Product name: Fiebing’s Yellow Saddle Soap
Company name: Fiebing’s
Type of product: Tack & Equipment
My review: 10/10
Every horseback rider (almost!) needs saddle soap
If you ride horses, chances are you have a lot of leather riding equipment. There are exceptions to this, of course, as some of you may prefer synthetic tack and non-leather boots. But the majority of you will have tons of gear and equipment made from leather material.
When you go riding, it is inevitable that your leather things can get scratched and dirty really, really quickly.
I don’t want to waste your time so if you don’t own leather, so feel free to head back to our main page and check out some of our new posts. But if the previous description sounds familiar and you’re looking for a way to get your leather looking like new again, then you’ve come to the right place.
There are plenty of different brands selling various types of saddle soaps out there.
Head over to any horse forum on Google and you’ll find and people are going to recommend soaps left, right, and center. But not all saddle soaps are created equal. From a myriad of saddle soaps, only a handful of them actually offer genuine and effective products.
Steer away from saddle soaps that are packed with harmful chemicals and substitutes.
It’s really tough to know which one to buy. No one seems to agree on anything and you’re probably going to get frustrated.
You don’t want to buy something online that you’re going to have to wait for just to try it and realize that it doesn’t work. I know you don’t have time to be packaging it all back up and fighting your way to return it. So, I’ve put together this review for you to minimize the chances of that happening!
RELATED: Your guide to tack cleaning
So, who is Fiebing?
John Fiebing worked in a chemical tannery in Milwaukee back in 1895 but had a vision for his own company.
Exhibiting prime entrepreneurial spirit, he started creating his own saddle soap. It was an immediate success and soon everyone was using it. And the rest, as they say, is history.
In fact, the reason that the symbol for Fiebing’s saddle soap is U.S. cavalryman is because the whole cavalry in Kansas started to use it. To this day, the company uses that logo as a guarantee of the quality that you’re buying with the product.
In the early 1900’s, the company started expanding into what it is now. Having 3 main brands, the company manufactures horse care and leather care products, fine leathercraft, and shoe care products.
Fast forward to this day, Fiebing’s saddle soap has become the benchmark of quality when it comes to leather care. Fiebing’s saddle soap is 100% manufactured in the U.S., so that’s a great indicator of how much pride the company takes in its products.
This is something that’s almost impossible to come by these days since most companies try to outsource their production and manufacturing to other countries to cut down on the production costs.
The common problem with outsourcing, however, is that products are mass produced – resulting in lower quality products.
Fiebing is considered worldwide as one of the best manufacturers of horse and leather care items. The 100-year old company has earned its reputation for its high-quality products.
What is Saddle Soap for?
Saddle soaps are primarily used for cleaning and conditioning leather products – including saddles, boots, harnesses, belts, bags, and other smooth leather articles.
Leather tends to get worn out when used over a certain period of time. This is why it is important to opt for high-quality product to maintain the suppleness of leather to extend its lifespan. It cleans and lubricates the leather to prevent brittleness and cracking.
Apply saddle soap to your leather equipment regularly for better results.
First-class saddle soap is made from the finest ingredients – usually from lanolin and beeswax. These ingredients are organic and naturally derived from animals.
These prime ingredients help moisturize and protect leather from wear and tear.
Hard soap vs. liquid soap
You may have come across some bottles of liquid soap and you might be wondering which type of soap is better for your saddle. To be honest, it all depends on the brand because they both should do pretty much the same thing.
Both should clean your saddle, get out the dirt and grime worked into the leather, and keep the leather nice and supple. However, there are some noticeable differences that seem to re-occur in the two different types of soaps.
Liquid soaps tend to come in a spray bottle and a lot of them advertise that “you don’t have to scrub anymore.” Hard soaps, on the other hand, come in containers and you definitely have to scrub a lot to get a proper lather when it comes to those.
Personally, I like products that are more old-fashioned and conventional when it comes to simple things like soap.
I mean, yes there are some liquid soaps where you really don’t have to scrub as much as the usual but what does that tell you? It means there are plenty of chemicals in the bottle to make sure that after you wipe, the leather is going to look much newer and better.
But without scrubbing the soap into the saddle, I find that these products don’t do as good of a job actually getting out deep-seated dirt.
The seemingly ‘magical’ no-scrub application of liquid soap does not provide thorough cleaning. Instead, dirt is just covered up. Furthermore, they don’t do as good of a job at keeping the leather as supple and moisturized.
I don’t mean to turn you off liquid soaps completely – just keep some of these things in mind when you’re looking for the best cleaning soap for your leather saddle. However, if you absolutely prefer liquid soap versus the hard soaps, I do actually recommend Farnam’s Leather New Saddle Soap.
I would definitely pair it with an additional leather conditioner, just to make sure that the leather stays moisturized and doesn’t end up prematurely cracking on you.
Fiebing’s is THE hard soap to buy
Now, coming back to good old fashioned hard soap! If you’re like me and you like things kept simple, then you might want to go for a hard soap. I mean it’s as simple as putting some on a cloth, lathering your saddle up and scrubbing till you get it nice and clean again.
But like I said before, although the scrubbing can be annoying, it actually helps to bring the product deep into the leather and keeps it supple for longer. Supple leather doesn’t “get old” and crack so you’re improving the durability of your equipment the more that you do this.
That said – the scrubbing is also an arm workout so it’s good for you! 🙂
Besides the fact that the company is old, well-respected and the product is made in the U.S., Fiebing’s saddle soap beats everything else on pure quality.
It really just works that well.
I‘ve put together a list of all the qualities that it has that other saddle soaps often fall short on:
- Diminishes appearance of scratches
- Does not cause scratching
- Lathers extremely well
- With a brush, even the most stubborn marks can be lifted
- Significantly improves suppleness of the leather
- Prolongs leather lifetime
- Decreases dryness and risk of cracking
- Creates a matte shine when finished
- Made for saddles but works on all leather (boots, other tack, even car seats!)
Aside from these great qualities, this saddle soap gives value for your money. It is affordable, yet highly effective. Clean and polish your leather goods in a jiffy.
How to Use Fiebing’s Yellow Saddle Soap?
You can only get the best features of Fiebing’s yellow saddle soap if you make sure that you use it properly.
What you’ll need: You need two clean rags, warm water, damp cloth, and quality leather brush.
- Pre-clean your saddle, or any riding equipment, by dusting off noticeable mud and dirt.
- Use the damp cloth to wet the area.
- Dip one of the clean rags into the warm water.
- Put sufficient amount of the saddle soap into the rag and apply it into the saddle.
- Rub the soap into the leather to make sure the product penetrates within.
- Use the other rag to wipe off any excess saddle soap.
White foam may appear during cleaning. Do not panic!
This white foam is the soap’s residue when rubbed with the rag.
You can simply wipe off any excess foam or residue to completely clean the surface.
A quick recap
The company has been around forever and they’ve built a great reputation for themselves. And their saddle soap was their very first product, made by the founder of the company.
Thank goodness that they were smart and didn’t decide to try and make it “better” or “easier” somehow. That kind of behaviour and over-complication is exactly what ruins good products.
Furthermore, if you’re looking for a hard soap rather than a liquid soap, then this is the one that you want to go with.
If you want to check out my recommendation for a liquid soap, click here!
But for hard soaps, I recommend Fiebing’s with a rating of 10/10.
The only negative things that I’ve head about the product is when people don’t know how to use it properly and complain that there’s “white stuff” that appears.
Here’s a quick video from Fiebing’s on how they completely clean their saddles using “4-way care”:
Yes of course there’s white stuff! That’s what happens when you use soap 🙂
I’ve even heard from other people that use the product for everything from their saddles to their boots to their camera equipment.
Can you tell I’m excited?
But trust me, you’ll understand the sentiment once you try it out for yourself:
I would love to hear from you if you’ve decided to try out the product! Or any other comments or questions that you may have? Just go ahead and type them in below and I’ll be sure to respond within a day or two 🙂
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