One of the most important things to remember when learning how to clean mold from wood is if you want to get rid of it successfully, you have to act upon it quickly. Wood furniture, fences, decks, siding, or other products may look nice, but they are a breeding ground for mold.
Wood not only soaks up water, but it also retains it, making it the perfect place for mold to grow. No matter if you are dealing with moldy drywall and baseboards, furniture, fencing, or something else, we want to teach you how to clean mold off wood. When learning how to get rid of mold on wood, the faster you tackle the mold and mildew, the less time it has to negatively affect those in your family who suffer from mold and mildew allergies.
Addressing the mold and mildew growth as soon as you spot it means less work involved when cleaning and a decreased chance of having to call in a professional. A good rule of thumb to follow when it comes to having your wood professionally cleaned is if it’s ten square feet or less you can do it on your own; anything more extensive than that, you need to hire somebody.
Removing Mold from Wood – 6 Quick Tips and Recipes to Try
Before you attempt to use a natural wood cleaner, you need to vacuum the wood surfaces using a HEPA filter vacuum. This step is vital as it safely removes any loose mold spores, as well as other dirt and debris. After vacuuming, dispose of the vacuum bag directly in the trash can. If using a canister vacuum, dump the canister into a plastic bag, seal it, and then dispose of in the trash.
1. How to Clean Mold Off Wood with Soap and Water
Painted or stained wood is easier to clean, as the mold is not able to penetrate the stain or paint. As the mold spores haven’t penetrated through to the wood, you can use a mild cleanser to remove the surface mold with a high rate of success.
Mix a squirt or two of dishwashing detergent and some warm water. Use a soft-bristled brush, dip it in the soapy solution, and gently scrub the moldy surface. Rinse with clean water.
2. Tip on How to Get Rid of Mold on Wood Using Bleach
In extreme cases or the case of untreated wood, mold can penetrate the wood and make itself at home. If it penetrates, you will need a stronger cleaner; something more than just soap and water to clean outdoor wood furniture.
You can make up as much or as little of this powerful cleaning solution as you would like, as long as you keep the parts the same. In a big bucket mix together all three ingredients. Apply the bleach solution to the wood using a stiff-bristled brush or a scrubbing sponge. After scrubbing the wood, allow it to air-dry.
Use dehumidifiers and fans to help speed up the drying process, but allow the wood to dry for at least three days. Inspect the wood for any signs of mold, and look and smell the wood. If mold is still present, your best mold remediation is to clean with the bleach solution again.
Once you know it’s is no longer present, seal the wood with a primer or pigmented shellac from your local hardware stores. If mold is still present or you notice mold stains, your only other option is to sand the wood. Using sandpaper to sand down the wood allows you to reach the mold or stains that are deep inside.
You don’t want to do a quick sanding; instead, slowly sand the wood until either the mold or the mold stains are gone. Once gone, you should stain, paint, or treat the wood to help prevent future problems.
3. How to Clean Mold from Wood with Vinegar
Vinegar is capable of killing 82% of the various mold species out there and is an excellent DIY wood deck cleaner. For the remaining mold species that vinegar alone can’t kill, many people have found great success in pairing white vinegar with baking soda.
To kill mold with vinegar, pour undiluted vinegar into a spray bottle and spray the moldy area directly. Allow the vinegar to sit for up to one hour. Wipe the area clean with a damp towel and allow the wood to air dry. The smell of vinegar will linger on the wood for several hours but will dissipate naturally.
4. Removing Mold from Wood with Baking Soda
As a natural cleaner, baking soda is strong enough to kill mold but gentle enough to use around pets and children. Baking soda does a lot more than kill active mold spores; it also absorbs moisture, which can help prevent future mold growth.
Fill up a plastic spray bottle with warm water and add one tablespoon of baking soda. Shake to dissolve the baking soda. Spray the moldy area with baking soda cleaning solution and then scrub well with a scrub brush.
This should effectively remove all mold from the surface of the wood. Rinse wood clean with water to remove traces of residual mold and cleaning solution. Respray wood surfaces with the cleanser and allow it to dry. This second coat will kill any leftover mold and prevent its return.
5. How to Get Rid of Black Mold
Some places to find black mold are bathrooms, basements, and crawl spaces. The best way to identify black mold is how it grows in a circular pattern, its black color, and it grows in patches that resemble dots. On dry surfaces, it looks very similar to soot, while on a wet surface, such as shower grout, it looks like slime.
If you notice mold of any kind, you need to ask yourself what gets rid of mold. There are numerous homemade cleaning solutions you can use to kill the black mold; some may work better than others. The key to cleaning black mold is to pick one cleaner and stick with it.
Mixing cleaners, such as bleach and ammonia, can cause adverse chemical reactions. Never use bleach or hydrogen peroxide when removing mold from upholstery.
Select your homemade cleaner and apply it to the black mold. Allow the soap to soak for about 15 minutes. This allows the cleaner to reach and kill the roots to prevent it from coming back. Scrub porous surfaces with a bristled scrub brush to work the detergent in.
Rinse the area with clean water and check to see if all mold is gone. If mold is still present, repeat the cleaning process. If mold is gone, dry area with a towel or squeegee to remove all excess moisture.
6. Protecting Yourself While Cleaning Moldy Surfaces
When cleaning mold from any surface, wear protective gear to keep yourself safe. Wear a respirator or air mask of some sort during mold removal to prevent mold spores from entering your lungs. Safety goggles and rubber gloves need to be worn at all times when cleaning up the mold to protect you from certain cleaning products, as well as mold spores.
If using bleach, wear protective outer clothing or old clothes as the bleach may cause stains. To remove mold from a large area like one that has a strong, musty smell, or one with extensive water damage, you not only want to wear protective gear, but you also want to take a few extra precautions.
These extra precautions prevent the mold from spreading throughout the rest of the house and will protect you from breathing in the spores and fumes from cleaning products you are using. Use an old box fan to ventilate the area; you will be throwing it away when done as the spores are impossible to clean off the fan.
Moisten moldy areas while working, turn off furnaces and air conditioners while working, cover ducts and vents, and always leave your wet/dry vacuum outside — double-bag and tape all moldy materials before throwing them in the trash.
Thank you for reading all about cleaning mold from wood. If you found any of our ideas on how to tackle your mold problem helpful, please take a minute to share on Facebook and Pinterest so others can learn how to clean mold off wood safely and effectively, too.