What are the best tools to use for tack cleaning? 


In the never ending daily chore of tack cleaning, you have some great options to keep your leather soft and strong and clean. 



Can't go wrong with a washcloth in your tack cleaning kit. 


Here are my favorite tools for tack cleaning:


  • The small, natural bristle brush.  These are great for cleaning seams, removing hair, and working conditioner into the grooves of an embossed, heavily grained, or tooled leather.  For super slick leathers, you may want to avoid this.  


This saddle, which has textured and grainy leather, does fine with a soft or hard brush.  Some smooth saddles do better with a sponge to get rid of hair. 

  • The sea sponge.  These sponges come in all shapes and sizes, and are great for working your tack cleaner into your leather saddle and bridle.  They can last a long time, and are fairly inexpensive to pick up! 


  • The double sided kitchen sponge.  This guy has a soft side, but I’m more likely to use the rougher side to do a deep cleaning on tack.  The rough side is great to remove that layer of “tack goo” that can accumulate.  


  • The loofa glove.  I stumbled across this gem of a tack cleaning tool one day and thought it would be awesome to clean around buckles and around those totally annoying leather stoppers on reins.  And I was right!! 



  • The toothbrush.  New or slightly uses, it’s great for tight spaces, the bit, fancy browbands, and around buckles.  Also good for seeking sweet, sweet revenge on a fellow Groom as payback for a prank. 




  • The washcloth.  I love these to start the tack cleaning process by using a damp washcloth to wipe hairs, sweat, and dust from tack.  This is critical to do before you add your cleaner and conditioner!


What’s your favorite tool for tack cleaning?