Product Reviews

Sterling Essentials vs. Muddy Boots

HI friends! Today I am very excited to share my first time using Sterling Essential products!

I must admit … I really do not enjoy taking care of my tack. My tall boots are dirty 99% of the time, my bridles get cleaned maybe once every few months, and I try to do my saddle at least once a month. It’s something I’m trying to get better at. It’s time consuming, messy, and not to mention – I really don’t like my hands smelling like leather soap for two days afterwards. Today, I am hoping that Sterling Essentials will change that!

I’ll start off by showing you what I ordered! I need to add that the customer service with this company is lovely! I wasn’t quite sure what I needed, and I was nervous about trying a new product on my expensive leather. Especially my PS of Sweden bridles and new Voltaire saddle. The owner talked me through everything and helped me pick the perfect products!

I ordered the lavender Leather Cleaner, and the Leather Conditioner in Eucalyptus and Floral Citrus. The packaging was beautiful ( you might have caught a glimpse of it in my Instagram stories) and shipping was quick. I had to show a close up of the Leather Cleaner because the packaging is intelligent. The spray nozzle came unattached, which I LOVE. I have had too many things ruined in the mail by leaky or broken spray nozzles. If you look closely however, you might also be able to see that the nozzle has a lock – further preventing messes. You can switch it on and off for when you’re using the product and when you’re not. A++. The containers that hold the product are strong plastic, and seem durable enough to withstand even the clumsiest of people. (AKA me) Only time will tell with that one. The logo and the label are simple, yet informative and easy on the eyes. Another A+ from me.

Before I dive in to actually using the product, I wanted to touch on something that for me, sets Sterling Essentials apart. Anyone can take a quick peek around the website and immediately know that the SE team has put a lot of time and research into their product. Something specifically struck me though…

“One of the best ways to protect your leather tack and your investment is to ensure that you care for your leather using products that support the natural pH of the leather. The term pH refers to the measure of acidity or alkalinity of a material on a scale of 1 to 14.

Why does pH matter so much?

A chemical reaction occurs when materials of differing pH touch each other. This means that when a product with a pH that is not near the pH of leather is applied to your saddle, your saddle leather reacts just like an elementary school science project volcano. Do you remember adding the vinegar to the baking soda in the volcano and then watching it foam and erupt? This same reaction is taking place in your leather at a cellular level.

The reaction caused by using leather care products not matched to the pH of leather results in damage and premature deterioration to your tack, including:

–          Hardening

–          Brittleness

–          Darkening

–          Loss of strength

Although this damage may not be immediately visible, microscopic damage is still occurring every time a non-pH matched product is used, and this irreversible premature deterioration will become apparent over time.”

Crazy, right? Not necessarily the science behind it, but the fact that I never knew this, and would have never thought about it. It shows a visual where leather is 5 on the pH scale, and soap is 9. I’m sitting here thinking about all the times I’ve used random soap and tack cleaner on my expensive leather and regretting not doing my research.

Another HUGE thing for me is that Sterling Essentials is made with organic ingredients and essential oils. Huge, huge, HUGE. Not only are they animal friendly, they’re healthy, and they smell incredible! I have used essential oils for years, so it’s easy for me to detect the difference between real, quality oil, and fake, cheap oils. Sterling Essentials is definitely using the real deal!

Here we have it … the before photos. It was rainy and wet in Aiken today, so I’m taking advantage of it and putting my leather cleaner and conditioner to the test! Not only do we have orange mud, but splashed footing as well.

I started with the lavender leather cleaner. I simply sprayed directly onto my boots and let sit for about ten second before rubbing it in or wiping. I told y’all, tack cleaning is time consuming and I have no patience. The Sterling Essentials website actually claims that their product will clean leather in 30 seconds or less – I have to vouch for it!

Here we have the boots after ten ish seconds of leather cleaner + a wipe down. I must say … I am impressed. These boots have not been deep cleaned like this since I bought them in October, and they came immediately clean.

Here are the boots after one thin layer of the Eucalyptus conditioner. They look brand new and ready to step into the show ring.

Again, I am very impressed. The whole process took less than five minutes per boot, my hands are not greasy, and they smell incredible. I only had to apply one layer of cleaner, and a small amount of conditioner to get the boots looking absolutely brand new.

You can get your very own Sterling Essential products here!

If the bit about the pH levels interested you as much as it did me … here’s the link to their “learn” page, where they can tell you about the science behind the products a little more in depth!

I’m going to wait for my saddle to get a bit dirtier before I test it on that, but fear not … it’s coming!

Happy shopping, and as always – if you purchase a product that I’ve reviewed, let me know! I’d love to hear your thoughts as well!

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