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Removing Mildew From Leather

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Removing Mildew from Suede Boots
I stored a pair of suede leather boots in a closet. They have mold/mildew on the ...
Asked by Beverly Bredemeyer, 01/19/2007

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To protect leather against mildew, treat with low- pressure aerosol sprays that carry specific directions. Shoe and luggage stores may have these aerosols sprays that have been specially made for leather goods.

Before treating the article, test the spray on a small area where it will not show. Do this to see whether it will change the color of the leather. Repeat the treatment as directed on the label.

PRECAUTION: Do not inhale the mist from the spray and do not use spray near flame. Follow all precautions given on the can.

Another way to protect leather goods is to apply a good wax dressing. Some commercially available waxes or silicone resins have antimildew properties. However, some shoe dressings contain antifungicidal ingredients that might discolor white or light-colored leather.

To remove mildew from leather goods, wipe with a cloth moistened with diluted alcohol (1 cup denatured or rubbing alcohol to 1 cup water). Dry in a current of air. If mildew remains, wash with thick suds made from a mild soap or detergent, saddle soap, or a soap containing a germicide or fungicide. Then wipe with a damp cloth and dry in an airy place. Polish leather shoes and luggage with a good wax dressing.

Shoes contaminated with fungus growth on the inside often develop unpleasant odors, and colored mildew shows up on the inner sole and linings and up into the toe. You can remove this kind of mildew with low-pressure sprays especially intended for freshening shoes; these sprays are available at shoe and department stores. Use these products as directed.

This article was written by Anne Field, Extension Specialist, Emeritus, with reference from the USDA bulletin, Mildew.



MSU 2003