How to Remove Mold From Fabrics & Leather


Fabric or leather that gets wet and is not dried promptly may grow mold. Mold occurs in a variety of colors such as green, brown black or white. These spots on your fabric or leather are unsightly and must be removed promptly to keep the mold from spreading. You will use different products and methods for removing mold from fabric than for removing mold from leather.

Things You'll Need

  • Scrub brush
  • ¼ cup oxygen bleach
  • Bucket
  • ½ cup borax
  • Sponge
  • Rags
  • 1 cup denatured alcohol
  • Bowl

Removing Fabric Mold

  • Brush off as much loose mold as possible with a dry scrub brush. Take the fabric outside, if possible, to prevent the release of mold spores in your home.

  • Combine 1 gallon of hot water and ¼ cup oxygen bleach in a bucket if the fabric is machine washable. Put the moldy fabric in the bucket to soak for 30 minutes. Remove the fabric, then launder as usual.

  • Combine 2 cups of hot water and ½ cup borax if the fabric is upholstery. Dip a sponge into the borax solution and use it to scrub the moldy fabric. Let the mixture sit on the fabric for three to five hours, or until you notice the mold is gone, before rinsing with a clean, damp rag. Blot the fabric with a dry rag to remove any remaining moisture.

Removing Leather Mold

  • Brush off as much loose mold as possible with a dry scrub brush. Take the item outside, if possible, to prevent mold spores from being released inside of your home.

  • Mix 1 cup denatured alcohol and 1 cup warm water in a bowl. Dip a rag into the cleaning solution and wring it out well.

  • Wipe the mold spots gently with the rag and alcohol solution. Rinse and wring out the rag often, and continue wiping until the mold is gone. Dry the leather thoroughly with a clean rag.

Tips & Warnings

  • Remove all mold before placing a fabric item in the dryer. The heat from the dryer will set in the mold stain.
  • Soak non-washable clothing in a bucket with 2 qts. of water and 2 cups of borax. Remove it from the bucket once the mold is gone, then rinse in clean water. Air-dry the clothing thoroughly.
  • Sprinkle table salt onto moldy fabric, then spray lemon juice over it for an alternative method for removing fabric mold. Scrub the lemon juice and salt into the fabric with a scrub brush, let sit for two to four hours, then rinse and launder the fabric as usual. If the fabric is non-washable, rinse with a rag and clean water then blot dry.
  • Use the hottest water setting allowed by the fabric when removing mold. If the fabric is white, add ½ cup chlorine bleach to the wash load.

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  • Photo Credit white leather furniture image by Leonid Nyshko from
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