How to Remove Mold from Luggage and Purses
Mold growing on a favorite purse, such as a Chanel, Gucci, Burberry, or Christian Dior, is upsetting. Equally frustrating is when the fungus grows on luggage. When a mold infestation has developed, it’s important to remove it right away with any of the following mold cleanup methods.
Circulating widely throughout the natural environment, mold is common. In the great outdoors, mold spores sustain themselves by feeding off of decaying organic matter, like dead leaves and fallen trees. Mold is actually a necessary and beneficial organism in the natural world.
Indoors, however, mold can be a major nuisance—and that’s speaking mildly. Mold growth inside the home can compromise the structural integrity of the items on which it grows. As mold eats away at organic materials, it simultaneously causes health problems for people breathing in the spores.
Mold grows on household items whenever three primary nutrient sources are available: a constant moisture supply, organic materials, and darkness. Consequently, a purse or luggage dampened in the rain and thrown into the back of the closet will likely develop a mold issue.
The leather materials out of which many purses and luggage are made are an organic food source for mold spores. Without fully drying these items, they can remain damp and provide mold with nutrients. Since sunlight kills mold spores, tossing the leather goods into a dark closet corner encourages mold.
Mold spores are further fed by the chemicals used to manufacture leather goods, like fat distilled spirits and tannins. Mold is rarely fussy and will eagerly feed on the organic residues, stains, and soiling left on frequently used luggage and purses.
Unwanted mold infestations also spread when moldy luggage is stored near a purse that has not yet begun to develop mold. A lack of ventilation in the storage space plus existing dampness leads to mold growth. Even cleaning these items with water and failing to dry them will cause mold.
Clearly, mold is a pesky problem, one that should be resolved immediately. Fortunately, the prized purses and luggage can be successfully cleaned of mold growth with the proper techniques and cleaning solutions. Even better, these items will be in a mold-free condition and can be safely used again.
Apply an alcohol solution
Remove the contents from the luggage or purse prior to beginning the mold cleanup. Most likely, the mold spores will have latched into the interior parts of the purse or luggage. So, in the case of the purse, turn it inside out so that the mold growth is facing outward.
Leather luggage goods and purses can be cleaned with one cup of denatured alcohol mixed with one cup of water. Once a cloudy solution has formed, dampen a sponge or washcloth with the liquid. Scrub away at the moldy areas until the stains are no longer visible.
Fully drying the leather items is critical. Dry a purse in the dryer for 25 minutes. If the purse cannot be placed into a dryer, air dry it outside for 24 hours. Dry newly cleaned luggage, which is too large for the dryer, outside in the sunlight.
Try the brush technique
Mold can also be removed from luggage and purses by using elbow grease, a well-known tactic. This mold removal process must be done outside, as brushing off the spores will release them into the air. Avoid contaminating the rest of the home by taking this task outside.
Use a hand-held brush to scrub away visible mold splotches on the purse or luggage. Bulky luggage may require a stiff broom instead. In the event these items cannot be taken outdoors for cleanup, place a large sheet of paper on the floor to catch the falling mold spores.
Use the baking soda method
Baking soda, too, can be effectively used to destroy mold in a purse or piece of luggage. Pour a half-cup of baking soda directly into the purse or luggage to completely cover the bottom. Zip or close the purse or luggage and let it sit overnight in a dry place.
On the following day, dampen a sponge or washcloth with water and gently scrub the mold away. The baking soda is naturally abrasive and will remove the mold spores. Dump out the remaining baking soda and, using a hand-held vacuum, suction out the remaining baking soda.
Regularly wiping down luggage or a purse with a damp cloth, organic sanitizing wipes or antimicrobials, such as tea tree oil or lavender oil, will help prevent mold growth and keep them looking fresh. Similarly, moisturizing the leather purses or luggage will accomplish the same.
Mold infestations can happen anywhere an abundant moisture supply is readily available. This means, basements, crawl spaces, attics, and dark closets can develop mold problems. When you are faced with a mold issue of any size, contact mold remediation experts.
Dedicated crews of IICRC certified technicians will arrive promptly to your home or business and assess the extent of mold growth. Using high-tech equipment, they look for both visible and concealed mold, such as colonies flourishing under carpets, behind walls, and beneath wallpaper.
Mold growth in cabinets and closets can happen without you realizing it, check out When Does My House Need Professional Disinfection? to prevent unexpected mold spreading situations.
Once mold is detected, they locate and repair the moisture source causing the growth. Containment of the moldy area is especially important to prevent cross-contamination to other rooms. Technicians eliminate the mold as well as remove structural materials permanently damaged by the spores.
Salvageable materials that show signs of mold damage are repaired and restored. They will conduct a final inspection to ensure your property is mold-free.