Saddle soap is a popular product for cleaning and conditioning leather. It comes in a liquid or bar form and is applied to the surface of the leather.
Saddle soap is often used on saddles, boots, shoes, and other items made from leather. So does saddle soap go bad? And how can you tell if it’s expired or not? In this article, we will answer all of those questions.
To give you a brief answer, saddle soap can go bad. Saddle soap typically has a shelf life of between 3-5 years, and within this time, the saddle soap is not supposed to be exposed to heat. To be sure your saddle soap hasn’t gone bad, you can check the expiration date or batch number.
Stick around as I delve into the world of saddle soap and everything you need to know about it!
When it comes to saddle soap, there are two main types: glycerin-based saddle soaps and lanolin-based saddle soaps. Glycerin-based saddle soaps are made with natural fats and oils, while lanolin-based saddle soaps are made with wool wax.
Glycerin-based saddle soaps are more common because they’re less expensive to produce and have a longer shelf life. Lanolin-based saddle soaps, on the other hand, provide a deeper clean and condition the leather better.
Saddle soap is used to clean leather by breaking down the dirt, grime, and sweat that has built up on the surface. It can also be used to condition leather by providing it with moisture and preventing it from drying out.
Signs Your Saddle Soap Has Gone Bad
If your saddle soap has gone bad, there are a few peculiar things you’ll notice, and here are some of the signs to look out for:
1. The Saddle Soap Changes Color
One of the first signs that your saddle soap has gone bad is if it changes color. If you notice that your saddle soap is no longer white or pale yellow, like how it originally was when you bought them, then it’s most likely gone bad.
The color change is usually an indication that the fats and oils have started to deteriorate. If you see this, then it’s best to discard your saddle soap and get a new one.
Color changes can also be an indication of exposure to light or heat, so if you store your saddle soap in a cool, dark place, then this shouldn’t be an issue.
2. The Saddle Soap Will Have A Different Smell
Another sign that your saddle soap has gone bad is if it starts to smell different. Saddle soap usually has a neutral smell. But in other instances, it will come with a light scent of lavender, leathery, or other essential oils.
If you notice that your saddle soap has a rancid smell, then it’s best to discard it and get a new one. This is usually an indication that the fats and oils have gone bad and have started to spoil.
If you notice a sour or rancid smell coming from your saddle soap, then it’s most likely bad, and you should throw it away.
When saddle soap goes bad, the fats and oils start to break down, and this causes an unpleasant smell.
3. The Texture of The Saddle Soap Will Be Changed
When saddle soap goes bad, you’ll also notice that the texture changes. If your saddle soap is no longer smooth and creamy but instead is lumpy, hard, or cracked, then it’s most likely gone bad.
This change in texture is usually an indication that the fats and oils have started to break down, and this causes the soap to become harder. If you notice this, then it’s best to discard your saddle soap and get a new one.
4. Saddle Soap Expiration Date
This is probably the first answer that came to your mind. Not to sound like captain obvious, but if the expiration date has passed, then your saddle soap is most likely bad.
I have had some retailers mention their products can still be used within the first year after expiration, but after that, it’s best to get a new one.
If you’re not sure when you bought your saddle soap or can’t find the expiration date, then you can check the batch number or lot number.
The batch number or lot number is usually printed on the bottom of the saddle soap container and it will have a set of numbers that may indicate when it was made.
If you’re still unsure, then the best thing to do is to get a new one.
5. Mold Appearance
If you see mold on or in your saddle soap, then it’s actually gone bad. This is probably one of the most obvious signs that your saddle soap has gone bad and is no longer safe to use.
Mold can grow on saddle soap if it’s stored in a humid or damp environment. If you notice mold, you do not want to use saddle soap as it can cause skin irritation.
If you see mold, then it’s best to discard your saddle soap and get a new one.
What Will Happen If You Use Expired Saddle Soap On Leather?
If you use expired saddle soap on leather, there are a few things that could happen.
It Will Not Clean Your Leather Properly
The first is that it might not work as well as it normally would. This is because fats and oils have broken down and aren’t as effective.
Instead of cleaning your leather, your will end up with leather that is streaky and oily. Not only does this not look good, but it can also attract dirt and dust, which will make your leather look even worse.
Another thing that could happen is mold growth. If you use expired saddle soap on leather, then the mold spores can actually get into the pores of the leather.
This can cause the leather to degrade and break down over time. Not only will this ruin your leather goods, but it can also be dangerous for your health if you come into contact with the mold.
If you have sensitive skin, then using expired saddle soap on leather, such as couches, jackets, and other items that come into contact with your skin, can actually cause skin irritation.
This is because the breakdown of fats and oils can cause them to become rancid. When this happens, they can release bacteria and other harmful chemicals that can cause skin irritation.
Damage to Leather Goods
Expired saddle soap can also damage your leather goods. This is because the soap can actually strip away the natural oils from the leather.
Over time, this can cause the leather to become dry, cracked, and brittle. Not only does this ruin the appearance of your leather goods, but it can also shorten their lifespan.
Make The Leather Goods Smell Bad
If you use expired saddle soap on leather, then the leather goods can actually start to smell bad. This is because of the breakdown of fats and oils.
When they break down, they release a foul odor that can be difficult to get rid of. Not only is this unpleasant, but it can also be embarrassing if you’re using leather goods in public.
Tips On How To Prevent Your Saddle Soap From Going Bad
For your saddle soap and other leather care products to last as long as possible, you need to store them properly. Here are some tips on how to do that:
- Store Them In A Cool, Dry Place
You should always store your saddle soap and other leather care products in a cool, dry place. This will help to prolong their shelf life.
- Avoid Heat And sunlight
You should also avoid storing your saddle soap and other leather care products in direct sunlight or in a place where they will be exposed to heat. This can cause the fats and oils to break down, which will shorten the shelf life of the saddle soap.
- Keep Them tightly Sealed
When you’re not using your saddle soap and other leather care products, make sure to keep them tightly sealed. This will help to keep all the original preservatives intact, moisture out, and prevent mold growth.
So, does saddle soap go bad? Yes, it can if it’s not stored properly. Some of the main signs your saddle soap has gone bad is when it doesn’t clean your leather as well as it used to, there’s mold growth, or the leather goods start to smell bad.
If you want your saddle soap and other leather care products to last as long as possible, make sure to store them in a cool, dry place and keep them tightly sealed when you’re not using them.
Thanks for reading this article, and hopefully, it was helpful. Do you have any tips on how to store saddle soap and other leather care products? If so, please share them with me. Thanks for reading!