How do you remove mildew from a leather jacket? How do you remove mildew smell from leather? What about cleaning mildew from leather? Since I run my own leather jacket website I get asked these questions a lot.
Today I'll tell you how to get rid of mildew on leather jackets, or anything leather for that matter. Of course the best thing is to prevent it from forming in the first place. So lets see just why mildew forms on leather in the first place.
Ironically, most of the reason why mildew forms on leather has nothing to do with the leather itself, but the oils you put on it to keep it soft and in good shape. The worst thing you can do is put too much oil, or rather leather conditioner, on your leather jacket or item. Leather needs oils to lubricate the leather fibers to stop them drying out and cracking.
But if you put too much on, or use heavy junk, then the leather can't breath. Soon moisture forms in the leather and oil, and mildew forms. You may notice that mildew often forms around seams, studs, snaps and places like that. That's because when you put leather conditioner on it's easy to let too much build up in those cracks and corners.
So you end up with a pool of oil in those areas, stopping the leather from breathing and forming mildew. When you put leather conditioner on it's important to make sure you don't let it build up in those areas. Leather braids are another problem area for that. Just remember a little oil goes a long way with leather.
Another common way to get mildew forming in your jacket is when you store it away for a long time. A dark, humid closet is a fun factory for mildew! Never put your leather jacket in plastic, and try to keep it so it's not jammed tight against other clothes, try to keep some air going around it. So lets say you did store a leather jacket in a closet for 6 months, and now it smells like mildew, maybe even has mildew spots.