6 Differences Between Saddle Soap And Beeswax

saddle soap vs beeswax

Do you know the difference between saddle soap and beeswax? If not, you’re in for a treat! In this article, I will explore the differences between these two products. Both have unique benefits, and it’s important to understand which is best for what specific situations. So, let’s get started!

The primary difference between saddle soap and beeswax is saddle soap is a cleaner and is used to remove dirt and stains, while beeswax is a protector used to waterproof and condition leather.

Now that we know the basics let’s get into the details of the differences between saddle soap and beeswax. In the rest of the article, I’m going to differentiate between the two by looking at;

  • The ingredients,
  • The application,
  • What form they come in,
  • How often to use them,
  • The results,
  • The pros and cons of each one,
  • And which is best for you and what situations.

Let’s get into it!

1. Ingredients

The ingredients in saddle soap and beeswax are what give each of them their unique properties.

Saddle Soap

Saddle soap will typically contain soap agents, beeswax, neatsfoot oil, and water. While a lot of these ingredients are natural, most saddle soaps will come with additives like fragrances or colorants.

All of these ingredients mean that saddle soap can be used as a cleaner, moisturizer, and conditioner all in one. While this may differ slightly from brand to brand, the overall ingredients will be similar.


On the other hand, beeswax is a purer product and only contains one ingredient; you guessed it, beeswax.

Because of this, it doesn’t have as many uses as saddle soap but can provide a better level of protection for your leather.

It’s also important to note that there are different types of beeswax. The type of beeswax will affect the consistency, color, and smell of the product.

The two most common types of beeswax are yellow and white. Yellow beeswax is made from wax that has been bleached and has a higher melting point.

White beeswax, on the other hand, is made from unbleached wax and has a lower melting point. You may also see “blended” beeswax, which is a mix of the two types of beeswax.

2. Application

The application is one of the key differences between saddle soap and beeswax. This means the ways you apply one is going to be different than the other.

Saddle Soap

The way you use saddle soap is by making it lather and then using that lather to clean your leather.

You can do this by using a damp sponge or cloth and then rubbing it into the saddle soap until it lathers up. Once you have a good amount of lather, you can apply it to your leather.

After you’ve applied the saddle soap, you want to let it sit for a few minutes so it can work its magic, and then wipe it off with a clean cloth.


The application of beeswax is going to be different because you don’t want to make it into a lather as it doesn’t contain any soap agents.

Instead, you want to heat it up so it’s in a liquid form, and then apply it to your leather. The best way to do this is by using a clean cloth and then rubbing the beeswax into the leather.

Once you’ve applied the beeswax, you want to let it sit for a few minutes so it can soak into the leather, and then wipe off any excess with a clean cloth.

3. What Form They Come In

Both the saddle soap and the beeswax come in different forms. The form will affect the application and the results.

Saddle Soap

Saddle soap comes in three different forms; liquid, cream, and solid. The liquid form is going to be the easiest to use as it doesn’t require any mixing. All you do is spray it on your leather and then wipe it off.

The cream form is suitable for those who want a little more control over the application. With the cream form, you can rub it into your leather and then wipe it off.

The solid form is also relatively easy as all you do is bring the saddle soap to lather and then apply it to your leather.


Beeswax usually comes in a solid form since it’s a wax product. Because of this, you always have to melt or heat them up slightly before you can use them on your leather items.

The best part about beeswax is that it’s easy to store since it comes in a solid form. You don’t have to worry about it spilling or leaking in your storage area.

Of course, you would not want to store your beeswax in a hot or warm place, as this will make the beeswax melt. A cool and dry place is ideal for storing your beeswax.

4. What They Do

What saddle soap does for your leather is totally different from what beeswax does.

Saddle Soap

When you use saddle soap, it’s going to clean your leather and remove any dirt or grime that may be on it.

It will also help to condition your leather and keep it moisturized, so it doesn’t dry out and crack.

Although saddle soap has some conditioning and protection properties, it cannot be compared to the protection that beeswax can provide.


The main purpose of beeswax is to protect your leather. It does this by creating a barrier on the surface of the leather that repels water and dirt.

This means that it’s going to help keep your leather clean for longer and also help to prevent it from drying out and cracking.

Beeswax can also be used to polish your leather and give it a shine. While this may not be its primary purpose, it’s a nice bonus!

5. How Often To Use Them

The frequency of use will also differ between saddle soap and beeswax.

Saddle Soap

You can use saddle soap as often as you need to or want to. If your leather is starting to look dull, then give it a good clean with the saddle soap.

Generally, you would saddle soap about once a month or once every two to three months, depending on how often you use your leather items.

Using it too frequently will strip away the natural oils in your leather and make it dry, brittle, or lighten.


You don’t need to use beeswax as often as you use saddle soap. Once every few months should be sufficient.

If you live in an area with harsh weather conditions, then you may need to use it more frequently to protect your leather.

But generally, you are looking at an interval of once every six months or once every year, depending on how often you use your leather items.

Using beeswax too frequently can also lead to your leather becoming very sticky and difficult to clean.

6. The Result

The result you get after using saddle soap or beeswax will also be different.

Saddle Soap

After using saddle soap, your leather will be clean and lightly moisturized. It may also have a light shine to it depending on the form of saddle soap you used.


After using beeswax, your leather will be protected and have a nice shine to it.

You may also find that your leather is softer to the touch after using beeswax, as it helps to condition the leather.

The Pros And Cons Of Using Saddle Soap Vs Beeswax

Now that you know the difference between saddle soap and beeswax, it’s time to look at the pros and cons of each.

Saddle Soap


  • Easy to use
  • It can be used frequently
  • Cleans and conditions leather


  • It does not provide as much protection as beeswax
  • It can make leather dry and brittle if used too frequently



  • Protects leather
  • Easy to use
  • Polishes leather
  • Conditions leather


  • It can make leather sticky and difficult to clean if used too frequently.

Final Thoughts

So, there you have it! A comprehensive guide to the difference between saddle soap and beeswax.

I hope you found this article helpful and that you now have a better understanding of the differences between these two leather care products.

If you’re curious about which of these two is good for your needs, I would say since both of the products do different things, it might be a good idea to have both on hand

My go-to saddle soap is the one by KIWI or Fiebing’s, and for beeswax, I will recommend OTTER Wax

That way, you can use saddle soap when you need to clean your leather and beeswax when you want to protect and polish it.


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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