Mold and mildew growth can occur in untreated wood due to its porous nature, allowing the material to absorb moisture unless treated with polyurethane or a waterproof coating.
Household products like white distilled vinegar and hydrogen peroxide can kill mold and mold spores. There are also preventative measures you can take to safeguard your wooden surfaces.
According to the EPA, you can remove mold from your home as long as it’s less than 10 square feet. Bigger jobs require professional treatment.
Clean Mold On Wood
Before trying any of the methods below, use a scrub brush, dish soap, and water to remove as much mold as possible. Wear a respirator mask, rubber gloves, and safety goggles during mold clean-up.
Use a Vacuum with a HEPA Filter to Suction Mold Spores
You can use a vacuum to remove mold from wood. A strong hose with a HEPA filter can suction away mold spores and prevent them from returning to the air.
Scrub Mold Off the Surface with Soap And Water
Combine water with a couple of drops of dish soap in a spray bottle, spray the affected wood, and let it sit for a few minutes before wiping it clean. Scrub if you need to. Remove as much mold as possible before moving to the next step.
Kill Mold with White Vinegar or Hydrogen Peroxide
You can use white distilled vinegar or hydrogen peroxide to kill mold spores, which will prevent mold from growing back on your wood.
Because of its acetic acid content, white distilled vinegar can kill mold and mold spores. Spray it on the moldy area and let it sit for an hour before washing it off with soap and water.
To kill mold with hydrogen peroxide, fill a spray bottle with hydrogen peroxide. Spray the solution on the affected area, let it sit for ten minutes, and wipe. (Hydrogen peroxide can lighten wood. If you don’t want your wood to lighten, use vinegar instead.)
Remove Stuck-On Mold with Borax or Baking Soda
To clean mold with borax or baking soda, add one cup of either product to one gallon of water. Then, to clean mold off wood, spray it on the surface and scrub it with a soft-bristled brush. The mild abrasiveness will help remove the stain.
Use a Chemical Mold Cleaner if Necessary
If all else fails, a chemical mold remover can help. You can find these products on Amazon or at your local hardware store. Look for a mold cleaner that’s safe for wood.
Sand the Wood After Cleaning (Optional)
With stubborn mold stains, you may need to sand the affected area after cleaning it. If you do this on finished wood, you’ll have to refinish it. Try to find matching varnish or paint before you start sanding. You can also sand and refinish the entire area if you can’t find a good match to your old finish.
What Removes Green Mold From Wood?
Green mold is the most common type and includes Cladosporium, Aspergillus, and Penicillium.
Green mold on wood is moist and slimy. Use baking soda and water to scrub it off the wood’s surface. Afterward, mist the area with white distilled vinegar to kill mold spores. No need to rinse.
Can You Kill Mold On Wood?
You can kill mold on wood as long as it’s not a large area. You can treat small areas with a scrub brush, dish soap, and vinegar. For large areas, you’ll need to call in a professional. If your wood is moldy and rotting, you’ll need to replace it.
How To Remove Black Mold From Wood Surface
Black mold is the easiest to detect on wooden surfaces and grows due to excess moisture.
Since black mold is thick, getting rid of it requires more effort. However, dishwashing detergent, warm water, and vinegar can work if the mold patches are small.
Harmful Mold Growth
The most obvious sign of mold is visual – if you see black, green, or white spots on your wood, you likely have a mold problem. Another sign is a musty smell.
Prolonged exposure to mold can lead to health problems. People with lung issues or low immune systems are more susceptible to health issues when mold is present.
Here are the most common symptoms, according to Healthline.
- runny nose and congestion
- eye irritation
- sore throat
- skin rash
- lung irritation
If you’re experiencing more than two of these symptoms, call your doctor. Never hesitate to reach out to a medical professional for any reason.
Wood Furniture And Structural Signs
Mold has many forms, and like termites, it can break down wood surfaces. If you’re unsure if your wooden furniture is affected, look for these signs:
- wood warping, cracking, or peeling
- continued growth
- appears in a low-light area with high moisture content
How To Remove Mold From Different Types of Wood Surfaces
When you spot a mold problem, take immediate action. Here are a few ways to kill mold on different wood surfaces.
Untreated wood is porous, meaning it absorbs moisture and bacteria. While it’s harder to remove mold from untreated wood, it can be done. Start by scrubbing the mold with a scrub brush, water, and dish soap. Then, spray the affected area with undiluted white distilled vinegar. The acid in the vinegar will kill the mold spores.
Removing mold from infested wood is tough. Depending on how deep the mold infestation is, you might have to remove the top layer of wood and then use 100-grit sandpaper and scrub it off. If the mold covers a large portion of your home, call a mold remediation specialist.
You can remove mold from painted wood with liquid dishwashing detergent and warm water. If the mold persists, treat it with white distilled vinegar.
Treat mold spots on wood floors with soap and water. Since floors have a protective top coat, it’s unlikely that the mold has seeped into the wood fibers. First, take one teaspoon of soap and put it in a spray bottle, fill the rest of the bottle with water, and then shake it up. Next, spray the affected area and scrub it with a soft-bristled brush. Wipe the floor dry with a towel. If your floors are unfinished (don’t have a topcoat), spray the moldy area with white distilled vinegar or hydrogen peroxide and let it sit for ten minutes before wiping clean.
The best solution to remove mold from wooden furniture is distilled white vinegar. Put vinegar and water in a bottle and spray the affected furniture. Wait an hour and wipe the surface with a damp cloth.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)FAQ
Is Mold On Wood Dangerous?
Yes, it can be. While despite popular belief, it hasn’t been proven to cause lung cancer, it can cause serious lung problems. People with mold allergies or with asthma. It’s always a good idea to get rid of it as soon as possible.
What's The Difference Between Mold And Mildew?
Mildew is a surface fungus that appears as a thin layer on wood. Mold runs deeper and can’t simply be wiped off. Mildew is harmless while prolonged explores to mold can cause health issues. No matter what though, get rid of whatever you’re dealing with.
What Is Efflorescence?
Efflorescence is a migration of salt to the wood’s surface. It appears like a textured substance that grows on brick or stone. However, it can be found on wood. Efflorescence is harmless, despite being confused with mold.
Can I Use Bleach To Kill Mold On Wood?
Not only can bleach color wood, but it can also penetrate the wood and only remove surface mold. It is effective in doing that, but it can cause more mold to grow underneath. Avoid using it, for thick, porous wood.
If you feel like bleach is the only thing strong enough to kill the mold on wood, then use it. However, you will need to dilute it to keep it from harming the wood or setting the stage for more mold to grow.
Dry the wood after you’ve removed the mold. Even if the wood is in the bathroom or kitchen, keeping it dry should be the number one priority.