Saddle Soap residue question

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Saddle Soap residue question

Postby gashouse_34 » August 9th, 2013, 6:56 pm

Hello, I am sort of new to cleaning gloves as I haven't done it much in the past. My question may have a very simple answer and if so parden my ignorance. The gloves i've cleaned with saddle soap always seem to later leave a white residue on them after some time. A lot of times they will sit for a few months before developing the residue but I recently cleaned a Vance Kenwel and within 48 hours it developed this white residue. After applying the Saddle soap ive been putting rawlings glovolium on them for conditioning. What am i doing wrong exactly? Ive thought of switching to Vaseline for conditioning...would this help remove the residue? Or is it just that I am applying too much Saddle soap? Or is it that some gloves should be cleaned with saddle soap while some shouldn't? Thanks for any help provided.
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Re: Saddle Soap residue question

Postby BretMan » August 12th, 2013, 6:54 pm

Saddle soap is just that- a soap, intended for cleaning leather, not necessarily conditioning it. If you use saddle soap, use it sparingly and try to rinse every bit of it off after cleaning your glove. Any left behind will eventually migrate to the surface and that's how you get that white gunk. I've also read that saddle soap is very acidic and if left behind can actually damage leather fibers in the long run.

This is a hard lesson I learned myself years ago. Way back in the 80's I used saddle soap on my playing gloves. I don't know for sure if you can attribute it that, but a couple of these gloves I still have today and the leather about as worn out as any glove I've ever seen. It has a "mushy" feel to it and doesn't hold it's shape well at all. When I first started collecting old gloves, I went to the old tried and true saddle soap and these gloves will still bleed out white goo from time to time.

I suppose that you could try cleaning the leaher with something else to see if you can get rid of any residue. Two good cleaners I use a lot are a 50/50 mix of Murphys Oil Soap, mixed in a spray bottle, and Fast Orange hand cleaner (with lanolin, but without the pumice added). The MOS/H2O mix I use for lighter cleaning. The Fast Orange I use on really gritty, grimy, greasy, oily gloves. It's probably what I'd use to get rid of any saddle soap.
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Re: Saddle Soap residue question

Postby smelltheglove » August 12th, 2013, 7:17 pm

Hello all. I have found that using Horsemans One Step works awesome on gloves. It comes in a creme as well as a spray. I prefer the creme over the spray. I recently did a pre 1975 Wilson A2000 and it brought the glove back to life. You can find it at Tractor Supply or on line. Take care all.
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Re: Saddle Soap residue question

Postby GloveCrazy » October 18th, 2013, 11:43 am

I'm a huge Fiebings saddle soap fan for cleaning. I've literally cleaned hundreds of gloves with it over 20 years and it is still my favorite for cleaning most gloves. I've tried many other products that clean faster (pumice, alcohol, etc. bases), but I don't like the end results as much. I only use the other products for those pre oiled 50/60s Rawlings (like there dreaded PMM Musial 3-finger with caked-on grime). I know other friends that have also had good results with Fiebings saddle soap for years and years and others who prefer non saddle soap products.

If you clean a real dry glove with saddle soap it will sometimes leave a residue over time, as the moisture gets pulled into the glove. You can resolve this in a number of ways, but I'll typically vaseline a real dry glove before or after cleaning (usually after). I'lI rub the vaseline in well mostly with just my fingers and then use an old tootbrush for the seams, etc. Vaseline will likely darken a glove a little but in most cases closer to the original color. Never saddle soap or vaseline a glove with a suede type feel to it.

I clean so many gloves that I now but it in five pound tins, but they come in two much smaller sizes. Here's a five pounder for $38.00, shipping included for those mega-cleaners:

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