Flood waters not only contain mud but also bacteria from overwhelmed sewage lines so careful cleaning is a must. Learn how to clean and restore flood damaged leather shoes and handbags.
It will be several days or even weeks before the water recede so the clean-up can begin.
If your bag has water damage, put it away from sun and heat and let
the leather dry out naturally. Use saddle soap to clean it and then
restore the color by using the steps above. Be sure to use a
conditioning treatment to add moisture back to the leather. Lately, I've
seen bags listed with mold and mildew.Leather clothes, shoes and
handbags can mildew and mold when the moisture levels is too high.
Learn How to Clean Up
What You Need
Soft, white cloth
mud from leather while the mud is still wet. Do this as soon as
possible by using a hose with running water. Try not to scrape away the
mud with anything sharp or rough textured.
Use a soft cloth to remove final bits of mud from stitching and intricate areas.
soft paper, like tissue paper to stuff shoes back into the proper
shape. Newsprint can be used but there can be some transfer of ink. Do
not use shoe trees because they may overstretch the leather.
shoes at room temperature. Do not use a heater or place in the sun to
dry more quickly. This will harm the leather. A circulating fan can help
speed the drying process by increasing air flow.
As the shoes dry, clean with saddle soap. Saddle soap can be purchased at shoe stores and grocery stores.
shoes are completely dry, polish with a good shoe polish or cream. Do
not wear the shoes until they are thoroughly dry or they may become
misshapen and even tear.
Leather can be treated with a special
compound to make them waterproof. Test on an inside area as the compound
may change the color slightly.
How to Remove Molds and Mildew
What You Need
Soft White Cloth
Take the mildewed items outside to clean to prevent spreading the mildew spores.
a solution of 1 cup of denatured alcohol (rubbing alcohol) to one cup
water. Soak a soft white cloth in the solution and wipe away the mildew.
the leather to air dry away from the sun or direct heat. If the item is
leather shoes or a handbag, polish with a good quality leather polish
If the leather is heavily
mildewed, it may need to be cleaned with a solution of saddle soap and
water. Use a soft cloth and work the soap in well. Rinse with a cloth
dipped in clean water. Allow to air dry.
If the mildewed leather
is on shoes, after they are cleaned stuff them with soft paper - like
tissue paper - before allowing to dry. This will help them hold their
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