Remove mold from leather - is that even possible?

If the expensive leather jacket or the favorite leather boots suddenly have mold stains, the need is great. If and when you can remove mold from leather, and how to do it properly, you can find out here. In addition, which causes of mold on the leather can be responsible, and how you best prevent.

Frequently infested leather products

  • Leather seats in cars
  • Leather as raw material (for example, reference leather that is stored in the attic for later use)
  • leather shoes
  • leather Clothing


The cause of mold is always moisture and incorrect storage - this also applies to leather. The following factors are very often decisive:

  • too high relative humidity on site (permanently significantly more than 60%)
  • too high (or too low) room temperature at the storage location
  • lack of air exchange
  • no fungicidal treatment of the leather during manufacture (often standard)

Causes in detail

leather seats

In leather seating mold can occur if the resulting moisture in the vehicle is not adequately ventilated, and the sub-station has a very high level of humidity (typical example: haystacks for classic cars). This not only favors rust, but also mildew. Also, water leaks through a leaking canopy may be one of the reasons why deposits form.

Leather as raw material

When leather is stored in rolls, often also the exclusion of air plays an important role in the Schimimelentstehung. The tightly packed leather can accumulate moisture, which is not removed by the lack of air circulation.

Leather shoes and clothing

Even with shoes and clothing, the same causes apply. Mold in the closet can be a cause, but also a stacking of clothes, or if they are put wet or damp in a closet.

Remove mold

The removal of superficial coverings and mildew is occasionally still possible. But it is important to start the removal as early as possible. If mold spreads over a period of time, you usually have bad maps. Fighting mold is best done in several steps.

Step by step instructions

  • Leather Intensive Cleaner
  • oxygen bleach
  • ev. soft brush (especially for rough leather)

1. Basic cleaning

Thoroughly clean the leather with a suitable intensive cleaner. For aniline or rough leather, you should make sure that the cleaner is specifically suitable for these types of leather. Otherwise, just gently brush the coarsest dirt off the surface.

2. Disinfect

To kill the mold, it is best to use vinegar essence (25%). Leather is acid-resistant (as it is sour itself). Clean smooth leather with the solution (vinegar: water = 1: 1), dab the rough and aniline leather. Then rinse with clean water. If possible, do not use alcohol (!) As this could affect the color of the leather.

3. Remove mold residues

To remove visible traces, you can use oxygen bleach. This can also lead to unsightly stains (depending on the type of leather) - so first test the effects in an inconspicuous place.

Tips & Tricks

Molded leather is in many cases beyond saving. Especially with car seats, you will often have to completely replace not only the leather, but also the upholstery. So store leather properly (low humidity, good ventilation, good air circulation) and fight early footprints early. Always dry leather as quickly as possible when it is wet.

Video Board: Remove mold from leather cowboy boots