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Thread: Cleaning mould off my strop

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    Senior Member Havachat45's Avatar
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    Default Cleaning mould off my strop

    After a protracted period of rain and flooding here in Australia, I had occasion to go to my shed and found, much to my chagrin, that my black latigo strop is covered in black/green mould.
    In my defence, I usually have placed in back into the plastic cover that it came in after using it but this time I forgot and it has now come back to bite me.
    I cannot replace the leather because Star Shaving is no longer in existence, I believe.
    Any suggestions as to how to clean it up or should I look at just replacing it?
    TIA
    Hang on and enjoy the ride...

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    Senior Member blabbermouth PaulFLUS's Avatar
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    Man that sucks. I think I would wash it well with saddle soap and let it dry well In the sun.
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    Senior Member Maladroit's Avatar
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    I think Paul's suggestion is probably a good way to proceed. I had one of mine start to mould up a bit recently but it was pretty minor: it was in the wardrobe rather than in a shed. I applied a vinegar soaked cloth to the affected area.I meant to give it a neatsfoot oil treatment afterwards but forgot and when next I looked at it all seemed well anyway. Keep us posted but maybe see if any other suggestions come in.
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    The Hurdy Gurdy Man thebigspendur's Avatar
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    I don't like saddle soap. It's made for thick, tough rough duty leather like...saddles for instance. It also requires water which is an enemy of most leather. There are products for leather care containing materials that will clean and protect the leather and that's what I would use.

    Check out the Bicks line of products or leatherique which is very expensive but works great.
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    You can apply 70% Isopropyl alcohol to a strop with no ill affect. It should kill most molds and clean it as well.
    I use a paper towel folded up to a small square the turn the bottle upside down in a few spots next to each other then wipe entire strop. It dries very quickly but I normally let it rest before using.
    It will make it a little faster in use.

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    Senior Member blabbermouth Kees's Avatar
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    I would clean it with saddle soap or something to clean leather shoes with. After that I would use a leather conditoner to nourish the leather. I would let it dry slowly, not in the sun. Drying too quickly might cause cracks or wrinkles in the leather.
    If you get wrinkles you can iron the leather with a wet tea towel between iron and leather. Start at lowest heat and work your way up the heat ladder slowly and checking the results of every step before you increase the heat.
    Last edited by Kees; 05-21-2022 at 06:35 AM.
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    Senior Member Steve56's Avatar
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    You might go full Iwasaki on it (see his book chapter on barbering).

    Wash it in gasoline - OUTSIDE AWAY FROM YOUR HOUSE - use gloves, and Id probably rub it with a sacrificial microfiber cloth. Then wash it in warm soapy water 2-3 times, and rinse it in clean water 2-3 times.

    If you dont weight it, it will curl when it dries as Iwasaki says, so dry it between 2 flat boards

    Once that you have a clean, un-moldy strop, you can decide how to proceed. Id probably block sand it with 600 and 100 grit paper, then rub with small amounts of neatsfoot oil (since it is latigo) over several weeks until you get it back in original condition.
    My doorstop is a Nakayama

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    Quote Originally Posted by stoneandstrop View Post
    You can apply 70% Isopropyl alcohol to a strop with no ill affect. It should kill most molds and clean it as well.
    I use a paper towel folded up to a small square the turn the bottle upside down in a few spots next to each other then wipe entire strop. It dries very quickly but I normally let it rest before using.
    It will make it a little faster in use.
    I happened to have some Isopropyl alchohol. I keep 50% in the bathroom and 99% downstairs, I use it to clean my fingers before i take my sugar.

    I wiped my strops down with it on a cotton wool ball using the 50% and then palm rubbed them after a few minutes. I didn't have mould but felt that they could benefit from a clean. I even used it on my leather CroX stop and managed to remove most of it, it went almost back to black so I applied a fresh coating of CroX.

    I have nice clean stops now and I like the alcohol better than a damp cloth.
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    Glad you are happy with it.
    The only drawback is it will make the strop a little faster, which I like anyway.
    Its a good solution for an over oiled strop as well but must be repeated until the speed stays where you want it.

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    The Great & Powerful Oz onimaru55's Avatar
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    You need to kill the mould which saddle soap won't do.
    Metho or 100% alcohol, if you have a sympathetic chemist nearby, is a better option.
    Spray it on lightly & wipe it off as many times as needed. If the spores have really taken hold you might be dead in the water but good luck.
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