How To Clean Mold From Leather Furniture: Mold and Mildew

Mold and mildew can be pesky problems for homeowners. When it develops on leather furniture, it can be particularly difficult to remove if you don’t address it properly. Follow this comprehensive guide to effectively clean mold from your leather furniture and prevent future mold growth.

Why Mold Grows On Leather

Leather is prone to mold growth because it’s an organic material. Mold spores from the air can easily settle into the tiny crevices of leather and grow if the conditions allow it. Warm, humid environments are ideal for mold to thrive.

If you live in a humid climate or don’t properly care for and store your leather items, you may notice mold or mildew stains over time. Common places mold grows on leather include couches, chairs, shoes, purses, luggage, and clothing. Signs of mold include black, green, white, or gray spotting.

How To Clean Mold From Leather Furniture

Cleaning mold from leather furniture takes some gentle care. Harsh cleaners can damage the surface of the leather. Follow these methods to safely rid your leather of mold and prevent future growth.

Step 1: Put on Protective Gear

Before getting started, put on rubber gloves and a protective face mask to avoid touching the mold and inhaling airborne spores while cleaning. Work in a well-ventilated area whenever possible.

Step 2: Remove Excess Mold With a Soft Brush

Use a very soft brush to gently wipe away any excess mold on the surface of the leather. This helps dislodge the growth so other cleaning solutions can penetrate deeper. Avoid using stiff brushes as they may scratch the leather.

Step 3: Create a Vinegar Cleaning Solution

The acetic acid in white vinegar kills mold effectively. Create a cleaning solution of 1 part vinegar to 1 part warm water. Dip a clean, soft cloth into the solution and wring it out well so it’s not sopping wet.

Step 4: Spot Clean the Moldy Areas

Gently blot the moldy areas of the leather with the vinegar solution, allowing it to sit for 2-3 minutes. Avoid vigorously rubbing, which can damage the leather. Repeat until no more mold comes off on the cloth.

Step 5: Dry Thoroughly

It’s crucial to completely dry the leather after cleaning before conditioning or storing it. Allow several hours or overnight for it to fully air dry. A fan can speed up drying time. Going forward, never store damp leather items.

Step 6: Condition the Leather

Once dried, apply a leather conditioner. This nourishes the leather, prevents cracks, and helps repel future mold growth. Gently rub it in with a clean, soft cloth using circular motions. Avoid oil-based products, which can trap moisture and promote mold.

Step 7: Check for Remaining Mold

Inspect carefully for any remaining mold stains after full drying and conditioning. Repeat the cleaning process on stubborn spots. For difficult mold that causes discoloration or damage, seek help from a professional leather cleaner.

How To Prevent Mold Growth On Leather

Preventing mold from forming in the first place will save you from dealing with stains down the road. Implement these leather care tips:

Ensure Proper Storage

Mold thrives in dark, humid environments. Keep leather properly stored in clean, dry areas with good airflow and consistent room temperature. Avoid temperature fluctuations and excess moisture from leaks, flooding, etc that promote growth.

Clean and Condition Regularly

Dust and dirt that accumulate on leather can provide food for mold. Frequently wipe it down with a soft, dry cloth. Clean with gentle soap and condition with moisturizers to prevent drying and cracks where spores can invade.

Handle With Care

Be gentle with leather goods to prevent weak seams, tears, and punctures. Damaged areas are vulnerable to mold taking hold. Avoid moisture contact like rain and spills which can seep deep through scratches and holes.


By thoroughly yet gently cleaning mold from leather and taking preventative storage and care steps, you can keep leather looking its best for years of enjoyment. Always act right away at the first signs of mold or mildew growth to avoid permanent stains. With some patience and the proper techniques, you can rid leather of mold problems.

For bigger cases of mold damage, mold remediation is a must. Contact Southeast Water Restoration for professional mold remediation in Metro Atlanta and nearby Georgia areas.