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Finish Uneven After Cleaning

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Im getting ready to start riding again after a 7 year riding hiatis after an accident, so pulled my saddle out to clean and condition.

It was pretty dusty, but the leather is still in good shape. Good quality saddle, and had been stored in the climate controlled dry finished basement.

Anyway, I cleaned it with murphys oil soap, and actually its on its fourth cleaning cycle now. Its fully tooled, and the first three were just to get all the gunk off and all of the tooling clean. I wanted to make sure it was spotless before I condition it.

What I ran into, that Ive never had happen before, is that the saddle is lighter in a lot of spots than it had been before, like even a little lighter than new, its almost like the dye/finish is lightening in some spots. I would be fine with that, I actually like the lighter color better, but of course, its not even all over, There are a couple slightly darker spots on the jockets, and the fenders are a little darker.

After its fourth cleaning, the leather is starting to get thirsty. I dont want to oil it and "set" the uneven finish, but I dont want to make my saddle like coardboard either.

Any ideas why this is happening, and any ideas to even it out?

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It is possible the leather was tinted with a vegetable dye by spraying the leather at the Saddle Makers Shop for the desired color.

I would think Murphy Soap may have stripped the color unevenly, especially after four cleanings.

One of the features of custom higher end saddles is to have the finished color done by oiling the leather with Neetsfoot Oil, of course this may lead to shading, but that gives the Saddle that Character.

If you have stripped all the sprayed on color finish like I suspect, this may be you only choice.

Use Non-Darkening Neetsfoot if you want the lighter shades, regular Neetsfoot will eventually make the Leather pretty dark.

I like to follow up with a top coat of Aussie Leather Conditioner after as a great protectant


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