so keep that in mind if you’re someone who likes to take their time in leather maintenance.

Bickmore Saddle Soap Plus - 6.5oz - Leather Cleaner & Conditioner with Lanolin - Restorer, Moisturizer, and Protector

When using this product, make sure to check if it’s colorfast as these may sometimes cause discoloration on different colors of leather goods. For best results, it is recommended that you use this saddle soap with the Bick 4 Leather Conditioner.

What we like

  • Dries up quickly
  • Doesn’t leave a greasy feel
  • Great for deep cleaning outdoor leather items

What we don’t like

  • Can affect the item’s color pigment

Fiebing’s Liquid Glycerine Saddle Soap

This saddle soap is quite different compared to the other ones we mentioned above as this comes in liquid form in a spray bottle. This liquid saddle soap works just as well as the ointment soap of the same brand, but this is ideal for farming and horse care leather equipment.

Fiebing's Liquid Glycerine Saddle Soap for Leather (32 oz) - Smooth Leather Cleaner & Conditioner to Soften, Protect & Restore Leathercraft - for Car Seat, Couch, Shoe, Purse, Boot, Bag, & Saddles

Fiebing’s Liquid Glycerine Saddle Soap is one of the best liquid saddle soaps on the market today. If you want an easier application method where you can just spray, wipe, and polish your leather goods, then this liquid saddle soap is perfect. The only downside of this liquid soap is that it does not produce as much suds as solid saddle soap.

What we like

  • Easy application
  • Prevents brittleness
  • Restores the luster of leather item

What we don’t like

  • Does not produce many suds compared to the solid saddle soap

Fiebing’s Glycerin Saddle Soap Bar

Another saddle soap by Fiebing’s is their Glycerin Saddle Soap Bar. It’s almost similar to Fiebing’s solid saddle soap that we mentioned above, but the main difference is that this one is made from 100% glycerine. It also does not come in a tin can, so you’ll need to be cautious about where you store this product.

Fiebing's Gylcerine Saddle Soap for Leather (7 oz) - Leather Cleaner & Conditioner to Soften, Preserve & Restore Leathercraft - Leather Soap Bar for Car Seat, Couch, Shoe, Purse, Boot, Bag, & Saddles

This glycerin saddle soap gives off a satin finish and restores the suppleness of the leather. What makes this saddle soap better than Fiebing’s Saddle Soap is that since it’s purely made out of glycerine, it will not cause any staining or discoloration to your item.

What we like

  • Does not cause discoloration or darkening
  • Brings back the suppleness and shine of the leather
  • Great for mild cleaning and preserving

What we don’t like

  • Does not come in a handy container

Absolutely Clean Saddle Soap Spray

Another handy saddle soap is the Absolutely Clean Saddle Soap Spray which is made from natural enzymes to clean and deodorize equestrian gear and other leather items. This saddle soap does both the cleaning and conditioning by effectively removing stains and odors on leather.

Absolutely Clean Amazing Saddle Soap Spray for Leather Cleaning & Tack Cleaner and Conditioner

Since it’s in a spray bottle, this product is much easier to apply and all you need is a damp towel or sponge. What’s great about this brand is that it is veterinarian approved so it doesn’t come with toxic chemicals and fumes that can be dangerous for your pets and kids.

What we like

  • Can get rid of unpleasant odors
  • Veterinarian-approved
  • Easy application

What we don’t like

  • Not ideal for deep cleaning

Farnam Leather New

Farnam Leather New is an easy-polishing glycerin saddle soap that comes in a spray bottle. This brand is well-known among equestrians since it can remove grime that is embedded in your saddle or leather goods. It’s gentle enough for frequent use whenever you need to clean your item or after every ride.

Farnam Leather New Easy-Polishing Glycerine Saddle Soap and Leather Saddle Cleaner, Protects and Preserves Leather, Cleans, Conditions and Polishes, 16 Oz.

Farnam Leather New is one of the cheapest saddle soaps on the market and its formula is made to be non-greasy and won’t leave a residue that can rub off when used. If you’re looking for a saddle soap that is gentle, affordable, and can leave a polished look on your leather and equine items, then you can try this brand.

What we like

  • Very affordable price
  • Non-greasy formula
  • Easy application
  • Gives a polished finish

What we don’t like

  • Not ideal for light-colored leather goods
  • Not recommended for luxury leather

Otter Wax Saddle Soap

If you want a saddle soap that not only cleans but can also provide some waterproofing features, then you’ll love this Otter Wax Saddle Soap. It is made from all-natural ingredients such as beeswax and Castile which are great for cleaning and conditioning leather.

Otter Wax Saddle Soap | 2oz | All-Natural Leather Cleaner | Made in USA

This multi-purpose saddle soap is not only great for equine items, but also for leather sofas, car seats, shoes, and bags. This saddle soap is gentle enough to remove dirt and grime from your leather goods while protecting them from stains and dryness.

What we like

  • Provides water-repellant features
  • Non-toxic and all-natural ingredients
  • Handmade to ensure quality
  • Nourishes leather to restore its suppleness

What we don’t like

  • Not ideal for lighter-colored leather as it can darken the material
  • Expensive

Oakwood Liquid Saddle Soap

Last but not least on our list is the Oakwood Liquid Saddle Soap which is specially formulated to be pH-balanced to effectively remove dirt and stains on leather goods without damaging the material. This product is also fragrance-free if you’re particular about the smells that go on to your precious leather items.

OAKWOOD Liquid Saddle Soap, Neutral, 16.9 oz, (50-2156)

This gentle saddle soap is non-stripping which means that it can be used to clean stubborn stains without drying the leather fibers. It also contains quality ingredients such as emu oil, lanolin, beeswax, and eucalyptus oil which makes it stand out among the rest.

What we like

  • pH-balanced to avoid brittleness and cracking
  • Nourishes leather with natural oils
  • Non-toxic formula and odorless

What we don’t like

  • This product is more expensive compared to others on the list

Best Saddle Soap Brush

Once you’ve picked the best saddle soap for you, it’s time to choose the best saddle brush that goes well with it for a more effective application. Here’s the best saddle soap brush that we recommend:

ZJoey Horsehair Shine Shoes Brush Kit

This brush kit comes with 4 pieces of brushes which includes a shine brush, a horsehair brush with long handles, a detailing shoe brush, and a microfiber buffing cloth. Since the brushes are made out of horsehair, it’s guaranteed to be effective and beginner-friendly. You can use these dauber applicators and brushes on all types of leather materials and not just on equestrian gear.

4 Pcs Horsehair Shine Shoes Brush Kit Polish Dauber Applicators Cleaning Leather Shoes Boots Care Brushes Suede Cleaner Brush with Microfiber Shoe Cloth(4 Pcs Style A)

The microfiber cloth is also perfect for everyday maintenance and these brushes are designed for easy application of saddle soap and shoe polish. The grooves on the side of the brushes also make it easier to grip

What we like

  • Made from high-quality horsehair for soft yet tough cleaning
  • Wood handles are smooth and hand-polished

What we don’t like

  • Soft bristles are not ideal for rigorous brushing

Other Brands That Didn’t Make Our Ranking

  • Angelus Leather & Saddle Soap
  • Ariat Saddle Soap
  • Moneysworth & Best Saddle Soap
  • Effax Leather Cream soap
  • Sof Sole Saddle Soap
  • Huberd’s Saddle & Tack Conditioner
  • Hoffco Saddle Soap
  • Tarrago Saddle Soap
  • Ray Holes Saddle Butter
  • TRG Saddle Soap
  • Durvet Saddle Soap Glycerin Bar
  • Griffin Saddle Soap
  • Carr Day and Martin Belvoir Tack Cleaner
  • JOVITEC Horsehair Shoes Polish Brushes Kit

How to choose the right saddle soap

Saddle soap is a great way to clean your leather goods thoroughly. You won’t use this product all the time so it will most likely last you a long time, so if you’re going to buy one, you might as well buy the right one for your leather item.

Here’s how to choose the right saddle soap for your leather items.

Ingredients

Ingredients will always be important when it comes to natural products like leather. You want to make sure that the soap does not have anything too harsh that can damage or dry out the leather too much.

You can’t expect saddle soap to not be drying to the leather to at least some degree, but it won’t be as drying as regular soap because most saddle soaps will have fat in them.

While petroleum jelly isn’t necessarily bad for leather, it is a synthetic ingredient and could damage stitching if it is made of a plastic-based material. This isn’t really much of a concern most of the time as the stitching will be more prone to friction than chemical weakening, however, it is something to keep in mind.

Condition of the leather

What you’re going to use the saddle soap on will dictate what type of saddle soap is best. If your leather is still quite healthy and just needs cleaning up, you can opt for a lighter saddle soap that focuses more on cleaning than conditioning.

If your leather is very dry and could be cracking, a higher glycerin content saddle soap would be best to moisturize the leather and bring back its softness.

pH level

Leather naturally has a low pH level of around 4.5-6 which helps give it antibacterial properties. You want a soap that’s also slightly acidic to prevent the pH level of the leather from going up and affecting its feel.

Raising the pH level of the leather can cause the fibers of the material to become more susceptible to damage from alkaline substances, such as soaps and detergents. This can lead to fading, discoloration, and other types of deterioration of the leather. For saddle soap alternatives check out our other article.

How do you apply saddle soap?

Applying saddle soap isn’t a difficult process, but it can be a long one, especially if you’re doing it for large items. We’re here to break the process down for you and make it as easy as possible.

Things you will need:

  • Saddle soap
  • Dauber brush
  • Clean cloth
  • Clean water
  • Conditioner
  • Waterproofer (optional, but suggested)

Steps:

  • Remove any dust and debris to avoid scratching the leather.
  1. Take the dauber brush and lightly dip it into the water, flicking off any excess.
  2. Dab the brush onto the saddle soap. Lather the brush into the solid saddle soap until it foams up or dip it into the solution if it is a liquid saddle soap. You may also spray directly onto the leather if it comes in a spray bottle.
  3. Work the soap onto the leather and use circular motions with your dauber brush.
  4. Focus on any crevices where dust and dirt can build up and make sure to get the whole surface.
  5. With a clean, dry cloth, wipe off as much of the soap as you can.
  6. Let the surface dry up for about an hour or more until it is sufficiently dry.
  7. Apply leather conditioner if the soap has dried out the leather too much.
  8. Apply a waterproofing spray or coating to protect the leather from water, this is most advisable on shoes or jackets.

How often should you use saddle soap?

Saddle soap shouldn’t be used very often. We recommend using saddle soap only when absolutely necessary and never more than once every 3-4 months.

Most of the time, a damp cloth or a leather wipe is enough to clean any light dirt on the surface of the leather and wouldn’t call for the use of saddle soap. Only use saddle soap when your leather item really needs cleaning like bad luck on a muddy, rainy day or if it has accumulated a lot of dirt from months of regular use.

Saddle soap is still soap and can dry out your leather, and at worst, could damage it if the saddle soap has a high pH level. Saddle soaps intrinsically have high pH levels as well since that is the nature of soaps, but this can be helped by using saddle soaps that aren’t too far from the pH of the leather.

What is saddle soap used for?

Saddle soap is a cleaning and conditioning product that is specifically formulated for use on leather. It is commonly used to clean and condition saddles, but it can also be used on a variety of other leather products, including boots, shoes, handbags, and furniture.

In addition to cleaning and conditioning the leather, saddle soap can also help to protect the material from water, dirt, and other types of damage. It can help to prevent the leather from becoming dry and brittle, and it can also help to restore the color and shine of the leather if it has become dull or faded.

What ingredients does saddle soap contain?

Saddle soap formulas are usually kept secret by their manufacturers, especially ones that are owned by long-standing families in the leather industry. However, some companies have made their ingredients list open to the public and there are also ingredients that are commonly found on many saddle soaps that most manufacturers use.

Here is a list of a few ingredients that saddle soap typically contains:

Soap – Usually in the form of sodium tallowate, which is based on cow tallow or other types of animal fat.

Glycerin – Glycerin is a moisturizing agent that helps to condition the leather and prevent it from becoming dry and brittle.

Lanolin – Lanolin is a natural oil that helps to lubricate and protect the leather.

FAQ

What is the difference between white and yellow saddle soap?

White saddle soaps are typically used for more light-colored leather that may need more gentle ingredients and cleaning, while the yellow soap is used for more rugged leather items like dark-colored boots or brown saddles. The yellow color may also indicate the presence of beeswax.

Can you use saddle soap on suede and nubuck?

Saddle soap should not be used on suede or nubuck leather as it can damage the delicate, velvety texture of these materials. Saddle soap can easily dry out the loose fibers of nubuck and suede, causing those soft fibers to flake off and leave the surface of the leather stiff. It’s best to use dedicated suede and nubuck cleaners.

What’s the difference between saddle soap and leather conditioner?

Saddle soap is designed to clean and soften the leather, and it can also help to protect it from water, dirt, and other types of damage. Leather conditioner, on the other hand, is a product that is designed specifically to condition and moisturize the leather. You should not use saddle soap in place of leather conditioner.

Can I use saddle soap on leather car seats?

Yes, you can use saddle soap to clean leather car seats. Saddle soaps are generally made for leather care and maintenance and this includes your leather car seats. Since saddle soap also contains essential oils like lanolin and glycerine, it can also help bring back the suppleness and help nourish the leather.

How to make homemade saddle soap

You can try making a homemade saddle soap using the following ingredients– 3 parts mild soap, 7 parts water, 2 parts beeswax, and 1 part neatsfoot oil. It’s up to you if you want to add more nourishing essential oils to your DIY saddle soap, but make sure that they are safe for leather application. As always, check for discoloration on your leather by applying the soap to a hidden spot.

Authors

  • Luke

    With a 14-year journey dedicated to preserving and enhancing leather goods, his unwavering passion continues to fuel his expertise. When he's not immersed in the world of leather, you can find Luke enjoying exhilarating bicycle rides or exploring nature through invigorating hikes.

  • Ralf

    Ralf is a multifaceted creative enthusiast with a deep passion for various crafting hobbies, including sewing, pottery, and the captivating world of leathercraft.