How to remove mold from Wood

Getting halfway through a woodworking project and finding mold growing is enough to figuratively and literally make you feel ill.  Luckily, if the mold has not been on the wood long enough to ruin the woods structural integrity, it can be fairly easily removed.

I have gathered some tips, and methods from several difference sources on how to save your woodworking projects and how to remove mold from your wood projects.

The first step before even trying to remove the mold is to fix whatever may be causing the mold in the first place.  If the place you have been storing your projects is damp or moist, you’ll either need to store them somewhere else, or fix the moisture problem wherever they are being stored first. 

When removing the mold or working with wood that has mold on it, be sure the area is well ventilated. 

Scrub away the surface mold with hot soapy water and a scrubber brush or Scotch-Brite pad.  You can also use a towel or rag if you are worried that the scrubbing may harm the wood. Remove as much of the mold as possible. 

Rinse the wood well.

Once most of the mold has been removed, there are several different solutions you can apply to the surface to kill the mold and help insure that it won’t come back. 

*Remember to use gloves and safety glasses to protect your skin and eyes from any bleach or alcohol mixture splashing up on your hands for face.

For Unfinished wood, recommends using a 50/50 Solution of water and rubbing alcohol instead of bleach.

They recommend a mix of nine parts water to 1 part bleach otherwise and recommend leaving the solution on for 12 hours, then rinsing and drying the wood very well.

Some other suggestions from other woodworkers have been to try putting it under glass or in a clear plastic bag and letting it sit in the sun or a dry, warm airing cupboard until it has dried out.  One woodworker suggested (if the wood pieces are small enough) putting the wood in the microwave or oven for a short time to dry them out and help kill the mold.

One Response to “How to remove mold from Wood”

  1. Wes says:

    Sometimes you can scrub and scrub and are still left with a mold stain where the mold spores had attached themselves to your wood project. A one-third ratio of borax, baking-soda and water mixed into a paste and applied to a mold stain will often take care of it. And, without fading away the natural colors of the wood like bleach will often do.

    Simply Apply paste; gently scrub it in; let sit for a bit; scrub a little more and rinse.

    Some mold stains may require some additional attention to get the stain to lift out of the wood (no biggie if you are painting – Frustrating like heck if you are applying a clear coat finish).

    I have found that removing the moldy stain by sanding with a fine to medium coarse sandpaper; generally works pretty well. Of course, this works best by ensuring that your wood project is completely dry before sanding. And as you said above, placing the affected mold under a piece of glass in direct sunlight works great to speed up the drying process.

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