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Cleaning leather cord

I have a large ball of black 2mm leather cord that has been in
storage for many years. When I pulled it out to use it, it’s got
fine powdery white mildew on the surface of the cord throughout the
ball. Is there any way to clean it, or is it now trash?

Kathy Johnson
Feathered Gems Jewelry

  1. cut a length about 2 ft. pull it to see if its still strong
    enough to use ie doesnt break on account of rot.

  2. if it passes this test, go to a saddle /riding shop and buy
    saddle soap. that is the ideal treatment. followthe instructions on
    the tin.

  3. if it breaks trash it.

Dear Kathy, it is probably the same type of mold that happens in
saddles and bridles. I would take saddle soap or mink oil on rag.
Run the leather through the rag, and let it air dry. If it were my
leather, I would not ball it up again until the oil had penetrated
and dried.

Best of luck, blessings pat

I imagine that there are ways to clean your cord, but bear in mind
that what you have is a fungal colony living on (and probably in)
your cord - it’s unfair on a customer to expect them to wear it
unless you are utterly certain that not a single spore remains.

As has been pointed out by others, saddle soap and the like will
clean it and rejuvenate the leather if it hasn’t gone too far and
become weak. To combat a return of the fungus, mix a few drops of
the common athlete’s foot solution (tolnaftate, like Tinactin, or the
generic solution) into your leather dressing.

Ron Charlotte
Gainesville, FL

Dear Kathy, Jamie is right, mold is a spore, and this is not a
bridle. If it were mine, I would hit it with first clorox, then
vinegar, then the mink and saddle soap. And again since you sell for
resale, I would set it aside for a few months to see if it comes