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  1. #1
    The Beer Guy optimator's Avatar
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    CLEANING a leather saddle..

    ... I bought a nice old Ideale saddle at a garage sale and it has the opposite problem that most have, it is caked with (I assume) wax. You wouldn't want to touch this thing much less sit on it. Anyway I can remove it w/o damage? Otherwise it is in very nice condition. And while your here, anyone make an aluminum seatpost I can use with this as it has a built in clamp. Thanks. - O
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  2. #2
    The Beer Guy optimator's Avatar
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    Let's try that again.
    I seem to not have the hang of this... oh well.... visualize. Thanks - O

  3. #3
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    Saddle soap. Good old mild soap (Ivory) and water. Lexol Leather cleaner.
    Il faut de l'audace, encore de l'audace, toujours de l'audace

    1980 3Rensho-- 1975 Raleigh Sprite 3spd
    1990s Raleigh M20 MTB--2007 Windsor Hour (track)
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  4. #4
    Your mom
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    If it's truly caked with wax, I don't think saddle soap by itself is going to get you anywhere. I'd treat it like a greasy pan. Heat it with a hair dryer to loosen up the wax and wipe off as much has you can with rag/paper towel. Then possibly saddle soap.

  5. #5
    Elitist Troglodyte DMF's Avatar
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    Leather?? I always seem to end up licking it clean.


    But maybe that's just my lifestyle. (not)


    Real wax won't come off with anything. I have yet to find a solvent for it. But most everything else will loosen in water. San's got the right idea.
    Stupidity got us into this mess - why can't it get us out?

    - Will Rogers

  6. #6
    Elitist Troglodyte DMF's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tellyho View Post
    If it's truly caked with wax, I don't think saddle soap by itself is going to get you anywhere. I'd treat it like a greasy pan. Heat it with a hair dryer to loosen up the wax and wipe off as much has you can with rag/paper towel. Then possibly saddle soap.
    I'd go in the opposite direction. Water first. Then if it proves to be wax, you can pick it off, and as a last resort try the heat. The moisture in the leather will help prevent it overheating.

    Could also be something nasty like glue...
    Stupidity got us into this mess - why can't it get us out?

    - Will Rogers

  7. #7
    biked well well biked's Avatar
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    One of my Brooks saddles is treated with Sno Seal (beeswax), if heated with a hair dryer the beeswax will liquify to some extent. I would definitely put heat into your cleaning process.

  8. #8
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    I think mineral spirits is a wax solvent, but I wouldn't get too agressive with it. It will strip oils and possibly color from the leather.
    Il faut de l'audace, encore de l'audace, toujours de l'audace

    1980 3Rensho-- 1975 Raleigh Sprite 3spd
    1990s Raleigh M20 MTB--2007 Windsor Hour (track)
    1988 Ducati 750 F1

  9. #9
    Sometimes knows stuff. rmfnla's Avatar
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    I'll bet it's hard as a rock, too.

    I rode an Ideale 90 for a few years back in the '70s; damn thing never broke in and my butt still hurts!
    Today, I believe my jurisdiction ends here...

  10. #10
    Senior Member Marrock's Avatar
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    There's a good chance that wax is actually the leather "blooming", where the leather's own natural oils are coming out.

    Usually the bloom has a whitish cast to it and can, sometimes, almost look like mold.

    I used to use a bit of cloth dampened, not soaked, with alcohol to wipe it off and then buff it with a clean cloth.

    Whatever you wind up using, be careful, using any solvent will run the risk of turning the leather to wood and no one would want to sit on that.
    "Engineering! It's like math, but louder."

  11. #11
    Perineal Pressurized dobber's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by optimator View Post
    Let's try that again.
    I seem to not have the hang of this... oh well.... visualize. Thanks - O
    young grasshopper
    This is Africa, 1943. War spits out its violence overhead and the sandy graveyard swallows it up. Her name is King Nine, B-25, medium bomber, Twelfth Air Force. On a hot, still morning she took off from Tunisia to bomb the southern tip of Italy. An errant piece of flak tore a hole in a wing tank and, like a wounded bird, this is where she landed, not to return on this day, or any other day.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Grand Bois's Avatar
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    There are products made for stripping wax from floors. I worked my way through college working as a janitor at a Veteran's Hospital. We used white vinegar to strip wax. I don't think I'd want to put either of those on my Brooks, though.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Marrock's Avatar
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    I've used white vinegar to get rid of mold on leather without any detrimental effects to the leather, once the vinegar evaporated there wasn't even a smell.
    "Engineering! It's like math, but louder."

  14. #14
    The Beer Guy optimator's Avatar
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    OK - I dived in last night and this is what I did. Very warm water with a lot of dishwashing soap and one of those green potscrubbing thingys. The dirt/wax/whatever just flowed off. I kept the underside dry and kept wiping it off so as not to let it get too wet. AMAZING, I could actually see the leather. I polished the rivets with metal polish and then. after it dried, I polished it with (here goes - flame suit on) brown wax type shoe polish. It looks beautiful!! Yes, yes, I know.... "shoe polish? There go your pants". Well, the first ride after a polish is always in bike shorts or cutoffs... then another buffing and thats it. I have saddles that I've ridden for over 20 years that look brand new. Thanks for the advice (and push).. I needed it. - O

  15. #15
    Elitist Troglodyte DMF's Avatar
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  16. #16
    Perineal Pressurized dobber's Avatar
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    Why would you use shoe polish? I would have given it a good working over with SnoSeal or Proofide.
    This is Africa, 1943. War spits out its violence overhead and the sandy graveyard swallows it up. Her name is King Nine, B-25, medium bomber, Twelfth Air Force. On a hot, still morning she took off from Tunisia to bomb the southern tip of Italy. An errant piece of flak tore a hole in a wing tank and, like a wounded bird, this is where she landed, not to return on this day, or any other day.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Marrock's Avatar
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    Shoe polish is cheaper and just as effective, and as long as you either use neutral polish or wear dark britches you should be just fine... But I'd really like to see you explain the brown stain on your butt otherwise.
    "Engineering! It's like math, but louder."

  18. #18
    Licensed Bike Geek Davet's Avatar
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    Instead of using shoe polish, try the appropriate color of shoe creme. It goes into the leather, looks swell and provides a very nice shine. I use it on my Brooks.

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