Mold is one of the hardest issues to get rid when it comes the leather care. We make it so easy for mold to grow here in the horse world. The conditions needed to for mold growth are moisture, darkness, and a food source. Un-ventilated tack and feed rooms, trailer tack rooms, dark or damp barn tack rooms, basements in the home.. all of these places provide a great environment for mold to thrive in, with our leather goods being the food source!
What many fail to realize is that mold is microscopic and can get inside of the leather good in question. So even if you can remove what you see on the outside, there can be just as much on the inside that cannot be reached with cleaner and sponge.
It should be noted that surface mold and the remnants of waxes and oils on the surface of the leather should not be confused. Most mold on leather is dusty looking, greenish and is accompanied by an odor, while solidified waxes and oils are greasy in feel, white and will rub away cleanly.
When you’re getting ready to tackle that moldy tack, make sure that the cleaning product used has a fungicidal element to it. This will help ensure that the mold is actually killed,and will prevent it from returning! This is key- after removing the mold with a mold killing product, throw away the sponges and cloths used to clean the moldy item with! If you continue to sue the same old sponge or towel, the mold will be transferred to other items and the mold cycle will continue.
Be sure to clean your moldy items outside. The UV rays from the sun help to kill the mold spores, and the breeze helps to blow the mold spores away. Having fresh air to breath is important when cleaning moldy items, especially for those who have allergies or asthma.
The best way to not have moldy leather is to keep it in a climate controlled environment. Keeping the air moisture below 65% will help to keep mold away. A dehumidifier in the tack room, vents in the walls or windows that allow sunlight to come in are great ways to achieve this. Make sure that you are regularly cleaning your tack and keeping it dry. All of these factors will help prevent the growth of mold in the first place!