After months of cruel neglect and being stored in a box in a damp storage house, a lot of my leather shoes had grown a thin layer of mold on them. Much to my horror, my beloved leather sofa had suffered the same fate! So how do you stop this from happening when you need to put your leather goods into storage?
As much as you can, try to avoid storing your leather goods in damp areas such as poorly ventilated or air-conditioned basements, storage containers, or in my case, my grandpa’s unused, windowless shed. If you have no alternative option but your dank basement, look for moisture control measures such as dehumidifiers to deal with the humidity in the air, or install an air-conditioner which will circulate and cool the air down, thus removing a lot of moisture. A simple electrical fan can also be used to circulate the air and prevent still, stale mustiness that mildew loves.
Keep areas well lit. A continuously burning 60-100 watt bulb in a small closet containing shoes or smaller leather goods will heat the air enough to prevent the growth of mildew.
If you can get your hands on some Moisture-absorbing silica gel, anhydrous calcium sulfate or a product called “Molecular sieves”, these chemicals can be hung in cloth bags in closets or in small containers on the floor of your storage area to assist in absorbing the moisture in the air. There are plenty of moisture-absorbing chemicals out there but be sure to ask about their effect on furniture and clothing before you scatter them all over your beloved belongings and come back in a month to find that they have stained and burnt holes through everything.
Be sure to give your storage area a good clean before you put all your furniture there. Rid of the musty odor and stale scent of you basement by giving the floor a scrub using a chlorine bleach household cleaning product. If possible, open windows to air the place out afterwards.
Store your shoes and smaller leather goods in air-tight plastic bags or boxes and apply the same theory to larger furniture; just pop to your local hardware store and buy a huge roll of polythene wrapping and wrap your sofa up like a giant sandwich. Just make sure its completely air tight and there are no holes otherwise you provide the perfect sweaty environment for mold to manifest!