Turn on to panic mode and Google, "how to remove molds on leather boots". And pray. Hard.
Good thing I remembered about Germ Killer and how it is tough on molds and mildew.
I emailed Joni Ong of Germ Killer Philippines and asked her,
Hi Joni! Will Germ Killer work on removing molds from my leather boots? Eeeep!
Joni emailed back,
Yep, it should work. Use the GK Surface one. Spray it on a piece of cloth and wipe it on your boots. It should kill the molds. Test it out first in an inconspicuous area of the boots though. :)
I knew that Germ Killer was water based, so it should be safe on leather. But I did the ultimate test on my suede Minnetonkas. Also ridden with molds. But I wasn't as worried about them. I sprayed some Germ Killer Surface cleaner on a shallow bowl of water, dipped an old toothbrush into the mixture and brushed at the molds.
Side by side. Left part = still moldy. Right side = damp but mold free.
Tadaaaa! OMG. So clean! Like nothing happened! It still has hints of eau de molds so I plan to take this pair to Colorwash and have it deodorized professionally.
So I happily got a damp rag and sprayed Germ Killer on it. Wiped my boots in and out. Et voila!
With nary a hint of its sordid past...
The other day, I brought in a few pairs of shoes for repair at an established shoe/bag repair shop and asked them if they could take out molds. The guy manning the counter said they could, and he estimated that it would cost about Php1,800 to clean a pair of boots. Php1,800 hello! Too mahal. I would rather buy saddle soap and clean these boots myself regularly. Unlike the suede ones, they don't have that old mold-y smell.
These boots are now again made for walking. Must plan a trip somewhere cold so they don't feel neglected.
Germ Killer is on Facebook and available at Handyman, True Value, Ace Hardware and other select retailers.
UPDATE: Joni also wanted to share that they have just marked down their prices. This is great news for me, bad news for molds.
Prevention is always better than cure, so here are some tips to PREVENT molds from growing on leather:
- Keep leather clean
- Prevent moisture and keep them dry by stuffing shoes and bags with tissue and wrap them in the dust bag they come in. Put a silica gel pack or two inside to absorb moisture. Best to also use those disposable moisture absorbers/dehumidifiers and stuff inside your shoe closet and bag cabinet.
- If you like, place a dehumidifier in your closet or install an exhaust fan.
- So as not to dry out the leather, apply leather balms regularly
- Check your shoes every so often for molds & cracks
Hopefully these tips keep our precious leather bags and shoes in pristine condition, long enough to pass on as vintage to our daughters :)