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How to Clean Mold from Leather

Mold on leather shoes

Ever found mold on your leather shoes? I've seen that happening. Some years ago we stored some of our favorite shoes during summer, and, oh surprise!

When we were ready to wear them again they had mold all around. Didn't know if we could save them.  


If you own leather shoes, a leather jacket, a leather purse, a wallet, furniture, or anything made from leather, you may want to take a look at these simple tips to clean mold off of them. 

You don't need to throw them in the trash, and you could save some bucks. 

Why does leather get moldy?

Like we've mentioned in the past, mold has favorite foods as we do. It absolutely loves leather. And the healthier the leather, the more it'll crave it! That combined with high humidity in the air can help colonies of mold settle down and grow.

How to clean mold from leather

What you'll need:

  • Protective gear: Mask safe for mold, goggles, gloves.
  • Tools: Nylon brush, soft cloth, recipient.
  • Ingredients: Vinegar, water.

These are 7 steps you can follow to clean mold from leather:


1. Dress for the occasion. Remember that when it comes to cleaning mold you need to protect yourself: wear goggles, a mask safe for mold, and gloves. 

Man in leather jacket

2. Go outside. Try to do the cleaning outside so the mold you're cleaning doesn't fly around the house. 

Leather bag

3. Brush carefully. Brush the surface with a dry nylon brush and do it very carefully. Some leather can be very fragile and if you scrub too hard you could damage it. 

4. Mix. In a recipient, mix water and vinegar in equal parts (50/50). We love vinegar because it's a great non-toxic disinfectant. And mold doesn't like it at all. 

Mix vinegar and water

5. Dip and wipe. Dip the cloth inside the vinegar and water mix.

Be careful. Try wiping a very small part of your leather item first, because there's a chance that the mix damages your leather's color. So first make sure it doesn't get affected by the mix.

If everything's ok, dip another part of your cloth inside the mix and then scrub the leather softly. Make sure you don't dip parts of the cloth that you've dipped before. Otherwise, you'll deposit mold back onto the item you're cleaning.  

6. Dry out. When you're done, make sure that it dries out. Remember that mold loves humidity, so it's important to remove all the moisture.

Leather shoes

7. Condition. Once the mold is out, make your leather item look nice with a leather conditioner. 

Prevent mold in leather

If you want to prevent mold from coming back, these tips may be useful:

  • Spot of mold you see, spot of mold you clean. If you don't, it can go deep inside the leather and never get out of there. 
 "Once mold infiltrates the deep fibers of your leather, it is never truly gone. So, the only tried-and-true way to keep your tack mold-free is to remove it as soon as you see even a slight tinge of it."
  • If you're going to store your items for some time, put some some silica gel bags or cushions around to absorb some of the moisture.
  • If they get wet, always make sure they're dry before storing. 
  • Avoid leaving your items in the dark for too long. Mold loves darkness. Give them some sunshine every once in a while. 
  • Use a dehumidifier. This will remove excess humidity from the air and could help prevent mold from growing in the first place. 

TOSOT Dehumidifier

Let's win the war against mold and live a life well-lived

Until next time!



TOSOT Dehumidifier Review

TOSOT 70 Pint Dehumidifier

"Very happy with the purchase. I use it in my unfinished basement (aprox 1500 sqft) because it started to have mold in some areas. In days it dropped the humidity level from over 80% to 45%. Being in the basement I am not concerned about the noise level but even if it is set at maximum fan speed the noise is not very loud. " H. (Amazon customer)


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9 quick tips to get mildew smell out of clothes

6 steps to winning the battle against mold

How to clean mold with vinegar and baking soda


Use information at your own risk:  The information presented is intended for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Never disregard professional medical or home improvement advice. The information and suggestions should be discussed with a professional.  You are responsible for independently verifying the information if you intend to rely upon or use it in any way. You use all information at your own risk. 


Hi Donna! We’re very glad that your dehumidifier is helping you out. :) If you ever need anything, please reach us at

TOSOT Direct Family

Absolutely love the dehumidifier!! 2weeks using, level has dropped from 90% to 60%. Aiming for 45%!! Have it hooked to hose so runs continuously, so quiet, even on high. Definitely good purchase with good price!!!

Donna Coleman

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