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Mold on tack in high humidity

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    Mold on tack in high humidity

    I read the recent post about moldy tack in a tack box, but my problem is a bit different. I live in the Ohio Valley area with 80+% humidity all summer (and still high humidity in the other seasons too). We’ve also been getting a lot of rain this year (in fact it’s raining *again* right now). I have some of my tack in a wooden outbuilding and other tack in my unfinished (no concrete floor or proper sealing) garage. I’m having a terrible time keeping mold off the few pieces of leather tack I have (I favor synthetic for this reason partially). Short of brining everything in the house for air conditioning‘drying out, what can I do to prevent mold from covering my tack? I have a ‘shop’ fan to circulate air in the garage, but it hasn’t helped. The saddle that has molded hasn’t been used in over a month & wasn’t put away wet at the time either. Am I just doomed to having moldy tack?


    Add a tablespoon of bleach to the water you use to clean the tack with, when you soap it up. You cN make a weak breath h solution to spray on the tack and wipe off. Remember bleach kills everything and if you don't kill the mold spores they will grow right back. Bleach evaporates into natural elements of the earth so you aren't adding chemicals by using bleach. Half a cup in a gallon of water.
    My warmbloods have actually drunk mulled wine in the past. Not today though. A drunk warmblood is a surly warmblood. - WildandWickedWarmbloods


      I use DampRid in closed locations to absorb water and reduce the potential for mold. Like you, we've had a wet summer and since I moved my tack to a more enclosed space with this product in its container on the floor, I've had no problems.


        I agrer bathsheba. But since the mold spores have taken hold she needs to kill them or they will keep coming back.
        My warmbloods have actually drunk mulled wine in the past. Not today though. A drunk warmblood is a surly warmblood. - WildandWickedWarmbloods


          I believe that anything strong enough to kill mold on leather will damage the leather. Mold on leather is a good sign that your leather is moist and in good condition. Dry leather won't mold. You want to control the mold and keep the leather supple. To do that control the humidity. DampRid is great if the area is small enough. In our 12x12 tack room, we use a small dehumidifier and a fan that run all summer. No mold. I keep DampRid in the horse trailer tack compartment and in any containers where leather is stored. Remember to remove the containers of DampRid before you move the boxes of leather equipment as fluid gathers in the lower part. Be cautious about using anything stronger than something you would use on your own face to clean leather --easily damaged and expensive to replace.


            I just switched to all synthetic tack... Florida weather is too humid for anything else. Anything else that is leather goes in the house and stays there til November.

            I use lysol wipes on moldy leather. I have not tried bleach. Maybe someone else has suggestions?

            It rains every single day here or it is sweltering heat and humidity. Either way summers are brutal.


              I have started throwing my tack in my car, which I keep in a garage. I'm sick of dealing with mold on my bridle every single day.

              Ambitious Kate -- you don't spray and wipe with the bleach solution daily, do you? I feel like that would do a number on the leather.


                We have had good results with damp rid and a dehumidifier in FL


                  Doesn't white vinegar & water also kill mold due to the pH? Maybe that would be a milder solution to apply, if not everyday maybe every 2-3? Then periodic saddle soap, rinse and condition every few months or less...
                  Savor those rides where you feel like a million bucks, because there will be those where you feel like a cheap date...


                    When this happens with a saddle I use vinegar then sponge it generously with water to rinse. If it's a bridle I just put the vinegar in a spray bottle, use a soft brush to loosen the mold, then put the hose on jet and spray it off. Then immediately condition it with Lexol. And bring it inside in the air conditioning if it's not getting used and wiped down every day.
                    ... with Patrick and Henry


                      If I see mold on tack, I will use a dilute solution of bleach for the wash water. I figure if I can drink chlorinated water, it is ok to wash tack with. I then condition the tack afterwards with name products.
                      Do not confuse motion and progress. A rocking horse keeps moving but does not make any progress.
                      Alfred A. Montapert


                        I keep my tack in a non-climate-controlled Rubbermaid shed & don't do anything special & I certainly live in humid land. After much observation, I think a big part of it is making sure things like a saddle pads are dry before you put them away. I often put tack away dirty, no problem. But I always leave pads hanging out until dry & if it's a rainy day, I hang them on a rack in a different shed that is well-ventilated.

                        Also, making sure leather stays "healthy" helps, giving it a periodic clean/oil. You don't have to obsess like it's a hunter lesson program, lol, just an occasional wipe down to keep it happy.

                        This has worked for me in our long, liquid summers, heh.
                        Life doesn't have perfect footing.

                        Bloggily entertain yourself with our adventures (and disasters):
                        We Are Flying Solo


                          Originally posted by Lusoluv View Post
                          Doesn't white vinegar & water also kill mold due to the pH? Maybe that would be a milder solution to apply, if not everyday maybe every 2-3? Then periodic saddle soap, rinse and condition every few months or less...
                          I remember someone at my barn dunking a moldy bridle in a bucket of ACV and water, so I think vinegar would work too. I could have sworn there was a saddle cleaner or conditioner that touts that it kills and prevents mold...?


                            In both Ohio and Florida I find that unused tack will mold eventually in the summer. Anything that isn’t used regularly (several times per week) I would bring in the house, or at least wipe down once a week.


                              Originally posted by SugarCubes View Post
                              I could have sworn there was a saddle cleaner or conditioner that touts that it kills and prevents mold...?
                              There is a conditioner but my moldy brain doesn't function in high humidity so I can't remember the name of it.

                              I'm in Fl. and this liquid in a can conditioner used to keep all my tack mold free. But I'll be darn if I can recall the name.

                              "There is no fundamental difference between man and animals in their ability to feel pleasure and pain, happiness, and misery." - Charles Darwin


                                Not in a can, so not Marla 100's product, but "Leather Therapy Conditioner/ Restorer" has mold inhibitor in the product. . After cleaning, an application of that will help.

                                Although a period without rain and dewpoints at 70+ and "9,000%" humidity would help too.


                                  This stuff is great:

                                  I'm in North Carolina and I can really tell a difference when I incorporated this into my leather cleaning about once every 6 weeks. It has a little bit of an oily consistency that I think helps condition the leather instead of drying it out.

                                  I wipe my saddle down with a damp towel (maybe some saddle soap) and then lay the saddle upside down on the floor (carpeted, seat side to the floor) to open up those crevices under the saddle flaps and stirrup bars. I then spray this stuff under the flaps and stirrup bars and use a towel to clean up any drips. I then spray a little bit of this magic on the towel to rub into all other surfaces of the saddle. Both sides of the saddle flaps, panels, seat, etc.

                                  I do not have a climate-controlled tack room and have not had an issue with mold since I started using this stuff.