How To Remove Mildew From Leather Car Seats: 5 Easy Steps

There are various ways on how to remove mildew from leather car seats. Your choices will range from using chemical-based cleaners to an all-natural remedy—we got them all for you!

What’s more important than eliminating the mildew smell is killing its roots so they don’t multiply and cause a stubborn fungal infestation inside your car. It will also eradicate the risk of you and your family getting sick from inhaling the toxic mildew or mold spores.

how to remove mildew from leather car seats

As mildew can grow in a similar environment as molds, removing it has also almost the same process. Although the leather seat is made of porous material, cleaning mildew is relatively easy.

We’ll hand out all of them so you can have a consistently fresh and clean ride with your car.


Is Mold On Leather Dangerous?

Fortunately, not all molds or mildew are hazardous to health. They can possibly cause a simple allergic reaction for most people.

However, certain types of molds are considered dangerous. One of them is black and white.

Aspergillus, Cladosporium, or Penicillium can be the type of mold you’re dealing with. One of these classes can produce mycotoxins which can get people sick.

While some molds don’t blab mycotoxins, it doesn’t mean they cannot harm anyone. People who have an autoimmune disease are susceptible enough to contract an unwanted health effect of mold exposure.


5 Steps To Effectively Remove Mildew Off Leather Car Seats

To help you protect your car and, most importantly, your health, here are an easy-to-follow guide on tackling the mildew on your car upholstery:


Step #1. Prepare protective gear and tools

The first thing you’ll want to do is equip yourself with rubber gloves, an anti-dust face mask, and safety glasses. Then, look for a bucket or a smaller container, soft and firm-bristled scrub, and microfiber cloth.


Step #2. Make the cleaning solution

You’ll need a gallon for both rubbing alcohol and water. When using one part of alcohol, ensure using one part of water.

If you don’t have any excess alcohol, you can always go to your kitchen and grab some white vinegar. You’ll also need to mix it one-on-one with water.

Combine these liquids in the container. Mixing alcohol or vinegar into water will dilute the solution without weakening its mildewcide power.


Step #3. Apply the cleaning mixture

You can have any of the two ways to finish this step. Your first choice would be using the dry microfiber cloth to scrub on the mildewed spots after dipping them into the water and alcohol mixture.

You can also use a spray bottle as a container for your alcohol cleaning solution. Then, spray it onto the leather car seats and brush to scour all the mildew away.

Since eliminating mildew can be a difficult task, wildly when it has already penetrated and multiplied into upholstery, you’ll want to be guided on the breeding span of mildews. So, here’s a helpful guide to let you know how long does it take for mildew to grow, which can be useful for early detection and removal of mildew.

Until there’s no visible mildew, smoothly scrub on one area at a time. Then, move on to the next mildew spot.


Step #4. Air dry or towel dry leather seat

You can use a towel to dry out all the moisture left by cleaning. Watch out for the crevices and seams of the leather seat as they may obtain more water which can initially be the reason for the mildew.

Parking your car in a sunny area and opening its windows can also aid in drying. Allow the sun to dry the seats and probably kill mold-causing fungi.

Try pressing the car seat to let out any collected moisture since leathers can easily absorb water.


Step #5. Remove car seat smell

Even though molds or mildew are gone, their smell can still linger on your car’s interiors. To remove mildew smell, you can use baking soda, one of the best odor neutralizers.

Sprinkle the powder and leave it overnight (at most.) Use a vacuum cleaner to clear out the baking soda.

If you want to know more tips about car seat smell elimination, this guide on how to get mildew smell out of car seats gives you additional and helpful information.


Preventing Mildew Growth On Leather Car Seats

The best ways to prevent mildew are no different from tips on avoiding mold growth. First, you need to ensure that no area in your car is soaked in water, so dry immediately if you spot any.

You also need to spot any food crumbs left in any space. Don’t forget to seal your car, so it isn’t left open in the rain.

Regularly cleaning your car interiors can also help maintain the welfare of your car seats.



It won’t only be the sight of mildew that’s unpleasant; mold can also harm health. That’s why knowing how to remove mildew from leather car seats is a must, so you can protect not just your car’s wellness but also you and your family.

However, it’s also important to remember that if despite your efforts in eliminating the mildew and it doesn’t come off, it’s best to seek help from car mold specialists.

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