cleaning mildew off microsuede?
November 29, 2008 2:24 PM   Subscribe

After 4 months in storage, my red microsuede couch is now a gray velvet couch. Can I clean mildew from microsuede? How?

I'm not sure if it has penetrated into the foam and feather cushions - it's still in the garage, because I'm afraid to bring mildew into the living room (hey, I read that Stephen King story.)

The seat and back cushion covers zip off, so I can try laundering or even dry-cleaning those. But what about the body of the couch itself? If it's penetrated into the sofa and cushions, I think I'll abandon the effort. But if it's only a surface issue, I'd like to rescue my beloved sofa. So, what, besides bleach, removes mildew? The upholstery professionals I called were iffy about it, but said they were pretty inexperienced with microsuede, so I turn to you for help or suggestions. Can I clean it? How?

(Curiously, nothing else from storage is mildewy - there was a mattress, dog bed, cat tree, etc. out there too, and they're fine. No leaks in the garage - it was just a damp season I guess.)

Can I have my couch back, or is it too late?
posted by Lou Stuells to Home & Garden (4 answers total)
Put it outside in bright sunlight for a few days, and let the wonders of ultraviolet and fresh breezes work their magic. Then give it a damn good vacuum cleaning.
posted by flabdablet at 6:35 PM on November 29, 2008

Mold is awful even on loose, manageable pieces of clothes. I just went through a bad mold issue with some children's clothes and was able to rescue one or two pieces with tilex but everything else was a loss.

For the amount of effort and chemicals I would get a new couch. It has been suggested that windex can clean microsuede but that seems to be in conflict with manufacturers' advice of distilled water only.

I clean my microsuede couch with a bissel green machine with standard upholstery cleaner. The red of your beloved couch may never come back since that is a volatile color even with dye techniques and nature of microsuede (polyester variant.) Mold is pernicious. Just get a new couch.
posted by jadepearl at 6:35 PM on November 29, 2008 [1 favorite]

New couch. That's my suggestion. You don't want to mess around with bringing that amount of mold—or even any fraction of that amount of mold—into your living space.
posted by limeonaire at 10:09 PM on November 29, 2008 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Off to the dump with it, then - after taking the entire house down to studs, the overwhelming lack of optimism regarding Big Red's prognosis leads me to be wary of introducing spores and potentially harmful substances into our newly renovated living space. Thanks!
posted by Lou Stuells at 6:54 AM on December 1, 2008

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