|Anyone who has ever worked with saddle soap can tell you... it’s messy, it can stain certain leathers, it often streaks, it doesn’t clean well at all, it requires rinsing and it leaves the surface feeling tacky. Whoever first touted saddle soap as a leather cleaner had their facts dreadfully wrong. The truth is that saddle soap was never intended as a leather cleaner. During the 1800’s the method of tanning leather was to drench it with oils and rub them into the skins to restore pliability and softness to the hide. Leather tanners of the day used a variation of what today we refer to as saddle soap to affect restoration of suppleness. However, the soaps were never used to actually clean the hides.|
Consumers have always endeavored to reach for the favorite products of tradesmiths. If the professionals use something it must work great... right? Well, for it’s industrial use, saddle soap did its job well... back in the 1800’s, mind you. These days, leathersmiths tan hides using the most advanced emulsions and have long abandoned the use of saddle soaps – for any purpose. These modern emulsions simply perform better, soften quicker, and deep condition with lasting moisturizers.
Saddle soap is also notoriously alkaline – and alkalinity actually damages leather. Alkalinity can abrade both the hide itself and the stitching which binds it. With all the great leather care products available at market; there is simply no reason to opt for saddle soap. Hey, it’s your bike – you can use whatever products you want on it – so be discriminating and strive to use the best product on each and every surface of your motorcycle.
At Bike Depot we will teach you how to clean and feed your leather surfaces so they look awesome and last for years of enjoyment. We can direct you to the proper formulas to meet your specific needs. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to take the initiative and be proactive in your leather care choices. Your first assignment is to throw out any and all saddle soap currently in your possession. Then, read the next section on proper cleaning and caring for your motorcycle leather.