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Old July 24, 2014, 11:02 PM   #1
B-man '06
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Mold on my Guns?

Need some help here. lately i've been encountering a white fuzzy substance growing on the slings and stocks in my safe. i keep all the guns well oiled and have not found any rust but this white gunk keeps coming back. has anyone else had this? if so how did you fix it? also, the guns in the wood cabinet seem immune, just the ones in the safe get it.
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Old July 24, 2014, 11:07 PM   #2
Jim K
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I have found the hard way that WD-40 can mildew and don't use it on my guns any more.

Mildew likes cool, moist, dark places, so I suggest, as a minimum, that you provide some heat in the gunroom/gun safe. That should take care of most of the problem.

Jim
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Old July 24, 2014, 11:15 PM   #3
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And a dehumidifier would be a good purchase, or at least a big sack of desiccant. I personally opted for desiccant since I have nearly unlimited supply in electronics at work. If you go that route I would put it in a coffee can or something to ensure it touches no metal because it will hold moisture on metal causing rust quickly.
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Old July 25, 2014, 10:06 PM   #4
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A low wattage lightbulb will also do the trick.
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Old July 25, 2014, 10:09 PM   #5
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Is the safe ventilated but the cabinet is not? Does this substance by any chance look like the stuff on the back of your TV?
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Old July 26, 2014, 12:50 AM   #6
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I think it's unlikely it is mold.

More likely it is paraffin crystals forming from the type of oil that was used at some point on the slings.


I learned my hard lesson several years ago.
A write-up in Tactical Knives by a well respected writer said to soak old leather knife sheathes & handles in Thompson Water Seal wood sealant to stop decay in old leather.

So I did it to a WWII Kaybar handle & sheath, a Vietnam era jet pilots knife, a couple of new hand made sheaths I had made, and a Rusty Sherrick horsehide rifle sling.

That was probably 20 years ago.
And to this day they are still growing white paraffin crystals out of the Water-Seal treated leather!

Only way I have found to slow it down or semi-stop it for a few months is take it outside, buff off all the white grunge, and re-wax it with Kewi Clear shoe polish.

That lasts for 6 mo to a year.
Then you have to do a 'Do-Over' again!

rc
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Last edited by rcmodel; July 26, 2014 at 01:05 AM.
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Old July 26, 2014, 01:06 AM   #7
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Yup, I used Sno seal on all my expensive Italian leather mountaineering boots for years (back when they still made them from leather) and it waterproofs very well and protects the leather without softening it - but you will see that beeswax seeping out forever. I also used it on belts and sheaths and it always weeped that white stuff. I used a hair dryer on low just enough to warm up the leather and then wiped it off with a rag.
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Old July 26, 2014, 07:15 PM   #8
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it'd definitely not wax, it grows on nylon slings as well as synthetic rifle stocks. it smells too, my nose goes bonkers when i clean it off. i'm thinking one of those golden rod inside the safe dehumidifiers might be the way to go? i'm leery of desicant, some came into contact with my limbsaver recoil pad a few years back and made it sticky. to this day that seven-mag with adhere to the floor of the safe.
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Old July 26, 2014, 07:57 PM   #9
aarondhgraham
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Vinegar,,,

Vinegar,,,
It kills mold on old leather very nicely.

I've used it on old moldy saddles for years.

Give it a try.

Aarond

.
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Old July 29, 2014, 07:15 PM   #10
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I'm located on the coast of SC with a safe with about 7-8 sq ft and I've been having that problem for the last 15 years. Apparently the oil itself is molding. I have a 20 watt heater in the safe. The safe is not airtight and located in unconditioned space. Was having significant rust speckling problems with all metal items in the safe until started using Corrosion-X at least on the final wipedown. Every time I open the safe after a few months away from home, I look to see if any mushrooms are growing. The Corrosion-X appears to have helped quite a bit but have quit storing my rifles with their slings. The cordura pistol cases have never had any mold growing on them but then again I never put gun oil on the outside of the cases.
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Old July 29, 2014, 07:57 PM   #11
Jim Watson
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Libraries used to wipe down leather bound books with a cloth dampened with copper sulfate solution. Will it work on guns and gear? I don't know for sure, but it would be worth a try.
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Old July 29, 2014, 08:53 PM   #12
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What oil do you use?
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Old July 29, 2014, 09:44 PM   #13
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It's not mold. Its white mildew. Another organic growth. It will if left on eat into the finish and make dull spots. I have the problem on and of and theres many different sugestions on stopping it. I noticed it's worse with old milsurp guns and leather. Having one in a safe can infect all. Keep the safe as dry as you can. But the limeted air flow and darkness makes it pop out even in a dry safe. You have to be carfull what you use to clean depending on finish. I really don't have a perfect solution. Take the effected guns out, wipe them off and place them in the sun. I've heard ozone generators kill all kinds on mold/mildew but are exspensive and can be dangerous to human health. Good luck.
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Old August 3, 2014, 12:13 PM   #14
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I would be very careful using the ozone solution. Ozone is a real reactive form of oxygen. That is why it is so good at oxidizing all kinds of pollutants. I feel it would be similar to putting a cup of Clorox is your safe. Of course, that would keep down on fungus/mildew also. Rust would really bloom with the introduction of chlorine or ozone.
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Old Yesterday, 08:10 AM   #15
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scooter22 i believe you are correct on the mildew. i found this handy site on how to deal with it http://extension.missouri.edu/p/GH5928. i'm going to try the washing soda solution to wash the mold off and see if that gets rid of it. i had been wipinf the stocks with break-free CLP but it does not make a difference. next step is some big bags of desiccant from the marine supply store.
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Old Today, 03:26 PM   #16
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Buy yourself a spray bottle of X-14, and be done with it for good...
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