How to remove mold from leather

How to remove mold from leather.

Mold can easily grow on a surprisingly large number of materials, and leather is no exception. Whether it’s a leather handbag, couch, belt, shoes, car seats, or even a horse saddle, we will show you what causes it, how to remove it, and how to keep it from molding again in the future.

Topics covered
  • What removes mold from leather?
    • Prepare your cleaning solution
    • Cleaning
    • Drying
    • Apply a conditioner
  • Obenauf’s leather conditioner review
  • Removing mold smells from leather
  • How to keep leather from molding

What removes mold from leather?

The problem with mold on leather is that you won’t be able to see it during the first stages. Only once the mold is firmly established on the leather item will it become visible.

Fortunately, there is an easy way of removing it, and we will show you how.

Step 1: Prepare your cleaning solution

We will be using a non-abrasive cleaning solution as not to damage the leather material during the cleaning process.

There are two options – 100% pure lemon juice or white distilled vinegar.

The lemon juice method: Add 25% lemon juice and 75% water to a spray bottle and shake thoroughly.

The vinegar method: Add 50% vinegar and 50% water to a spray bottle and shake thoroughly.

Step 2: Cleaning

Generously spray the solution on all the moldy spots and gently rub with a microfiber or soft cloth until the mold has come off.

Step 3: Drying

Drying is the most crucial step. Sure, you could dry it off with a dry cloth, but for a much more thorough drying procedure, place the leather item in direct sunlight.

Just keep in mind that the sun also harms the leather itself, as it can crack and fade the material. Therefore, only place it in the sunlight for no more than three hours in the morning or afternoon when the sun is not too intense.

Step 4: Apply a conditioner

Applying a specially formulated leather conditioner after cleaning and drying is recommended but not essential. Not only will it protect the leather and give it that sheen look, but it will also make it hard for mold and mildew to return while also getting rid of any moldy smells.


Obenauf’s leather conditioner with natural oil beeswax formula

Obenauf’s leather conditioner is made in the USA and contains beeswax and plant oils. Not only does it bring new life to sun-faded leather items, but it also resists mold, mildew, and bacteria while protecting from tears and cracks.

To use, put some onto your hand and rub onto the leather material until it dissolves. The heat from your hand helps it dissolve. After the first application, wait an hour before applying the second application.

The product works great on any leather items, including horse saddles, boots/shoes, belts, couches, car interiors, handbags, and baseball gloves.

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Another method for removing mold and mildew smells from leather items

If you don’t want to buy a specially formulated leather conditioner for removing mold and mildew smells, then use baking soda.

Put the leather item, whether it’s a handbag, belt or pair of shoes into a zip lock bag and add a substantial amount of baking soda into it, before zipping it up.

Keep it sealed for up to 24 hours before removing the item and either gently brushing the baking soda off or vacuuming it up.

If the leather item cannot fit into a zip lock bag, for example, a couch, car seats, etc., then sprinkle baking soda over it and leave it on for 24 hours before vacuuming it up.


How to keep leather from molding

Prevention is always better than cure, and being a little bit proactive will go a long way in keeping mold away from your leather items.

1: Keep leather items dry: Don’t let your leather items get wet because water/fluids fuel mold growth. If you do accidentally get it wet, then dry it immediately.

2: Reduce humidity: If you store leather items in a humid environment, then it’s bound to get mold. Instead, keep it in a place that does not have high humidity levels.

3: Sunlight: If at all possible, place your leather items in the sun for an hour or two, from time to time. The sunlight will kill any mold spores and prevent it from growing, but don’t overdo it because too much sun can damage the material.

4: Apply a leather conditioner: If you are serious about protecting your leather goods and keeping them looking like new, then apply a quality leather conditioner once every two months.


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