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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What would be the best way to get the green fuzz off a couple holsters that have been in long-term storage under (obviously) imperfect conditions? And then, what would be the best way to prevent the fuzz from returning when the holsters are put up again for long-term, given that storing under better conditions is not an option?

I was thinking to wipe them off and then give them a light scrub with saddle soap and a tooth brush, let them dry, and.... maybe give them a quick dip in alcohol to kill all the gremlins? Oil them up lightly as needed and return to storage.

Experience-based suggestions will be appreciated!
 

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Ned,
The green fuzz as you probably already know is mold. I am assuming that most of the green fuzz is in the rough out area of the holster and is usually caused by storing damp leather in a container that does not allow for good air circulation. Living in a high humidity state like Michigan, there is always enough moisture in the air to provide the medium that promotes mold growth. In the future, I would suggest that you store your holsters where the air can circulate around them, or if that is impossible, at least store them with fresh dessicant and check them occasionally.

You can keep the mold from propagating by simply removing the holsters from the environment that promoted it to begin with. But removing the green fuzz completely may prove to be difficult, especially if the fuzz is in the rough-out portion of the holster. Alcohol, might strip the holsters finish, so if you are considering using it, you might want to test it on a small area of the holster first. The green fuzz on the smooth out leather should just polish off. On the rough-out I would just take a toothbrush and brush out the fuzz. More than likely, a slight green tinge will remain, but there isn't much you can do about that. Well, there is, but sometimes the cure is worse than the malady itself.

I wouldn't recommend that you put any oil on a holster, unless the leather was completely dried out. If that be the case there are better solutions.

I have been using a product lately called "Renaissance" http://www.restorationproduct.com/ I discovered it accidently while experimenting with wood finishes for mission style furniture (I am a amateur woodworker in my spare time ;)). Renaissance is made for the Museum industry for restoration and preservation of antiques. It is used for a myriad of applications including the preservation of leather. Renaissance does not oxidize like a lot of carnuba based leather polishes I've used and it can be used to restore natural, as well as dyed finishes without discoloration of the leather. It is expensive ($12 for a 2.5 oz can), but I'm impressed enough with it that we will be offering it through our business sometime after the first of the year. If you have a Woodcraft store nearby, you can purchase it there.

For the future, a good coating of wax and a dessicate package or two in each holster will help keep the green fuzz away. Hope that helps.

Tony

Edited for clarification and to add
I don't think you can kill the mold completely without risking ruining the holster in the process. The alcohol treatment may help you clean up the surface, but the molds roots will be deep into the leather. Best thing is to deprive the mold of the medium it needs to thrive and that is to store in a cool, dry environment.
 

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No mold here! :D What kind of wax do you recommend?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks a lot, Tony. I don't have too much choice in this case as to how they are stored, ther is not much of an option to let air circulate. I think I might need some kind of mold-killer to store with each holster maybe in a zip-lock bag...? Even though that is the worst-case no-circulation scenario.

Thanks for steering me away from the alcohol and oil.
 

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I agree with Tony that Renaissance wax is outstanding. I have a jar here on my desk as I type.

Not only is it good for holsters but for blued guns. If you want to greatly reduce fingerprints on your slide in particular just rub on a little tiny touch of the Renaissance wax and buff with a clean cloth. I can't vouch for it's chemical resistance but it won't strip the lube you already have in the pores of the metal.

The jar says that Renaissance wax is "used by the British Museum to protect furniture, paintings, leather, metals, marble, ivory, etc. It freshens colors and imparts a soft sheen."

I've heard of it being used to preserve photographs.
 

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Back to the original question, wouldn't a weak vinegar solution kill the mold? Don't use so much the leather is wet but just enough to dampen it. Saddle soap will do nothing to remove the causes.

Once clean, storage in plastic bags with silica gel packets would keep the holsters dry.
 

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Jim V said:

Once clean, storage in plastic bags with silica gel packets would keep the holsters dry.
Where can I buy silica gel packets and other desiccants?

Can Rob or Tony re-sell desiccants when (not if) I order
from them (repeat business for Rob ;) )

Cheers,

Jae
 

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Saab1911 said:
Where can I buy silica gel packets and other desiccants?

Can Rob or Tony re-sell desiccants when (not if) I order
from them (repeat business for Rob ;) )

Cheers,

Jae
Thanks for the thought but I don't think it's a new part of my business to sell desiccants.
Beer, maybe, but not desiccants.

The way the beer works on the green fuzz is that after a few beers you go,
"Hey, there's green fuzz on my holster................way cool!" :cool:
 

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Jim V said:
Back to the original question, wouldn't a weak vinegar solution kill the mold? Don't use so much the leather is wet but just enough to dampen it. Saddle soap will do nothing to remove the causes.
When I worked in the backcountry we used to use vinegar to wipe the mold off slabs of bacon, so I suppose it would work. :eek: But,, mold on a holster will be rooted deep into the leather fibers and in order to completely kill it, you would have to saturate it. Other than the obvious, one problem I can see is that vinegar is very acidic and by saturating the fibers, you would actually draw some of the tannins out of the leather. This may make the leather subject to red-rot, a condition which accelerates the decomposition of leather when exposed to moisture. Like I said, the cure can be sometimes worse than the malady.

Clean the leather, store it properly in a cool dry place and that should keep it in check.

Jae,
Desiccants are used allot in the electronics and pharmaceutical industry. We don't use them ourselves. Any packaging suppy store would have them.
 

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I hope this doesn't mean I've ruined my Alessi, but after sitting in the car it had the greenish fuzz. I lightly misted it with Tilex, and the fuzz was gone. Haven't noticed any ill effects in the past two months since I did this either on the gun or on the holster itself. Green fuzz sure took a hike though...
 

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romulus said:
I hope this doesn't mean I've ruined my Alessi, but after sitting in the car it had the greenish fuzz. I lightly misted it with Tilex, and the fuzz was gone. Haven't noticed any ill effects in the past two months since I did this either on the gun or on the holster itself. Green fuzz sure took a hike though...
There ya go man. I couldn't recommend that someone do that having never experimented myself, but if it worked for you, with no ill effects thus far, then you are probably ok. :D

This topic piqued my interest yesterday and I did a test with a couple of bacterial/fungal treatments I had laying around the house. The first was Tinactin liquid spray, which is alcohol based and it immediately softened the finish. There is now a noticeable spot where the finish smeared when I tried to wipe it off. The next was Tinactin powder spray and it went on and came off with no apparent ill effects. But Tinactin is used to treat atheletes foot and whether it would have any effect on mold, I don't know. After that I tried Clorox disinfecting wipes and then I hosed a holster down with Lysol Mildew remover. That Lysol is some powerfull stuff, but other than a slight dulling of the finish, I can see no apparent damage that couldn't be remedied with a maintenance treatment of wax. The Clorox wipes didn't have any effect on the holsters finish, one way or the other.

None of the treatments above were allowed to fully absorb into the leather, so other than the minor problem of dulling of the finish, I don't expect to see any long range issues. Since none of the treatments above saturated the leather to the point needed to completely kill the mold, I don't know that mold wouldn't come back if stored in the condition that brought it about to begin with. Vigilance I suppose, comes into play here.
 

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T. Kanaley said:
http://www.restorationproduct.com/ Is the best, or any good quality, neutral shoe polish. Angeles, Fiebings come to mind. Those are the brands we use in the shop.

Tony
I bought renaissance wax through a wood-working store on the internet.
I'll be applying it to my leather and to my Valtro.

I have Meltonian shoe polish. Is Meltonian of good quality?

Cheers,

jae
 

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Saab1911 said:
I bought renaissance wax through a wood-working store on the internet.
I'll be applying it to my leather and to my Valtro.

I have Meltonian shoe polish. Is Meltonian of good quality?

Cheers,

jae
Meltonian is veryh good. Probably unnecessary, but good. I have the Renaissance wax on my Valto, too. No finger prints.
 

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We use white vinegar on saddles, then wipe with a damp cloth, then oil with neatsfoot or mink oil.

Ultraviolet C will also kill it.
 

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My holsters molded in my gun vault before I got a 'Golden Rod' heater. It seemed like the mold went away after I installed the heater. Bleach is the fastest thing I know of to KILL mold....I'm not sure if you'd want to use this on a holster though. :rolleyes:
 
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