How to Clean Mold From Leather

cleaning mold off of leather boots

The Spruce / Almar Creative

Mold is one of leather's number one enemies, but it's not difficult to fix. To make your vintage leather mold-free, simply follow the steps listed below.

Note: This method is not applicable for suede or nubuck. Contact a leather cleaning professional for these types of leather.

What You Need

  • A soft cloth
  • A warm, dry environment
  • Leather cleaner or mild soap
materials for cleaning mold off of leather boots

The Spruce / Almar Creative

Here's How

  1. Dry out leather item in a warm room until completely dry.

    letting boots dry

    The Spruce / Almar Creative

  2. Remove surface mold with a damp cloth (mold will wipe off if the leather has been dried completely). Allow leather to dry for a second time.

    removing surface mold with a damp cloth

    The Spruce / Almar Creative

  3. Clean dried leather thoroughly with leather cleaner or very mild soap (like baby shampoo).

    cleaning leather boots with mild soap and water

    The Spruce / Almar Creative

  4. Keep leather clean, conditioned, and properly stored to prevent mold from returning.

    keeping boots properly stored

    The Spruce / Almar Creative


    • Clean entire leather item to ensure an even color and texture result.
    • When using anything other than a specialized leather cleaner, do a spot test and allow it to dry prior to cleaning the entire item.
    • Always follow manufacturer's instructions when using a leather cleaner.
    • Never use detergent to clean leather.
    • If home methods do not work, contact a professional leather cleaner.

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