How to Clean Mildew From a Leather Coat

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Mildew is a form of mold that thrives in dark, moist environments. If you store your leather coat in a dark closet all summer long and take it out in the fall to find mildew on it, don’t be surprised. Although mildew on a leather coat can be frightening at first, don’t throw out the coat just yet. Fortunately, there is a way to effectively remove mildew from a leather coat and restore its original appearance.

Things You'll Need

  • Soft brush
  • Sponges
  • Small bucket
  • Water
  • Mild dish soap
  • 1 cup rubbing alcohol

Take the leather jacket outside and brush off as much of the loose mildew as possible. Use a dry sponge or soft brush to remove loose mildew. Be sure to do this outdoors. Mildew is a form of mold and the mold spores will be released into the air as you are brushing them off.

Lay the leather coat in the sun for a few hours. The sun works to naturally kill the mildew.

Fill a small bucket with warm water. Add a few drops of mild dish soap to the water.

Dip a sponge in the soapy water and wring it out well. Gently rub the sponge over the mildew stain. Avoid scrubbing forcefully so as not to damage the leather.

Lay the leather coat outside in the sun to air dry.

Mix a solution of rubbing alcohol and water if the mildew stain persists. Combine 1 cup rubbing alcohol into a bowl or bucket with 1 cup of warm water.

Dip a clean sponge into the mixture and wring it out well. Wipe the mildew stain with the sponge. Be sure to get the alcohol mixture into any cracks in the leather.

Lay the leather coat in the sun to air dry. Once dry, inspect the coat for traces of mildew. If the mildew is still there, repeat the process until the mildew is gone or take the leather coat to a professional leather cleaner.

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