How to Remove a Musty Smell From Leather

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Leather has a tendency to develop a musty smell as it ages if you're not careful. Find out how to remove a musty smell from leather with help from a leather and vinyl professional in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: Leather Care
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Video Transcript

Hi, this is Aubrey, from the Leather and Vinyl Doctor. We're here today to talk about getting that musty smell out of a leather item. Typically they're old leather items, such as this old leather jacket that could very well have been pulled out of anybody's closet that's been sort of hiding away in a dusty area. The key to getting that dusty smell out is to start getting some air and life back into that. Get it out in the indirect sunlight, get it out into the air, wear the jacket, and that should hopefully help get rid of a lot of the smell. If it persists though, you might want to look towards cleaning the leather. Now, you wanna make sure that you're cleaning with a compatible product, one that's not gonna cause problems to the leather. So make sure that it's, if you've got a cleaner that's a leather cleaner that says it's for finished leather, make sure what you have is a leather, a piece, sorry, a finished piece of leather. The way to do that is to apply a little bit of water, a couple drops of water to the surface of the leather, and see if it beads up or if it actually soaks in. Now if it beads up like this, you know that it's a finished piece of leather. It's got a lot of protection to it, a lot of barrier against things actually getting into the leather. If it actually soaked in, you know that it's more of an aniline, or a semi-aniline, and you have to be particularly careful with that, with the type of cleaner that you use to make sure that it's compatible with that type of leather. Now, knowing that this is actually a finished leather, and a lot of the older jackets would be more finished leather, you go ahead and apply the cleaner. It's very simple. I suggest actually applying the cleaning solution to a cloth, so that you don't streak or cause any problems of over-spray to the material. And you just simply work it in a circular motion, work it, scrubbing a little bit where necessary, you know, it's a very mild product, it's pH-neutral, so you know that it's not gonna cause any problems if you apply some pressure to. Now, if you care to get a little bit more ambitious, you can go ahead and spray it directly onto the leather, and it shouldn't cause any problems as long as it doesn't cover too large an area and cause any streaking. So, once you've done that, you work systematically though the entire piece, then you can go ahead and apply some conditioning cream. Now, the conditioning cream doesn't need to be fragranced, but what it will do is penetrate into the fibers of the leather, and help to, to either mask, or at least take away some of that smell that you've been experiencing. So, thoroughly cleaning and conditioning your musty piece of leather is going to help to a great extent to getting rid of that bad smell. So, there you have it. Getting it out, getting some sunlight through it, and also applying a cleaning conditioning products to it should help get rid of that musty smell out of your old leather jacket.


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