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Should I use saddle soap or no?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by k4lnamja, Feb 5, 2011.

  1. k4lnamja

    k4lnamja Well-Known Member

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    I finally received all of my supplies from AE and went and bought some saddle soap from a local shoe repair shop here in LA. I bought the saddle soap b/c my shoe shine guy would always use this plus I read some of you use it as well. But when I did a recent search (a few minutes ago) some were saying I shouldn't use saddle soap at all.

    Here are the items I've ready to polish my 2 AE's.

    Conditioner, Polish/wax, shoe dressing, brushes, towels, and saddle soap.

    Should I use the saddle soap? I think I threw away the receipt [​IMG]

    Cheers
     
  2. Xiaogou

    Xiaogou Well-Known Member

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    I've always read not to use saddle soap on finer leather. AE is in that camp.
     
  3. cptjeff

    cptjeff Well-Known Member

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    It's fine if used right. Don't use anything seriously abrasive, work it into a lather with a brush, brush it on, brush it off. I wouldn't use it every shine, but it's not going to kill your shoe.
     
  4. MyOtherLife

    MyOtherLife Well-Known Member

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    Never. It is SOAP. Soap emulsifies the natural oils in the leather, leaving residue and drying the leather out. It should never be used ever and there is absolutely no need for it.
     
  5. LynahFaithful

    LynahFaithful Well-Known Member

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  6. Ingenieur

    Ingenieur Member

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    St Crispin recommends using it four times per year and I have used it on my EG's and St. Crispins without any problems at all.

    http://www.saint-crispins.com/downlo...s_shoecare.pdf


    Standard regurgitated spiel: If you use saddle soap, your shoes will dry out, they'll be permanently destroyed, they might burst into flames. I read it on the internet.

    OP, I use turpentine and saddle soap before conditioning and re-polishing, and my shoes are perfectly fine. The advice in the St. Crispins pdf is sound.
     
  7. retozimmermann

    retozimmermann Well-Known Member

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    Fully agree to using saddle soap. Of course its soap and will bind to the oils and grease on the shoe thereby drying it out somewhat. But that's the point of using soap. I hope all those who keep saying you shouldn't use soap on shoes at least use soap on themselves despite drying out their skin.

    What our own skin makes up with natural body fat etc, you can also support by adding a bit of lotion. Because the shoes obviously cannot regrease themselves, we have to do that for them. But I don't think anyone really suggests cleaning their shoes with saddle soap only and then wearing them without any further conditioning.

    Also, why do you think the thing is called SADDLE-soap? Saddles are almost always leather and this kind of soap has been used on them probably for millenia.
     
  8. DerekS

    DerekS Well-Known Member

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    Ive used it for 15 years. Only shoes ive ever damaged were from a drunk girls stiletto while dancing. Use that soap son!!
     
  9. NORE

    NORE Well-Known Member

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    Could it be that the regurgitation that saddle soap is bad for shoes is actually beginning to be broken???? :tearingup:
     
  10. Xiaogou

    Xiaogou Well-Known Member

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    Could it be that the regurgitation that saddle soap is bad for shoes is actually beginning to be broken???? :tearingup:
    Do you use saddle soap on your shoes? Saddle soap is intended for saddle's, to soften them. I don't think shoes need that. http://mobile.associatedcontent.com/...ap_truths.html
     
  11. cptjeff

    cptjeff Well-Known Member

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    Fully agree to using saddle soap. Of course its soap and will bind to the oils and grease on the shoe thereby drying it out somewhat. But that's the point of using soap. I hope all those who keep saying you shouldn't use soap on shoes at least use soap on themselves despite drying out their skin. What our own skin makes up with natural body fat etc, you can also support by adding a bit of lotion. Because the shoes obviously cannot regrease themselves, we have to do that for them. But I don't think anyone really suggests cleaning their shoes with saddle soap only and then wearing them without any further conditioning. Also, why do you think the thing is called SADDLE-soap? Saddles are almost always leather and this kind of soap has been used on them probably for millenia.
    Which is why saddle soap isn't usually pure soap. It has stuff like glycerin and lanolin to make it pretty similar to things like shaving soaps that both clean and moisturize. Some, like kiwi, also contain wax that serves the same function as a wax polish- to provide shine and protection. It's not like using ivory and a scrub pad. If it was, and was killing shoes left and right, would the stuff have been in common use by every shoe shine stand, saddle shop, leather cleaners, car upholsterers, ect. for hundreds of years? So clean, add a conditioner, polish. Sometimes. Usually, all you need to do is polish.
     
  12. 69clyde

    69clyde Well-Known Member

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    I finally received all of my supplies from AE and went and bought some saddle soap from a local shoe repair shop here in LA. I bought the saddle soap b/c my shoe shine guy would always use this plus I read some of you use it as well. But when I did a recent search (a few minutes ago) some were saying I shouldn't use saddle soap at all.

    Here are the items I've ready to polish my 2 AE's.

    Conditioner, Polish/wax, shoe dressing, brushes, towels, and saddle soap.

    Should I use the saddle soap? I think I threw away the receipt [​IMG]

    Cheers

    Saddle soap is a cleaner, hence the word soap. It should be used in step two to remove grit and grime before other steps. Try mink oil as the final step, let sit for a couple of hours, then buff the shit out of them!
     
  13. upnorth

    upnorth Well-Known Member

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    I don't understanding why people continue to perpetuate lies about saddle soap drying leather. Anything in excess is bad. Even cream, which is supposedly good for shoes, applying too much would cause more dirt to adhere and make it look dirty and grimey.

    Look at the ingredients list for saddle soap, they all invariably contain a moisturizing ingredient. Should you use it all the time, no, you don't need too unless there are really nasty stains present. They are great to have around.

    In most circumstances, all you mostly need is a good brushing to get rid of dirt and then use a form of cream or lotion but to say that saddle soap would dry leather is pure BS. Except in the country where my shoes and boots can get really dirty, a ratio of 1:6 is a good policy to follow for city shoes, i.e. for every 6 conditioning and polishing routine, use saddle soap once and also as and when it is needed if there are some major stains.
     
  14. NORE

    NORE Well-Known Member

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    Do you use saddle soap on your shoes? Saddle soap is intended for saddle's, to soften them. I don't think shoes need that.

    http://mobile.associatedcontent.com/...ap_truths.html


    No care kit is complete without a tin of it. The shoes I have now don't require it's use (just yet) but when I was routinely buying and selling shoes with a fair amount of wear, the saddle soap worked wonders removing flaking, built up layers of wax polish & dirt.
     
  15. MyOtherLife

    MyOtherLife Well-Known Member

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    Saddle soap is a cleaner, hence the word soap. It should be used in step two to remove grit and grime before other steps. Try mink oil as the final step, let sit for a couple of hours, then buff the shit out of them!
    Mink oil should never be used on dress shoes unless those dress shoes are slated only for bad weather. Once absorbed into the leather, you'll never get the damned stuff out. Mink oil is better suited for hardcore leather boots that see nothing but bad weather, as it will seal the leather somewhat and add resiliency to it against the elements.
     
  16. upnorth

    upnorth Well-Known Member

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    Some of the best products for finer leather product contains mink oil. Saphir renovatuer is one of them. How many more lies can we see? [​IMG]
     
  17. Jay Suave

    Jay Suave Well-Known Member

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    Bare with me please as I bring this thread back to life for a second.

    I have both Saphir's saddle soap and Lexol's leather cleaner and I've always been debating which one to use.
    I found these 2 articles on saddle soap after doing some research:

    " "It's application," (...) "has caused considerable permanent damage to significant objects since its components cannot be easily rinsed out (...)"

    "The high oil content in saddle soap, however, reduces its ability to remove dirt effectively."

    "The use of saddle soap as a leather conditioner is questionable as well. A strong nonacid emulsion (pH 9 - pH 10), the high alkalinity level of the emulsion (from the soap itself) alters the acidity of the leather, and may cause the fabric to shrink and crack over time."

    http://voices.yahoo.com/saddle-soap-truths-97557.html

    "Saddle soap is a good leather cleaner and conditioner? Well, not exactly. Saddle soap products are extremely economical and very commonly used, but aren't necessarily your best choice for keeping your fine leather saddle and tack in top-notch condition. Soaps are high alkaline, which can damage the leather and can darken it. Soap also removes leather's tanning agents, which can lead to hardening and cracking as the leather is detanned."

    http://info.mannapro.com/mannaproan...on-Leather-Care-Myths-from-Lexol-Leather-Care

    Obviously after the cleaning process the use of mink oil & cream conditioner will provide the leather with plenty of nourishment and hydration, so I don't think the hardening is really an issue here , however, these articles do make me reconsider my position on saddle soap...

    Thoughts?

    - Suave
     
  18. Jay Suave

    Jay Suave Well-Known Member

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    any thoughts gents?
     
  19. GBR

    GBR Well-Known Member

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    Why do you need saddle soap- shoes are not saddles...
     
  20. RIDER

    RIDER Well-Known Member

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    We (Avel/Saphir) do not actually make a true Saddle Soap.....we make a Regenerating Soap that is glycerine based, like a Saddle Soap, but not as strong. Even then, this product is inside of our Equestrian range and we state in our care guides that it is for 'rustic leathers'. Meaning not finished/dress calfskins. I do use it on shell cordovan however. We do make a true Saddle Soap in Tarrago but, again, it is marketed to the Equestrian Trade.
     

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