Advice on cleaning mold from stocks and slings

fitter

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A family members father in law passed away and he had a gun cabinet in a damp basement. Family wants nothing to do with gunz ( They have no clue of value) I pulled out two wartime m1 carbines, four 1903 Springfield rifles with some mold on wood and leather slings and some minor corrosion. Looked at one bore and it was dark but had excellent rifling. I rescued these and intend to remove mold, clean,oil and try to stop further deterioration. There are other rifles,shotguns,bayonets, knives i had to leave behind for now.

I am looking for advise on removng the mold from leather and wood without damaging the finish.
I would like to rescue all of these as I fear they might be turned in for a $25 gift card.
 

Waher

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Try using Ballistol to clean both (leather & wood) first, as it was invented by the German Army to do such things around WW1 in the first place.

Alternatively if Ballistol fails you:
Leather slings can have mold removed with saddle soap. The stocks can be cleaned with Murphy's Original Oil Soap.

DO NOT USE BLEACH!
 

MisterHappy

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Have you tried gently wiping, with a soft rag?

I've run across old milsurp stuff, that had a white "mold" or whatever on it. I wiped it off with a paper towel, and used a lemon plegde ( a la Consuela) wipe to restore the look. Linseed or tung oil, which may have been the original finish, is organic, and stuff will grow on it, but not affect the wood.

If the family does not want them, let them know that you do, before they get "buybacked" or worse.
 

citoriguy

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I’d start with Simple Green and elbow grease before I went with chlorine or some other harsh cleaning agent.
 

citoriguy

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Simple Green is a pretty harsh cleaning agent, it took the paint off a $300. Motor oil can I was attempting to clean.
Did you leave it soaking in it? It does the same when I leave old vises in there overnight (in a strong solution), but a simple 5:1, or even 10:1 solution doesn’t do, or at least I haven’t experienced that.
 

fitter

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Have you tried gently wiping, with a soft rag?

I've run across old milsurp stuff, that had a white "mold" or whatever on it. I wiped it off with a paper towel, and used a lemon plegde ( a la Consuela) wipe to restore the look. Linseed or tung oil, which may have been the original finish, is organic, and stuff will grow on it, but not affect the wood.

If the family does not want them, let them know that you do, before they get "buybacked" or worse.
Thanks, I am hoping to get first dibs on one of each for doing cleanup[smile]. When the rest of family finds out about potential value opinions may change. There are still more onsite win lever 3030, some unknown japanese rifles and a mystery brit rifle I have to identify.
 

mac1911

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Some times warm dish soapy water is a easy start.
1st take a soft dry brush and take sling and rifle outside and just give it a good "shoe shine " brushing.
then a sudsy clean let dry and see what you have left
 

bfm

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Vinegar. 50/50 mix with water. be sure to wipe down metal with a lubricant/protectant after. I will often just use straight vinegar, but you do have to be careful to rinse it off after. it will also remove surface rust, but again, if not reoiled after will promote rust.
 

Picton

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Thanks, I am hoping to get first dibs on one of each for doing cleanup[smile]. When the rest of family finds out about potential value opinions may change. There are still more onsite win lever 3030, some unknown japanese rifles and a mystery brit rifle I have to identify.
Take a pic and post it. Guaranteed, you'll have them identified within half an hour here, 15 minutes on Gunboards. "Mystery Brit rifle..." Pattern 14? Ross?

I'd echo the above: I avoid bleach for things like this. Simple Green is very versatile, and easy to fine-tune. I'd start with 4:1 water:SG, then strengthen if needed.
 
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Tea tree oil will kill just about any mold or fungus. Would think it would be great on the wood. Not sure how leather or paint would fare.
 

greencobra

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never had much luck eradicating mold from leather or cloth, it seems to come back eventually.
 

Dadstoys

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I was given a rifle in similar condition.
Windex did the trick and then some pledge. on the wood and saddle soap on the leather.
 

fitter

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I tried the 50/50 vinegar wipe down outdoors, let sit and rinse liberally with wet rag. Let it dry and hosed it down with ballistol. They look great and I can handle them now without coughing,sneezing and watery eyes. Some minor rust on sling swivels and trigger guards but look to be in great shape. Bore cleaning and stock removal next.
I spent way to much time trying to get the 1903 slings off. I don’t know if they are originals or not but I had to cut the keepers to get them apart. Same treatment and will get ballistol when dry.
 
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