Caring for Leather Jackets and BagsSaddleback Stain Solutions: Muddy leather bag

Saddleback Stain Solutions: Mud on your Leather

Saddleback Leather Finishes Quick Clean Score for Muddy Leather (1=uncleanable to 10=easily cleaned)

Chestnut- 9, Tobacco- 6, Cobalt Black- 10, Dark Coffee- 9

Key Takeaway: Mud stained or splashed leather bags can be cleaned quite easily.  In most cases, a damp cloth will do the trick.  Just be sure to use the correct cleaning technique.  Read more for the details...


Don’t have a Saddleback bag yet?  They’re beautiful.  Check em out at Saddleback’s site by clicking here.

 *All links are affiliate links so if this info is helpful to you please click through my links to buy your Saddleback products so I will get commission from the sale… Thanks!!


I know many of you Saddleback owners take you bags around the world in all kinds of weather.  If you use your bag outdoors it is likely that the bag will get mud on it.

While it’s pretty easy to remove mud, there are a few variables to consider.  Which leather finish do you have (Tobacco will be cleaned differently than Carbon Black)? Is the mud wet or caked on dry?  Is it brown mud or red-clay mud?  

This article will give you the best way to clean mud from your specific Saddleback bag.  So read these tips for help:

(You may be thinking who is this guy and why should I listen to his leathercare advice.  So at the end of the article I’ll give you my creds and tell why I am helping the folks at Saddleback)



Tips on caring for your muddy Saddleback leather:


  • Don’t "Google it" for help- I have seen some crazy-bad tips floating out on the web for solving leather problems.  For example even though I saw a leathercare blog say to, at NO time should your rub a banana peel on your leather, Huh?!! Instead find someone who knows leather, specifically Saddleback Leather, and get qualified advice.


  • Before the rain, treat your bag with a good conditioner or protector–  This will cause dirt and moisture to bead on the surface of your bag.  But be careful, the Tobacco and Chestnut finishes may darken when you add a conditioner.  See the article above for more info.
  • For wet, brown mud on all 4 finishes, use a damp cloth-   If the area is still muddy and wet, first try a damp cloth.  Scrape or pull off excess mud, then wipe the entire affected panel from seam to seam. Finally, buff the area with a dry cloth. 
  • For red/ clay-like mud, especially on the Tobacco finish, use a good leather cleaner before the mud dries-  The red in the clay-like mud can stain the fibers of the leather red, leaving a permanant tint.  So try to remove these stains quickly.  Using a good leather cleaner, apply it from seam to seam over ome entire panel at a time.  Then dry out the moisture by waving a hairdryer over the cleaned surface.
  • For dried mud, use a nylon brush to remove the dirt- If the mud has dried, don’t re-wet the area at first.  Just brush off the dried mud and then you may clean over the affected panel with a damp cloth or good leather cleaner.  
  • Use will soften your bag if it stiffens after the rain–  Most leather is softened by milling.  Milling is just moving the leather around to loosen the fibers.  So just use it and it will soften back up for you.  Click here for an article more specifically about getting caught in the rain with your bag.


Mud on your bag is not a fatal problem.  But once it has been muddied, you should clean it off correctly.  If you follow these tips it will clean up like new.

Of course,if you don’t have a bag yet to get muddy…  click here to go to the Saddleback site and get one, they’re incredible.


Related articles:

"The unique finishes of Saddleback Leather" teaches specific tips on caring for each of the 4 Saddleback finishes.


And as promised, Why listen to me?

My dad says my first word was leather… but since that can’t be confirmed I’ll just say I have 25 years in the leather biz.  I’m now the 2nd generatioin owner of a leather cleaning, repair and refinishing company in the Baltimore/Washington DC area.  I’ve seen every problem imaginable to leather and am glad to share my experience to help you.

Why Saddleback?

I’m holding the bag at the left and standing with Chuck Bowen the CEO of Saddleback. 

I love Saddleback Leather Bags (Incuding my Light Tobacco Classic Briefcase).  I love their core values.  I love their affiliate program.  So I help you choose and care well for your Saddleback stuff, Saddleback sells more bags and helps more people, and I make a few affiliate bucks when you click through my links… everybody wins.  

How to contact me with questions or suggestions.

If you have a Saddleback leather question I haven’t covered yet, please shoot it to me.  Or if you think I’m wrong or want to add to my suggestions, please do.  I can be reached though twitter by @leatherhelpguy or e-mail me at Thanks.