Product name: Farnam 32601 Leather New Saddle Soap
Company name: Farnam
Type of product: Tack & Equipment
My review: 9/10
Saddle soap is essential to making leather last
If you don’t want your leather to look gross, feel gross and start cracking prematurely then you’ve got to start cleaning it. Using a proper leather soap on your leather products will increase their lifetimes by 6 to 10 times.
That’s pretty great considering what new leather costs and what the cleaners cost. So although it’s annoying, now you’ve got financial motivation to start cleaning. Furthermore, if you compete, then you don’t need me telling you that all your leather tack should always look pristine!
If you don’t have use a leather saddle, then you shouldn’t use saddle soap to clean it. For synthetic saddlery, there are specialty cleaners that you can use. Saddle soap might come in handy, however, if you own other leather tack or leather boots!
Farnam: breaking down the company
There’s not as much information available on the company as I would like to see. I like it when the company posts a long “About Us” page so that I can get a background on who’s making the stuff I’m buying. I’m sure you feel the same way.
What I did find was that Farnam was founded in 1946 and started off in Europe. They don’t specialize in leather products but rather pet care in general. They do pride themselves on very high standards of research, however. We’ll see if they did their homework on leather cleaners.
Their North American headquarters are located in Arizona. And they also state that they love hearing feedback from users of their products. They claim they will take all comments into consideration.
Why you might want to go with a liquid soap after all
If you’ve read my review on Fiebing’s Yellow Saddle Soap, then you might have realized that I’m a big fan of hard soaps. I just find that when you’re looking for a relatively simple product like saddle soap, the more old fashioned the better.
There are some pros to choosing a liquid soap, however. Farnam’s soap does a great job of meeting all these. I mean you’ve got the convenience factor of being able to simply spray the soap on, your scrubbing time is greatly reduced and you’ve got more chemicals and glycerin to make the leather look just as nice as with a hard soap.
Furthermore, because you’ve got a more potent product and one that doesn’t lather quite as much, you don’t have to use as much of it when cleaning. You can either spray the soap directly on the leather or you can spray a cloth and then use the cloth to rub the soap onto the leather.
I would recommend spraying the cloth because too much glycerine is unnecessary. It will take a while to dry and hold a strong smell, no matter how much you wipe it down afterwards.
Farnam’s soap is really good about not leaving any residue. But, every liquid soap will leave residue if you completely soak the leather in it. Be especially careful with Western saddles that can have a lot of intricate work. You really don’t want to or need to apply too much to them.
The advantages of Leather New Saddle Soap
Farnam’s soap is made to clean, condition and polish the leather all in one step. So after you clean your leather, you’re going to be left with something that looks clean, feels supple and probably has a darker hue to it with a matte shine, like the one below. Again, just be careful you don’t use too much with this soap. You don’t want your leather to become “soaked” in it.
Although normally I’m skeptical about liquid soaps doing as good of a job removing deep set dirt and grime, this soap actually does the trick. You don’t even have to scrub as much – although you do still need to somewhat!
Furthermore, as long as you don’t use too much, your leather won’t be left feeling greasy and sticky after you use it.
This liquid glycerine soap is not just effective on saddles, but it’s also got a reputation to work well on boots, purses, car seats and even leather couches. Personally, I would not use the soap on any couch or purse that’s too expensive or has a specialty finish. You never know if the chemicals might react badly (I’ll talk about this more below).
Some other reviews and testimonials
I wanted to include some other user reviews and testimonials on the product just so you have more of a broader opinion. I made sure to capture the sentiments of both the negative and positive reviews about this product:
vitcblon rated the product 5/5 stars and said: “I use to clean and protect my bike saddle – my girlfriend uses for her horse tack etc. – excellent product! I’ve also used to clean men’s leather shoes- great shine!”
Jennifer G. rated the product 5/5 stars and said: “Great product. Been using it for years as does everyone at the barn. Makes bridles beautiful for shows and has made old saddles and reins into working condition again. Packed in plastic, so if you order anything else it won’t harm it if bottle gets damaged during shipping.”
The reviews were almost all positive and statements of how the people had been using the product for years. But there were a few negative reviews here and there.
For example, Sieghild rated the product 1/5 stars and said: “the container ruins everything, it would not spray but it leaks from the lead”
I’ve never personally had an issue but there’s several people who seem to have problems with the packaging of the bottle itself. Either the cap doesn’t screw properly or there’s some sort of leakage that happened. All of these people got full refunds from Amazon.com, however, so they were able to purchase a new bottle without the hassle of returning the old one.
Furthermore, 2 people complained about how the product didn’t work as expected on their expensive, specialty finished furniture. You can literally use this products for everything leather from saddles to bridles to boots and even cheap couches. But, I mean, isn’t it common sense to think twice before using it on specialty leather with a custom finish?
You even want to avoid using saddle soap on the suede sections and specialty finishes on actual saddles. I mean I think we can all agree that’s a little bit silly – it’s saddle soap for crying out loud! – so I just won’t comment further on that.
A quick recap of why Farnam’s is the liquid soap to buy
When it comes down to it, the reason to buy this soap is because you need saddle soap, you prefer the perks of liquid soap and you want a product that works well every time. There’s not nearly as many products as you may think that actually do a consistently good job on the market.
Farnam does the job, which is why they’ve been around for over 70 years. Companies that don’t deliver have an awfully difficult time sticking around for that long.
Furthermore, Farnam’s soap comes at such a reasonable price for what you’re getting. I’m thinking they should raise the price a dollar so they can afford better quality packaging and save themselves the hassle of people complaining about it.
This product has plenty of customers that return to it time and time again despite the glitches in packaging. I also love it and if I wasn’t partial to my hard saddle soap, this is definitely the liquid soap I would go with. I would probably order it and then pour it into my own spray bottles just to avoid any mishaps with the packaging.
Please shoot any comments or questions below as I would love to hear from you!
Happy riding 🙂
5 thoughts on “Farnam Leather New Saddle Soap Review, the Liquid Soap to Buy”
This seems like a great product. I have been looking for something to use on mi leather shoes to keep them shining and I did not know what to buy and where to buy. I normally use a wet cloth to wipe out the dust and I will be expecting to see them shining after I finish, but they just won’t.
Yes New Leather will work well on your leather shoes. They will have a great shine to them afterwards and all the dryness will be done from them as they become subtle and soft again. Just as I said – make sure you don’t use too much if you don’t want them to darken too much 🙂
Let me know if you have any other questions or comments,
Oh boy, I had not even considered using saddle soap. Will definitely look into this more. It is one of those hidden costs you sometime forget to factor in, but seems useful to save in the long run with tack.
How many uses would you get from this one bottle you think?
Thanks for this review, it is very insightful.
Yes it’s super important to clean your tack regularly. It’s definitely something that can be easy to overlook, especially if you aren’t showing and have no immediate reason to keep your tack looking nice and spiffy.
But if you want your leather to last, then you need to be maintaining it. Otherwise you’ll find that its dries up and cracks far earlier than you might have expected.
And as for how long one bottle will last you – it’s hard to say. I mean how many saddles do you have? Think about it this way – you can probably get thousands of “sprays” out of a bottle and you should only be using max 5 or 6 sprays per saddle (and this is if you haven’t cleaned it in a while) and less for bridles and you’re cleaning your saddle minimum once per month. You don’t want to overdo it with this stuff. So it will last you a good amount of time – several years probably.
Of course if you’re riding very often and you have lots of tack then this will become shorter 🙂 Hope this helps!
Saddle soap is great for cleaning leather because it cleans effectively without stripping away all the natural oils. This means that your leather will stay supple and comfortable for longer periods.