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Mildew Smell on Leather

I was sent a package and everything in it smells of mildew. Some things cannot be washed. How do I get rid of the mildew smell? The items that need treatment include a leather pocketbook and three small blankets.

Thank you.


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September 8, 20091 found this helpful

The blankets: wash repeatedly in hot water with detergent, borax or baking soda, dry in air outside where wind can blow them a little. May take 3-4 times.

You have two problems: odor, and mildew, which is causing the odor. Mildew likes dampness, so dry the items if they are damp to stop the process. Prop open with crumpled newspaper (wallet).

Other things like wallet, put in a non staining container which has plain charcoal lumps, wrapped in lots of crumpled newspaper so the charcoal won't touch the item. Put in box and close it for a month, in the garage. See how bad it is after that. If the leather is wipeable before you put them away, wipe with a paper towel or cotton ball you've wet with alcohol. You could also put baking soda in bottom of box. Perhaps lightly wrap items in newspaper sheets. I've read that newspaper itself deodorizes. White vinegar also deodorizes. Anything that can be wiped could be wiped with that, if it's not acid sensitive.

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September 9, 20161 found this helpful

Chances are that the mustiness is only as deep as the lining. I've got a few leather jackets that have started to go musty and I tried (70% surgical) spritzing, fabreeze and spot cleaning with a sponge soaked in detergent...none of those worked. What did work, was getting a cheap handheld $100 steamer, turning the jacket inside out and blasting the jacket lining with steam. And go hardcore on areas like the underarms and the back of the neck. It works a treat.

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September 8, 20090 found this helpful

Does anyone know how to clean leather that has old smell? The smell is awful like old wet mildew.

Dar from Texas


Mildew Smell on Leather


Use a specialist leather cleaner called Em Clean, which will get rid of any mildew spores safely without damaging the leather. Once you have got rid of any spores the smell will disappear. Leather care consultants. (11/20/2007)

By Leather Agony Aunt

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