Leather car seats are beautiful, but they are much prone to mold. On a warm day, leather gets heated fast. When the warmth combines with humidity and the natural creases, all conditions are suitable for the growth of fungus- in this case, mold.
Luckily, mold on leather car seats can be easily cleaned with the readily available ingredients you’ve in your home, for example, vinegar or salt. Removing the mold from leather car seats needs time and patience since it can be challenging and tiring exercise.
What Is Mold On Leather Car Seats?
Mold is a fungal plant that grows quickly given the environmental conditions are favorable. It’s similar to the mushroom and the other fungus like the athlete’s foot. The elements that support the growths of molds include moisture, warmth, and the organic matter that they can feed on. That is why you will find molds more common on books, leather shoes, clothes, belts, and the home’s ceiling.
Only a small amount of moisture is required to spur the growth of mold in leather car seats. Leather car seats are perfect breeding grounds because of the warmth contained inside the seat for prolonged hours.
Molds are smelly, and they can make the car’s interior inhabitable. In addition, mold spores are dangerous to humans. If one inhales the spores, they cause serious allergic reactions that can lead to hospitalization. Therefore, knowing how to clean mold off the car seats is important, and it should be at the top of your priority list.
Apart from damaging the leather car seats, mold also affects the health of the passengers from its bad odor and the spores. The fact is mold spreads and grows quickly. Disinfecting and cleaning the leather seat as soon as mold is noted is essential, and it should never be ignored.
Here is how you can remove mold from the car seats:
Preparing To Clean Off Mold from the Leather Car Seats
Before removing mold of the car seats, it’s recommended that you prepare your car by following the steps below:
- Move your car to the point where it can get direct sunlight
- Open all doors and windows for proper air circulation. Do this for not less than 15 minutes for the mold spores and the bad odor to be blown away.
- Wear a particle mask to protect you from the mold spores that will be floating around.
- Inspect all corners of the leather seats. Check the seats underneath, the steering, carpet, and seat belts to know the extent to which the mold has spread. Don’t forget the side seams and the seal linings.
- When inspecting for the extent of mold spread, be sure to check on all types of molds. Mold colors can range from grey, white, brown, black, or green. You can notice them grouped into small circular patches.
- Use an old toothbrush to break down the large mold clusters. Always apply gentle strokes to avoid spreading the mold spores. Brush deep into the crevices and cracks, plus all surfaces under and over the leather seats.
- If you’ve got a wet-dry vacuum cleaner, at least utilize it to vacuum the loose mold you’ve freed from the leather seats and the carpet.
- Once you’ve completed the preparation steps, move on to the technique of cleaning off the mold from the leather seat.
How to Clean Off Mold from Leather Seats
There are a number of ways you can use to remove mold for the leather seats. However, you don’t need to jump to any chemical technique without some considerations. Not all chemicals are safe when used to clean leather. Worry less, even from your cabinet; better products are well-formulated to kill and remove mold from leather materials.
Top Method: How to Remove Mold from Leather Car Seats Using Vinegar
Vinegar is the number one leather cleaning product that is all-natural and safe. The mold cleaners can still use Non-ionized salts, but vinegar is common and easier to use. Salts might be messy because of their large particles. In most cases, it works only when applied more than once.
Vinegar is acidic, and its lower pH burns the mold and kills the spores to stop them from coming back.
What you need to clean off mold from the leather car seats:
- Tap water.
- Vinegar: if possible use distilled vinegar because it’s stronger.
- Clean cloth and the spray bottle.
To remove mold for the leather car seats, mix 8 parts of vinegar with 2 parts of water. Use a clean cloth in dabbing or place the mixture in the spray bottle, then spray it over the molded surfaces until it’s wholly soaked. You don’t have to worry about the strong smell of vinegar; it will all disappear as the vinegar dries out slowly into the air.
If the leather seats have a very severe mold infestation, you can use undistilled vinegar. White vinegar works well in leather, cloth-type, and vinyl car seats: it doesn’t cause damages to any material. However, it’s a brilliant idea to test the reaction first with a small inconspicuous area to ensure that the chemical is compatible with the material or the surface you’re applying.
The few clusters of mold in leather seats can be cleaned by spraying or dubbing over the area and the surrounding perimeters at one to two feet away. The extended cleaning aims to kill the underlying spores that might appear to be dormant but spreading internally.
With the severe mold infestation, it’s recommended that you do it through spraying of the leather seat from the top to bottom and underneath.
After applying vinegar to the leather car seat or the carpet, leave it soak for 15 minutes. The time is enough for the mold and the spores to be killed by the acidic vinegar. A wet-dry vacuum is also important to help you vacuum the vinegar to make sure that all moisture is removed from the joint areas and the seams. Suppose you don’t have the wet-dry vacuum wait until the cleaned area is completely dry. It’s good if you can leave it to air-dry and with direct sunlight.
Finally, you can opt to sprinkle the Borax power over the leather car seats and let it sit for around 10 minutes before cleaning it up. Borax is a natural killer of molds, and it can be used on hard or soft surfaces to remove mold. The leather seat cleaning method that uses vinegar can be repeated more often as much as you need to remove the mold from your car’s leather seats.
Mold grows best in moisturized environments; therefore, keep your car out of moisture. You can use a dehumidifier until the car is completely dry to kill mold.