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Seeing mold on your treasured wooden furniture might send you into a panic. Fortunately, there are ways to safely remove these unpleasant fungal spores. But first, it’s important to understand how your furniture grew mold in the first place.
Mold will grow on wooden furniture in a room with excess humidity or moisture. There might be a few reasons for this atmospheric imbalance, including:
- poor insulation,
- poor ventilation, or
- a very humid climate.
The mold’s exact location on your furniture will help you find the root of the problem. For example, if the mold is growing on the back of your furniture, the culprit is probably poor insulation. If the mold is growing on a piece that’s in the centre of a room, humidity or inadequate ventilation might be the cause.
Here are a few ways to prevent mold from growing in the first place.
Tips to Prevent Mold
By implementing the following measures, mold won’t appear on or return to your furniture anytime soon.
- Use a HEPA filter in your furnace and AC to capture any mold spores.
- It’s worth looking at your region’s humidity levels. Mississauga, for example, remains relatively humid all year, with levels hovering at 78% throughout the middle months and peaking at 83% by year-end. So if you own quality, handcrafted wood furniture in Mississauga, you’ll want to keep it sharp. If the humidity in your home is over 70%, a dehumidifier during warm, humid months may help, as will turning on your AC more regularly.
- If you live in a cooler climate, consider running your bathroom fan and turning up the heat throughout the day.
- If the cause is poor insulation and you’re able to do so, consider getting your walls insulated. Some government environmental subsidies might be able to help you with the costs.
If prevention doesn’t work, or you’ve already spotted mold on your wood furniture, here are some tips to eliminate it.
How to Remove Mold from Wooden Furniture
If the moldy area is less than 10 square feet, it’s safe for you to tackle the project yourself, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Here’s how.
1. Protect Yourself
Wear protective goggles and gloves, cover your arms, and use an N-95 mask.
2. Gently Vacuum
With a soft attachment and a HEPA filter installed on your vacuum, gently pass over the area. Vacuum the floor around the furniture, too. If you’re cleaning your dining table for mold, be sure to vacuum your dining room chairs as mold spores can transfer.
With each of the following suggestions, do a test run on an inconspicuous area first to ensure the wood or its finish doesn’t react badly to the treatment.
- Dish Soap: If you caught the mold in good time, a squirt of dish soap into a spray bottle with warm water should do the trick. Using a soft cloth, gently wipe the moldy area in the direction of the grain. Buff the wood again with a soft, dry cloth.
- Rubbing Alcohol: Using a 1:1 ratio of water and rubbing alcohol, first, clean the area with soap and water (as above), once the piece is dry, gently buff the area using the rubbing alcohol mix, and always following the wood grain.
- Vinegar: Vinegar is commonly used to clean wood furniture. If you suspect the mold is quite advanced, mix three tablespoons of white vinegar with a cup of water. Lightly soak a soft cloth and gently rub at the moldy area, going over the area again with a cloth dampened with water afterward.
The Bottom Line
Mold is never welcome. By taking some preventative measures, you can keep it at bay. And if it does appear, tackle it in good time, and you’ll be all set moving forward.