What’s the best way to clean laced or braided leather reins?  


Ah, quite the challenging piece of tack to clean.  These reins are great to ride in, lots of grip.  Terrible to clean, lots of nooks and crannies for dirt, sweat, and cleaner to get stuck in.  So maybe we don’t clean these types of reins that often, or perhaps we just skip a thorough cleaning.  That can lead to the leather breaking down, getting cracked, the laces snapping over time.  


So what is the best way to clean these reins?  


Lots of nooks and crannies for goop to hang out. 


As with all of leather goods, if they have surface dirt, sweat, and grime and you slap on some cleaner and conditioner, you are creating a dirty sweaty grimy mess.  Take a few minutes to wipe down the reins with a damp wash cloth before you get started.  For the flat part of the reins, you can use a damp sponge that is double sided to get the dirt and grime removed.  The rough side is great for removing dirt.  Have you tried loofa gloves?  These are great to get in between the laces and scrubbing up the buckle areas, too. 


These guys have seen better days. 


Now you can use your leather cleaner of choice.  When working around the laces, I will use a toothbrush to get in between and somewhat under the leather for a deep clean.  Keeping the water and cleaner to a minimum will help keep lather from forming.  While lather seems like a good idea, it dries to a sticky finish and just becomes a dirt magnet.  


Spa gloves can help you get the goop out.  Toothbrushes work, too.


I follow this step up with another wipe down to remove any residue.  You will need to spend some time and diligence getting in between the laces, which is easier to do with some loofah type gloves.  


How do you clean laced leather reins?