How to Clean Mold Off Your Tack in 7 Easy Steps
If you have some horse tack that you don't use frequently, you might have noticed a few fuzzy spots starting to appear on your leather saddle. Of course, this growth looks unsightly, but mold infections are more severe than just an eyesore.
Cleaning mold from your tack is critical because if you leave it there — or allow it to start spreading — it can actually damage your saddle. Mold can cause deterioration in everything from the stitching to the leather itself, putting the safety of both you and your horse at risk.
What Causes Moldy Tack?
Mold needs moisture, warm temperatures and a food source to start growing and spreading. As a result, you can expect to start dealing with moldy tack whenever the seasons change and your environment becomes more rainy and humid than normal.
Storing your tack when it's still sweaty and wet can also contribute to a mold infestation. If your tack is kept in a sealed locker or trunk, there is no way for your saddle pads and girths to dry out sufficiently. This dark, moist environment can be a welcoming haven for mold.
How to Prevent Moldy Tack
There are a few preventive measures you can take to keep your tack from getting all fuzzy and green:
- Let your sweaty or wet tack dry off before storing it.
- Clean your tack regularly.
- Keep your tack covered and in a protected environment.
- Make sure your tack room is well ventilated.
- Try using baking soda, calcium chloride desiccant or a silica gel to absorb moisture.
How to Clean Mold Off Your Saddle
To clean a moldy horse's saddle, you'll need a few supplies:
- Leather cleaner for horse tack
- Leather conditioner for horse tack
- A sponge
- A few rags (I recommend tearing up an old t-shirt or towel)
- A screwdriver (If you need to unscrew any parts of your tack/bridle)
Make sure you check the instructions on the back of your leather cleaner and conditioner, just in case it varies from the method below.
- First, take apart your tack. You will want to un-assemble your bridle.
- Wipe down the leather with a rag.
- Take your sponge and apply leather cleaner to the tack. Use a little at a time, because you do not want to over-saturate the leather. Continue to rub on the solution until the leather is thoroughly clean. Make sure you tackle all of the nooks and crannies between clasps and underneath flaps!
- Take a fresh, clean rag and wipe down the tack to take off any excess cleaner.
- Take another fresh, clean rag and apply Equips Saddle Food an all natural conditioner Again, you do not want to over-saturate the leather. Doing so will shorten the life of quality leather. Equips Saddle Food not only conditions the leather but protects stitching.
- Finally, grab another clean rag and buff the tack until the conditioner soaks in. The tack should be shiny, and feel dry and smooth.
- If you want to re-use your sponge and rags, I recommend hand-washing them with regular dish soap in a sink. I personally don’t like placing rags covered in leather cleaner and conditioner in the washing machine.
P.S. – If you want to clean your horse bits, just use an old toothbrush and apply toothpaste or use "Horse Armor Bit Wipes" to the bit. Brush in small circles. Rinse with water.
Find the Supplies You Need to Keep Your Tack Mold-Free at Horse Tack Co.
Here at Horse Tack Co., we have all of the supplies you need to clean and condition leather and prevent mold from growing and spreading on your tack. Be sure to check out our stable essentials ranging from glycerine bars to Leather cnditioners to keep your gear looking its best.
If you have any questions about which product would work the best on your saddle, contact us online or give our team a call at 866-624-8225.