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Old 09-23-2002, 05:13 AM   #1
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Default Is it safe to use bleach on leather seats?

The other day I accidentally left my sunroof cracked open overnight during a heavy downpour. The car got pretty wet inside and I used my shopvac to get as much of the water out as I could from the carpet and seats.

Of course we haven't had a sunny day since and my car hasn't had a chance to prorperly air out and dry.

However this morning I notice some black and white spots on the seats and it turns out it's mold.

Would it be safe to use a bleach solution on the seats to get rid of this mold?

On the plus side, it's not supposed to rain for a couple of days so I'll get to park the car out in the sun with the windows cracked.

TIA.
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Old 09-23-2002, 06:22 AM   #2
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Default Re: Is it safe to use bleach on leather seats?

I don't think you should use bleach or staff like that try to use leather cleaner of some sort bleach will discolor your seats
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Old 09-23-2002, 06:34 AM   #3
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Default I doubt it, but you could always let us know.

My guess is that the seats are soaking wet UNDER the leather, and the mold is growing inside the seats, and you're beginning to see signs on the exterior surface of the leather. Otherwise, I see no reason why the mold would develope on the outside of the seats, if you dried them already. If I were you, I would first address the moisture issue, THEN worry about removing the mold (otherwise, the mold will just return). This may involve:
*pulling the seats out of the car
*lifting all carpeting, and placing a fan on it to dry it out for 24-48 hours
*using a shop vac to suck as much water out of the interior as you can
*breaking down the seats to dry out the interior
*possibly replacing the seat covers if they are damaged beyond repair

I would first try a dedicated leather cleaner like Lexol, and see what that does for the mold spots. Lexol isn't a very strong leather cleaner, and to be honest, I don't know what is, but I would start there.
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Old 09-23-2002, 06:48 AM   #4
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Default Not the answer I like to hear....

but it's definitely something I need to check. It actually could be surface only since the humidity inside the car is very high, ie. my windows are fogging badly after I've been parked overnight. I know it got pretty wet under the carpet so I'm sure that would be source of moisture.

Do you have any idea what's under the carpet? Something under the driver's side carpet has swollen, causing the carpet to raise up in the middle. I figure there must be some kind of cardboard type material that has expanded due to the moisture.
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Old 09-23-2002, 06:57 AM   #5
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Default Think of it as wet carpet in your house. You need to get to where it is wet, not just

treat the surface.

I would call you insurance company, tell them what happened, and see if they will pay for ripping out the seats/carpets under your comprehensive deductable
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Old 09-23-2002, 07:38 AM   #6
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Default I've never pulled up the carpet on my S4...but on my old Integra I have...

There was a small amount of insulation down there that would retain water. The only way to dry it out was to lift the carpet, and hold it up. We used a shop vac to suck out the water from the insulation, then applied a fan for 48 hours to dry it out completely, before putting everything back together again. Yeah, if you're windows are fogging, you've got some work to do. For the time being, see if you can get the car in a covered area where you can leave the windows down. Try to address this asap, because mold and mildew sets in quickly, and it might be easy to deal with on the leather, however the carpeting and all the insulation below will present a bigger problem.
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Old 09-23-2002, 04:09 PM   #7
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Default No need. Remove the conditions for mold growth and you stop mold growth.

I'm assuming there isn't any permanent damage to your leather beneath the mold spots. If there is, obviously you need to do more than just clean it. But assuming there's no permanent damage:

Dry leather isn't going to grow mold. No need for the bleach. Just clean the affected spot(s) thoroughly and remember not to leave your sunroof open when it rains! If it's still damp and you're concerned about re-growth pending the arrival of sunny weather, dry it out with a hair dryer. I'd be <i>really</i> concerned about ruining the dye in the leather with bleach and making a mildly bad situation much, much worse.
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Old 09-23-2002, 04:15 PM   #8
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Default I hadn't read this post before my first response. Sheesh, you gotta dry that car out!

Windows are fogging from the amount of interior moisture in the car? Do whatever you have to do, but get it dried out! Hopefully you'll have a couple of warm sunny, low-humidity days when you can open all windows and doors and let it air completely. Meanwhile I'd do as Raj is suggesting and put a fan on it...or maybe even one of those small fan-driven ceramic heaters. Pull the rugs if you must, but dry it out! Good luck!
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Old 09-23-2002, 07:41 PM   #9
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Default Yeah, sucks that I'm in Atlanta....

where those hurricanes in the Gulf keep bringing rain to the southeast. It didn't rain today and it's supposed to be dry tomorrow, but no forecast of warm sunshine to help dry my interior.

I'll post my results when I have some....

Thanks for the comments.
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Old 09-23-2002, 08:19 PM   #10
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Default I think he should kill the mold spores but agree bleach is tough , even the 1/4 cup? in a gallon?

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Old 09-23-2002, 08:19 PM
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