Mold thrives on wooden surfaces because wood absorbs a lot of moisture. It’s the ideal storm for a mold infestation when moisture, warm temperatures, and mold spores (which are still in the air) combine. Learn how to extract mold from wood by skimming our guide.
The good news is that if the contaminated area is less than ten square feet and the mold isn’t harmful black mold on wood, you can remove Mold From Wood yourself with traditional household cleaners. But don’t put off this project—delaying it will allow the mold colony to develop, and prolonged exposure can be harmful to your health.
What if you have black mold on your hands? Since it can be difficult to tell the difference between toxic black mold (Stachybotrys chartarum) and other black-colored fungi, it’s best to consult a specialist in this case. Since toxic black mold is hazardous when inhaled, you should avoid touching it.
How to get rid of mold on wood
Here are the steps to take if you want to get rid of some other kind of mold.
Step 1. Wear protective gear.
Mold can be toxic if inhaled or swallowed, so it’s crucial to take precautions when working with it.
Wear goggles, a face mask that protects your nose and mouth, and latex gloves when washing.
Step 2. Vacuum the area.
- Suck up any loose mold spores on or around the wood’s affected part with a vacuum with a HEPA filter.
- Vacuum the region thoroughly, then take the vacuum outside to dispose of the contents.
- To prevent spores from escaping, make sure the vacuumed material is securely packed in a plastic bag.
Step 3. Clean off the mold
You should be able to destroy the mold if it hasn’t sunk too deeply into the wood. What is the best way to get rid of mold on wood? Using a basic dishwashing soap and warm water cleaning solution.
- Shake up a teaspoon of soap in a spray bottle filled with water.
- Spray the infected area and gently wipe away the mold with a soft-bristled cloth, sponging up any remaining liquid while you rinse.
- Using a towel, absolutely dry the surface.
If that doesn’t work, try distilled white vinegar, killing up to 80% of mold species.
- In a spray bottle, mix equal parts vinegar and warm water and spritz this solution on the mold.
- Allow one hour for the solution to dry before wiping down the surface with a dampened cloth and a dry towel.
If the mold persists, it’s time to break out the borax, an alkaline mineral salt cleaner that’s much better to use than bleach.
- Mix a tablespoon of borax with a cup of water, then use a soft-bristled brush to add the solution to the mold.
- Scrub the mold clean, leaving the borax solution in place. Don’t blot up the remaining liquid with a sponge. To prevent future development, you want as much of the solution in the wood as possible.
- Run a fan or dehumidifier in the room to ensure that the wood’s surface dries quickly and fully while the borax remains beneath it.
It’s important to note that bleach can not be used to destroy mold on wood. Though bleach is exceptionally effective at killing mold on non-porous surfaces, it is ineffective on wood. Since bleach’s chlorine cannot reach the wood, only the bleach’s water component is absorbed.
Although the mold may appear to be gone on the surface, it will most likely continue to develop beneath the surface and return in a few months.
Step 4. If necessary, sand the wood
These cleaning solutions should take care of your mold issue, but sanding is your last option if there are any lingering traces underneath the surface.
- Rub out the contaminated area with 100-grit sandpaper, careful not to sand away too many of the surrounding areas.
- To clear the dust and any loosened mold spores, repeat Step 2.
Is bleach or vinegar better to kill mold?
Bleach and vinegar are two of the most effective household remedies for removing mold. The majority of homeowners would consider using one of these products for killing mold on wood, but only one of them is successful. This guide explores each choice in depth to assist you in removing small amounts of mold more effectively.
Vinegar is much more effective than bleach at destroying the mold. After applying bleach, “a background amount of mold spores will usually remain.” According to ServiceMaster, “Bleach only destroys surface mold, not the membrane underneath.” That means the mold will return,” says the expert.
Mold is an unsightly and potentially toxic substance that no one wants to find in their house. Mold can cause significant property damage and severe health problems for those exposed to it. Mold wreaks havoc on structures by feeding on traditional building materials such as wood and drywall. Mold feeds on cellulose, which is an organic material used in these construction materials. These materials become weakened as the mold eats away at them, increasing the possibility of structural damage. Mold can also spread to new areas as its spores are dispersed.
When it comes to mold, property harm is a significant concern, but the potential health consequences are much more concerning. In some instances, exposure to mold spores may cause adverse health effects such as allergic reactions, asthma, and lung infections. The longer you and your family are exposed to mold, the more likely you and your family will develop health problems, which will worsen unless the mold is removed. Mold removal should be done as soon as possible to protect your health and minimize property harm.
Cleaning mold with bleach
Bleach, according to popular belief, kills mold growth. However, this is a fallacy because bleach only destroys mold on the surface and has no effect on the membrane underneath it. To effectively eliminate the mold growth and prevent it from returning, you must destroy and remove the underlying membrane. Since its chemical composition prevents it from penetrating porous surfaces, bleach cleaners cannot destroy this membrane. As a result, the mold membranes travel deeper into the affected surface to avoid being bleached. Bleach can only be used to get rid of small quantities of mold on non-porous surfaces.
Another issue with bleach is that it will potentially accelerate the growth of mold. When mold colonies are exposed to bleach, the mold perceives it as a hazard and responds. When exposed to bleach, mold may use it as a food source, causing it to grow back faster and more robust. Even the Environmental Protection Agency warns against using bleach to remove mold.
Cleaning mold with vinegar
Mold can be killed with white distilled vinegar in small quantities. It can destroy over 80% of common mold species in your home, and since it’s a mild acid, it can both prevent and eliminate mold. When cleaning mold with vinegar, make sure to follow these steps:
- Wear protective clothing, such as gloves and a mask, to avoid being exposed to the mold.
- Do not dilute the vinegar before putting it in a spray bottle. The vinegar’s potency will be reduced if it is diluted.
- Spray the moldy areas and set them aside for an hour to allow the mold to absorb the vinegar fully.
- Scrub the mold with a baking soda solution if necessary. In a spray bottle, combine 2 cups of water and 1 teaspoon baking soda and shake well.
- Scrub the moldy region with a scrubbing brush or scouring pad after spraying the baking soda mixture on it. Secure yourself from physical contact by wearing protective gloves.
- Rinse the area with clean, warm water.
- To ensure that all of the molds have been destroyed, spray the area with vinegar again and let it dry naturally.
Does vinegar kill on mold?
On porous and non-porous surfaces, it can also destroy 82 percent of mold species, including black mold. Spray the moldy surface with vinegar and let it sit for an hour. Finally, clean the area with water and allow it to air dry. Within a few hours, any vinegar odor should be gone.
How do you kill mold on wood naturally?
Mold and mildew are natural byproducts of a humid climate, but that doesn’t mean you want to live with the spores in your home. There are natural ways to destroy mold at home that won’t harm your family, pets, or the environment, rather than using harsh chemicals like bleach or borax.
Though you can dilute the vinegar with water to mask the odor, vinegar works best as a mold-killer for wood when sprayed directly onto the infected area from a bottle. Allow for a few hours of drying time before scrubbing the mold with a brush. If the vinegar smell bothers you, apply a few drops of essential oil, but otherwise, know that when you return from running errands or going to the store, the strong scent will be gone.
Tea Tree oil solution
Tea tree oil is more expensive than specific other eco-friendly treatments, but two teaspoons of tea tree oil combined with two cups of water will last a long time. Do not rinse the solvent after spraying it on the mold spores. Tea tree oil has a heavy odor that will fade after a few days.
Citrus Seed extract and water
Citrus seed extract (such as grapefruit) has no odor, unlike vinegar and tea tree oil. 20 drops of extract diluted in 2 cups of water, mixed in a spray bottle, and sprayed on the mold. Do not scrub as you can for the other remedies.
Spray the moldy surface with three percent hydrogen peroxide from a bottle and keep it on for about ten minutes. Scrub clean, then wipe away any remaining mold spores with a damp cloth. You may also combine hydrogen peroxide and vinegar in a bottle and store it in a dark place (as light breaks down the hydrogen peroxide potency).
When combined with vinegar and water or used alone with water, baking soda is an efficient natural mold remover. Spray baking soda onto the surface after dissolving it in water or a water-and-vinegar solution. Allow it to sit for a few minutes before scrubbing and wiping it down with a damp cloth. Baking soda is a mild natural disinfectant, so this solution can help clean mold off wood without leaving a lingering odor.
What stops mold on wood?
Mold and mildew commonly develop on wood surfaces due to insufficient ventilation. In humid conditions, mold occurs as black or greenish-brown stains on surfaces. Mildew is a term that refers to mold fungi as well as their discoloration of unfinished wood. Mold fungi spores can cause allergies and other health problems in addition to their unsightly appearance.
Remove mildew from wood surfaces by washing it with one part household bleach to four parts water after resolving the humidity issue. This eliminates the majority of the surface mold spores while also rejuvenating the wood’s appearance. After washing, thoroughly rinse with fresh water and make sure the area is arid.