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Old 03-04-2011, 10:36 PM
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Default How to clean leather saddlebags... like really trashed bags.

So heres my problem....my wife left a bunch of her makeup in my saddlebags the other day, and after a long ride they opened up and pretty much destroyed the inside of my hand made leather bags. These are not cheap bags either, these are hand tooled bags made of genuine saddle leather by an Amish tradesman. Now the inside of them is coated with this thick, gooey makeup base that I have no idea how to remove. I started with a damp rag.........this did absolutely NOTHING. I honestly don't even think if I removed the bag and hosed it off this stuff would come out. So, short of killing my wife and using whats left of her bones to scrape this mess out of my bags, how to you get slimy makeup out of leather saddlebags?????

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Old 03-04-2011, 10:51 PM
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Jeez - what does your wife use to get that junk off her face?? (o:
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Old 03-04-2011, 11:09 PM
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Powerwash it then treat it real good with leather conditioners.....
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Old 03-04-2011, 11:22 PM
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Most makeup has a oil base. Could one of those orange cleaners work?
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Old 03-05-2011, 12:00 AM
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Damn. That's not even funny.

The first thing I would do would be to get a good commercial leather cleaner. You might be surprised how quickly that will clean up with a good cleaner. When you are done, apply several coats of a good leather sealer/softner. I like Hubbards.
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Old 03-05-2011, 04:45 AM
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Use a plastic bondo blade to scrape out what you can, then use some acetone to clean up the stained gooey stuff left over, use some good saddle soap and leather conditioner to retreat the leather.
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Old 03-05-2011, 08:12 AM
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Thanks for the replies. Other than a power-washer, I pretty much have everything you guys mentioned in the garage. I'm going to give them a shot this morning and see what they do. I even have a good leather conditioner "IF" the stuff works. Funny thing is after looking at it this morning, I'm thinking a pressure washer is all that will actually get this stuff out of the leather. But I'm going to try the cleaners first just to be safe. Thanks for the input, I'll keep you posted.
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Old 03-05-2011, 08:39 AM
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If they are made of good quality saddle leather as you said, don't be afraid to wash them out with soap and water. Be careful to let them dry naturally and don't try any heat to speed it along. Something like a hair dryer will be very bad on them. After they are dry, several applications of something like Lexol will do wonders for them and restore them to like new condition. Several applications would be good. I've had horses for many, many years and I've seen saddles in far worse condition restored simply by carefully washing, drying, and conditioning them. You may want to contact the guy that made them and get his opinion of what to do, but generally speaking, good saddle leather can recover from harsher treatment than you may think. One thing I would not do is scrub on them with anything abrasive. A cloth will do.
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Old 03-05-2011, 09:04 AM
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The scraping idea is a good place to start. I would think about a stiff brush and a solution of water and Dawn (maybe in a spray bottle so you don't have to soak the leather) to break down the oils and follow up with a saddle soap washing. I would also stuff them full of rags to absorb water and any remaining makeup which will also help retain their shape
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Old 03-05-2011, 09:17 AM
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So ...

How did she turn this around to be your fault?

Do you owe her new make-up?

Seriously, good luck cleaning that mess up.
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Old 03-05-2011, 09:17 AM
 
 
 
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bags, clean, cleaning, condition, davidson, dry, harley, heritage, leather, leatherlike, restoring, saddle, saddlebags, sattle, slean


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