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Jerry

for security reasons I moved a K-98 mauser rifle into a storage facility for a few months, I retrieved it the other day when I removed it out of the case it had mold on the wood and on the ORIGINAL Leather sling

how do I remove the mold safely?????? from the sling
 

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Jack, Too bad! Nasty stuff..OK I have looked into this problem for at least a decade and here's my secret. I kill it with heat. Not many organism's can survive boiling water temps. This is the standard for sterilization. Mold spoors are a little different because what you see are the flowers. These flowers spew out even tinier spoors. What we must attack are those encapsulated spoors that may grow later if given a chance. These little fellows are a tougher nut to crack than the flowers so we have to attack them with a vengeance, down deep where they penetrate into cracks and crevices.
I always hate to use anything like nasty powder or vinegar's as it's well...nasty.
Let's bake! Crank up the little Woman's oven to ...wait for it...hang in there..350 HOT degrees farenheit! Yup that's what I said. 350. Now.. take the nasty mold infested leather item, place it on a foil covered cookie sheet and slip er in! Immediately turn the oven OFF. Make double sure it's OFF. Leave your sling, holster etc. alone for say a good hour. The oven will slowly lose temperature counting DOWN from 350 ..cooler and cooler. The heat will penetrate to it's very center guaranteeing a mold spore killing temperature of at least 250 throughout the piece.

Sounds crazy and I know few people will actually try it out of a fear of cooking a holster but I have done it dozens of times. One..the mold will disappear when you get the holster out. No smearing it around or wiping it. It will just be gone. Two..if you have any studs or metal parts with green goo..verdegris..it will wipe right off when the holster is still warm. Instead of being hard and caked it will be soft and a terry cloth towel is very effective. Three.. I have never seen a holster damaged with this method. The leather and metal gets hot..you bet it does. But that's the point. Hot enough to get the job done but not hot long enough to damage leather. Once it's room temperature again it returns to what it was. pliable flexable..no bad effects I have ever been able to detect.
OH! One last caveat..open up the house. Baking a holster leaves a somewhat odd odor. Best if you get some ventelation going.

So you be da judge! That's my story and I'm sticking to it.
 

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Thank you Jerry, hard to disagree with the leading authority on leather. I hopefully won't need this info, but if I do, I now know.

Mark
 

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I've just tried this with a grotty mouldy holster I bought for a fiver where whatever I did the mould came back, and, wow, as the gentleman said it seems to work. Certainly no damage to the holster so thank you Jerry, but answer me this - who was the first brave person to discover this remedy?
Here is the before 021.jpg photo Mike
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Jerry

Thank you very much

Jack
 

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but answer me this - who was the first brave person to discover this remedy?

Mike, For many years I experimented with anything that seemed to make sense. It first came to me that heat might be the answer in studying how mold grows and looking into the best way to kill it. I first started with boiling water..Putting a holster into a boiler bag..trouble is with that method even a drop of water will cause the holster extreme damage. Hardening of the leather. So I worked my way up in temperature in an oven. Any molecular moisture in a holster is disapated and not trapped in the bag so no harmful effects.

One thing I might mention too..Mold spores are everywhere. It is one of the more prolific growing organism's on the planet and is easily spread. Even if you kill all of them on a holster that's not to say some won't immediately land back on it. Storage is helpful but nothing is foolproof.

I have had a couple of problem pieces in the last few years. Seems like something in some leather attracts and nurtures mold better than others. I suspect mold feeds off of something that was once put on the leather and leather treated with the wrong thing promotes it's growth.

But to know everything I would have to have been born a Woman.
 

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I would think hot soapy water would be fine. Unusual for wood to mold... the humidity level where you put it must be off the charts, check out the bore if you haven't already done so and make sure it isn't rusting! I've picked up WWII leather items from vets who had left them in a trunk in the garage for years, slightly moldy leather, belts etc. Just wiped it off, followed by an application of Lexol and I've never seen the mold return.
 

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Unusual for wood to mold This brings up an important point..I know nothing about wood etc. only leather. I can't say how to remove mold from wood and I don't recommend my method for that.

One other thing..there are different types of mold. There's a little and a LOT! Mostly I have concentrated my method on holsters infested with the stuff.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I think the storage unit had a space with damp moldy items, which migrated to the box I rented. I had a spare M-1 carbine wood stock covered with mold, for now I cleaned it with isophoric alcohol to see how that works. it will not harm the wood and should kill the mold spores
 

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Jerry, I used your method on several holsters now including a Femaru half canvas/half leather holster that was very hard. It not only killed the mold, it actually softened the leather.
 

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I know this is an old thread, but I hope your method works. I have my fathers old 45 holster and it is bad moldy. I didn't want to throw it away but with the information you provided I'll give it a shot and hope it works. I'll keep you posted. Thanx Jim
 

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Jim, Throw it away or try a proven method of leather mold eradication? Sounds like you have nothing to lose.
Moose..yes but I have to mention once more...DO NOT fail to turn the oven OFF. A consistent 350 degrees F for very long will smoke up the kitchen. A quick 350 and dropping is safe.

Too..it has been mentioned before in other threads but it is important to note: DO NOT cover your leather piece in any way. It MUST lay in the open. This lets any moisture escape into the oven heat. Trapped moisture WILL change your leather in a very ugly way.

OH! Do this when the Wife is out on an errand or at work. She will NOT be amused by these culinary activities. Ventilate, open windows and a fan is good.
 

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But to know everything I would have to have been born a Woman....I'm telling mom...
 
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