Why Is There Mildew On Leather Goods? 7 Dangerous Factors

You may be wondering why is there mildew on leather goods. We put up a list of the several causes of mildew on leather, so continue reading.

Mildew is not something new to us as it affects various surfaces. Unfortunately, leather is one of those surfaces that are vulnerable to it.

why is there mildew on leather goods


Causes Of Mildew On Leather Goods

There are several factors contributing to the growth of mildew. Here are some of them:


1. The porosity of the leather

Mildew loves growing on porous surfaces like leather. As you wear your leather jacket, it absorbs your sweat as well as the moisture from the air, making it susceptible to mildew growth.

This reason specifically applies to apparel and furniture made of leather, as they often come into contact with our skin. Fortunately, these cases of mildew can easily be dealt with using home remedies like warm water and dish soap.


2. Presence of heat

If there is a presence of heat and lack of ventilation around the leather items, it is likely that mildew will grow on them. It usually happens on your leather bags, shoes, jackets, and wallets that are improperly stored.

It is why it is important to store leather goods in cool and dry places. Also, note that plastic bags are not ideal for storage as they trap heat and moisture, causing mildew to grow.


3. Mildew grows if the leather is left unused for a long time

The body oils that come into contact with leather goods when we use them help in preventing mildew from growing. However, if there is no exposure to body oils for a long time, mildew may grow as leather fails to keep itself moist enough to stay healthy and avoid other damage from happening.

With that being said, it is crucial to avoid storing your leather goods for a long time and use them from time to time. It will stop the leather from reaching the point where it will need special treatment and care before you can use it again.


4. Lack of regular treatment

Leather items must be regularly treated. It means that you must clean, condition, and protect your leather goods every 3 to 6 months to prevent mildew and other possible damage.

Treating leather goods from time to time will protect them from peeling, drying, cracking, and mildew attacks. Mildew will not grow on surfaces free from dirt, dust, and oils which cleaning will help you make sure of.

Regular conditioning helps a lot in preventing mildew on your leather goods. It is because it provides a protective coat against water and other liquids that may promote mildew growth.

Two of the best conditioners for leather are carnauba wax and beeswax. They keep the natural oils in place as they protect your leather goods from mildew growth.


5. Moldy water

Another chance for mildew to grow on your leather items is when the water you use to clean, wipe, and treat them is moldy. Avoid using tap or chlorinated water as it may trigger the growth of mildew shortly after.

You may consider using half tap and half distilled water at the very least. It will help you ensure that the water you use is free from mildew spores.


6. Mildew grows on leather goods that are stored with items affected by mildew

When your leather items are stored with goods that are contaminated with mildew, chances are the damage will spread. It also applies if you keep your leather goods in places with mildew.

To stop this from happening, make sure to store leather goods with enough space and not side-by-side to avoid spores from spreading among them. It is also essential to keep the storage dry and with good airflow to prevent moisture and heat from getting trapped.


7. Mildew spores from the air

Mildew gets into your leather goods, usually through air vents, air conditioning systems, and other air movements in your house. This type of mildew is very harmful as it could end up not just on your leather goods but also on furniture and clothes.

To prevent it, make sure to clean your leather goods regularly to get rid of mildew spores that ended up on them. Also, ensure that the air vents in your house are not blowing air towards your leather goods, whether in use or stored.

If you failed to protect your leather goods from mildew, here is an article on how to remove mildew from leather that you can read. You can also check out this guide on how to make mold and mildew remover for more mildew removal tips.



Leather goods are very special items that require special treatment and care. They are not the type of items that you can just store and leave unattended for a long time as they may be targets of fungi like mildew.

As this article discussed why is there mildew on leather goods, we hope we have brought you light regarding this matter and helped you better understand it.

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