Updated at: 07-05-2022 - By: Helen Skeates

Mold grows on leather for a variety of reasons. Moisture and product substance are to blame for the issue.

Mould can thrive in leather because it is rich in nutrients that encourage the growth of molds. Molds may proliferate because of the cloth itself.

You’ll need to relocate your leather goods to a spot that is dark and cool in order to keep them in good condition. Molds, on the other hand, love these conditions.

Mold is more likely to grow on leather because of the material’s natural susceptibility to moisture and the environment it is exposed to. You may avoid this by keeping your products in a cool, dry place while not in use.

How to Remove Mold From Leather in Simple Ways | LoveToKnow

7 Reasons Mold Grow On Leather And Tips On How To Prevent It

1. Mold Grows On Leather Due To Its Porosity

Leather mold grows for the same reasons as other porous materials, such as fabrics.

Moisture from the air and our own perspiration are absorbed by leather when humidity levels are high.

Since leather clothing and furniture frequently come into contact with our skin, this is especially important.

If leather gets moldy, there’s good news because household things like dish soap and warm water are all that’s needed to clean it up. To be continued.

2. Mold Will Grow On Leather If There Is Heat

Mold can grow on leather objects if they are kept in an area that is too hot and has little air.

Storing leather products like wallets and bags incorrectly might result in discoloration.

In general, leather should be kept in a cool, dry location. Mold will grow on leather if it is stored in plastic bags or other heat-trapped containers.

Cleaning or drying your leather products as soon as you see any mold is usually a good idea, as is storing them in a place with appropriate circulation and ventilation if you notice any mold on them.

To remove mold from leather, use a moist cloth dipped in a solution of dish soap and warm water.

Alcohol wipes may be used if the condition is more serious.

Using vinegar diluted in water and washing it off quickly after treatment is all that is needed for minor cases of mildew in order to prevent the growth of any new spores.

3. Mold Will Grow On Leather If Left For A Long Time Without Use

The body oils that come into contact with leather when it is being used aid to prevent mold, mildew, and drying out of the leather.

Mold will form on leather if it is not exposed to body fluids for an extended amount of time because it is unable to keep itself moist enough to prevent further harm.

Mold and mildew can’t grow on leather because of the body oils we use on a regular basis.

The oils that keep mold and mildew growths at bay will be gone if we cease using them.

With shoes that have been in storage for some time without being worn, mold and mildew are likely to form over the course of time.

As a result, it’s recommended not to leave your leather things unattended for lengthy periods of time, in case they eventually need some attention and treatment before being used again.

If you wipe the surface of your leather after each usage, mold and mildew will be less likely to grow.

4. Mold Grows On Leather If It’s Left Untreated For Long

Leather goods need to be cared for at some point. Mold and other damage can occur if leather is not cleaned, conditioned, and preserved every three to six months.

Keeping leather goods clean and protected from drying, cracking, peeling, and mold attacks is made easier by performing routine cleaning, conditioning, and protection procedures.

It’s important to clean your leather on a regular basis to keep it free of the contaminants that adhere to the surface.

Mold cannot form on clean surfaces, therefore keeping them free of dirt and grime is critical.

When you frequently condition your leather goods, you’ll protect them against water damage and other substances that could encourage the formation of mold and mildew.

Beeswax and carnauba wax are excellent ingredients to include in leather conditioners because they help to retain natural oils in place while also protecting the leather from liquids and dampness.

5. Moldy Water

The water you use to clean, wipe, or treat your leather items can also lead to the growth of mold.

Mold will begin to grow as soon as you use chlorinated or tap water.

After cleaning your leather, if you observe mold development on the surface, use distilled water or at the very least, a mixture of tap and distilled water.

As a result, it is possible that the water you are using to clean your marble surfaces is contaminated with mold.

Using distilled water instead of tap water is the best way to prevent mold from growing on your leather items, so keep this in mind when cleaning.

6. Mold Will Grow On Leather If It’s Stored With Other Molded Items

It is a common cause of mold growth on leather if the material was stored with other items that had already started to grow the mold.

If leather products are stored in a place with mold, mold could grow in the same way.

A lack of airflow may be to blame, but a moist environment may also be to blame.

To prevent the spread of spores, place your leather objects far apart, rather than next to each other.

Keeping them in a dry, well-ventilated area is also vital, so they don’t sit next to moldy ones for long stretches of time.

You’ll be able to avoid any issues this way!

7. Airborne Mold

Air conditioning systems, ventilation, or any other air movement in the house might lead to mold on your leather.

Because it’s airborne, this mold can get on your clothes and furnishings, as well as leather goods, posing a serious health risk.

There are spores that can land on leather products, so you should clean them regularly to get rid of those spores.

When storing or using your leather goods, ensure sure that no vents are blowing air in their direction.

Remove Mold & Mildew from Leather the Easy Way

In order to remove mold and mildew from a surface, there are a few methods that can be used. Your carpet or bathroom tile may require a somewhat different approach when it comes to cleaning your leather, for example. Browse through our collection to get the mold cleaning leather formula that’s right for you.

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How to Remove Mold from Leather

Mold may be removed from leather-finished objects using a nylon brush, a vacuum, soap, and alcohol. Start by removing any loose mold from the surface using a gentle brush. Make sure you’re not spreading mildew spores by doing this outside if possible.

After that, use a suction attachment to extract the contents of the leather case as quickly as possible. No matter how much mold is in your home, it must be cleaned immediately. After vacuuming, apply a thick layer of mild soap suds to the moldy area.

Remove the suds with a damp towel. Leather that hasn’t been finished should never be coated in a wet finish. It doesn’t matter if your object is finished or not; getting it too damp can damage it. Test a small area for finished leather with a smear of water. Soaps and water should not be used if any droplets stain the leather.

Clean the leather with a moist towel and a mild detergent comprised of equal parts water and rubbing alcohol. Gently wipe the area with a clean cloth soaked in the alcohol and water solution. Do not overwet the leather, and allow it to fully dry before reusing.

An additional option is to shrink leather that is a little too big with the help of alcohol. Wipe the insides of your shoes with a rag soaked in rubbing alcohol. For a while, allow them to rest. The leather has a tendency to harden. When cleaning the shoes’ exteriors, avoid using undiluted alcohol to avoid damaging the leather. Leather furniture, such as chairs and couches, can be thoroughly cleaned of mold with this method.

Get Mold Out of Leather Car Seats with Rubbing Alcohol

Mold can be difficult to remove from leather seats because of the numerous folds in the material. You can make a leather seat cleaning solution that works like new with a few ordinary household items.

There should be an equal amount of water and rubbing alcohol in the mixture. There is no need to buy two cups if you only have room for one car seat. Any mildew-prone areas can be treated with a damp cloth soaked in the mixture. Focus on the tiniest bits and clean them thoroughly until the mildew is gone. Once you’ve washed your car seat, use a cloth to dry it. All locations where moisture is likely to accumulate, including creases, should be properly wiped down. Do not rush this process. If possible, use a fan to dry the area and open the doors of the vehicle.

How to Get Rid of Mold Growth on Unfinished Leather

To eliminate mold from unfinished leather, be more cautious with the chemicals and processes that you use. Instead of making your own leather cleaning, use saddle soap to remove mildew from your treasured leather jacket. Saddle soap is readily available at most home improvement stores. A damp sponge or towel and a tiny amount of saddle soap can be used to clean unfinished leather goods. Avoid using too much pressure when rubbing soap into leather when working with it.

Remove soap residue with a wet towel once the area appears clean. Leather should not be dried with excessive heat; instead, let it to dry naturally. Maintaining direct sunlight exposure could cause your object to fade sooner than you’d prefer. Finally, a leather conditioner can be rubbed into the leather to prevent damage.

Remove Mildew from Leather with Baking Soda

Baking soda can be used to kill mold and mildew without harming leather. Because it won’t ruin white leather, it’s an excellent choice. Until the baking soda is entirely dissolved, sprinkle it on a leather surface and vacuum it after about 20 minutes. In addition to these methods, you can spot clean the area with warm water, baking soda, a few drops of vinegar, and dish soap in liquid form.

Baking soda can be used to get rid of any musty smell that may linger after cleaning your leather item. You should store it in a plastic container for about a week, sealed in a box. You can use baking soda to get rid of the odors.

You may use baking soda to clean non-leather garments as well. Rinse as usual after exfoliating the skin with the aforementioned method. Check to see if the stain has been removed from the clothing before placing them in the dryer. Reapplying is a possibility.

Clean Leather with Baby Shampoo

It is easier to prevent mold spores and mildew from forming than it is to remove them. If you own a leather item, it is imperative that you clean and maintain it on a regular basis. Your leather goods should be kept in a dry environment away from strong heat in order to avoid mold spores from growing on the surfaces of your leather goods.

A damp cloth soaked in baby shampoo can be used to remove dirt and grime off leather. Using a second wet cloth, wipe away the lather. It is possible to use even baby shampoo as a leather conditioner!

After you’ve washed and let your leather items to dry completely, use a leather moisturizer to preserve them from damage. A problem of mildew removal from leather may now be solved with the help of these simple and effective approaches. It’s safe to say that these leather cleaning processes will restore your items to like-new condition if you follow the instructions carefully.

Having learned how to remove mildew from leather, you may go ahead and reclaim those old leather boots or belts that have been gathering dust. It’s essential, though, to keep mold out of everything, from your clothing to the equipment you use on a daily basis. You can keep your clothes clean and sanitary by learning how to remove mold from a front-loading washing machine.

It is possible to use Gliptone Leather Cleaner instead of Isopropyl Alcohol to clean colored (protected) and sealed leathers with excellent results every time.

A word of caution – As I have stated numerous times in my previous writings, there is no substance that can be used repeatedly without damaging the leather surface in order to remove mold (mildew). Too many distinct varieties of leather, each tanned, handled, and colored in a different way, exist to be sure that the aforementioned cleaning solutions won’t react unexpectedly, resulting in catastrophic effects in some cases. Before beginning any repairs, it’s imperative that you become familiar with how and where to do an examination of your leather.

Using Other Leather Cleaners

Mold may be removed from leather shoes and other items using denatured alcohol. Even if the transformation isn’t as dramatic as you’d like, several products can make moldy items appear new again. It’s important to note, however, that leather might be damaged by using these materials wrong.

  • Saddle Soap – Saddle soap should only be used on thicker leather items like sofas, work boots, and saddles. Saddle soap should not be used on leather dress shoes since it can dehydrate the leather.
  • As a result, leather colors are particularly sensitive to temperature fluctuations. If at all possible, perform a test on a tiny area before using it on the full area.
  • If you’re looking for a product specifically made for leather things like shoes, couches, etc., you’ll be hard-pressed to locate one. The effectiveness of several of these items varies widely.

Effectiveness of Cleaning On Leather Items

It is important to know the sort of leather used for leather furniture when it comes to mold removal. Obviously, there are some that are easier to manage than others. When removing mold from leather, here’s everything you’ll need, along with the expected outcomes.

  • You can use saddle soap to clean leather backpacks and other bags because they tend to be heavier. If the leather is of a high quality, removing mold from leather bags should be quite simple.
  • Leather Jackets – The higher the quality of leather, the easier it is to clean. The method described above has a good success rate for removing mold from jackets.
  • Mold is less likely to grow on leather car seats because of how frequently people use their vehicles. To clear mold from leather car seats, you’ll need a lot of elbow grease and patience.
  • How to remove mold from leather boots relies on the type of leather used to make them. Work boots are more harder to clean of mold than are fashionable boots. Work boots are more harder to clean than other types of footwear.
  • Mold removal from shoes made of leather is usually a straightforward task. Additionally, there are a wide range of alternatives to denatured alcohol on the market.
  • Cleaning mold from the inside of leather shoes is difficult because of the creases and the inability to see the shoe’s toe.
  • It is easier to clean leather furniture, such as sofas, of mold than to clean other types of furniture.

Condition After Cleaning and Repairing

Restoration of leather typically overlooks the importance of conditioning. It is possible to keep leather in good condition and avoid further damage by conditioning it. It is still safest to use a commercial leather conditioner or make your own, but making your own DIY leather conditioner is no longer recommended. For those who don’t want to spend the money, white vinegar and linseed oil can be used as a DIY conditioner instead of purchasing one from the shop.

Allow the oil to seep into the leather for a few minutes before removing the solution. But be cautioned that the long-term consequences of consuming these oils may be very expensive for you to handle. Leather products that are severely damaged can benefit from the expertise of a professional cleaner. If you have a leather problem that has to be fixed, you need to act quickly.

Tips On How To Prevent Mold On Leather Goods

I’ve already mentioned a few things you can do to keep mold from growing on your leather goods, but here is a complete list of things you can do to keep mold at bay.

Taking a few simple precautions can help prevent mold from forming on leather.

  • Regularly washing down your leather goods with a moist towel or using an appropriate cleaner will help keep them dry.
  • Natural deodorizers and fungicides for leather items include cedarwood, lavender oil, tea tree oil, citrus oils (lemon), clove leaf essential oil, and others.
  • Waxes like carnauba wax, which has a high paraffin content, can also be used to increase luster and moisture resistance.
  • Use a diluted solution of white vinegar and water to kill any mold on your leather product, both inside and out.
  • If mold is growing on your furniture, you can remove the mold spores with a small vacuum cleaner attachment before cleaning it off with soap and water or white vinegar to kill the mold.
  • Regular conditioning treatments will keep your leather looking new for longer by preventing moisture from penetrating it, which is what leads to mold formation.
  • Using a mineral oil-dipped rag, wipe the crevices until they shine again, as this helps prevent mold from forming in these places.
  • White vinegar and hydrogen peroxide can also be used to prevent mold growth on leather by killing the mold as soon as it comes into contact with it.
  • Always keep your leather in an area with enough air flow to prevent it from being recirculated.

Can You Remove Mold From Leather

When leather mold begins to form, it is virtually undetectable. A issue is not solved by just wiping the surface clean; it will reappear as soon as it has proliferated to such an extent that its removal is no longer feasible. If the leather product is to be saved, it must be cleaned using an anti-mold fungicide solution.

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Mold can form on leather that is stored in your home, so if you see this, you may have a greater mold problem in your home. A mold test is a great idea at this point in the process.

In addition, I’m unable to recommend cleaning or storing anything that has mold growing on it. That’s dangerous for your health. However, I am sensitive to the emotional ties people have to their possessions and their financial constraints. Because of this, I’m going to go over the only method I’d use to remove mold from leather.

How To Remove Mold From Leather The Easy Way

  1. Allow the leather to dry in a warm environment but out of direct sunlight if it is moist or wet.
  2. Step outside with the leather. Having mold spores running wild in your home is not something you want.
  3. Wipe the entire leather item with a moist soft cotton cloth to eliminate any surface mold. Mold spores can gather in places like button and buttonhole areas, zippers, and so on.
  4. Allow the leather to dry out. Outside, this shouldn’t take long. It’s best to dry it on a rack if you have one.
  5. Wipe the leather again when it has dried with an EC3 Laundry Additive-soaked soft cotton cloth. The plant botanicals in the EC3 laundry addition have been evaluated in the lab to render mold spores and mycotoxins inert. It is safe to use on leather.
  6. Allow the leather to dry out.
  7. Spot inspect for water stains once it has dried. In some cases, the EC3 laundry additive may leave a very thin layer of film. This is fine, thank you very much. It’s as simple as wiping down the leather with a damp towel and letting it dry for the final time.

An Important Note About Leather Saddles And Tack.

Horse tack that has mold growing on it may be healthy, according to some people. As a result, they take a slightly different approach to mold removal. It’s worth your time to check out this information about saddle mold.


What is Mold?

If you’re looking for an example of a mold-like fungus, look no further. Mold is necessary in the outdoors because it decomposes organic materials like plants, leaves, and trees. The problem becomes more serious when it starts to grow inside.

Is Mold Bad?

Yes! Mold can put your health at danger if it grows on leather goods and furniture. If mold forms on your leather goods, they may become irreversibly harmed. When mold spores are discharged into the air, they can trigger allergic reactions and respiratory problems in humans who breathe them in.

Why do leather bags and shoes get moldy?

We’re storing our leather goods in cabinets that aren’t well illuminated or ventilated, or in the gloomy recesses of our rooms. This is the beginning of a mold colony. It’s more likely to occur if the humidity is particularly high during the rainy season.

How to Clean Mold from Leather Bags and Shoes

You should not allow mold and leather to coexist, so follow these simple procedures to prevent harm to your leather products when cleaning them.


By the time you’ve finished reading, you should have a better understanding of why mold grows on leather. To assist you identify, clean, and prevent mould on your leather products we have included all of the information below.