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Tuesday, March 03, 2009

The hazards of summer humidity in the Sub-tropics


Now I know for sure that I live in a tropical country.  This last trip to Rio Camillo was putting away his suits used at the meeting in Houston and pulled out my favorite leather jacket. This Jacket is a perfect  weight for the few winters days in Rio and now it is suffering from mildew damage. Mildew was all across the shoulders, in the seams, inside DSC07343%255B3%255Dthe hems, and the pockets. I gave it a good brushing with a shoe brush but I suspect that it will always smell like I keep it stored in a musty attic. You know how those old people (older than me, of course) pull out their favorite sweaters and walk proudly through the mall smelling of moth balls. In the house in Friburgo mildew on leather shoes and purses has been a common sight, but this is the first time I have had this problem in Rio. This doesn’t happen to clothing made of cotton, or plastic or synthetics, only leather seems to be affected by mildew/humidity. When not in residence at the apartment in Rio we open all the closest doors and drawers trying to have air circulation but for some reason this rainy season it apparently didn’t help. Any home remedies? I tried shoe polish on a leather purse I found ruined, it looked good for about 6 days then the mildew appeared even stronger than before – the wax in the shoe polish possibly holds the moisture in – creating a breeding ground.

Maybe I will take the jacket back to the States next trip and have it cleaned and maybe there is a treatment for it. I can give it one good try before throwing away my favorite jacket.


  1. That's funny about the moth balls.

    It is not funny that you remind me of summer. We are just freezing here!

    I would try some saddle soap. Clean it well and let it dry, then try some Neat's Foot Oil. They say you should put the oil on your hands and warm it up a bit and gently run into the leather.

    If all else fails, store it in some moth balls, and go to the the local mall and meet new friends. :)

  2. GingerV........Prince says to try a little saddle soap or Johnson's Paste Wax. That's what we use on our leather furniture and purses, shoes etc.
    It says: Enriches, beautifies and protects wood, metal LEATHER and plastics. We find that it is fantastic and use it all the time :)
    Where are you coming to in the States?
    Do let me know.....about the leather and your travel agenda okay. You can hit me up at my e-mail address.
    I enjoy you so very much :)

    Steady On
    Reggie Girl

  3. So saddle soap is the thing. Other products I would have trouble bringing here or finding equivilant may have its own set of problems. Also washing then drying completely - during rainy season nothing dries if left in the open air. I hung a pair of slacks I had hand washed on a hanger in the laudry room - soon was covered in gray - never dried.... won't do that again.