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Best way to clean heavy mildew off canvas-leather Duluth packs?

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    Best way to clean heavy mildew off canvas-leather Duluth packs?

    I haven't used my canvas Duluth packs, which have leather straps, for about four years. For whatever reason -- maybe because my magic bus, where I've always stored my canoe gear, is leaking -- for the first time in 35 years the packs have become heavily mildewed. Grossly. Even a photo would be X-rated.

    I suppose I could look this up on the internet, but perhaps folks here have actual experience. How would you advise I clean up the canvas and leather?

    (I've been too scared to look at everything inside the Duluth packs as of yet.)

    #2
    Glenn, A friend had mildew on his and used bleach as I recall to kill it. Nope, bad move as it stained and did damage to the kitchen pack he had. I don't have an answer but maybe contact Duluth and see what they have to say. I had a tent that got heavily mildewed and the stench was unbearable so it went away but I did send the smelly vestibule to a friend who I'm betting burned it.

    Good luck with an answer.

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      #3
      You might try full strength white vinegar in a spray bottle. I have used it to kill mold on various surfaces with great success.

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        #4
        Lemon juice and a surgical scrub brush. but that is not really for "cleaning" but rather to keep it from coming back. Soap and water for the final cleaning.

        Caveat - I have not actually tried any of the above! Maybe try a spot test on the bottom first.

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          #5
          Good question Glenn.
          I've had my canvas packs stored in Rubbermaid storage totes in a cool dry basement. The canvas cleaned up pretty easily with soap and water, the leather however took more work. I used saddle soap followed by Dubbin treatment. I recently pulled them out again to find the mildew has returned. No idea what I'll do next besides keeping the packs hung up in the open from now on. They're nice to look at as trad gear goes so I don't mind them hung up in the rec room.
          Last edited by Odyssey; 12-29-2019, 02:23 AM.

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            #6
            Once cleaned, I'd be tempted to wax it using one of the many recipes you can find online. I've done a couple of hats that turned out well. Be aware that if one of the ingredients is boiled linseed oil, it will smell for quite awhile.

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              #7
              I did some new school old school on mine, had some mildew on the straps but it wasn't extreme.
              i used this:

              Click image for larger version

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              After cleaning I applied a good coat of deer talo that I had rendered down.


              ‚Äč
              Not all who are lost wish to be found..............

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                #8
                I hate to offer any advice! I have used Hydrogen Peroxide on carpet stains, with good results.
                As a precaution, try on a small spot, first.
                Good Luck !

                Jim
                Keep your paddle wet, and your seat dry !

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                  #9
                  Concrobium Mold Control. Kills the mold and keeps it from coming back. Doesn't bleach the canvas.

                  https://www.menards.com/main/grocery...066-c-7106.htm

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                    #10
                    Vinegar kills the mold. Don't use bleech. It will damage the fibers and destroy your bag.
                    I had good success using "Iosso Mold and Mildew Cleaner".
                    https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
                    I used several applications of this product to clean an old canvas tent that had bad mold spots. Good luck!
                    Just my $0.02 (minus inflation)

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