Posts tagged #tack cleaner

Stop The Damage: Time To Save The Glycerin For Your Face, Not For Your Leather

You may have observed that our Leather Cleaners and Leather Conditioners are very similar to cosmetics or skin care products you regularly see in the stores and use. Ah ha, you found us out! LOL! Yes, our products are very similar by design. We want our products to be very gentle, and the principles of leather care are very similar to skin care.

However, one key difference between our cleaners and conditioners and your skin care products, as well as many of the other brands of leather care products out there, is that we do not use any glycerin in our products. Zip, nada. Why? Seems weird right?

Originally, it came as quite a surprise to us that glycerin is such a no-no for leather. This cosmetics workhorse is used all over the place in skin care - lotions, face creams, the list is long. Ok, so that makes sense because glycerin is a humectant. This means that glycerin actually attracts water to itself, sucking water like a big sponge into your top skin layers - a great property if you want to moisturize your face, but not so hot for ensuring your leather stays healthy.

Wait - don’t we want our leather moisturized and supple? Sounds like glycerin would be awesome for that! I know, I know; we thought the same thing. But let us explain…

Use Only What You Need

We are huge believers in providing your leather only what it needs to stay in great shape = clean and supple due to just enough moisturizing. To us that means paying attention to our tack and not just slapping on products out of habit when our leather really, really doesn’t need them. Minimalism….Yes!! So….we don’t include glycerin because your leather truly doesn’t need it. Why doesn’t it need it? Read on Macduff!

Clean Like You Mean It

Following from the minimalist theme, we don’t use any conditioners or moisturizes - glycerin or otherwise, in our Leather Cleaner. The objective of cleaning your tack is….to clean your tack. Period. In addition to attracting moisture, glycerin is a sticky substance that can act like a sealant. When included in a cleaner, the glycerin sticks to the very leather you are trying to clean, trapping dirt and grime within the pores and fibers. Plus, that leftover residue of glycerin-dirt-gunk keeps attracting more and more dirt. Talk about counterproductive!

Stop Conditioning So Much

Over moisturizing your leather is one of the cardinal sins in leather care. (We could wax poetic on this for quite sometime, but we will save it for another day). Your leather should NOT be conditioned every time it is cleaned. As a result, we do not put glycerin or any other moisturizing agents into our Leather Cleaner. Setting up cleaning and conditioning as two separate leather care steps ensures you have the very best control over the care and health of your tack. You are in the drivers seat to evaluate when and how much conditioning your leather needs to be happy - and dare we say, stay in safe and useful condition.

Water Is Not Your Friend

Additionally, we do not include glycerin in our Leather Conditioner. Yes, no doubt glycerin would help moisturize your leather, but at a price. Unfortunately, the glycerin will accomplish this by drawing water vapor from the air into your tack. Water is truly not a benevolent comrade of your leather, resulting in mold, weakened leather, and a whole host of other undesirable outcomes (for more on this check out our article on dealing with water). Also, as mentioned before, glycerin is sticky. I don’t know about you, but I’d get awfully bummed out if my saddle was still sticky and gunky after I cleaned and conditioned it. Yippee, it’s a good thing then that there are other extremely effective ways to supple and condition your tack without using glycerin to draw water into the fibers and cause damage.

Ok, so the bottom line is that we are not fans of glycerin in leather care products at all. Like we talked about earlier, yes, leather is essentially just like your skin (our skin is similarly acidic and you can learn about why leather’s acidity matters so much in our article here) and should be treated with the same tender care. However, the difference is that your skin is able to constantly renew and repair itself. Leather is unable to repair itself, so we are the gatekeepers to preventing damage to our leather tack.

Just like you, this means we are then super persnickety about what products we use to care for our leather because we want it to be healthy and last for a long, long time. Ha, finally an excuse to get to be persnickety!! :)

Interested in learning more? Visit our Learn Page for more tips and how-to or take a peak at our Products!

The Game Changer - Anti-Aging for Your Leather

Have you ever noticed how your leather boots or half-chaps wrinkle and pucker with time? These wrinkles and sags are inevitable as the leather breaks in and conforms to the contours of our feet and legs. This is a natural part of leather aging and use. However, this sagging, dragging, and saddle-bagging of our lovely leather goods becomes even more pronounced when our leather loses it’s fiber strength (aka not nourished routinely) and when the wrinkles turn into rigid mountain ranges due to residual sweat, dirt, and grime. And yes, this does even happen to me, queen of the leather care routine! Ugh. What do do?

Cleaning and conditioning is always key, and as Jackie Guezille illustrates so fantastically in her review of our products in the latest Wally the Pony blog, the results can be stunning. Botox for leather anyone? According to Jackie, our products are an absolute game changer in her routine, and we hope they will be in yours, as well!

Why does blogger Jackie recommends a two step leather care process? How do our products stack up against some pretty nasty looking gear? Do our products strip out the dyes in your leather? See for yourself and more by checking out Jackie’s full review at https://wallythepony.wordpress.com/.

Before on the Left, After on the Right

Before on the Left, After on the Right

You can see that the dark rich color of my leather is restored, WITHOUT stripping any of the dye off. Any dirt or horse sweat is gone (minus the mud I left on my boot heel–sorry!), but the leather is much more supple and moisturized. It was honestly like looking at before and after pictures of people getting Botox. All the wrinkles and lines disappeared, and my half-chaps looked better than they have in months.
— Wally the Pony, Jackie Guezille

Thank you, Jackie for this detailed tell-it-like-it-is on our products!

Photo Credits: Jackie Guezille, Wally the Pony Blog

A Sweet Spot at the Spokane Tack Trunk

Having once resided in Spokane, Washington for a few years, we definitely have a sweet spot for the Spokane area. As a result, we are particularly delighted to share the news that our products are now in stock at the Spokane Tack Trunk in Spokane Valley, Washington. Whether you prefer Western or English, show or casual, they've got you covered with their extensive selection of equestrian goodies! They are also carrying our handy little Leather Care Starter Sets, so look no further if you are looking for a gift for your trainer or for your horse loving friend.

Sterling Essentials Leather Care Products at Spokane Tack Trunk

What's In the Cleaner?

We are often asked whether our Leather Cleaner bleaches tack or uses harsh solvents. Excellent question!

Historically, many liquid spray cleaners allegedly used strong and harsh solvents and bleaching agents in order to clean tack. Sterling Essentials is not part of that group.

Our Leather Cleaner only contains a special proprietary blend of natural food-grade ingredients, as well as therapeutic grade essential oils. We do not utilize petroleum products, industrial solvents, or other bleaching or harsh ingredients. Our philosophy is to get excellent tack cleaning results through the use of gentle and responsible products.

The Sterling Essentials Leather Cleaner will not bleach tack. However, we recommend that you test our products in an inconspicuous place on your tack when first used in order to ensure you are happy with the results.

With our gentle ingredients, you can be confident that your tack is getting kid-glove treatment!

To learn more about getting your leather clean and beautiful, check out our Learn page to view videos and tips: www.sterling-essentials.com/learn

From Horses to Puppies and Everything In Between at Tony's Tack Shop

We are happy to share that Tony's Tack Shop in Essex Junction, Vermont now carries our products! If you're looking for a friendly tack store that has all of your needs covered, look no further than Tony's Tack Shop. From puppies to the best equestrian supplies, Tony's has what you are looking for and backs it up with great service.

And did you know that our leather care products are also handy for taking care of more than your tack? Sterling Essentials' products do a wonderful job on collars and leashes, so we can even help keep you and your pup happy! We hope you stop in and see these fine folks at Tony's soon!

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Best 4 Fun Uses for Our New Leather Care Starter Set

Were you one of the lucky riders or volunteers that received one of our Leather Care Starter Sets this summer at a show, during a tack store giveaway, or as a prize at another event? If not, you are in luck, because these extremely popular Sets, mini versions of our full size Leather Cleaner and Leather Conditioner, are now available for purchase online and at many local tack store locations!

Available in Lavender fragrance, these handy and delightful 2 oz. sized cleaner and conditioner pairs have so many fun uses.

Based on feedback from your fellow equestrians, here are some of the best unique ideas for using the Leather Care Starter Set:

1. Holiday stocking stuffers! These Sets are that just right size to tuck into the stocking of a lucky equestrian.

2. Handy, small, lightweight travel size to pack for horse camping trips to the beach. You won't have to make the choice between deciding whether to skip cleaning off all that sand and salt water residue or being bogged down with packing heavier, larger full size cleaners and conditioners.

3. Keep in your tack trunk for travel to shows and keep your full sized products at home. Save weight and space in your trunk. Cut down on packing time and effort rearranging your tack trunk just for shows.

4. The perfect gift to say "thank you" to your trainer.

So many possibilities! What other ways do you use the Starter Sets? We would love to hear, so send us your thoughts: Contact Us.

Ready to restock or try a Set? Visit Leather Care Starter Set to get started.