Removing Mold and Mildew from Leather

September 27, 2018

Cleaning mold off leather is easy, using glycerin soap and warm water and a soft rag. Wipe off excess soap with a dry rag, then hang item out in the sun if it's a nice day, or put in the dryer on high heat for 3-5 minutes.


Smells great too!


9 Questions

Here are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community.

August 31, 2006

Can you get mold off of leather? My husband has a leather jacket that sustained water damage and is now moldy in some places. This leather jacket means a lot to him and I would really love to return it to its previous glory!

Can it be done? What do I need to do?

Thanks yall!

Sheila from Port St. John, FL


September 1, 20060 found this helpful

I found a bag of clothes sitting in the trash that had 2 leather jackets in it. I wanted to see if I could salvage them to make purses. But I guess the bag had something damp inside as both of the jackets had mold on them. Seeing as I had nothing to lose I hung them up on my clothesline and shot them with the hose. Then I sprayed them with dilute ammonia and scrubbed them with a brush and then shot them with the hose again.


I mean they were soaking wet, lining and all. Then I left them on the line all day to dry. They looked as good as new. Now I am not advocating doing this with good jackets as a matter of course, but if you've got nothing to lose, go for it!


By anthony majusiak (Guest Post)
August 5, 20080 found this helpful

First you go to Patrick's Pub and have a beer.
Once done, go home and try
For full cleaning and conditioning, try this mixture:

1 part white vinegar
2 parts neatsfoot oil OR raw or food grade linseed oil
Use a white lint free cloth to swirl on, leave overnight then buff for maximum shine.
Remove any mildew or mold on leather before starting with a regular cleaning. To remove mildew, try this inexpensive, easy recipe:

1 part rubbing alcohol
1 part water
Spray on or use on a dampened cloth. Use a clean white lint free cloth and replace as it gets dirty. Avoid direct sunlight and allow to air dry. You may also turn on a fan and allow it to gently waft over the surface.


Either of these will do the trick.

By frank (Guest Post)
November 5, 20080 found this helpful

I have just got out my leather jacket in the back bedroom where it is quite cool and I took out my leather jacket from the protected bag and I noticed to my horror is that it has got green mould spots all over the bottom jacket. Can any body tell me how to get rid of it please, which I would appreciate it.

June 21, 20091 found this helpful

I successfully cleaned about 3000 moldy, mucky jackets after Hurricane Katrina. The answer to your question is probably. A lot of the answer depends on how severe the damage is. If the zippers or snaps have been severely corroded, then the leather may be salvaged, but the metal parts will probably need replacing.


That can be quite expensive. Through gentle agitation and a mild soap, most mold can be removed and neutralized.

September 10, 20160 found this helpful

I have two jackets didn't store them right they have bunch mildew on the what kind of soup did you use thank you can please get back to I really need help to save these thanks

September 26, 20160 found this helpful

Was there a nasty smell to it?

November 23, 20160 found this helpful

How do i get it out of leather jacket

December 25, 20180 found this helpful

I tried tomato as it works better than vegetable.

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December 30, 2017

How do I clean mold from black leather?

Cleaning Mold Off Leather - moldy leather


Silver Post Medal for All Time! 433 Posts
December 31, 20170 found this helpful
Best Answer

Cleaning mold off leather.

Step 1
Wipe off mold with a damp cloth.

Step 2
Allow leather to dry completely.

Step 3
Then use baby shampoo and wash again.

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November 28, 2017

My leather/suede coats were left in boxes when I moved. I forgot about them being in the garage. Now all have some form of mold.

Can they be salvaged, at least a few? Three are pictured.

Removing Mold from Suede and Leather Coats - moldy leather coat
Removing Mold from Suede and Leather Coats
Removing Mold from Suede and Leather Coats


Bronze Answer Medal for All Time! 242 Answers
November 28, 20170 found this helpful
Best Answer

Bleach is very hard on leather, so you may not want to do that. There are special leather cleaners that can be had that work well to restore leather. They would also have special conditioners for leather. I would see if I could get a hold of one of these first and then try wiping the main mildew source with a damp cloth ( dampened with water and a mild detergent) and then use the leather cleaner/ conditioner on them.


I have done this on a leather bible case that was in storage and had a film of mildew like in your pics and it worked well.

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September 22, 2010

How do I clean mold off of leather and suede?

By eric from Cleveland, OH


December 16, 20100 found this helpful
Best Answer

Have a look at a leather motorbike jacket I just cleaned. It was given a rub with a tea tree oil blend meant for a face steamer. The difference is huge! I will post if it fades but it looks good so far!

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March 19, 2007

How do you clean leather? I have some older leather jackets and chaps that have mold on them. Is there any way to get them clean?

April from North Henderson, Illinois


By SIRIS (Guest Post)
March 20, 20070 found this helpful

My son got blood on a new suede jacket, the dry cleaners here sent it to the city and it came back stained. A native aquaintance said wash it and hang it on the line on a windy day. All the stains came out and it looked great.


Editor's Note: This suggestion should be used with caution. The suede may have been a synthetic (which could be washed). Any washing of leather can change the texture. If you want to try it use only cold water.

By (Guest Post)
March 21, 20070 found this helpful

Hi April, you might also try, first hang it out in the sun to dry out the mold as much as possible. Then take a soft brush and brush as much of the mold off as you can, and repeat this a few times, until clean.Susan

March 26, 20071 found this helpful

I've had great success tossing leather garments in the washing machine; gentle cycle, cold water, minimal mild detergent. Hang to dry.

Good luck!

Rose Anne

May 28, 20170 found this helpful

Do not wash real leather in a washing machine. NOT GOOD FOR LEATHER! There's lots of leather cleaners out there in your neighborhood hardware stores.

November 16, 20170 found this helpful

I have been washing leather coats in the washing machine for years as I buy them at thrift stores to reuse the leather. Some come out better than others, and some are too nice to cut up. Dry cleaners use toxic chemicals, which no animal ever used to get clean. Sometimes the leather will be a bit stiff, but easily softened by working it. I also wash my leather gloves and slippers by hand and shape them as they dry.

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February 16, 2015

What is the best way to get rid of the musty smell from a Koolah leather jacket that has been in storage for awhile?

By Allan D. from Pender Harbor, BC


Silver Post Medal for All Time! 255 Posts
December 4, 20170 found this helpful

Air it out very well. Use a saddle soap to clean the leather portion. The inside, if lined, you can help rid the smell by wadding up newspaper and stuffing it into the sleeves to help absorb the odor. You can also spray the lining with fabrize (don't get it on the leather) or vinegar.

February 5, 20190 found this helpful

Another way to leech musty, mildewy odours from an item is by completely immersing it in clean, ordinary (i.e., old school, non-clumping) cat litter for a week, maybe longer; cat litter might have to be completely swapped out for new, fresh litter. You will easily be able to tell when it's times to pitch the used litter, and repeat the same process with new litter, if necessary. A clean plastic tub (e.g., dishpan, storage bin, etc.), will work well as vessel for damaged item, and cat litter.

I know this works extremely well with books (My great aunt rehabbed a humungous, over 100 year old family Bible, using this simple method.) I am seriously thinking of employing this cat litter method to help rehabilitate some of my coats that were damaged in a basement flood. The coats range from leather, suede, wool, and cotton, respectively.

Since I think the cat litter can only help, not hurt, once spring arrives I'm gonna give it a whirl. Hope this tip (particularly when using with printed matter such as books, papers, etc.), will prove to be a helpful household hint for others. :) Best regards, Shash B.

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November 25, 2015

How do I clean mould off leather and felt? Can you give me a natural recipe please?


Gold Post Medal for All Time! 677 Posts
October 3, 20170 found this helpful

From Leather:
1 part rubbing alcohol
1 part water
Spray on or use on a dampened cloth.
Use a clean white lint free cloth and replace as it gets dirty.
Avoid direct sunlight and allow to air dry. You may also turn on a fan and allow it to circulate over the surface

From felt:
Remove as much dirt as possible
Cover area with baking soda
Put vinegar on the area
Let sit for a few minutes
Clean with water
Allow to dry and brush to fluff

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January 9, 2018

Leather clothing, shoes, handbags, etc. can develop mildew while being stored. One method that can be successful is wiping down the item with white vinegar. No matter what you use, be sure to check colorfastness before cleaning the entire surface. This is a page about removing mildew from leather.

Mildew on Leather Purse

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