Help cleaning mold/mildew from camera leather

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by veriwide, Oct 3, 2005.

  1. veriwide

    veriwide Member

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    I have been asked to show some of my camera collection for a college class. I found, to my horror, the case I store them in has done a better job of promoting mold growth than keeping the cameras from mold.

    Does anyone have a good, cost effective, way of cleaning mold from camera and bellows leather?
     
  2. laz

    laz Member

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    There are only 2 layman ways I know of to remove mold and be reasonably sure it won't return. One is a dilute solution of bleach the other, believe it or not, the microwave!"

    Unfortunatly bleach is rather detrimental to camera leather and it's real hard to microwave a camera (the microwave method I use on rare books.)

    Personally I would use a good leather cleaner and then only store my equiptment in a well ventilated space (as I do now) Once cleaned you must periodiacally check your equipment, mold will return given proper circumstances even if those circumstances are much improved

    If you live in an area of high humidity or occupy a older house which is a rich environment for mold spores I would only store my cameras in an air conditioned space.

    Never never NEVER store camera equiptment in a basement prone to dampness.
     
  3. RichSBV

    RichSBV Member

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    I know people here will have their own suggestions, but I went through some similar discussions last yer. See:
    http://graflex.org/helpboard/viewtopic.php?topic=2981&forum=15&15

    I settled on a quick Lysol spray. Kills the mold and it hasn't returned for this past year. Humidity here ranges from 10% Winter through 95% Summer...

    Now, if you've got real leather which is pretty rare, you have to take more precautions. Leather will withstand alcohol even in a good soaking. But it will dry out the oils tat keep it flexible and it may wash out the dyes that make it black/red or whatever. So for any leather goods, try a small patch, maybe with a q-tip first to see what happens. Any oils removed by solvents can be replaced with products suchh as neetfoots oil or evcen lemon Pledge (excellent for both leather and vinyl).

    If you've got vinyl, don't worry about it and use Lysol, then lemon Pledge afterwards.

    If you've got the time, patience, area and equipment, use the thymol fuming...
     
  4. laz

    laz Member

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    The only problem with recurring mold I have is with some pebble finish vinyl notebooks they look and feel like camera covering). They have senimental value so I just keep after them constantly.

    Agreed, but add expense to that method. :smile:
     
  5. Seele

    Seele Member

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    I use a 1:1 mixture of water and Dettol (or Savlon); that kills the mold very well without drying the leather unduly.
     
  6. Mike Kennedy

    Mike Kennedy Member

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    Check out Matts Clasic Camera, Rangefinder and go to the link on restoring.Sure helped me .
    Mike
     
  7. Steve Hamley

    Steve Hamley Member

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    Anybody tried UV light? Just curious.

    Steve