Saturday, July 20, 2024

How To Get Mold Out Of Leather

Remove Mildew From Leather With Baking Soda

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Baking soda is a perfect mold and mildew killer and can clean leather without causing any damage. It is also an excellent solution for white leather as it will not cause any discoloration. Lightly sprinkle baking soda over any leather surface and then vacuum it after approximately 20 minutes.

Or you can mix up a solution of baking soda, warm water, a few drops of white vinegar and liquid dish soap to do some spot cleaning with a damp cloth.

You can also use baking soda to get rid of the musty smell that may linger after youve cleaned your leather item. Place a box of it in a plastic container with any goods that smell off and seal them in for about a week. The baking soda will absorb the nasty odors.

Baking soda is also ideal to remove mildew stain from clothes that are not leather, too. Scrub at the stain with the above recipe and launder as usual. Check to be sure the stain is gone before drying in the dryer. It may require a repeat application.

Failure To Treat The Leather Item

If you want your leather item to remain attractive for ages, you have to take care of it regularly. For optimal results, you should always clean and condition your leather every 3 to 6 months. By doing so, you will be able to prevent mold formation among other kinds of damages. However, if you fail to condition or treat your leather as expected, be sure that mold attacks will be imminent.

Clean Leather With Baby Shampoo

It is easier to prevent mold spores and mildew growth from spreading than it is to remove once its there. Thats why you should be proactive about cleaning any leather item you own with regular cleaning and maintenance. It is also helpful to keep your leather goods in a dry environment away from high heat if possible, as this will help avoid mold spores from forming.

For regular cleaning, you can eliminate dirt and grime by dipping a damp cloth in baby shampoo and lathering it on the leather. Wipe the lather away with a second moistened cloth. Baby shampoo is also a great leather conditioner.

However, after cleaning and once the leather has dried completely, you should still apply a leather moisturizer to protect your belongings from future damage.

With these quick and easy solutions, you no longer have to stress about how to remove mildew from leather. While a little gentleness goes a long way, you can rest assured that these leather cleaning techniques will not damage your items, but will have them looking brand new!

Now that you see how easy it is to remove mildew from leather, you can bust out those leather boots or that forgotten belt and get rid of that mold with confidence. Remember, though, its important to keep mold out of everything, from what you wear to the machines you use regularly. Knowing how to clean mold from front loading washer can keep your clothes fresh and sanitized.

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Wipe The Affected Area With A Dampened Cleaning Cloth

Dip your cleaning cloth in the water and alcohol mixture to wet it, and then wring the cloth out thoroughly.

I recommend using these Microfiber Cleaning Cloths that I found on Amazon.

They are very soft and work well with leather surfaces, plus they get great reviews.

You will know that you have sufficiently wrung the cloth when it is damp and does not drip water anymore.

It would be best if you didnt let your cleaning cloth become any wetter than necessary.

Leather can absorb moisture, which will ruin it instead of removing the mildew and saving the leather.

Wipe your dampened cleaning cloth over the affected area of the leather.

Then, as mildew comes off the leather and onto the cloth, rinse your cleaning cloth and dampen it again with the water and alcohol mixture.

You may have to repeat this process several times to remove the mildew from your leather items altogether.

Using Rubbing Alcohol And Water

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This method is very effective on suede leather, nubuck leather, and chamois leather. Do not use this method if you own vegan leather. Rubbing alcohol will dry out the vegan leather, which will cause it to wrinkle.

Leather boots are bound to get wrinkles. Our guide to getting rid of wrinkles on leather shoes will help you if your shoes have developed wrinkles.

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Using Dish Soap Detergent

Alternatively you can also try to use a mild dish soap detergent and water apply the soap mixture to the area using a soft-bristled toothbrush, and apply a dab of vinegar to help disinfect the stain. You should wear a mask to avoid breathing in mold particles.

In the video below, professional cleaner Rachel Yatuzis demonstrates how to clean mold from a leather jacket.

Using Vinegar To Remove Mold From Faux Leather

Vinegar is another great option for not only removing mold from faux leather but killing them as well.

Vinegar has antifungal and antibacterial effects, and its a cheap and effective mold treatment for a variety of mold.

Household vinegar like white vinegar generally contains about 5%-8% acetic acid. This means that vinegar is effective at killing a wide range of mold and bacteria without causing any damage to the faux leather surface.

To use vinegar to remove mold from faux leather, follow these steps:

Things Needed:


Step 1: Remove Mold Residue

  • Use a vacuum cleaner or a soft-bristled brush to remove as much of the mold as possible just like the first method.
  • You want to do this before applying any type of cleaner because it will be easier than trying to remove them later on when theyre wet.
  • Make sure to do this in a well-ventilated place or outdoor area.

Step 2: Mix Vinegar And Water

  • Now mix equal parts of vinegar and warm water into a bowl or bucket.
  • The mixture should be enough to cover the affected area.

Step 3: Dampen Sponge With The Solution

  • Soak a sponge in the solution and then wring out most of the water.
  • You dont want to use too much liquid because it will leave behind streaks or take longer for the leather to dry.

Step 4: Apply Vinegar To Affected Areas Of Faux Leather

Step 5: Wipe Off The Vinegar Solution

Step 6: Dry Off The Faux Leather

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Place The Furniture Out To Dry

When youre done cleaning, Don be in a hurry to bring the furniture back inside!

No matter how many times you wiped the surface, some water would definitely trickle into the inner parts of the furniture.

Placing the furniture back inside with even the slightest amount of dampness can still lead to mold growth. If this happens, it means all your efforts at removing the mold would have gone to waste.

Be sure to leave the furniture outside for at least 24 hours so the sun can dry it up. The ultraviolet rays which the sun produces can also kill mold, so consider it insurance.

Use Of Mold Water To Clean The Leather Furniture

Remove mold from leather cowboy boots

Although cleaning your leather furniture regularly can help keep molds at bay, using mold water can make the situation worse. Whether you use mold water to clean treat or even treat it, be sure that mold will form on your leather furniture. Worse still, if you are using tap water or chlorinated water, the chances of mold formation are very high.

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How To Remove Mildew From Leather

Mildew grows best on natural products exposed to moisture, yet many people do not know how to remove mildew growing on their leather products, whether it be shoes, belts, or car seats.

Although some people throw away mildewy leather products, weve done the research, and learning how to remove mildew from leather is easy if you follow these simple steps.

Now, you can save your leather items and save yourself money and frustration.

Youll need a few simple things to remove mildew from leather products properly.

  • Water

Now that you have everything you need, read on to learn how to remove mildew from leather.

How To Remove Mold From Leather The Easy Way

By Jennifer First published: . This post may contain affiliate links.

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Seeing how expensive quality leather is these days, no one wants to find mold growing on their leather items or even smell a mildew or musty smell on them. Whether its a leather jacket, leather purse, leather boots, leather shoes, or even leather tack, its always disappointing to see that you are dealing with a mold problem.

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If You Leave Your Leather For A Very Long Time Without Using It

Sometimes, you may leave your leather furniture for several months without being used. This is usually the case when you have traveled to enjoy your vacation or you have proceeded on a holiday with your family.

Earlier, we had indicated that leather items that come into contact with body fluids such as sweat, tend to have molded over time. However, if you have not come into contact with the sofa for a very long time, the chances of mold formation are very high. This is because leather cannot keep itself moist for a long period of time in a bid to remain healthy and in a pristine state.

Remember that body oils acts as a deterrent to the formation of molds and mildew. Since the leather item is not coming into contact with the body oils, there are high chances that you will find mold on your leather item.

Leather Items In High Humidity

how to remove mold from leather shoes

A flood is not always needed to cause unsalvageable damage to the leather. Often, if leather items are subjected to high humidity for a very long time, it can cause reprehensible damage to them.If mold is more than 1/12th of an inch in thickness on an item such as a leather boot, it’s likely not only too damaged from mildew, but it’s likely experienced extensive damage due to humidity, and the leather will never be the same.

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Cleaning Suede And Nubuck

  • 1Apply a layer of petroleum jelly. Test the effect of the petroleum jelly on a small area that wont be noticeable. Apply the petroleum jelly on the moldy areas creating only a thin layer. You may also use a suede cleaner but read the label of the cleaning product to ensure that it works on mold and mildew.
  • Nubuck can easily change colour so make sure the cleaning product you use has been tested before applying.XResearch source
  • 2Apply rubbing alcohol with water. Mix equal parts rubbing alcohol and water for stronger stains. If the mold remains after you have tried using jelly or suede cleaner, add the water and rubbing alcohol mixture onto the fabric.XResearch source
  • Test the rubbing alcohol mixture on a small portion of the mold stain to ensure that it does not change the colour of the material.
  • 3Wipe away the mildew. Moisten a soft cloth rag or sponge with water. Rub the jelly or suede cleaner into the material gently with the cloth rag or sponge. Do the same with the rubbing alcohol mixture for stronger mold stains.
  • Repeat the process as necessary but do not use force if the stain refuses to go away. You could damage the material if you arent careful.XResearch source
  • 4Allow the material to dry. Set the material aside for the suede or nubuck to dry completely. Use a suede brush to restore the texture. A suede brush can be purchased online or at your local shoe store.XResearch source
  • Brush Away Mold Particles

    To clean leather, start by removing as many loose mold particles as possible. To do this, you will need a bristled brush and a vacuum cleaner. Depending on the amount of mold present on your item, you may only need to use one. Start by gently scrubbing the brush along the surface of the leather.

    If cleaning inside, make sure you sweep up or vacuum the area around where you are cleaning. Once you have finished removing as much mold from the surface of the leather as possible, run your vacuum cleaner over the same area with one of the upholstery attachments to collect any additional particles.

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    Effectiveness Of Cleaning On Leather Items

    Each type of leather furnishing will react differently for mold removal. Some will be easier to clean than others.

    Here is a list of items and what kind of results you should expect when cleaning off mold on the surface of leather:

    • Leather Bags- Leather bags are generally thicker, which means you can use harsher cleaning solutions such as saddle soap. Depending on the quality of the leather, cleaning mold from leather bags is relatively easy.
    • Leather Jackets- Jackets tend to use higher quality leather, which can result in often easier to clean. Using the method above, cleaning mold off jackets has high success rates
    • Leather Car Seats- Considering cars are used very commonly when it has an owner, mold tends to not build up as heavy. Cleaning mold on leather car seats can often be challenging due to the creases in the seats.
    • Leather Boots- Cleaning mold off leather boots will depend on the leather. Work boots tend to be harder to remove mold from while fashion boots can often be cleaned with ease.
    • Leather Shoes- Cleaning mold off shoes tends to be straight forward. Many products on the market that can be used in conjunction with denatured alcohol
    • Inside Leather Shoes- Cleaning mold on the inside of the leather shoes is very difficult due to the creases and not being able to see towards to toe of the shoe.
    • Leather Furniture- Cleaning mold off leather furniture such as couches tends to be more simple than other items.

    Cleaning Mold From Leather With Rubbing Alcohol


    Besides detergent, another substance you can use to clean mold off your leather furniture is rubbing alcohol. This substance has powerful anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties, so mold doesnt stand a chance against it.

    Mix equal parts of cool water with rubbing alcohol in a plastic bowl. Stir properly so the solution is even, then dip a clean cloth into it and wipe down the affected areas of the leather.

    You should also wipe down the parts where mold isnt visible, just in case the invisible spores have settled there.

    If the mold growth is on your leather shoes, then use the cloth dipped in rubbing alcohol solution to wipe the shoes clean. Thankfully, leather has a smooth surface so mold cant really latch on to it.

    For the tight inner corners of the leather shoe, you can use a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol to clean.

    After the rubbing alcohol solution has been used to dislodge the mold from your leather, you can use a clean cloth dipped in clear water to wipe down and finish the job.

    Once again, be sure to air-dry the leather items after you have cleaned them with water to get rid of all the leftover moisture.

    In the case of shoes, you can use white paper to stuff them as you air-dry. Doing this will retain their original shape.

    Here is how to get mold out of leather car seats, shoes, and jackets.

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    Allow The Leather To Dry Completely

    Leather does best when it stays dry, so once you have finished removing the mildew, you should wipe your leather down with a dry cleaning cloth to remove excess moisture.

    Then, set your leather items in a well-ventilated area to air-dry completely.

    This area could be near an open window or a fan.

    Please do not put your leather items away until they are completely dry.

    If they are still slightly damp when you put them away, the mildew may grow back.

    Pro tip: While some people dry items in the sun to further prevent the return of mildew, putting leather in the sun can have unintended side effects.

    While the sun does kill off many forms of mold and mildew, it can also discolor your leather.

    If you choose to dry your mildew in the sun, keep a close eye on it to prevent discolorations.

    Removing Mold From Leather


    Move the leather item outside and brush off any mold with a soft-bristled brush. If you can’t take the item outside, vacuum it with a soft brush attachment. If you vacuum the leather, replace the vacuum bag immediately or empty the vacuum outside to avoid dispersing the mold particles.


    Set the leather item in a sunny, warm place to dry. Set up a fan or electric heater to dry the item if you can’t take it outside.


    Mix a small amount of germicidal soap with enough water to create thick suds in a bucket. Apply the suds to the moldy leather with a slightly damp cloth. Wipe away any excess suds with a clean, damp cloth. Place the item in a warm, well-ventilated area to dry. If mold still remains, consider cleaning the item with an alcohol mixture.


    Mix equal parts denatured alcohol and water in a bucket or container. Dip a soft cloth into the mixture and wring it out. Wipe the leather item thoroughly with the cloth and place it in a warm, well-ventilated area to dry.


    Apply a mildew inhibitor to the clean, dry leather according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

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    Tips For Cleaning Moldy Leather Clothes And Shoes

    • If you detect a mildew odor after leather items have been cleaned, airing them out outside can help.
    • Another way to eliminate mildew odor is to put items in a plastic container with a dry odor-absorbing product or a box of baking soda. Leave the container sealed for a week to help absorb the smell.
    • To remove mold from suede or sheepskin boots, use a soft brush to buff off the visible mold, then thoroughly clean them.

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