Leather gloves are commonly used during cold weather and manual labor. They are prized for both durability and their ability to protect hands from injury. When not stored properly, they develop a distinct musty odor and white surface spots. These are caused by mildew growing on the surface of the leather. Since mildew is a living organism, the spores must be destroyed to permanently remove the white spots. Cleanliness and low-humidity storage will prevent the mildew from returning. Fortunately, most leather owners can remove mildew in a matter of minutes using simple household items.
Things You'll Need
Mix a solution of 50 percent water and 50 percent rubbing alcohol. Wipe the mildew spots with a soft rag dipped in the cleaning mixture.
Mix 1/4-cup of liquid detergent with 1 gallon of water in a bucket. Wipe any remaining areas of mildew with the soapy water.
Re-wipe the spotted areas with a cloth dampened by clear water. Allow the gloves a few hours to completely dry before storing.
Prevention is the best cure for mold and mildew problems. According to the University of Missouri Extension service, "Mold and mildew are hard to remove, but easy to prevent." See the Resources section for their excellent advice on preventing the development of mold and mildew in the home.
Never store leather products when they are damp.
Carefully read instructions before using any mildew-preventing chemicals.Some products can permanently stain light-colored leather.