diy leather cleaner
Photo courtesy of Melanie Mauer.……

Taking care of your leather tack is absolutely essential. It’s definitely something that many equestrians overlook and don’t make time to do. However, incorporating this into your routine on a more regular basis will allow for it to become much easier, will make you more efficient at it, and will also keep your tack in the best shape possible. Honestly, why wouldn’t you try out these simple DIY recipes and make your property a priority. 

Before you condition any sort of leather, it’s important to first make sure that it’s clean. This DIY leather cleaner only contains two ingredients and is super simple to make and use. All you need a vinegar and the oil of your choice, either olive oil or coconut oil. The recipe is listed below. 

DIY Leather Cleaner


  • ½ cup of either distilled white vinegar (for light-colored leather) OR apple cider vinegar (for dark-colored leather)
  • ¾ cup of either fractionated coconut oil or olive oil (both are effective, so it’s really just a personal preference when it comes to choosing between these two)
  • Mixing bowl 
  • Soft rags


  1. Wipe off leather tack using a wet rag or a small amount of rubbing alcohol to remove any stains or debris, and then allow leather to dry while you make your cleaner. 
  2. Mix together ½ cup of vinegar and ¼ cup of the oil of your choice in a bowl. 
  3. Scrub the leather with this mixture and then allow it to dry once again. 
  4. Repeat the previous step as needed to treat any areas that are especially stained or dry.
  5. Use the ½ cup of remaining unused oil as a “sealant” and conditioner to lock in the oils and keep the saddle looking clean and conditioned longer. Allow tack to dry before using or storing.

If you live in dry climates or have certain leather tack that tends to dry out quickly, continue to the next recipe for DIY Leather Balm. This can be regularly applied to tack between cleanings in order to keep it looking and feeling like new. 

DIY Leather Balm 


  • Beeswax
  • Cocoa butter 
  • Sweet almond oil 
  • Small saucepan 
  • Sealed container to store balm (can be glass or plastic, I prefer a small glass jar)


  1. Measure out ¼ cup of beeswax, ¼ cup of cocoa butter, and ½ cup of sweet almond oil.
  2. Put all three ingredients in small saucepan and melt over medium-low heat. 
  3. Once entirely liquid, pour into storage container and allow to cool for at least 25 minutes and until it’s formed into a solid. 
  4. Use with a soft rag as often as you’d like! This balm can be applied to any sort of leather tack, as well as boots, belts, and other human accessories. It’s also great to use as a body balm for yourself or even a nice paw balm that’s safe for your furry friends! 

It’s hard to believe, right? There’s something that’s simple to make, easy to use, and beyond beneficial! Raid your cabinets or hit up your local grocery store, and let the crafting commence!

For more DIY from Crafty COWGIRL check out, Crafty COWGIRL: DIY Mane & Tail Detangler