Mold spores are everywhere. Uninvited guests, these smallest spores fly into our house, and we notice them only when they begin to germinate. Mold prefers warm and humid places. You are unlikely to be happy if one day you see that your favorite furniture is covered with mold spots. Prepare to move the furniture to a place where mold will not spread further, and vacuum it to remove any lingering spores. Then, remove small stains with sunlight, cheap vodka, and dishwashing detergent. Stubborn stains can be removed with bleach or sandpaper.
Part 1 of 3: Preparing to clean furniture
Step 1. Put on rubber gloves, goggles and a respirator
Mold spores are a health hazard, especially if they enter your lungs. To prevent this from happening, you should always use a respirator, rubber gloves, and sealed goggles when working with mold.
- Since mold spores are very harmful to your lungs, you will need an N95 respirator, which can be purchased at a hardware store.
- If you are allergic or sensitive to mold spores, try to cover your skin as much as possible. In this case, wear a long-sleeved shirt and overalls.
Step 2. To prevent mold spores from spreading throughout your home, clean your furniture outdoors
If you do not have this opportunity, you can clean the furniture inside the house, but in this case, open the windows before starting work. During the cleaning process, mold spores can get onto other objects. To prevent this from happening, clean the furniture outside.
- When you take your piece of furniture outside, wrap it in one or more garbage bags and secure them with tape. In this case, mold spores will not scatter around the house.
- Many cleaning products, such as bleach, give off harmful vapors, so if you have to clean furniture inside your home, do it in a well-ventilated area.
Step 3. Vacuum mold-affected furniture
A vacuum cleaner with a suitable nozzle and a HEPA filter will remove mold spores, dust and dirt from furniture. Sweep the vacuum cleaner slowly over moldy areas several times.
Take out a dustbag outside and put it in a plastic trash bag. Tie the bag tightly and discard in a waste container
Part 2 of 3: Removing Small Mold Spots
Step 1. Remove small mildew spots with sunlight
Very small mildew stains and musty odors can be removed by simply exposing the furniture to the sun. Place furniture outside in the early morning after the dew has evaporated (if any). Bring furniture back into your home before sunset. Repeat this for another day or two if necessary.
- Even if mildew stains are minor and easy to remove, still wear gloves, a respirator, and safety goggles. A small amount of mold also produces harmful spores.
- Mold loves moisture. If your home is very humid, move the furniture to a small room and turn on a dehumidifier to achieve similar results to sunlight exposure.
- To help sunlight kill mold better, mix 1: 1 water and white vinegar and lightly spray furniture with this solution in the morning when you put it outside.
Step 2. Spray the mold stains with vodka
If minor mold stains cannot be removed with sunlight, they can be sprayed with cheap vodka from a spray bottle. Pour vodka into a spray bottle and spray all over the furniture. For best results, allow furniture to air dry in direct sunlight.
If the surface of the furniture is painted or varnished, mold is unlikely to penetrate into the wood. In this case, you can use a mild cleaning agent
Step 3. Wipe stubborn mildew stains with a soft bristle brush and dish soap
If mold remains after exposure to sunlight and vodka, try removing it with a mild detergent. Pour warm water into the bucket, add dishwashing detergent, dampen a soft brush in the solution, and lightly rub the moldy areas in a circular motion.
- After cleaning, wipe the surface with a damp towel. If no mold remains on the furniture, wipe it down again with a dry cloth. If the mold persists, repeat the process.
- Before cleaning, try wiping down an inconspicuous area of the furniture. Some brushes can damage the surface finish.
Step 4. If dishwashing detergent doesn't work, try using distilled vinegar
Distilled white vinegar (9%) is good at killing mold. If the detergent is too weak, pour vinegar into a spray bottle and sprinkle it thoroughly on the furniture. Wait about one hour, then wipe the surface with a damp cloth.
Reapply the vinegar if necessary. When the mold has disappeared, wipe the surface thoroughly with a dry cloth
Part 3 of 3: Removing stubborn mold
Step 1. Prepare a bleach solution to remove stubborn mold stains
Mix a household detergent, such as dish soap, bleach, and water, in a bucket. Take a quarter cup (60 milliliters) of detergent, 2½ cups (600 milliliters) of bleach, and 5 cups (1, 2 liters) of water. Stir the liquid to dissolve the ingredients properly.
- The bleach will remove mold from the wood surface. To remove any mold that has infiltrated the wood, a surfactant such as a detergent is required.
- Bleach can lighten or completely bleach dyed fabric or carpet. Be careful when handling bleach and consider putting on unwanted clothing that you can then discard.
Step 2. Apply a bleach solution to the furniture
Dip a stiff-bristled brush or hand-washing sponge into the solution and wipe the surface in a circular motion (apply moderate pressure). After you've completely wiped the furniture, let it air dry. Wipe the surface with the solution again if necessary.
- It is best to take the furniture outside, wipe it down with the bleach solution as described above, and then let it dry in the sun.
- A stiff bristled brush can damage the varnish on wood furniture. If this happens, the wood will have to be varnished again.
- If the bleach does not completely remove the mold, it is likely that it has penetrated too deep into the wood and the detergent alone is not enough.
Step 3. Sand the remaining mold with sandpaper
Lightly scrub the moldy areas with fine-grained (120-220) sandpaper. Do this while the wood is still damp to prevent mold spores from scattering around. Then wipe the sanded surface with the bleach solution and let the furniture air dry.
Even light sanding will damage the varnish and will have to be reapplied after all the mold has disappeared
- Mold spores are harmful to humans. When cleaning furniture from mold, be sure to wear gloves, sealed goggles and a respirator mask.
- If the mold has penetrated too deep, you may not be able to remove it. In this case, you will have to discard the damaged furniture.