How To Clean Mold Off Leather: Simple & Effective Tips

by Albert Varkki updated 08-14-2023

Table Of Contents

man cleaning mold off leather bag in workshop

Both mildew and mold can wreak havoc on any leather product.

They don’t just degrade how leather looks, they can make it reek, too.

Ultimately, the material will break down, but that doesn’t need to be!

With expertise and the appropriate tools, you can effectively remove mold from a material like leather and prevent it from showing up again.

Pre-Step: Is It Definitely Mold?

Before doing anything, be certain it's mold, and not something else.

Make sure it's not just dirt, a stain, or a discoloration.

Mold can appear as fuzzy white, green, or black substances on leather.

It’s common for mold to be smelly and can trigger allergic reactions in sensitive people.

Cleaning Supplies Required

leather cleaning supplies

Get the required supplies before you start. Here’s what’s necessary:

  • A leather cleaner or a mild soap
  • A sponge or cloth that’s soft
  • A brush with gentle bristles
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • A Conditioner for leather (we recommend this Premium Leather Cream)
  • White vinegar
  • A well-ventilated working environment

Ensure you test the cleaning solution first on the part of the leather that’s small and inconspicuous.

That way, you will avoid damage or discoloration.

How to Get Rid of Mold on Leather

man cleaning leather bag in workshop

Here are the steps to remove mold from your leather item:

  1. Remove Mold That’s Loose: Take the leather product outside and clean loose mold off the leather surface with a soft brush. This will prevent spores from spreading to other areas.
  2. Use a Cleaning Solution: Combine equal amounts of water, leather cleanser, and soap that’s mild. Dampen a sponge or soft cloth in the solution and gently wipe the leather’s surface. Don’t soak the leather, as that could cause additional damage.
  3. Use Rubbing Alcohol or Vinegar: If you’re dealing with resistant mold, use a rubbing alcohol and vinegar solution and mix equal amounts. Rub the solution into the leather’s surface with a microfiber cloth and wait a few minutes before wiping it away. Mildew and mold can be killed by both rubbing alcohol and vinegar.
  4. Dry Your Leather Item: Once you’ve finished cleaning, pat dry the leather using a soft cloth. Afterward, dry it in the air in a well-ventilated place until it’s completely dry. Direct exposure to sunlight and heat should be avoided as that could dry out the leather, resulting in cracks.
  5. Condition Your Leather Item: Apply a leather conditioner (the best one is this Premium Leather Cream) to its surface once the leather has dried. That’ll protect it from mold growing later and restores moisture in the bargain.

Preventing Mold from Growing in the Future

The most appropiate thing you can do to keep mold off leather products is to prevent future growth. Here’s how:

  • Keep your leather products in a dry, cool place with plenty of air movement.
  • Do not store leather items in plastic-made bags since they might collect moisture.
  • Condition and clean your leather products on a regular basis.
  • If your home is in an area that you know is generally humid, use packets made from silica gel; they and other desiccants can absorb excess moisture.

Remember that mildew and mold can cause catastrophic damage to your leather items if left unchecked.

Following these guidelines, you can ensure that leather goods keep looking excellent and live longer.

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We hope you enjoyed our article on how to clean mold from leather.

If you have any questions or comments, contact us at, or leave them in the comments.

Want to read more? Check out our Leather pages.

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Author: Albert Varkki

Albert Varkki is the co-founder of Von Baer. He understands leather products as a consumer, supplier, and a manufacturer, helping you with the inside knowledge you need, to choose the perfect leather product for you.

We always aim to have the highest editorial standards, and only publish accurate information on our website.

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