How to clean mouldy leather

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? It's mould and it can be an alarming experience! 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.

Whether it's a sofa, pair of boots, handbag or apparel, follow this process to kill and inhibit mould on your leather.

But, why so mouldy?

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, feeding on organic matter. In the home, a lounge that is located in a warm, damp room where water leakage or rising damp are a problem or even in periods of high humidity, can also grow mould especially if left unused for a period of time.

The products

1) Mould Remover (No.21). Free of bleach, chlorine, triclosan and peroxide, it is non-caustic and kills 99.9% of germs, including staphylococcus, e-coli and pseudomonas. It kills mould and spores and helps to prevent them from reforming.

2) Scrubbing brush

3) Lots of microfibre cloths or disposable cloths

4) Drop sheet


Safety first: Mould can cause health complications. Protect your work area and yourself. Wear gloves and if you have a mask, you might choose to wear it.

Test first: Mould Remover will not harm most leathers but it’s always wise to do a test spot to ensure compatibility before commencing the job.

2 steps

1) Pour Mould Remover onto a cloth or spray onto the leather. Wipe over the leather and, if needed, gently agitate the mould with a soft brush

2) Repeat with a fresh cloth to 'rinse'

Pour or spray on:

Spray the Mould Remover generously onto one area at a time or saturate a cloth then wipe vigourously over one area at a time.

Use a brush if needed:

Gently agitate the product into the grain using a soft scrubbing brush. In some cases, scrubbing may not be needed.


Using a clean microfibre cloth, wipe over the leather. There's no need to remove the product, but rather, allow it to penetrate the leather.


Repeat with fresh cloths. Treat this step as the 'rinsing' step.

After care

Now that you leather is free of mould, it's time to condition it. If the leather was extra grimy, it may be beneficial to clean it first. Find leather care kits for all leather types here.

Mould stains and damaged coatings

In some cases, mould can leave behind stains or eat into leather coatings. If, after removing the mould, your leather has coloured blotches, the mould has stained the coatings or vinyl. If your leather has a frosty appearance where the mould was, it may have eaten into the leather coatings. Recolouring over the marks can conceal the damage. See Repair & Recolour Kits.