- 10 Jun
Part 2: Mold Free House: How to Clean your Wooden Furniture from Mold
STEP 1: PUT ON PROTECTIVE GEAR
Take the appropriate safety measures to keep yourself safe. Wear rubber gloves and safety goggles and importantly, use an face mask to prevent mold spores from getting into your lungs. If you intend to use a cleaning solution that contains bleach, wear protective outerwear in order to safeguard your clothing against stains as well.
STEP 2: VACUUM THE AREA
Using a machine equipped with a HEPA filter, vacuum the affected area of wood to remove any loose mold spores (along with any other accumulated dirt and debris). Once finished, empty the vacuum bag or canister into a plastic bag outside the house. Tightly seal the bag and dispose of it.
STEP 3: TRY SOAP AND WATER
If the wood you’re dealing with is either painted or stained, that means the mold has not penetrated. You can then stick to a mild cleaning solution—a simple mixture of dishwashing detergent and warm water. Dip a soft-bristled scrub brush into the soapy water you’ve prepared, then gently go over the moldy area. You can also use an old toothbrush instead. If you get unsatisfactory results, opt for vinegar, an effective mold killer. With a spray bottle filled with vinegar, spritz the mold and then let the vinegar sit for an hour to work its magic. Once enough time has elapsed, wipe down the wood with a clean, damp towel. Inspect the wood for any remaining mold, and if you don’t see any, wipe the wood down with a rag.
STEP 4: USE DILUTED BLEACH
If mold has penetrated, you are going to need a stronger solution, one that’s capable of killing spores beneath the surface. So what you will do is mix 1 part detergent, 10 parts bleach, and 20 parts warm water. Apply that solution to the moldy area by means of a scrub sponge or a stiff-bristled brush, then allow the solution to air dry on the wood.
STEP 5: SAND THE AREA
If mold remains even after scrubbing using the step from # 4, it’s time to start using the sandpaper. An abrasive might not seem like the obvious solution. It may seem counterintuitive and cause more damage. But sanding is the only way to reach the mold deep within the wood. Work the sandpaper slowly around the affected area until you see no more mold. After sanding, it’s a good idea to refinish the wood, not only for appearances’ sake, but also to prevent a future outbreak. Finally, throw out all the rags and stuff that came into contact with the mold, and start trying to figure out how to limit the amount of moisture present in the area where you’ve been working.
If, after several cleaner applications, any mildew deposits remain embedded in your wood furniture, you will need to sand them off. Using a sheet of light-grit sandpaper, carefully start sanding the mildew heavy areas in smooth up-and-down motions. Although it may seem tempting, it is very important that you abstain from using a power sander when performing this step, as it is simply too powerful a tool for the job you are attempting to do. After the mildew has been removed from your furniture, give it another good water rinsing to remove any resulting dust.
If you need to use this method in the case of a finished piece of furniture, you will need to sand off the rest of the remaining finish to your entire surface is uniform later refinishing.
About the Author
My journey as a Cleveland home inspector began 15 years ago when I was buying real estate properties in Ohio. Because they were my investments, I wanted to make sure I was getting a great deal, so I decided to learn everything I could about general home inspections.