I had been aching to try the Higher Standards Handcrafted Saddle Soap for a while. I have a problem with saddle cleaners and conditioners, and that problem is I buy pretty much every one I come across. I am a bit addicted to them, and cannot exactly say why. Because of this I held off buying Higher Standards for over a year after I heard of them. When they came out with a limited edition Viva Carlos Sweet Lemon scent, I had to get it.
My first reaction to getting this soap was pure excitement. I love the packaging. I love the scent. I was happy that it came with a cleaning sponge.
This stuff smells great! I think that a good smelling leather cleaner makes the cleaning process that much more enjoyable. I’d love it if the scent was even stronger!
How does it clean? In the photos above, you can see my cleaning job with this stuff. This saddle is not particularly dirty because I clean regularly, however there was some caked on dirt around the pack rings which gathers up pretty quickly on this saddle. You can see the dirt build up is gone after just a quick cleaning and see how nice the leather looks after application.
This leather cleaner is no disappointment. I’d been seeing and hearing rave reviews for a long time and usually items don’t stand up to this kind of hype. This product does. It cleans like a machine. It eats up caked on dirt quickly and it doesn’t require a lot of product or time to do the job well. It doesn’t require a conditioner. It leaves no residue. It gives the leather a nice buttery finish and feel that most of us are after. It is not sticky or oily and doesn’t attract dirt to the cleaned leather.
In short, this product is almost perfect. What could make it more perfect? The soap is tough enough for the job, but the sponge isn’t. It fell apart quickly and had to buy sponges at the feed store. Not that it is Higher Standards fault that tack cleaning sponges aren’t sturdy enough. That’s just really my only issue with the product as a whole – they could have picked better quality sponges.
I love Higher Standards Saddle Soap and highly recommend it. I have not tried the conditioner.