Does Saddle Soap Make Leather Shine? (Pros, Cons, Alternatives)

Does Saddle Soap Make Leather Shine?

There are a lot of leather care products on the market today and saddle soap is one of the most popular. There are a lot of things that saddle soap is known to do for leather but does it actually make leather shiny?

There are a lot of ingredients that are contained in saddle soap with some of the most common being glycerin, lanolin, and beeswax. All of these ingredients can help to moisturize the leather, make it more supple, and give leather a light to moderate shine. You can always follow up with a separate leather polish or conditioner to get that desired shine.

It is important to understand that saddle soap is only formulated to mainly clean leather and not necessarily make leather shiny. So if you’re worried about saddle soap making your leather items shiny, don’t be.

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But as I have rightfully stated, saddle soap puts some level of shine on leather, and here’s how I will describe the kind of shine you will get when you use saddle soap on leather goods.

Moderate Natural Shine: When you use saddle soap on leather, you will notice a moderate natural shine. This is because the glycerin and lanolin in saddle soap help to create a light barrier on the surface of the leather. This barrier not only helps to protect the leather from dirt and grime but also gives the leather a light sheen.

How To Use Saddle Soap To Make Leather Shiny

There are a few simple tricks you can use to make your leather shiny just by using saddle soap. Let me quickly run by you a quick step-by-step guide so that you can do this at your own convenience.

  • Step 1: Start by applying a small amount of saddle soap to a damp soft-bristled brush or cloth.
  • Step 2: Gently rub the saddle soap into the leather in small circular motions.
  • Step 3: Once you have evenly applied the saddle soap, allow it to sit on the surface of the leather for about five minutes so that the oils and waxes in the saddle soap can fully absorb into the leather.
  • Step 4: After the saddle soap has had enough time to absorb, take a clean dry cloth and wipe off any excess soap that might be sitting on the surface of the leather.
  • You do not want to use a damp cloth.
  • Step 5: Now use a dry clean chamois cloth to thoroughly brush over the surface of your cleaned leather.
  • Make sure to buff the leather surface as thoroughly as possible until the leather surface gets a nice shine.
  • Continue to buff for as long as possible until you get your desired level of shine. Voila!

Benefits Of Using Saddle Soap To Make Leather Shiny

While the type of shine you get when you use saddle soap is not as durable as the shine you would get from using a leather polish or conditioner, there are still some benefits to using saddle soap.

1. The Shine Is Easy To Achieve

One of the primary advantages of using saddle soap to make leather shiny is that it is very easy to achieve the desired level of shine. All you need is a small amount of saddle soap, a clean cloth, and some elbow grease and you will be able to get your leather looking shiny in no time.

2. No Additional Products Needed

Another advantage of using saddle soap is that it is a very inexpensive way to get your leather looking shiny. A small bar of saddle soap can be found at most stores for less than $10 and it will last you a long time.

So, if you are looking for an easy and inexpensive way to make your leather shiny, then saddle soap is the way to go.

3. It Cleans And Conditions The Leather

In addition to making leather shiny, saddle soap also helps to clean and condition the leather. As I have said before, saddle soap is primarily used for cleaning leather but it also contains ingredients that help to moisturize and protect the leather.

This is why saddle soap is a great all-in-one product for cleaning and conditioning your leather goods.

Downsides To Using Saddle Soap To Shine Leather

  • Requires A Lot Of Elbow Grease

The main downside to using saddle soap to make leather shiny is that it requires a bit of elbow grease to get the desired level of shine.

This is because you need to buff the leather quite vigorously in order to get the moderate natural shine that I described earlier.

So, if you are not willing to put in the extra effort, then using saddle soap might not be the best option for you.

  • The Shine Is Not Durable

Another downside to using saddle soap is that the shine is not as durable as the shine you would get from using a leather polish or conditioner.

This is because the oils and waxes in saddle soap do not penetrate deep into the leather as they do with polishes and conditioners.

As a result, the shine you get from using saddle soap will not last as long and it will require more frequent reapplication in order to maintain the same level of shine.

So, if you are looking for a long-lasting shine, then using saddle soap might not be the best option for you.

Alternatives To Using Saddle Soap

If you are not looking for an easy and inexpensive way to make your leather shiny or if you are not willing to put in the extra effort required, then there are a few alternatives that you can use.

Leather Polish

One alternative to using saddle soap is to use a leather polish. Leather polishes contain oils and waxes that help to nourish and protect the leather while also giving it a nice shine.

The main advantage of using a leather polish is that the shine is much more durable than the shine you would get from using saddle soap.

If you’re interested in getting a good leather polish for your leather items, then you can check out the Weiman Leather Cleaner, Polish, and Conditioner. It can be used on any type of leather product including furniture, car interiors, purses, and more.

Leather Conditioner

Another alternative to using saddle soap is to use a leather conditioner. Leather conditioners help to replenish the natural oils in the leather that keep it soft and supple.

Unlike saddle soap, leather conditioner does not contain any abrasives or cleaners that can damage the leather. Leather conditioners can be applied directly to the leather with a soft cloth or brush. Allow the conditioner to soak into the leather for several minutes before wiping off any excess.

One of my go-to leather conditioner is the Obenauf’s Heavy Duty LP. This leather conditioner was developed for firefighters and other professionals who need their gear to withstand extreme conditions. The Obenauf’s leather conditioner is made from a blend of beeswax, propolis, and lanolin which helps to protect the leather against water, salt, and abrasion.

I have used the Obenauf’s leather conditioner on my boots, belts, wallets, and even my car seats with great results. If you are looking for a leather conditioner that will help to keep your leather goods looking good for years to come, I would highly recommend the Obenauf’s Heavy Duty LP.

Summary

Here’s a quick summary of what I shared in today’s blog post. From the article, it is clear saddle soap does make leather shiny but not as shiny as some other commercial leather care products.

The shine you get from using saddle soap on your leather is a moderate natural shine. If you want to make your leather shiny just by using saddle soap, here’s a summary of how to go about it.

  • Apply saddle soap to a damp cloth or brush.
  • Gently rub the saddle soap into the leather in small circular motions.
  • Allow the saddle soap to sit on the surface of the leather for about 5 minutes.
  • Take a clean dry cloth and wipe off any excess soap.
  • Use a chamois cloth to buff the leather surface until it gets a nice shine.
  • Continue to buff for as long as necessary to get your desired level of shine. Your leather should now be shiny and protected without having to get any additional products in addition to your saddle soap. Enjoy!

Kwabena

Hi! I’m Kwabena, the owner and founder of Favored Leather. I’m a huge Leathercraft enthusiast and I’ve been that for almost 13 years now. I'm excited to share my experiences and all the new stuff I learn each day about leather craft, leather cleaning & care, and everything in-between!

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