How to clean chaps

How to clean chaps: a step by step guide

Ready to learn How to clean chaps? Our comprehensive guide will show you how to effectively remove dirt, sweat, and stains while preserving the quality of the leather.

Follow our step-by-step instructions and achieve a like-new look for your chaps. Start cleaning today and keep your favorite leather gear in top shape for years to come!

If you’re an avid horse rider, you know how important it is to have the right gear. Chaps are an essential part of any rider’s wardrobe, providing protection and support for your legs while you ride. 

However, like any piece of clothing, chaps can get dirty and worn over time. That’s why it’s important to know how to clean chaps properly, so they can last longer and continue to serve their purpose.

In this article, we’ll show you step-by-step how to clean chaps and keep them in good condition.

Preparing to Clean Chaps:

Before you begin cleaning your chaps, there are a few things you should do to prepare. First, gather your cleaning supplies.

You’ll need a mild cleaner, such as saddle soap or a leather cleaner, a soft-bristled brush, a clean rag or sponge, and water. 

You may also want to have a towel or cloth to dry your chaps when you’re finished cleaning them.

Next, find a good location to clean your chaps. It’s best to clean chaps outdoors, where you can easily rinse them off with water.

 If you can’t clean chaps outside, choose an area that’s well-ventilated, with plenty of space to move around.

Before you start cleaning, remove any excess dirt or debris from your chaps. Use a soft brush or cloth to gently brush off any loose dirt or dust. This will make the cleaning process easier and more effective.

Cleaning Your Chaps:

Now that you’re ready to clean chaps, here’s what you should do:

Step 1: 

Apply cleaner to your chaps. Use a small amount of cleaner and apply it to your chaps with a clean rag or sponge. 

Be sure to cover the entire surface of your chaps, including any seams or crevices. If you’re using saddle soap, work up a lather with water first.

Step 2: 

Use a soft-bristled brush to gently scrub the chaps. Use small circular motions to work the cleaner into the leather. Be careful not to scrub too hard, as this can damage the leather.

Step 3:

Rinse off the cleaner with water. Use a hose or bucket of water to rinse off the cleaner. Be sure to get all the soap off your chaps, as any residue can attract dirt and grime.

Step 4: 

Repeat the cleaning process if necessary. If your chaps are still dirty or stained, you may need to repeat the cleaning process. Be sure to let your chaps dry completely before cleaning them again.

Drying Your Chaps:

After you’ve cleaned your chaps, it’s important to dry them properly. Here’s how:

Step 1: 

Squeeze out excess water from the chaps. Use a clean towel or cloth to gently squeeze out any excess water from your chaps. 

Be careful not to twist or wring them, as this can damage the leather.

Step 2: 

Hang the chaps up to air dry. Find a well-ventilated area to hang your chaps up to dry. You can hang them over a clothesline or on a hanger.

Be sure to hang them in a place where they won’t be exposed to direct sunlight or heat, as this can cause the leather to crack or fade.

Step 3:

Avoid using heat to dry your chaps. Never use a hair dryer or other heat source to dry your chaps. This can cause the leather to shrink or become stiff.

How to clean chaps

Maintaining Your Chaps:

Once your chaps are clean and dry, it’s important to maintain them properly to prevent future dirt buildup. Here are some tips for maintaining your chaps:

Regularly clean chaps to prevent dirt and grime from building up. Avoid exposing your chaps to direct sunlight or heat, as this can cause the leather to crack or fade. Use a leather conditioner to keep your chaps supple and moisturized.

Store your chaps in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight or heat. You can hang them up or fold them neatly in a drawer or closet.


Cleaning your chaps is an important part of maintaining your riding gear. By following the steps we’ve outlined in this article, you can keep your chaps in good condition and ensure they continue to provide the protection and support you need while riding.

Remember to always use mild cleaners, avoid using heat to dry your chaps, and take the time to properly maintain them. By doing so, you’ll be able to enjoy your chaps for years to come. Happy riding!


Can I use regular soap and water to clean my chaps?

No, it’s not recommended to use regular soap and water to clean chaps. Regular soap can strip the natural oils from the leather and cause it to dry out and crack over time. Instead, use a mild cleaner specifically designed for leather, such as saddle soap or a leather cleaner.

Can I use a washing machine to clean my chaps?

No, you should never put leather chaps in a washing machine. The agitation can damage the leather and cause it to shrink or become misshapen. Always clean chaps by hand using a mild cleaner and soft-bristled brush.

How often should I clean my chaps?

The frequency with which you should clean chaps depends on how often you use them and how dirty they get. As a general rule, you should clean chaps after every use or at least once a month if you use them regularly. Be sure to remove any excess dirt or debris before cleaning to make the process easier and more effective.

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