Mildew likes humidity. Anyone with a shower knows that. Moving to PR, we discovered that mildew also grows quite happily outside of the bathroom, especially on porous wooden and leather items. In the kitchen, I quickly replaced my cheap wooden cooking spoons with silicon heat-resistant spoons. Our adventure with mildew on leather was not as easily resolved.
It all began when I was spring cleaning (termite swarming provides a good incentive to clean) and noticed that the backs of our leather sofas were covered in mildew! Eeew! Our leather jackets (not worn since our Thanksgiving trip to Boston) were also covered with nasty mold.
Quick internet research uncovered Leather Therapy, which manufactures a leather cleaning and restoring product that promises to (eventually) suppress mildew. Sadly, apparently one has to treat the leather a few times (especially during humid periods such as the rainy season in the tropics) to get all the mold out. On the positive side, the leather restorer did clean both the sofas and the jackets very nicely (the sofas actually ended up looking better than when we bought them). I have had excellent follow-up customer service from this company and am happy to recommend them. Importantly, they ship via USPS to PR!
Though only time will tell whether we actually conquer the mildew or not, we’ve learned a number of lessons:
- DO NOT use cheap wooden products in the kitchen
- Give leather sofas a good amount of space to breath (pushing up against a wall is not a good idea)
- DO NOT store leather in plastic boxes (even if you put cedar inside).