Libby, the owner and creator of Higher Standards, contacted me and asked if I'd like to review her products. I was honest with her and said that I don't typically do that kind of thing for fear of not liking the product in question. I kind of make it a point to only write good things about other people and products. You know the adage, If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all. She was willing to take the risk and mailed me a container of her soap and conditioner.
I try to clean my leather after every ride, but in all honesty, it's probably more like every three out of five rides. The day I used the soap, Sydney's bridle had been used at a clinic and Speedy's had been used several times since its last cleaning. They weren't particularly gunky, but they needed to be cleaned. I followed the directions as printed.
The directions say: "sponge should be wet thoroughly but not dripping. Wipe over soap in container, wipe tack (or scrub, depending on how dirty it is!) and wipe off any visible suds or residue, with the same damp sponge. (If one side is too loaded up with soap, I flip to the other side and wipe off) Let dry and you can follow with a conditioner if your tack needs it -- since the soap is a conditioning soap, if you use it after every ride, you won't need to use an additional conditioner. If your tack is very bad, old or just dry, follow with a light coat of a conditioner. Designed for daily use. Contains glycerin, fats and essential oils."
I was really pleased with how little pressure I needed to use to wipe off the dirt and sweat. It seemed as though the soap just melted the dirt right off the leather. Once I had gone over the bridle from top to bottom, I did it again with just a clean, damp sponge, rinsing the sponge after every few strokes.
I left that bridle to dry while I went and rode. When I came back, the leather was super clean with zero residue or stickiness. It actually felt brand new, out of the box clean. I was pretty impressed. I usually use Effax's Leather Soap, and while I like the soap's conditioning properties, I don't always like the little bit of gumminess that it leaves behind.
I followed the cleaning with an application of the conditioner, but I definitely need to use that a few more times to decided whether or not I like it. I will do a later review of that product. Since I've only used the leather soap once, I don't know how well it actually conditions. I'll need to use it for a few weeks to see. But as a cleaner, it sure did a nice job.
A one time use doesn't usually give you a true sense of the efficacy of a product, especially in leather care. With that said, I can definitely suggest that you add the leather soap to your leather care routine. I haven't had a chance to use it on really dirty leather, and probably never will as I never let my leather get that dirty, but for daily cleaning, Higher Standards Leather Care can be recommended to leave your leather feeling clean and smooth.
Higher Standards Leather Care
P.O. Box 595 Gardner Avenue
Greensboro, FL 32330
Ask for Libby!