My all-leather combat boots stink. Probably colonized by fungus. Looking to disinfect and wash without murdering the old, already mildly damaged leather.
Pretty much what it says on the front page. I have some nice old Corcoran 10" Field Boots
that I am overly fond of. They looked about a year old for 5 straight years, didn't smell of more than mild eau de foot
, but then I took a new job, worked long, hot hours, and caught a nasty case of athlete's foot that resisted over-the-counter products. The boots have about another year or so of life left in them, and I'd like to keep them as long as possible for sentimental reasons--I've worn them to a lot of concerts, parties, jobs... a lot of life, basically. But mostly I'm totally poor and would rather buy cleaning product than toss otherwise wearable steel-toes. Still, when you can smell your shoes stankin' when you cross your leg, something must be done.
I tried some anti-odor powder, which works for a day, and then it's back to exactly where I was before hand. It's not killing anything. Plus the outside
of the leather is starting to smell.
I've found lots of advice on how to prevent
shoe odor from here on out, but as for disinfecting
porous, all-leather, deep, airless boots, Google and other Ask Mefi's haven't been clear.
Can my boots be disinfected, defungal-ated and cleaned without destroying the old leather?
Here are some of the methods I'm considering and specific questions about them:
* Would freezing the boots kill fungus as well as the bacteria, and kill them completely?
* Would alcohol destroy the leather further, and would it touch any potential fungal infections?
* Does leather harbor fungal infections (I'm 99% sure yes, but it would be 100% before I start considering soaking them in fungicidal liquids).
* Are there particular commercial products that would work on the unfinished interior leather--bowling shoe cleaner? The bowling shoes available for rent at lanes always seem pretty water-tight inside and out.
*Any recommended home brew disinfectant solutions, including but not limited to bleach, lysol, hydrogen peroxide, tea tree oil, vinegar? I've heard hydrogen peroxide mentioned. Bleach solutions sound like and extremely poor idea for leather goods, but maybe if it's diluted enough it's a viable option. Vinegar is mildly disinfectant, but I worry about the ph. I own tea tree oil, which is funguscidal, but it's a tiny bottle and I don't know if I could get enough into the leather to help. Or if it's ph balanced.
Once I kill the bacterial/fungal colonies, is something like saddle soap the best bet for washing out the teeny bacterial corpses and teeny bacteria-poop?
I'm also like advise on drying combat boots in a cold climate. Stick a blow-dryer down them for a couple of hours set to low heat?
Whew! Sorry so long-winded, I just got new ADD meds... Heh...