Even though leather looks gorgeous, maintaining it can be challenging. Leather products with stains or damage may develop mold and mildew, and restoring them to their original condition may be challenging. Due to a lack of knowledge regarding proper leather care, many people discard their leather goods.
Molds are just a type of fungus that thrives in dark and wet conditions. When leather bags are not properly preserved in a dry, shaded area or are exposed to moist, damp conditions, mold is frequently developed.
Whether leather handbags, purses, gym bags, briefcases, or satchels, mold can grow on any leather bag. Mold is typically only visible on the exterior of a leather bag and not on the internal lining. This article will cover the most effective techniques for cleaning mold from leather.
Why Do Leather Bags Develop Mildew and Mold?
When mold and mildew grow together, they develop dark or whitish hairy patches on leather. Inadequate airflow (when leather is damp) and too much heat on a natural material creates the ideal habitat for mold growth, which is why moisture and warmth are the two leading causes of mold growth.
When you store leather bags in your closet, where the environment is dark, hot, and humid, mold starts to grow on the surface, leaving ugly spots on leather that can be very challenging to clean. This can fully damage the leather bag before its lifetime. Therefore, it’s always best to treat it quickly.
Methods for removing mold and mildew from leather
Cleaning leather differs slightly from cleaning carpet or bathroom tiles. The various techniques for eliminating mold from leather are listed below.
1. Using a Brush
First, identify the moldy areas on your leather bag and use a horsehair brush or another soft brush to remove mold spores. Don’t put too much pressure on the leather surface when cleaning it; instead, use a delicate touch.
The first goal is to eliminate the visible signs of mold growth on your leather bag so that subsequent cleaning and prevention will be much easier.
2. Using White Vinegar
At first, empty your bag and gently brush it with a cloth or a soft brush. Make a solution of white vinegar and hot water in a ratio of 10:1. Wear plastic or latex gloves and wet a sponge or washcloth in the solution.
Using the sponge or washcloth, rub the moldy or mildewed area until you see it gone. If the mold is on the inside, turn it inside out, and apply the same procedure. When completed, dry it out.
3. Using Baking Soda
Baking soda is one of the inexpensive kitchen ingredients that can eradicate mold from your leather bag. It can kill mold and mildew without damaging the leather. Sprinkle baking soda over the moldy leather bag and leave it overnight.
In the morning or the next day, gently scrub the mold or mildew using a wet cloth. Or, make a solution of baking soda, hot water, a few drops of white vinegar, and liquid dish soap to clean the mold spot.
4. Using Denatured Alcohol
Mix 1 cup denatured alcohol and 1 cup water together until a cloudy solution is formed. Dip a sponge or washcloth cloth in the mixture and squeeze it out.
Rub the moldy or mildewed spots gently using the sponge or washcloth until the stain is removed. Put it in the dryer for 25 minutes to fully dry your bag, or leave it outside to air dry for 24 hours.
5. Using Rubbing Alcohol
The best way to clean your leather bag and get rid of mold without damaging or discoloring it is to use rubbing alcohol in a diluted solution with equal parts of water. Make a 1:1 solution of rubbing alcohol (isopropyl alcohol) and water., Use a microfiber cloth to remove mold stains from the leather surface.
7. Using Saddle Soap
When natural ingredients don’t work, you can use a special soap called Saddle soap. Saddle soap is often used to clean and protect leather-based bags and shoes.
Dip a clean cloth in water, rub the wet cloth into the saddle soap, then gently rub the moldy leather bag using the wet cloth mixed with saddle soap. Wipe away the lather using another clean and damp cloth. Let the bag dry outside for at least 1 hour.
8. Using Lemon Juice
Lemon juice works well in cleaning fungus from the surface of your favorite leather bag. Try brushing the moldy area of the leather bag using lemon juice.
Use a soft bristle brush or microfiber cloth, and gently brush repeatedly until you see the mold is disappeared. Finally, wipe with a soft cloth and leave it for a while, so it doesn’t get damp.
Some important tips for Cleaning Leather Bags of Mold and Mildew:
Below are the crucial advice and best practices you can use when implementing the mold removal method.
1. Avoid using acetone: Acetone can permanently damage your favorite leather bag. Acetone can weaken leather fiber structures causing leather to peel away and discolor.
2. Don’t use chemicals: Leather can be damaged by powerful cleaning agents containing alcohol or other harsh chemicals.
3. Store Your Leather Bag Correctly: Storing a leather bag correctly can help prevent mold from damp and warm environments.
4. Keep the storage space’s proper condition: Keep your windows open during the summer to keep the space well-ventilated and well-lit. To stop mold from growing, you may also place your storage cabinets in a room with plenty of light and indirect sunshine. Keep your storage away from areas that receive direct sunlight because doing so can harm the leather.
5. Install a dehumidifier: Install an electric dehumidifier where you store your leather items.
6. Use silica gel: Store camphor and silica gel in the storage area.
7. Prevention Is Better Than Cure: Always follow proper care instructions for cleaning, drying, and storing your leather bag. It’s better to prevent mold from growing than to remove it, as it could damage your leather.
How to Remove Moldy Smell from your Leather Bag
If you detect a moldy odor after cleaning your leather bag, you can do the followings:
- Put silica gels inside your leather bag to keep the interior dry.
- You can spray some deodorant inside your bag. After then, bathe it in sunlight.