Mold growth is often a telling sign that the wood surfaces are at risk of greater damage in the long run. And while some may think replacement is the only choice, did you know there are cleaning solutions to salvage your workpieces?
In this article, I’ll share insights on how to effectively remove mold from wood and delve into techniques to prevent its recurrence. I’ll also tackle the best approaches to ensure the longevity of your wood pieces.
Is it Possible to Kill Molds on Wood?
If the affected area isn’t larger than ten square feet and it’s not a “black mold” situation, killing mold on wooden surfaces isn’t impossible. You can even use a regular cleaning solution to remove mold stains.
Most importantly, don’t wait too long to eliminate mold. If you let it be, you’ll give the mold spores higher chances to expand and grow.
How To Get Rid of Mold From Wood
Step #1: Put on Protective Gear
Dealing with a mold problem isn’t as easy and safe as you’d think. Before you make any contact with mold species, don’t forget to wear proper clothing like long pants and shirts with long sleeves.
When using bleach to get rid of mold, I recommend wearing old clothes. From my experience, there’s often some splattering during the application, which can result in stubborn, permanent stains. You should also wear protective gear , like an air mask and safety goggles.
And because you’ll be handling surface mold, you must wear rubber gloves to avoid direct skin contact. When cleaning the affected area, it’s best to take the wood outside or do the process in a well-ventilated space to prevent mold spores from spreading.
Step #2: Vacuum Clean the Wood Surface
To remove mold from wood, you must run the vacuum through its entirety to kill mold spores. Here’s how you can do it:
Let this feature capture as much mold as possible and bring the filled bag away from the affected wood to dispose of the loose spores. Ensure the mold remains in a sealed bag to prevent it from escaping.
Step #3: Clear Off the Molds
You should know that not all methods can effectively kill mold on wood. Nevertheless, you can try these solutions:
Using Soap and Water
First, mix a teaspoon of dish soap in a water-filled spray bottle. You must shake it well to ensure the dishwashing soap combines well with the water.
After that, grab the spray bottle filled with the soap mixture and apply it over the mold-stained wood. Use the soft-bristled brush and gently scrub the wooden surface while eliminating mold spores.
If you see excess liquid on the surface, use a sponge or towel to dry its surrounding. Don’t let moisture linger on the material, as this could prevent mold growth from developing further.
Using Diluted Bleach
If the mold persists, it means that it has penetrated the surface. The best you can do is use diluted bleach. It would help if you made a cleaning solution by mixing detergent, bleach, and warm water.
I’d advise either brushing or using a sponge to thoroughly scrub this solution into the wood. It’s also crucial to remember that using bleach on its own is only effective when handling mold on non-porous wood materials.
Using White Vinegar
If you’re wondering if you can use vinegar on wood, the answer is yes, you can. If you want a more effective method, applying distilled white vinegar should be more than sufficient. All you need to do is mix vinegar and warm water inside a spraying bottle and spritz it over the mold on wood.
Let the solution dry on the surface for an hour before running a damp cloth over it. Once done, wipe it down with a dry towel.
Using Baking Soap or Borax
While borax does remove molds from materials, remember that it’s not the best solution for non-porous surfaces. It requires mixing baking soap with lukewarm water, which can damage porous wood in the long run.
I also recommend utilizing a dehumidifier to expedite the drying of the surface and the borax mixture.
Using Mold Cleaner
If none of these home remedies work, it’s time to head to your local hardware store and buy cleaning solutions specifically made to prevent molding on wood.
Step #4: Sand Your Wood (If Needed)
All the solutions above may be deemed useless when the mold grows and penetrates the surface deeply. In that case, you can try sanding the affected space. However, sanding on painted or stained wood would mean you must refinish the material again.
Step #5: Apply Hydrogen Peroxide
Lastly, you can make a cleaning mixture of hydrogen peroxide and water. Apply this over the molding surface by spraying and wiping it dry afterward.
Harmful Growth of Molds
You may not know, but frequent exposure to these organisms can cause mold allergies. It mostly affects people with low immunity and at risk of health issues. Here are the symptoms they can experience:
Structural & Wood Furniture Signs
Molds can manifest in different forms, like termites. Because of this, wood surfaces can break down in a ton of ways that you may not expect. Here are the telling signs you should be wary about:
What is Black Mold?
Black mold thrives on materials containing cellulose, such as wood, drywall, and carpet. It is often found in areas with water damage or excessive moisture, like bathrooms, basements, and attics.
You can tell that black mold is thicker than others, so it requires a more intensive removal process. Getting rid of it often includes home ingredients, like vinegar, detergent, and water.
What to Use to Remove Green Molds Off Wood
At first glance, you’ll notice that the green mold has a slimy and moist texture. You must scrub it with baking soda and water mixture. Once done, spray distilled vinegar over the surface to kill the remaining spores.
Removing Mold from Different Wood Surfaces
These workpieces are more susceptible to damage, so applying distilled vinegar over them is the best option. Spray the solution over the area and wait for at least an hour. Once dry, grab the wet cloth and wipe it clean.
You can remove mold on a wood floor by mixing soap and water in a spraying bottle. After mixing it well, apply it to the molding area and scrub the surface with a brush before drying it completely.
With painted materials, it’s often best to start with milder cleaning agents. Dishwashing detergent can be a good choice due to its gentle nature. However, if that doesn’t yield results, vinegar is another effective and gentle alternative to consider.
Eliminating wood molds on an infested surface can be tough, but sanding and scrubbing it off can solve your dilemma.
The sandpaper’s grit will depend on how deep the molding is. However, don’t hesitate to call professionals if the affected surface puts your home at risk.
These surfaces absorb moisture and bacteria well, but mold manifestations can be removed using the usual process of scrubbing water and soap mixture. Alternatively, you can also use vinegar for thicker mold spores.
How to Prevent the Formation of Mold on Wood
You can forego all these hassles by keeping the humidity around wooden materials low. And should you spot any signs of water leaks, I highly recommend addressing them immediately. Taking preventive measures will lower your chances of dealing with molding problems.
More removal guides here:
How frequently should you clean mold off wood?
As soon as you see signs of molding, you must clean it off immediately to prevent bigger damages and extensive removal procedures.
What are the differences between mold and mildew?
Mold often appears as black or green spots that indicate deeper infestations. Meanwhile, mildew refers to moisture on the surface that can be easily cleaned by scrubbing.
What do you mean by efflorescence?
Efflorescence is a harmless substance that grows between bricks and stones but can also be seen on wood. It undergoes the process of salt migration into the material’s surface.
Now that you know how to remove mold from wood materials, doing the process yourself won’t be as intimidating.
While it’s true that not all molding problems require the same solution, I can assure you that being well aware of these methods will help your woodworking journey in the long run. After all, you’ll save time and money if you’re a resourceful woodworker.
Robert Johnson is a passionate furniture maker & carpenter, sought after for his knowledge on the craft.
You’ve probably seen his down-to-earth wisdom in USA Today, Bobvila, Family Handyman, and The Spruce, where he has shared commentary and guidance on various woodworking topics.
Robert is the brain behind Sawinery, where he aims to share tips, tricks, and a passion for all things carpentry.