How to Prevent Mold Mildew on Leather

Protect your leather items from mold and mildew.
Protect your leather items from mold and mildew. (Image: Thomas Northcut/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Mold and mildew spores latch on and grow wherever there's enough moisture, including on your leather goods. Preventing mold and mildew growth will keep your leather shoes, bags and furniture in good shape for years. Controlling the environment is the best way to prevent mold and mildew on leather.

Use a dehumidifier in the room where your leather items are located. Removing moisture from the air will make your items less hospitable to the mold.

Allow air circulation around items while they're stored. For example, leave space between leather jackets that are hung in a closet, or shoes that are stored on the floor of a closet.

Apply a wax dressing to leather shoes to seal them from the moisture that mold and mildew thrive on.

Take your leather items out occasionally during long periods of not being used. Place them in the sunlight and fresh air for 30 minutes.

Store leather goods for extended periods with Paraformaldehyde following the manufacturers' directions.

Clean your leather regularly. Dust or vacuum leather furniture with a soft brush attachment.

If mold and mildew manage to set up on your leather, brush the surface mildew off outside, to avoid spreading the spores. Wipe it down with a solution of one part rubbing alcohol to four parts water. If that doesn't work, wash the leather with mild soap, rinse and let it air dry.

Tips & Warnings

  • Keep your items clean, dirt helps mildew and mold get started.
  • Spraying items with a water repellent and soil resistant spray may help prevent mildew and mold.
  • Never store leather goods in a humid basement or attic storage that lacks airflow.

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