Storing Leather Goods in the Monsoon Season

Leather does not do too well in humid conditions in areas with heavy rainfall. The monsoon season in India especially causes so much mildew / mould / fungus activity that your leather article will start developing white spots if left unattended for more than 3-4 days. 

What can you do to make sure no mold grows on your leather article? Prevention is always better than cure. Removing fungus or mold is less effective than making sure it never grows in the first place.

Scenario 1. If you use your leather article everyday

If you use your article everyday, it is unlikely it will get moldy. The best way to prevent white fuzz from showing up is to make sure you keep your article in use everyday.

If you live in a place with high humidity, never leave your leather article in a damp place for long hours (e.g. overnight). And wipe it down with a clean cloth every few days during the rainy season.

If you start seeing any fuzzy patches on it, wipe it well with a clean dry cotton cloth, making sure the spores of fungus do not spread further onto the leather. 

Scenario 2. If you don't use your leather article everyday

If you don't use your leather article everyday, the most effective way to prevent mould ("fungus") is to store it in a clean and dry (non-humid) storage area. Never store it in a plastic bag or wrapper.

An easy solution is to use a dehumifier. But if you don't want to dehumidify an entire room, then you can store your leather articles in a storage drawer, with a container of a desiccant like this tub of silica available on Amazon.

Getting into a bit more detail, the high moisture content leads to a lot of spores germinating in humid places. Even an air conditioned room can get very humid in the rainy season, depending on its thermostat settings. And the pesky mold spores are everywhere in the air! When you remove the moisture, you effectively remove the breeding ground for spores.

The desiccant absorbs water and eventually, the entire tub will be filled with water, at which point you will have to discard it, and replace with a new one. This is not a simple fix-and-forget kinda situation. But it is very effective. You can search Amazon with the words "dehumidifier for wardrobe" for more options.

Scenario 3: Your leather article has mold growing on it. What do you do? 

If you are here, on this page, the chances are this is exactly the problem. you are faced with right now.

If your leather article already has mold growing on it, you need to take immediate action to prevent from spreading it further.

Use a specially formulated leather soap like our Saddle Soap. After cleaning it, make sure to store it in a dry place with a dehumidifying agent, to prevent mold growth again.

Do wear a mask during cleaning since spores can cause sneezing etc.

You will need to clean this in a few steps.

1. If you have a situation where a dense layer of mold growing all over, ideally use a vacuum cleaner with the brush attachment to remove as much mold/spores as possible. If its just a little bit of mold, start with step 2 directly.

2. Clean out only the areas that have the mold growth with a clean, dry absorbent cloth. Since mold starts with spores, take care not spread it out too much to the rest of the clean areas.

Use a mild soap with a neutral pH, such as your body wash and add a bit of water to create a strong soap solution. Add just enough water to make it easy to dab your clean cloth in it. 

Or you can use a specially formulated leather soap like our Saddle Soap

Clean with strokes in one direction only. Rubbing in a circular or back and forth motion may embed the mold spores into the leather. Once cleaned all over, wipe off any excess water or soap with a dry cloth. Don't re-use this cloth.

3. Let it sit for 15-20 minutes, and afterwards, clean out the entire leather article thoroughly. Use a second clean dry cloth, dab it in a new soap solution, (or use Saddle Soap) and clean the entire leather article thoroughly once again. The seams where you cannot get into with the cloth, use a soft toothbrush. Rub off any excess water & soap with a third clean cloth until the leather is not sticky (any excess soap will make it feel sticky)

4. Now, let it rest overnight, allowing it to dry. Check for mold formation again in a couple of days.

Store it away in a clean, dry space with silica desiccant or a dehumidifier. 

If you need general help with caring for your leather goods, read this article on easy regular maintenance for your leather goods.