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How to remove mould from leather, specially on shoes?

Guides & Advices Shoes
Do you have mould on your leather goods? Our solutions!
You'll discover all the essential tips and steps for removing mould from leather and preventing it from coming back.
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This advice file reads in  5 min

The aim is to remove mould from leather and prevent it from returning!

Leather is a luxurious material that adds a touch of sophistication to any item. Discovering mould on your precious leather goods can be disconcerting. Mould can affect all everyday leather items: shoes, bags, sofas.

Fortunately, it is possible to restore the look and smell of these items. Just a few tips will help you eradicate it and keep your leather goods looking their best.

In this article, we reveal the best practices from the experts. We'll take you through the process of cleaning and preventing mould on leather.

We'll talk about how to remove mould from leather and focus on leather footwear.

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Why does mould grow on leather?

Mould is a fungus that results from the appearance and combination of several factors. Mould generally appears as greenish or black spots. It should not be confused with water stains or leather growth, which can occur on oily leathers.

It thrives in damp, hot, dark conditions and lack of ventilation. Other factors may also be involved, such as accumulated dust or lack of maintenance or use.

The inside of shoes, for example, provides an ideal environment after a day's use. Especially if they are stored without adequate ventilation or left damp for long periods.

That's why regular storage and care of your leather goods is essential to keep them free of mould.

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How should I store my leather goods?

It's important to store leather goods in good conditions to avoid the formation of mould on the leather. Avoid storing genuine items in basements or attics. Instead, store them in cool, dry, well-ventilated areas.

If you have no choice, store them in airtight boxes to avoid contact with damp air.

Do not store your leather goods in a cupboard, for example, if they are still damp. Allow your leather jacket to air dry before storing it. For your shoes, use shoe trees and allow the leather to dry before storing.

If you notice spores or a strange smell, it's time to take action before the situation gets worse.

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How do I clean mouldy leather?

We advise against all tricks based on white vinegar and other substances such as bleach. These products are very aggressive to leather and can cause irreparable damage. They can change the feel of the leather, dry it out and cause cracking. They can also discolour the leather.

Before you start, sit down in a well-ventilated room and protect your hands with gloves.

We recommend that you follow these 4 steps:

1. Remove the mould from the entire object: Start by gently scraping off the mould without scratching the leather to remove the worst of it.

2. Clean the leather: Use a leather cleaner to remove any mould residue. Choose the right cleaner for the surface to be cleaned and apply it with the appropriate accessory. For foam cleaner, use a brush. For cleansing milk, use a chamois. In the case of mouldy leather, several passes with the cleaner will be necessary to remove all traces.

3. Moisturise and revive the leather: After cleaning, apply a conditioner to restore suppleness. If mould has removed some of the colour, you can use a colour restorer at this stage. For sofas and leather goods, this could be a Milk Restorer.

4. Protect the leather: To prevent mould or other dirt from returning, apply a protector. This can be a gel, spray or paste, depending on the item. It will leave an invisible protective film on your leather goods to block out dirt.

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Focus on shoes with mouldy leather

Be careful: mould can be stubborn. You may need to repeat the process several times until the mildew is completely gone. You can entrust your shoes to our shoemaker, who will give them an antibacterial treatment as well as a complete overhaul.

To remove mould from your shoes at home, we recommend that you remove the insole and replace it. Any old soiled or contact areas should be replaced to ensure that it does not spread.

You can also put a little antibacterial deodorant in your shoes to kill bacteria and bad odours.

Next, put raw wooden shoe trees in your shoes. Cedar shoe trees absorb moisture, which is a source of mould growth.

Next, use a pointed object to remove the mould. Be careful not to scratch the leather at this stage. The aim is to remove most of the mildew and give the leather a second look.

After this step, clean the leather with Monsieur Chaussure Cleansing Milk. Still using a clean chamois, take the cleansing milk and dab it all over the leather. You'll need to use the milk several times to remove all traces of mould.

You should be able to remove all traces of the mildew before proceeding with the next steps.

Finally, apply Tinted Shoeshine Cream and Shoeshine Paste. Your leather will be nourished and will regain its suppleness and original shine. The shoe polish paste will help to protect the leather from external aggression.

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Prevent mould from returning

1. Drying and Storage: Before storing your leather goods, we recommend that you allow them to dry in a ventilated area. Make sure the storage area is dry and well ventilated. Once dry, they can be stored without risk.

2. Use raw wood shoe trees: The use of red cedar shoe trees is highly recommended for shoes. Red cedar is absorbent and has anti-fungal properties which prevent the growth of mould.

3. Regular cleaning: Clean your leather goods regularly with special products to prevent the reappearance of mould. We recommend cleaning once a month. At this frequency you will be able to quickly detect the appearance of mould.

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