My favorite products for tack detailing:
1.Leather Therapy Wash
3.Simichrome Metal Polish
4.Electric Spin Toothbrush
5.Sponge with scrubby on one side
Dampen sponge in warm water.Rinse out excess water and spray Leather Wash on sponge. Sponge leather thoroughly, rinsing out sponge as needed.
Be sure to clean the underside of the saddle as well as the top and under the flaps.
For strap goods and bridles, there are often embedded oils, salts and dirt even if you wipe off your tack regularly. This forms a layer on the leather that is difficult to remove. After sponging, I will very lightly go over the leather with the straight edge of a pen knife blade to remove the embedded grime. You need to be very careful with this step and be sure to spot test the leather first. Some of the cheaper leathers may lose their dye so this step is not recommended for all leather. I wipe the blade on a towel as I work to remove the accumulating grime.
I use a toothbrush dipped in Leather Wash to clean the hard to reach areas.
Stitching on leather can also accumulate grime. For this, I use a dental pick to remove the grime.
I use a toothbrush and Leather Wash to clean elastic. I wipe the elastic with towel to absorb excess moisture and remove dirt. This process may need to be repeated a few times.
Dried sweat and dirt can be removed from sheepskin by brushing vigorously with a slicker brush.
The next step is to condition your tack with Passier Lederbalsam. I use the warmth of my hands to help the conditioner penetrate the leather. As with cleaning leather, be sure to condition all of the leather, including the undersides of the saddle.
While I am allowing the conditioner to work into the leather, I polish all metalwork with an electric spin toothbrush and Simichrome. I've found the toothbrush to be more efficient at getting into small places and better at polishing metal than using my hands.
The next step is to polish all metalwork by rubbing vigorously with a towel, using a clean section when the current section gets soiled. This process takes a while and you should continue polishing until the towel is no longer dirty. The towel shown was used on the browband only.
I clean bits with a toothbrush and hot water only. Very hot water will allow the residue to come off easily. Some people run the bits and stirrups through a dishwasher cycle to clean them. I also clean the stirrup pads with a toothbrush and hot water.
The final step is to wipe down the leather with a clean cloth to remove excess conditioner. Depending on the dryness of the leather, I may leave the conditioner on a short time or overnight. Properly cleaned and conditioned tack will have a soft glow when finished.