Leather is usually valuable to its owners, who many times had to save up money in order to purchase such a luxury. Unfortunately, sometimes a musty or mildew smell starts reeking out of its beautiful leather hide. A mildew smell means that there is mould in your furniture, purse, shoes, or whatever leather object is in your possession. So, as soon as the smell is noticed, you should take care of this problem immediately. If not, the mould will only worsen and the chances of saving your leather item becomes slimmer and slimmer with time.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Challenging
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Things you need
- Leather enzyme cleaner
- White vinegar
- Isopropyl alcohol
Know your leather. It is important if you know if your leather is treated or natural. Treated leather will be easier to clean as it can handle liquids far better than natural leather, which staining and spotting can occur easily. Knowing if your leather is treated or not will help you determine what kind of cleaner you should purchase.
Purchase leather-cleaning products. For mildew, it is best if you adhere strictly to your manufacturer's directions or purchase a product specifically designed for your type of leather. Examples for leather furniture include Leather Master Mold Killer and Em Clean, both of which are specially designed enzyme cleaners to kill mould spores in leather furniture. To apply, you should follow the manufacturer's directions. Generally, you will clean the surface first with a spray and cloth and then spray more time to sit overnight.
Use white vinegar or isopropyl alcohol on treated leather. You are stepping away from manufacturer recommendations so test on an inconspicuous spot first to be sure that it does not damage the leather. Let it dry before making your final decision. Use equal parts of vinegar or isopropyl alcohol (not both) and water, and dip a soft rag into it and wring it out. Rub the rag all over the leather and let it sit overnight. Follow up with a leather cleaner and conditioner for your specific type of leather.
Hire a professional cleaner or throw it out. If you can't get rid of the mildew smell or if the smell returns, it means there is still mould. You do not want to risk your health by allowing it to remain and continue to grow and release its toxins into the air you breathe.