How to Clean Mold and Mildew Stains off of Leather Furniture

How to Clean Mold and Mildew Stains off of Leather Furniture

There is just something quite delicious about natural leather furniture. People love not just the look of leather, but also the way it feels and even smells. Plus, once you find that perfect piece, it’s as if it reaches out and invites you in to rest for a bit. Leather is both warming to the space and welcoming to those who enter.

At Guardsman, we feel that a piece with this much personality definitely deserves to be taken care of!

So, what happens when you realize that your favorite leather chair is covered with mold and mildew stains? After all, there is nothing inviting about cuddling up in a chair or on a couch that is dusted with green and smells like an old basement.

But no worries! It may seem overwhelming, but the Guardsman team is here to help you bring your leather back to life with a little TLC and a lot of elbow grease.

Are you ready to know our best tricks? Then let’s get started!

Step 1: Get Outside

When dealing with mold and mildew, it is best to do it in an open, well-ventilated environment. Once you start cleaning the piece, the mold and mildew will release spores into the air. As none of us want that floating around in our house, we recommend cleaning the pieces outside whenever possible.

Even better? Let the piece sit outside in the sun for a few hours before you start cleaning. Mold is caused by moisture; therefore, you want to clean the furniture in a dry environment that is free from as much humidity as possible. Plus, the cool thing about this approach is that direct sunlight kills both mold and mildew. So as the leather soaks up some Vitamin D, it will also be shedding spores at record speed!

Leather sofa

Be Prepared

After letting the piece spend some time sunbathing, it’s time to get busy.  We highly recommend taking any allergy medication you might require while also setting yourself up with a face mask and a good set of rubber gloves. Most of the spores should be dead by now, but it’s better to be safe than sorry!

Also, be sure to clean the floor beneath the furniture. These spores can spread easily, and to fully remove them, you need to clean both the furniture and the surrounding area.

Cleaning with Soap

Many people don’t realize this, but it is possible to clean leather with soap. In a small spray bottle, mix up a solution of mild detergent or saddle soap with warm water. This mixture can be sprayed directly onto the mold and mildew to help eliminate the problem.

After spraying, wipe the entire area with a clean, dry towel to remove the spores. Then, using a second cloth, carefully wipe the piece to ensure you have removed both the stain and the soap. You want to make sure the surface is completely cleaned to help prevent regrowth and prevent any type of discoloration.

Cleaning with Vinegar

Vinegar has an acidic base, making it ideal for removing mold and mildew. At this point, you have two choices. You can either pour white vinegar into a spray bottle to spray directly on the stain, or you can soak a rag and scrub the stain.

The spray approach allows you to quickly cover the area, but will also wet a larger area. The cloth allows you to control where the vinegar goes, but may prove difficult when it comes to cleaning seams or tight corners. Each situation is different, and you will need to look at the specific stain to decide how you want to move forward. Many times we use a combination by spraying the stain and scrubbing with a cloth to ensure we remove it completely.

Apply the vinegar directly to the mold and mildew before wiping off with a clean cloth. Keep repeating this process until the stain is gone.

Worn leather sofa

Preventing Mold Growth

Mold and mildew grow in areas that are damp. To prevent growth, you need to keep the area as dry as possible. One way to do this is to put a dehumidifier in the room with the furniture to pull excess moisture out of the air. The drier the air, the less likely you are to have a mildew problem.

You can also treat the area with rubbing alcohol to help prevent new growth. Just make sure to completely dry the leather each time to keep it from becoming oversaturated.

Still have questions? Then give Guardsman a call. Our team can help walk you through the process from start to finish and will even do it for you if that is what you would prefer. After all, you love your furniture. So we want to make sure you get to enjoy it!

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