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Moldy tack?!?!?

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  • Moldy tack?!?!?

    Well I know I haven't been riding much lately but moldy tack?! That must be my Karmic "Get To The Barn More" LOL

    Finally felt motivated to go ride my horse after giving him a nice little vacay after PB'er royally screwed him up. Got all bundled up, went to the barn, opened my locker and BAM! It was a jungle of green life on all my tack!

    My beautiful Childeric has become a host to green fuzzies

    I have never in my life had this problem happen, and am more than a little conerned about my very expensive saddle that I loff more than anything. I brought it home to give it a really good cleaning later today.

    Will this cause damage to my saddle?? Will it keep coming back?? What caused it?? WIll cleaning and oiling alone get rid of it?? HEEELP!!!!!

    BTW, I brought home every pad, polo, boot, anything that was machine washable just in case it was becasue of dried sweat or anything that was causing the mold.

  • #2
    Mold has hit my friend's farmette a couple of times, twice now she's paid me to clean all of their driving lines and harnesses (for a four in hand set up). My advice-clean the hell out of your tack! I'm talking dismantle your bridles, toothbrush to the seams and holes, wipe down buckles, etc. I don't know about your nice saddle, but her tack has weathered the storm fairly well. I think it's Weaver sells a cleaner specifically made to protect against mold/mildew. Clean everything that was in the locker, because stuff can harbor spores that will go right back to your leather as soon as you put it back in. Also wipe down your locker really really well and see if you can get a dehumidifier in the tack room-mold loves dark, humid places. Be careful not to wear your paddock boots or anything leather/suede when you're cleaning this tack or it'll spread to them too.
    "Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out." ~John Wooden

    Phoenix Animal Rescue


    • #3
      I have occasionally had a bit of mold on a saddle that is in the basement, I just wiped it off with a damp sponge and gave it a thorough cleaning, seems none the worse.

      But a friend's saddle has the mold constantly reappearing no matter how much she cleans it. She has given it several ammonia cleanings and finished with Leather Therapy (which inhibits mold), set it out in the sun, nothing helps. We've tried just about everything to clean it, but the mold refuses to leave.


      • #4
        Murphy's Oil soap first on everything- take everything apart and wash thoroughly the Murphy's......then wipe the bridle and saddle, leathers, etc..down and dry it all well. Then apply a really good leather conditioner- this should do the trick for you. Good luck- I hate that green gook.....


        • Original Poster

          Thanks everyone! Will try to find some Murphy's Oil Soap, I brought my saddle home to clean, and will be keeping it at home for now I think, until I can properly clean out my locker!

          Man is this stuff ever GROSS....And it SMELLS!! ! UGH!


          • #6
            Okay, this may sound like a really silly question, but when using Murphy's Oil Soap, do you just use it straight out of the bottle, or use with some water? Wet sponge? Dry? I've never used it, so curious as to the exact routine!
            “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”
            ¯ Oscar Wilde


            • #7
              When I use Murphy's Oil Soap I usually put it on with a damp sponge or rag
              Cascadia- OTTB mare. 04/04-05/10
              If love could have saved you, you would have lived forever


              • #8
                Pour several good glugs of vinegar into your water then clean as usual and follow up with Leather Therapy Conditioner.

                I swear, this works great. You might have to do it a time or two to be sure you kill all the spores, but the vinegar and LT both do a great job
                Y'all ain't right!


                • #9
                  I use castile soap if our tack gets moldy. For us, it generally happens during the damp springs. My SOP is to scrub, scrub, scrub with castile soap, and then let completely dry (preferably in the sun, as U.V. rays are great mold-killers, though in winter that may not be possible.) After it's dry I treat it with Leather Therapy conditioner, which has a mold inhibitor. When that's all soaked in, I take a barely damp sponge, rub in on a regular glycerine bar, and give everything a once over. The glycerine helps to seal the leather.


                  • #10
                    Re: drying in the sun during winter

                    A good way to do this is leaving your tack in a sunny parking spot (a safe spot, of course). Despite frigid temps, the sun really seems to get intense in the car.
                    Here today, gone tomorrow...


                    • #11
                      I'm in Canada, so I'm not sure if Shutout is available where you live. It is a line of sprays, detergents, and body shampoo that contains Silver. Silver kills bacteria so it discourages mold growth. It is available in many sports stores because the target market is Hockey players, but you can spray your tack (once you clean it) with the Shutout spray and you shouldn't have any trouble with it re-appearing. Even when you clean it, the microscopic bacteria are still there.
                      I actually carry it in my outerwear store here in British Columbia, but it's probably available much closer (depending on where you are!)


                      • #12
                        Can I ask a weird question? What does it smell like? I just got a saddle on trial and the stirrup bars are a little rusty (saddle is almost new) and it has this weird smell to it. We are super dry here so I have never experienced mold on tack, but am figuring that's what might be going on.

                        I cleaned it thoroughly with glycerin soap and spread a layer of Leather Therapy on it. Good luck with yours!


                        • #13
                          I picked up a $60 dollar saddle covered in green mold. I did the clean with soap and then condition with Passier Lederbalsm (sp?). Anyway, it looked great until the mold came back. Cleaned it again with the vinegar protocol and the mold came back.

                          Finally, figuring I had nothing to lose I attacked it with those Lysol wipes, then conditioned with the Passier. Two months later and just sitting in an extra stall in the barn the whole time, the saddle looks great and so far the only sign of any reappearing mold is in spots that are hard to reach.

                          Feeling brave I did a few other nicer items that I've neglected over the years and they all came out looking and feeling great too.


                          • #14
                            In Southampton, mold is a problem not just for unused tack (though that is when it can get really scary). We are so close to the water that in the summer, unless things are stored with climate control precautions (A/C) anything can get moldy very quickly.

                            If the mold is already there, gently brush it off with a towel, then a soft brush (both can then go straight into a bucket of bleach to kill off the spores that will be on them).

                            Then, lightly mist the piece with old fashioned Lysol disinfectant, the kind that 'kills mold and mildew.' If you apply it evenly, you won't get any streaks or stains, but if the leather is very dry (it probably isn't, if it got moldy) you might want to give it a quick rub to even things out.

                            After that, just clean and condition normally, but finish off with another application of Lysol, which should help keep the mold from returning, though if it has gotten into the leather, it may be prone to do so. In which case you can simply keep the Lysol near by, as I do.

                            After that
                            Inner Bay Equestrian


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by BeastieSlave View Post
                              Pour several good glugs of vinegar into your water then clean as usual and follow up with Leather Therapy Conditioner.

                              I swear, this works great. You might have to do it a time or two to be sure you kill all the spores, but the vinegar and LT both do a great job
                              I have had great luck also with spraying with a diluted vinegar solution.
                              Free bar.ka and tidy rabbit.


                              • #16
                                Effol/Effax has a great mold inhibitor. Not sure how it works. I know it has a lot of lanolin in it. I cleaned the tack really well, applied this stuff and let it sit over night. Put the tack back to use and have not seen any mold since!

                                I got it here: http://coachmansdelight.com/ProductP...EFF121480&all=

                                Good luck! I HATE mold!


                                • #17
                                  Wiping down with rubbing alcohol also does the trick. Then clean and condition as usual. Someone asked about the smell: it's super musty and makes you feel like you shouldn't be breathing in the vicinity (you really shouldn't - not up close, anyway, as you don't want to breathe the spores). Some folks swear by throwing away anything you use to clean off the mold, as the spores won't wash out, but I suspect they'd bleach or alcohol or peroxide out. What's really awful is if the mold gets into the wool flocking. Ick.


                                  • #18
                                    Bleach or hot water washing or both (ie washing machine) will take care of the mold that gets on brushes or rags or sponges. What you don't want to do is send them airborne (ie you want to use a damp rag first, not a brush for the major stuff, use the brush on the cracks and crevices) because that will multiply your troubles.

                                    Some people are particularly allergic to mold, too, though I don't think the mold that gets into tack is on the same level as the stuff that affects houses after flooding or leakages have occurred.
                                    Inner Bay Equestrian


                                    • #19
                                      What about mold that is in the bottom of saddles? and wiping will NOT get off...what then?