How To Clean A Mouldy Leather Jacket

Have you ever pulled your favourite leather jacket out of the cupboard at the beginning of winter only to find it covered in cloudy white marks that turn out to be mould? It’s an alarming experience!

Despite the shocking appearance of your jacket, all is definitely not lost. In fact, with the right products and a quick hand detailing effort, your jacket can be clean and looking as good as new.

The products and methods described in this article are equally suitable for handbags, shoes and sofas.

But, Why?

So, why does this happen? The last time you put your jacket, handbag or shoes away, they were most likely, not completely clean or dry. With regular use, leather takes in organic residue from our hands, spills and the surfaces it touches. It also takes in moisture from the environment and mould spores from the air. In storage, especially when the conditions are warm and moist, the mould spores begin to grow and colonise the leather.

In the home, a lounge that is located in a warm, damp room where water leakage or rising damp are a problem, can also grow mould especially if left unused for a period of time. Home owners can return home from holidays to find their lounge speckled with mould.

A heavy infestation of mould made this jacket look worthless

What To Use

If mould has grown on your leather, it is both on the surface and in the structure. Leather Hero’s Mould Remover (No.21) kills mould and mould spores and helps to prevent them from reforming.

Free of bleach, chlorine, triclosan and peroxide,

it is non-caustic and kills 99.9% of germs,

including staphylococcus, e-coli and pseudomonas.


Safety First

Mould can cause health complications so it’s recommended to take simple precautions for the job. Protect your work area and yourself. Use disposable accessories and discard them responsibly when done. Choose a suitable work space such as a laundry, garage or workshop (not food preparation area) . We work on a glass surface because it is easy to clean when done but you may like to lay down a disposable drop sheet . Put on a pair of gloves before handling the mouldy jacket, handbag, shoes or sofa.


The right mould remover will not harm correctly finished leather but it’s always wise to do a test spot to ensure compatibility before commencing the job.

4 Steps

  1. Assemble to right product and accessories
  2. Spray on the Mould Remover
  3. Gently agitate with a soft brush
  4. Wipe with a microfibre cloth
It’s easier than it looks. Start with the right product and accessories
Spray the Mould Remover generously onto one area at a time
Gently agitate the product into the grain using a soft scrubbing brush
Using a clean microfibre cloth, wipe over the leather to remove excess moisture
Free of mould, this faded jacket is now ready for a colour restoration

Now that the mould has been removed, it’s time to condition the leather. If any colour work is needed, it’s best to do it before conditioning. If mould inhabits leather long enough, it can ‘eat’ into the coatings causing cloudy marks. In reality, the topcoat is damaged but this is also restorable. It can be corrected via recolouring. If you have a black leather jacket or handbag and would like to refresh the colour to correct any fading, scuffs or wear and tear, check out How to Restore A Black Leather Jacket

To learn more about caring for your leather jacket, check out Leather Jacket Lovers