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How To Clean Mold and Mildew Stains Off of Leather Furniture


Real leather looks amazing and feels great. However, maintaining it in peak condition is a challenge, to say the least. It can rot easily and is very susceptible to mildew and growth. You can take the easy route and search for “furniture repair near me” to get rid of mold and mildew stains from your leather furniture by hiring professionals. Otherwise, you can use some elbow grease and get rid of it yourself. Let’s check out how you can do that:

The Process

  1. Take it outside – It’s surprising how boosted the reproductive capability of mold is. Just one spore is enough to start a colony and turn your cherished furniture to ruin. However, it’s easier to kill mold and mildew than you think. All you need to do is take it outside. This is the first step for cleaning off mold and mildew stains from your leather furniture.

When you take it outside, you also prevent the spores from spreading inside your home and taking root on the floors, walls, ceiling, and other furniture. Take it out on a bright sunny day and let the ultraviolet rays of the sun do their job before you start cleaning the spores. After most of the mold and mildew is killed by direct sunlight, it’s time for you to wear a face mask and protective goggles and get geared up with a dry clean cloth or a soft-bristled brush to brush away the spores.

Use the brush or cloth to brush away the spores on the surface of the leather furniture. Make sure that you store your cleaning gear in a temporary cardboard or plastic box while you clean the furniture and discard those boxes after use. You don’t want to bring back any spores inside the house. You also need to kill off any remaining spores at the furniture’s original location. Thoroughly vacuum the place and use a solution of chlorine bleach to clean it. Finally, you can use a heater or let in direct sunlight to dry the place.

  1. Soap up the furniture – Mix in a solution of warm water and mild detergent in a small bucket. You’ll use this to clean the stains. If you want to up your leather cleaning game, you can also buy leather saddle soap. It costs more but does an excellent job at cleaning any leather surface.

Wipe the entire leather furniture with the cleaning solution you prepared. Make sure that you reach all the crevices and interior regions. You can use a sponge, or a clean cloth soaked in the cleaning solution to reach those places. Keep a dry and clean cloth by you to remove any soapy residue on the leather couch, seat, or sofa. Dip the clean cloth in plain water and wipe away any soap residue.

After cleaning the leather furniture, let it dry out of direct sunlight, preferably under a shade. Otherwise, the leather will get discolored. You can speed up the drying process by using a fan. The leather furniture needs to be completely dry before you can proceed with the next step. If you still get a musty smell after cleaning the leather furniture, sprinkle baking soda all over the leather furniture and wait for half an hour. After that, vacuum up the powder.

  1. Kill the spores – Mix equal parts of rubbing alcohol and plain water in a small container. Wipe down the leather using the solution dipped in a clean cloth. If you need access to hard-to-reach crevices and corners, you can use cotton swabs dipped in the alcohol mixture. This process kills the last remaining stubborn mold and mildew spores if any. Finally, you can wipe down the leather with a plain cloth dipped in plain water. After this step, you need to let the leather furniture dry once more.
  1. Recondition the leather – After you clean and dry leather so many times, you get rid of all its moisture. Unlike other materials used in furniture, leather is an organic product that needs moisture to remain flexible and pliable. If you use the leather furniture right after cleaning it, the leather surface will develop cracks and other imperfections. Even if you don’t use the leather furniture it can crack if the surface oil expands and contracts due to temperature changes.

That’s why you need to recondition the leather to rehydrate it and restore oil content to make it soft, dark, and flexible. After the leather dries completely, use a leather conditioner to treat the surface. Get a clean and dry microfiber cloth and add some leather conditioner to it. Go over small sections at a time. Spread the leather conditioner to a section of the furniture evenly with the cloth and then buff it out with consistent circular motions. It’s similar to waxing a car.

  1. Prevent mold and mildew growth – Getting rid of mold and mildew from leather may seem easy, but it leaves a bit of damage on the leather surface every time. That’s why it’s best to prevent the problem at its roots. Make sure that you keep your leather furniture in a climate-controlled room. Avoid attics and basements since they can get too hot, damn, and cold and encourage mildew and mold growth.

It’s also important to take care of your leather furniture every few months. Even if it’s unused make sure to clean it. Treat and condition it every 3 or 6 months to keep it in pristine condition. It’s also important to keep your HVAC system clean and do routine maintenance. If they aren’t serviced, their lint and dust traps become breeding ground for mold and mildew spores and get spread in your home.


Now that you know how to remove mold and mildew stains from your leather furniture and keep it looking brand new, you should arm yourself with cleaning tools and get to the job. However, this task is laborious and if you feel overwhelmed, you can always search for “furniture repair near me” and let professionals do the job.

About Vicente Ari

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