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Make Your Own Saddle Soap

Saddle soap is an effective leather cleaner. Especially for saddles, saddle shoes, and other thick leather. Please read the cautions before using.


  • 3 1/2 cups water
  • 1/4 cup neatsfoot oil
  • 3/4 cup soap flakes (not detergent)
  • 1/2 cup beeswax or paraffin


In a pan bring water to a boil and than lower the heat to a simmer. Slowly stir in soap flakes until the soap is dissolve.

Then place neatsfoot oil and paraffin (or beeswax) in a double boiler, heat until melted. Once melted slowly add to the simmering soap. Stir until the soap becomes thick. Pour into storage containers and let cool before storing.


Using Saddle Soap:

Apply to leather with a damp sponge or cloth and then buff with a dry cloth.

Locating the Ingredients:

The soap flakes that many do-it-yourself recipes call for are no longer sold by Ivory so you will need to grate your own. Just use bars of plain Ivory soap. Neatsfoot is light yellow oil obtained from the feet and shinbones of cattle, used chiefly to dress leather (Source: Bartleby.com). Gun shops and hardware stores are a good place to look for neatsfoot oil. Paraffin is sold at most grocery stores. Beeswax is sold at most craft stores.


This solution may darken some leather and make some leather hard to polish. Anytime you are cleaning leather clothes or an item that is very important to you, make sure to test your cleaning solution on an out of the way place.

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August 22, 20040 found this helpful

It works like "magic"

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
April 18, 20060 found this helpful

Just wondering. Do you really need the entire 3.5 cups of water? When I made this recipe, I had to simmer it for 3 hours before it thickened. Is that normal? I followed the recipe to the letter using beeswax.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes

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