How To Clean Mold Off Leather Car Seats

Leather car seats are a popular option. The upholstery looks great and is incredibly comfortable. Unfortunately, the material is also susceptible to mold. Whether you accidentally left the windows open letting rain in or it’s from spilled liquids, the mildewy look and smell are enough to make you not want to drive your vehicle.

Having your vehicle’s interior professionally cleaned is one option. Another is to remove the mold with a DIY method.  Before you start scrubbing, you need to know how to clean mold off leather car seats to preventing damaging the upholstery.

How to Clean Mold Off Leather Car Seats: Top Methods

There are plenty of products that will safely remove mold from leather. You can find them at most automotive stores. However, you can also save some money and use natural ingredients. Not only is it cheaper, but it’s also a little better for the environment.

Take Advantage of a Sunny Day

Did you know that sunlight is mold’s natural enemy? The tiny spores thrive in spaces that are cool, damp, and dark. When you start noticing a musty smell in your car, chances are mold is growing on your leather seats and other surfaces.

Before you break out the heavy-duty cleaners and start scrubbing the leather seat coverings, give the sun a chance to work. On a warm, sunny day park your car outside. Leave the windows open to let the air blow through. The hot sun will kill the mold spores, and the breeze will help dislodge them for easy vacuuming.

Check Your Kitchen Cabinets

Your kitchen cabinets might contain an effective solution to the mold problem with your car’s leather seats. Vinegar is recommended as an all-natural household cleaner and it’s safe to use on leather surfaces. Non-iodized salt is another common pantry staple and great at getting rid of stubborn mold.

It is easier to use vinegar. Salt is messier and works best when it’s applied twice. The first time is easy. You only need to wait until the mixture has crystallized. The second time, it needs to sit for at least 24 hours. Unless you don’t mind salt on your clothes, you can’t drive the vehicle until it’s cleaned.

Vinegar also needs to dry for a few minutes before wiping it off your seats. However, it only needs one application to remove the mold from leather. Whichever method you choose, you will need a bucket, water, and a few clean clothes. Once the salt or vinegar is mixed with the water, spray it on the seats. If you’re worried about your car smelling like vinegar, don’t worry it dissipates after a few minutes.

Visit Your Local Automotive Store

Sometimes you don’t have the time to mix ingredients or don’t have them readily available in the pantry. Your local automotive store has a product that will work. You do have to pay attention to the product’s ingredients. Not all chemical cleaners are safe to use on leather. Look for products that are specifically formulated to remove and kill mold and mildew on leather materials.


When you need to get rid of mold in your vehicle, you have options. Take a look in your pantry or head to the auto parts store. You don’t have to let mold ruin your leather seats and interior.