Jan C. Still Lugerforums banner
1 - 20 of 20 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,767 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well I finally got around to trying Jerry's method of using a oven to get rid of mold and it works with no apparent damage to the leather as evidence by this Springfield Trapdoor boot scabbard that was completely covered with white mold. For me I tossed the scabbard in the oven turn it on to 300 degrees for 15 minutes and than turned it off and left the scabbard in the oven until it cooled down.
 

Attachments

·
Platinum Bullet Member
Joined
·
464 Posts
Dow,
Let us know, if you would, if the mold returns. I recently attempted the same procedure with limited success. The mold came back within a few weeks, not as strong, but it did return. I then decided to attempt another method I read about here on this forum. I wiped it down with vinager, maybe the combination will finally stop it.
Good luck.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
3,163 Posts
If you can get it, formaldehyde will kill mold. Access is pretty limited because it's also a carcinogen.

You might also be able to get chemicals from a funeral director to kill mold.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,360 Posts
Nobody try -25° in a freezer ?
From a conservation point of view, I am skeptical about putting (old) leather in an oven at such temperatures. Freezing seems a more logical approach as it does not strip the humidity that is in the leather. I anticipate that overheating this will dry out the leather over time. It may not be evident at first.

Anything old should remain in the temperatures range that it has (possibly) been exposed to throughout its life. That even applies to antiques, I know of a so-called conservation expert employed at a national museum who overheats metal parts in order to coat them with wax so that the wax covers the metal's pores when it cools. Theoretically that works, but he has deformed so many of the handmade parts that things no longer work when he reassembles them. This man has damaged thousands if not millions of dollars worth of collections but nobody addresses it with him as he is a Phd and very good at PR and selling himself...

Anthony
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,350 Posts
Mold can be killed by a number of household treatments, diluted with water:

  • Alcohol
  • Ammonia
  • Bleach
  • Baking soda
  • Cleaning disinfectants, like Lysol
  • White vinegar.
Be aware, though, that these products have the potential to damage the leather. Dilute (50-50) your choice with water and then clean and condition the leather with good commercial leather-care products immediately after using them.
 

·
Moderator / Gold Bullet Member
Joined
·
11,454 Posts
AHHH One of my favorite subjects! From a conservation point of view, I am skeptical about putting (old) leather in an oven at such temperatures. Freezing seems a more logical approach as it does not strip the humidity that is in the leather.
Ever hear of "freeze dried" food? If what you say has any validity..I wonder how it gets "dried"?
Let's discuss the freezing method..almost no home freezer in American households is cold enough to adequately freeze ice cream much less kill encapsulated mold spoors. Freezers in most households are at 0 degrees F or warmer.
A report given by Sandra Nyberg of Stanford University in 1987, states that temperatures well below freezing will keep mold and mold spores dormant, but will not kill mold or the spores.
What causes freezer burn and dries foods? Air. Not the freezing but air circulation. Freezing is not used in any commercial aspect to kill anything I know of.

Known Methods of Sterilization

Heat: most important and widely used. For sterilization always consider type of heat, time of application and temperature to ensure destruction of all microorganisms. Endospores of bacteria are considered the most thermoduric of all cells so their destruction guarantees sterility.

Incineration: burns organisms and physically destroys them. Used for needles , inoculating wires, glassware, etc. and objects not destroyed in the incineration process.

Boiling: 100o for 30 minutes. Kills everything except some endospores (Actually, for the purposes of purifying drinking water 100o for five minutes is probably adequate though there have been some reports that Giardia cysts can survive this process). To kill endospores, and therefore sterilize the solution, very long or intermittent boiling is required.

Autoclaving (steam under pressure or pressure cooker): 121o for 15 minutes (15#/in2 pressure). Good for sterilizing almost anything, but heat-labile substances will be denatured or destroyed.

Dry heat (hot air oven): 160o/2hours or 170o/1hour. Used for glassware, metal, and objects that won't melt.
The protocol and recommendations for the use of heat to control microbial growth are given in Table 1.

The above is proven protocol. Heat kills. Guaranteed.

Now we talk about another very valid concern and that is heat in a dry oven and it's extracting moisture from vintage leather. Yes..this is very true and it does exactly that. There is no avoiding this fact. On the one hand extracting moisture temporarily can be seen as a good thing. Moisture is what enables our enemy to thrive. Mold is being attacked with heat and it's necessary ingrediant for life..water.
I want to mention here experience learned the hard way..DO NOT attempt to trap moisture around the leather. It will BOIL it, cook it and DESTROY it. The leather must be left out in the open oven with nothing covering it.
I have baked many dozens of holsters using my method and have yet to experience any drying out of the leather. Even VERY dry leather is like a sponge, once out of the oven it will again absorb ambient moisture levels in the air. There is no preventing this unless you prevent the leather from air contact. Eventually moisture that escaped due to high temps returns.

Let's discuss temperatures..It's known that almost no living thing can withstand 200 degrees and above. This being the case I formulated my mold eradication method to start with an oven temperature of 350 F, shut the oven off and insert leather. This method is for safety of the leather item. It is possible to forget to shut off the oven if not shut off upon insertion. Long term temperatures of 350 will kill your leather. With my method the leather item will NEVER reach anything close to 350. If left until the oven cools I predict a top temperature on the interior 3-4 layers of leather to reach 200 F. If a soaking temp. of 200 F is reached into the very deepest interior you can be assured that any mold present has died. Leather being leather I made my method quick easy and foolproof if directions are followed. As you might notice above... the industry standard is Dry heat (hot air oven): 160o/2hours or 170o/1hour. I believe my method achieves this at a minimum.
The "white mold" seen on leather is the mold flower releasing many more mold spores. By the time this stage is reached..your environment. air, surfaces..furniture, storage, EVERYTHING anywhere near this infected leather will be covered in mold spores. Laying in wait to attach themselves to a viable surface environment to begin more growth cycles.
You say..I tried the heat method and the mold came back..Did it? Mold is actually everywhere. A LOT is in your car. You eat, drop some crumbs, wet shoes, carpet..MOLD grows. You likely don't notice it but it's there. Like germs mold is hard to see in most instances. Mold grows in covered food in the fridge..It was on your food while you were eating it..
So after heat treatment your leather is once again brought into a mold rich environment. You MAY have killed it all.... then it is simply re infected.
Leather can be an ideal bed to grow mold. It is pourous, accepts ambient moisture and has available nutrients. Storage is key to keeping in under control. We have mentioned the "drying out" of the dry heat method and I firmly believe dryer leather is WAY better than moist leather. Moisture is a proven mold starter. Within parameters..a dry leather is much preferred to control mold growth.
Now we go on to other control or eradication methods advocated by some..
Alcohol
Ammonia
Bleach
Baking soda
Cleaning disinfectants, like Lysol
White vinegar.
Or God forbid..formaldehyde? If you have EVER smelled formaldehyde you will never forget it. I once bought a few holsters that a well known collector had stored mothballs in..These things CAN NEVER BE REMOVED. You have stored, sprayed, daubed, slopped or poured it on.. NEVER TO BE EXTRACTED.

BLEACH? REALLY?

These precious artifacts are in our care for a very short time actually..Give what you do to preserve them at least more than a passing thought. I have thought this through for a decade and after much experimentation I believe the LEAST damaging way to try and salvage a moldy piece of gear is heat. But I am certainly not the end all to this discussion..I just know what works for me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,350 Posts
Which is worse, a holster eat up by mold or one with a little smell on it. I've got an idea, if someone comes over just take your shoes off and run around in your socks, they will never notice the holster smell………...:p
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,538 Posts
Add carrots, onions and mushrooms, bake at 350 degrees turning once and basting lightly. Serve with a nice bearnaise sauce and a glass of Merlot. Properly prepared mold tastes a lot like oysters.

Seriously, Jerry has fixed more leather than most of us will ever see.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,805 Posts

·
Moderator / Gold Bullet Member
Joined
·
11,454 Posts
I think my mistake may have been using an electric oven. Is your process in a gas fired oven? Your "mistake" ?? What happened?

I have used both. Either one is a "dry heat" and IMO makes no difference whatever.

Which is worse, a holster eat up by mold or one with a little smell on it. Harry..neither one is my preference. That's why my method is such a good one. Not only that but when the leather comes out and is still warm the verdegris can be simply wiped off with a terry cloth. An added benefit.


Seriously, Jerry has fixed more leather than most of us will ever see. Ron, very kind of you to say but even so I do not consider myself any kind of authority. I remain now and always will be a student. My claim to any knowledge of the subject comes with some experience and research into how to kill the stuff.
Like Don says.. No one ever reads the stickys!
http://luger.gunboards.com/showthrea...-the-right-way
He repeated the same experience I had early on with boiling...That's what led me to dry heat. I hate like sin he had that happen. But he did.

So we live and learn. I wish good luck to any collector out there with a mold problem. Read and research all you can before doing something irreversable. Could be expensive and ruin a historical artifact you were wanting to preserve.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,805 Posts
I have a two mag pouch that is full of mold, nothing on the outside, any suggestions on how to clean mold that you can get to ?
Take it outside(so those pesky mold spores don't get around in the house), use a brush of the right size to get into the pouch and "rake" out any loose material.

Then treat it with the chemical of your choice, or heat.
 
1 - 20 of 20 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top