Tips for Eliminating Mold and Mildew From Your Leather Bags

Mold and mildew are types of fungi that grow in places that are warm, damp, and dark. If leather bags are left in a place where they're exposed to moisture or heat, they can start to develop mold. To prevent this, it's crucial to ensure the bags are stored in a dry and shaded area.

Mold can form on any type of leather bag, from handbags to gym bags to briefcases. Usually, it will be visible only on the outside of the bag, not on the fabric or other materials that line the inside. When you notice any mold or mildew spots, act swiftly and take care of them as quickly as possible. Ignoring these spots can destroy your leather bag and lead to an unpleasant smell that can be hard to remove. 

Here are comprehensive tips for addressing mold and mildew on your leather bags:

Focus on the Affected Spots

Once you have identified the areas to be addressed, use a damp cloth to gently scrub the affected areas. Make sure not to saturate the leather, and use a dry cloth to wipe away excess moisture. For any stubborn stains, use a leather cleaner specifically designed for the material. Give the bag a complete cleaning by wiping the entire exterior and allowing the bag to air dry.

It is essential to be thorough when dealing with mold because if not properly removed, it may return and require you to start the process all over. If the leather bag you have is valuable in some way, it is most likely a better choice to hire a professional cleaning service. Inspect the bag to determine how much mold growth is there, and then decide whether or not to attempt to treat it yourself.

Disinfect the Leather Bag

We would not suggest applying pure rubbing alcohol directly to leather, as it could potentially discolor or damage the leather's protective layer. Instead, we recommend using a diluted solution of equal parts rubbing alcohol and water to disinfect the bag and get rid of mold without causing any harm.

Utilizing a microfiber cloth, wipe the moldy area until the stain is no longer visible. Ensure to use only clean parts of the cloth to guarantee no contamination or spreading of the mold. If the fabric has been stained to the point where it can no longer be used for cleaning, it should be washed and wrung out in water until the dirt and grime are completely gone, leaving it fresh and ready to remove the mold stains.

Use a Leather Cleaner 

After cleaning the bag with a mixture of rubbing alcohol and water, it should be conditioned with a leather cleaner, such as saddle soap, to give it a glossy, protective finish. To clean a leather bag, start by lightly dampening a soft cloth with some saddle soap. Rub the saddle soap on the bag's surface in a thin and even layer. 

Then, use a clean and dry cloth to remove the saddle soap. Finally, apply a leather conditioner to the bag to help protect it against mold regrowth. Using the same steps as when you cleaned it, the leather conditioner will provide a protective barrier that keeps your bag safe from water and other possible contamination. This will ensure that the leather remains in good condition. 


Caring for leather bags is an integral part of owning one. As leather is a natural material, it needs to be protected from the elements and kept clean. Proper maintenance can help maintain the look and feel of your leather bag for a long time. Taking the time to clean, condition, and protect your leather bag will help it stay in good shape for years to come. 

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