Wood is often vulnerable to mildew or mold that decreases the life of furniture. This article explains how to remove mildew from wood.
Mildew is a type of fungus or mold that grows over indoor or outdoor furniture. Damp climate and moist surfaces are the ideal conditions for growth of mildew over wood. Unseasoned wood or lumbers are most vulnerable to mildew attack. In warm and moist climate, this fungus grows mostly over organic materials. Paper, leather, uncoated natural fibers form the ideal surface for growth of mildew. There are preventive measures that can be taken for mildew attack. Mildew removal from wood is somewhat a dirty process, as the fungus itself looks dull and soggy.
Mildew growth is also seen in inorganic surfaces like vinyl and aluminum containers. Home furniture gets discolored and patchy when attacked by mildew. Unpainted furniture is attacked most frequently. Prolonged accumulation of mildew cracks furniture, rendering it a flaky and dirt soaked look.
There are specific methods to remove mildew from wood. Their growth can be limited by controlling the humidity and temperature. Controlling moisture, dampness, and warmth, reduces further invasion and growth of mildew.
It’s always advisable to begin the mold removal process as soon as you notice it to avoid ultimate damage to the furniture. Initially, it will appear as a moist growth associated with musty odor and dark brown or black in color. Arrange for steel wool, sponge, washcloth and soapy water, cleansing solutions, and clean water.
Step # 2
Soak the washcloth in soap water or detergent based liquid soap. Now wipe the surface of the furniture to remove the fungal growth or mold from it. Special soaps for wood are also available in the market for cleaning purpose. You can spray it over the affected area and then wash it off. Let it dry completely once you are done with the cleansing.
Step # 3
You can do the cleansing with a scrubber dipped in a solution of chlorine bleach. The ratio of chlorine and water should be 5:1. Rinse with clean water after cleaning with chlorine solution. Once the cleansing is complete, you can coat the furniture with a layer of protective wax cover.
Step # 4
The other process to remove the stains left due to a mildew attack is to make a solution of hot water and borax in the ratio 4:1. Soak the sponge or cloth in this solution and rub the surface of the furniture. Leave it for 7-8 hours. Now scrub off the layer with the help of steel wool and plain water. This procedure works extremely well, as the borax solution kills the fungus and then scrubs it off from the surface of the furniture.
Step # 5
Unpainted wood furniture attacked by mildew can be treated with ammonia. For this, you need to make a solution with ½ cup of white vinegar, ¼ cup of baking soda, and 1 cup of ammonia in a bucket of water. Dip a sponge into this solution and rub it onto the mildewed furniture. When there’s no more trace of mildew, wash once again with clean water. Allow it to dry completely.
Step # 6
After cleaning the furniture expose it to sunlight for a couple of hours. Bright sunlight allows complete drying and helps in eliminating further growth of mildew. Start the cleaning process on a bright sunny day because humid weather worsens the condition and it’s very difficult to carry out the drying process.
All the aforesaid methods can be easily tried at home itself. They are also effective for fiber and aluminum furniture. However, it’s always wise to take the preventive measures, so that no damage is done to furniture. If the growth is very heavy, you can get it done by professionals and retain the texture of the furniture.