Tips for Removing Mold and Mildew from Upholstered Furniture

Tips for Removing Mold and Mildew from Upholstered Furniture

Everyone wants a clean home free from contaminants and microbes. Both mold and mildew are types of fungus that can grow in places where moisture is present. Mould appears slimy, while mildew is powdery. Once both invade your home, they can spread rapidly everywhere, causing damage to the furnishings. It is good to restrain mould and mildew from your home, but if it makes its way, you must take steps to get mould out of the upholstery immediately.

Identifying Mold and Mildew on Upholstered Furniture

Before you begin the cleaning process, it’s important to identify whether the growth on your upholstery is mold or mildew. While they may appear similar, there are some distinct differences. Mold is usually green or black and has a fuzzy or slimy texture. Mildew, on the other hand, is typically white or gray and appears as a powdery substance.

Precautions to Remove Mould from Upholstery

Prior to starting the process of getting mold and mildew out of upholstery, it is important to follow the following precautions.

  • Use hand gloves and eye protection gear throughout the process.
  • Choose a bright, sunny day to remove mould from upholstery. (Removing mould out of upholstery on a rainy day can make the situation worse.)
  • Perform the upholstery cleaning process outside the house.
  • Select a well-ventilated area for cleaning and eliminating mould from upholstery.

Physical Removal of Mildew and Mould Out of Upholstery

Take the upholstered item out of the house. Sweep any visible mould and mildew from the fabric with a broom. Ensure that you do not spread it to the unaffected areas. You can also vacuum clean the upholstery to remove any visible mould or mildew.

How to remove mold from fabric?

Start by brushing off any loose mold with a soft brush or cloth. Take the fabric outside if possible to prevent spores from spreading indoors. Next, apply a mixture of equal parts white vinegar and water to the affected areas, gently blotting with a cloth. Sunlight can also help kill mold, so leave the fabric outside for several hours. If stains persist, create a paste using water and baking soda, apply it to the stains, let it sit, and then rinse thoroughly. If the fabric is machine washable, launder it with a mild detergent and hot water.

Chemical Methods to Remove Mould from Upholstery

Use of Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) is a potent chemical, which is antimicrobial. It can kill bacteria, fungi, viruses, and even mould spores. It can be effectively used to get mould out of upholstery.

Required items

  • Hydrogen Peroxide (3%)
  • Spray bottle
  • Clean, soft cloth
  • Water


  1. In a spray bottle, mix hydrogen peroxide and water in a ratio of 1:3.
  2. Shake the spray bottle and mix well. Spray the solution onto the area affected by mould.
  3. Let the solution dry. Once it dries, spray with the same solution and let it remain for 15 minutes.
  4. Using a soft clean cloth, gently rub the affected area.
  5. Repeat steps 2 to 4 if the stain is still present.
  6. Wet a clean cloth and rub it across the stained area once you get mould out of the upholstery.
  7. Let the affected area dry completely before taking the upholstery back into the home.

Alternatives to Hydrogen Peroxide


Vinegar contains 4–6% acetic acid in water. It has the capability to kill certain types of mould by disrupting the pH balance. To remove mould from upholstery, spray undiluted vinegar over the affected area and let it sit for 1 hour before removing it.

Baking Soda

Baking soda, also known as sodium bicarbonate, is an antimicrobial agent, which can be used to get the mould out of upholstery by killing it.

Isopropanol (rubbing alcohol)

Rubbing alcohol can be used to remove mould from upholstery by killing it. Isopropanol is able to denature the proteins and dissolve the lipids to penetrate the cell membrane of the mold and mildew.

How to remove black mold from fabric?

To remove black mold from fabric, it’s important to take immediate action. Start by wearing protective gear such as gloves, a mask, and goggles. Take the fabric outdoors to prevent further contamination. Use a soft brush or cloth to remove any loose mold. Then, mix a solution of one part bleach and four parts water. Test a small, inconspicuous area of the fabric first to ensure it won’t be damaged by the bleach. Gently dab the solution onto the affected areas using a sponge or cloth, and allow it to sit for 15 minutes. Rinse the fabric thoroughly with clean water and air dry in direct sunlight if possible. Remember to carefully follow safety precautions when working with bleach and ensure proper ventilation.

Commercial Cleaning Products

If the natural remedies don’t produce the desired results or if the mold and mildew infestation is severe, you may need to use commercial cleaning products. There are various upholstery cleaners available in the market specifically designed for mold and mildew removal. Before using any product, make sure to read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.

Professional Cleaning Services

In some cases, mold and mildew infestations can be extensive or deeply embedded in your upholstered furniture. In such situations, it may be best to hire professional cleaning services. Professional cleaners have the expertise and specialized equipment to effectively remove mold and mildew, restoring your furniture to its original condition.

Tips for Preventing Mold and Mildew

Prevention is always better than cure when it comes to mold and mildew. By following these tips, you can minimize the risk of mold and mildew growth on your upholstered furniture:

  • Control humidity: Keep the humidity levels in your home below 50% to discourage mold and mildew growth. Use dehumidifiers if necessary, especially in areas prone to moisture.
  • Proper ventilation: Ensure proper airflow in your home by opening windows, using exhaust fans, and installing vents in areas like bathrooms and kitchens.
  • Regular cleaning: Vacuum your upholstered furniture regularly to remove dust, dirt, and potential mold and mildew spores. Wipe down furniture surfaces with a microfiber cloth.
  • Immediate action: If you notice any signs of mold or mildew, such as a musty odor or discoloration, take immediate action to address the issue before it worsens.

Wrap up

Mould and mildew can be found on every type of surface at home. Be it furniture, clothes, or upholstery. It is important to get mold and mildew out of the upholstery as it may cause complete damage to the fabric couch. If you are unable to get rid of mould from upholstery, or if the infestation is too much, it makes sense to hire a professional offering upholstery cleaning in Melbourne.

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