Help! My tack is a science experiment, covered in mold - how do I get rid of it?
Sometimes, we have tack or leather equipment that is stored away in bins or trailers or garages. You stumble upon it, or go looking for it, and you find your very own leather petrie dish of gross. Mold, mildew, that greenish whitish fuzzy film on your tack can be hard to remove. Remember that molds and mildews reproduce with spores - so your cleaning needs to happen far away from other tack - the spores can dislodge from your tack and land on other tack. In a nutshell - mold and mildew is contagious to other saddles and bridles!
Gross, but easy to take care of.
Don't panic - easy solutions. Set it in the sun for a few hours! Kill those spores. Now you can use plain white vinegar to remove what's left. Vinegar can be a tad drying, so if the mold is thick, try and remove what you can with a brush, towel, rag, or toothbrush. Then use the vinegar.
Now you are ready to clean the tack like you normally would. Start by removing the dust and stuff with a damp rag. Then use a glycerine soap (or soap of your choice). If you tack is moldy, it's probably also in need of a deep conditioning treatment, so some neatsfoot oil will do the trick.
It's also a good idea if you live in extremely damp climates to consider a dehumidifier for your tack room. These hands machines keep your leather goods in the best condtions by removing water from the air. You can also use the little dessicant packets from your horse's supplements in areas that you store infrequently used tack. These packets help keep excessive moisture away from your leather goods.
Any other ideas?