How to Remove Mold from Fabric Furniture Easily

Is there mildew on your couch? Are you uncertain of how to remove mold from outdoor fabric furniture?

Unsure of the supplies you’ll need?

In this guide, you will learn:

  • Common signs and causes of mold spores on furniture,
  • How to remove mold from upholstered furniture, couch cushions & outdoor fabric furniture,
  • The best supplies, tools, and methods to remove mold from fabric and prevent future growth.

Mold spreads quickly and silently, and it can effortlessly infect your home and family. Mold not only damages furniture and your belongings but also poses a significant health risk to you and your family.

Mold exposure can cause Breathing Problems, Allergies,Asthma attacks, Weakened Immune system and even Insomnia.

How to Know if Mold Has Started Growing on My Fabric Furniture

Not sure what to look for when it comes to examining your furniture? The signs are clear if you know what to expect.

Examine your furniture for the following:

  • A lingering, musty odor
  • White or black spots that feel fluffy or slimy
  • Discoloration in upholstery
  • Fuzz or spores on furniture
  • Water stains

Most Common Causes of Black Mold on Upholstered Fabric Furniture

If you’re asking yourself, “Why is there mold on my couch?” then you’re not alone. Mold thrives in dark, moist environments and on absorbent surfaces, and these conditions are more common than you think. Take a look at the most common causes of moldy furniture:

Water Damage

Unfortunately, water damage can strike at any time. Leaky ceilings, flooding, and wet carpeting are some of the most common causes of moldy furniture.

After all, it only takes 24 hours for mold to start growing on untreated, water-damaged furniture.

If you have outdoor furniture, then exposure to the elements and water damage is even more likely.

Mold in couch cushions can happen when outdoor furniture is left in wet weather, accumulating moisture and providing the perfect environment for mold to grow.

Excessive Humidity

When your home has an excess of moisture in the air, mold can start to accumulate on surfaces and fabrics.

This can be caused by poor humidity control, poorly insulated exterior walls, or even extreme hot/humid climates.

Improper Storage

Improper furniture storage is a leading cause of furniture mold. For example, plastic is commonly used to store and protect furniture; however, plastic doesn’t allow the fabric to breathe.

So, if you use plastic to store furniture that is even slightly damp, mold will grow.

Mold thrives in dark, dank environments. Many storage facilities have just that.

This creates the perfect environment for mold to form on your furniture without your even knowing.

Can Mold be Removed from Fabric Furniture?

Yes, mold can be removed from most fabric furniture.

In fact, there are many DIY mold removal methods. However, there are a few things to consider before grabbing your cleaning supplies. 

How to Know When You Can Remove Mold from Fabric Furniture:

Mold can be tricky, especially when dealing with cushions, couches, and fabrics.

These are made from extremely porous materials, which have tiny openings that are invisible to the naked eye. So, even though furniture might look free of mold after an initial clean, mold can continue to grow undetected.

The best rule of thumb to follow when deciding on removing mold from fabric furniture largely depends on whether it is outdoor or indoor furniture.Indoor furniture is much more difficult to clean than outdoor furniture.

Indoor furniture is much less likely to hold up against harsh cleaning solutions that are needed to get rid of mold.

In fact, if you have mold on indoor, upholstered fabric furniture, many professionals recommend the following:

  • discarding the items
  • hiring professional upholstery cleaners
  • re-upholstering the furniture.

Additionally, if the mold has spread across large surface areas, then it’s recommended to call a professional for help.

There are times, however, when it is possible to remove mold from fabric furniture completely, especially if it is outdoor fabric furniture.

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What Can Be Used to Remove Mold from Fabric Furniture?

The process of removing mold from fabric furniture may seem daunting, but it can easily be done with the right supplies.

Supplies for Removing the Mold

There are multiple methods when it comes to removing mold and mildew on couches and furniture.

Before you start the mold removal process, you’ll want to make sure you have the right materials for the job. Some of those materials can include:

  • Bleach
  • Mild soap
  • White vinegar
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Water
  • Grapefruit seed extract
  • Tea tree oil
  • A broom
  • A filtered vacuum
  • A rag, towel, or cleaning brush

Personal Protection Supplies

When handling heavy-duty cleaning solutions, it is always a good idea to protect yourself. Use the supplies in this list for protection against potentially harsh and harmful chemicals.

  • Goggles
  • Gloves
  • Mask
  • Long pants
  • Long sleeve shirt

How to Clean & Remove Mold from Fabric Furniture

1.Place Item Outside and in Direct Sunlight

The first step in removing mold from furniture is placing it outside in direct sunlight. Sunlight is excellent at killing mold and drying out fabrics and cushions. Choose a day without rain or humidity to maximize your chances of success.

Another benefit of cleaning your furniture outside is the prevention of mold spreading throughout your house as you clean.

Mold can travel easily, so cleaning the item inside your home increases the risk of mold spreading.

What if I can’t move my furniture outside?

If this is the case, then remove any parts or attachments from the furniture that you can, such as couch cushions or fabrics, and clean those items outdoors.

If you find that you cannot move any part of your furniture outside, place sheets and paper on the ground, covering carpets and other furniture, to try and protect the rest of your home from infection.

2.Remove Visible Mold

Items needed:

  • Vacuum
  • Rag
  • Broom
  • Brush

At this point, you may be asking yourself: How do I actually remove mold from outdoor fabric furniture? How can I clean the mold of my microfiber couch? What about removing mold in couch cushions?

The answer to these questions is simple:

Using your tool of choice (rag, broom, or brush) begin wiping away any visible mold. If you’re working with a microfiber couch, a nylon brush is ideal; you don’t want a coarse brush that will damage the fabric.

For smaller areas, you may want to use a brush or rag, while a broom might be more effective for larger spots.

As you wipe away the mold, be careful not to wipe unaffected areas. This can potentially spread the mold further.

Once you can no longer see any visible mold, use a vacuum with a filter and vacuum the furniture as thoroughly as possible.

3.Clean the Furniture

There are several options and methods when it comes to cleaning mold. Take a look at these methods and decide which fits best with your type of furniture, fabric, or cushions. 

Option 1: Soap and Detergent

Items needed:

  • Mild Soap or detergent
  • Water
  • Damp cloth or sponge

Begin by mixing your mild soap/detergent with water until suds appear. Then, wipe only the suds onto your fabric or upholstery.

Thoroughly rub the suds into the fabric. Then, wipe the area with a clean, damp cloth. Make sure to remove all the soap.

Option 2: White Vinegar

Items needed:

  • White vinegar
  • Spray bottle

For this method, you will pour white vinegar into a spray bottle. Don’t dilute the vinegar with water.

Lightly spray the vinegar across the entire piece of furniture. Make sure that you don’t dampen the furniture and focus on lightly spraying the surface.

Option 3: Bleach Solution

Items needed:

  • Bleach
  • Detergent
  • Water
  • Scrub sponge or stiff-bristled brush

This option is only ideal with white fabrics or mold that has penetrated the surface of your furniture. Otherwise, you may run the risk of discoloration or damage to your fabric.

Begin by diluting the bleach with detergent and water. You will want to follow a ratio of 1:10:20.

So, 1 part detergent to 10 parts bleach, then mix that with 20 parts water.

Apply this solution to the affected area, using your scrub sponge or brush to work the mixture in. When finished, leave the piece of furniture out to dry.

Preventing Mold Growth on Fabric Furniture

The most important part of the mold removal process is making the changes to prevent future mold growth.

First, gently wipe the affected areas of furniture with a rubbing alcohol solution made from equal parts water and rubbing alcohol.

This not only kills the mold spores on furniture but also prevents them from growing back. Once again, make sure not to dampen your furniture and only use this solution where needed.

Next, leave your furniture in direct sunlight to dry for as long as possible. If you can’t move your furniture outside, open windows to increase airflow or use a dehumidifier.

Finally, make changes to your environment to prevent future mold growth. This can include increasing sunlight, decreasing humidity, opening windows, investing in a dehumidifier, and regularly vacuuming your furniture.

When to Call a Professional

Although mold prevention and cleaning can be straightforward, there are times when it’s best to call a professional:

  1. You are unsure if cleaning solutions will damage your furniture
  2. The mold has spread over a large area of furniture
  3. You cannot remove the mold yourself, or it grows back

Killing mold can be a complicated and arduous task, and mold infection poses serious risks to your belongings and health.

If you find yourself hesitant or unsure, it is best to call a professional to help in the mold removal process


We have Mold Remediation Specialists that can help Find the Source of the Mold, Remove it & Prevent it from Returning.

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