Tuesday, October 9, 2007

How To Rescue Leather From Mold and Mildew

Here's what I do for mildewed leather...

Remove the mildew with a cloth that has been dipped in vinegar, and wrung out. Repeat applications with fresh clean cloths and vinegar, until all traces of mildew are gone. Take care not to allow the leather to become soaking wet with vinegar. The vinegar acts as a strong fungicide and mildewcide, but it will not harm or weaken your leather. After cleaning the leather, replace the leather's natural oils with a light coat of Neatsfoot oil or Jojoba oil rubbed in and buffed with a clean dry cloth. If the leather was badly mildewed, add a few drops of Tea Tree Oil to it (see below).

After the vinegar treatment, this trick will kill every last trace of mildew, and will help keep the mildew from returning:

Add about 15 - 20 drops of Tea Tree oil to a tablespoon of Neatsfoot oil or Jojoba oil. Apply a light coat of this mixture onto the leather. Buff it into the leather well. This may darken the leather somewhat, depending on the amount of oil absorbed by the leather. If this is not desirable, add Tea Tree Oil to a small amount of vinegar, and dampen a soft cloth with the mixture. Buff it into the the leather.


The Tea Tree Oil and vinegar odor will disappear soon.

Buy the best quality Tea Tree Oil you can find. The cheapo off-brands are made with weaker strength stuff, they just don't seem to work as well as the older more established brands... Tea Tree Oil and Jojoba oil can be purchased at any well stocked health food store.

Neatsfoot oil is a leather preservative and conditioner that can be found in most hardware stores, farm supply stores, or here http://www.doityourself.com/invt/u157362

Use more drops of Tea Tree Oil if the mildew was abundant or longstanding. Do not allow the oil to come into contact with plastics (plastic unfriendly).

Jojoba oil also makes an excellent rust inhibiting gun oil. The mildly nutty aroma will vanish and won't spook game...Some Native American tribes already know this. Machine gunners in WW II also appreciated the high heat tolerance and superior lubricating properties of Jojoba oil...

This copyrighted material may be reprinted by you for noncommercial use, if the following credit is given:

This recipe is an excerpt from Mrs. Tightwad's Handbook #5 : QUICK SUBSTITUTES & EASY FORMULAS FOR OVER 100 CANT'-DO-WITHOUT ITEMS. For more information, see the left sidebar on this site: http://purecajunsunshine.blogspot.com/

No comments: