Remove Mildew From Wood

Mildew is a serious problem that needs to be taken care of as soon as you notice the problem, luckily there are many great ways to remove mildew from wood. Although there are a number of great solutions for removing the mildew from wood, you need to be very careful and follow the safety precautions offered.

Mildew on wood

Taking the Steps To Remove Mildew From Wood

The household items you will need to remove mildew from wood:

  • Face mask
  • Vacuum Cleaner with a HEPA filter
  • Rubber gloves
  • Liquid dish soap
  • Soft bristled brush
  • Vinegar (optional)
  • Bleach (optional)

There are many ways to remove mildew from wood, but it is important to pay close attention to the type of wood your are trying to remove the mildew from and the personal safety as you begin the removal process. Mildew is also very dangerous. It can cause serious health complications if breathed in for even a short amount of time. Prolonged exposure to mold and mildew can cause even greater risk of long term serious health complications. For information on health risks you can visit the web and read up on your facts. It is for this reason that mold and mildew need to be removed from your home as quickly as possible.

Mildew and mold can begin to grow quickly after wood and other porous surfaces get wet. In fact FEMA states that mold and mildew can begin to grow 24 to 48 hours after moisture is introduced. It is important to remove any moisture or water in the area if at all possible. If the wood that you are trying to remove the stain from is in a damp place or maybe at camp there is not much you can do about removing the source of moisture, but you can learn how to remove mildew from wood. 

  1. When you begin the process of removing mildew from wood you need to start with personal safety. If you are using just the liquid dish soap and/or vinegar you can choose to opt out of wearing the rubber gloves and safety glasses, but it is very important to wear the safety face mask when dealing with mold and mildew.
  2. After your person safety has been handled you can begin to remove and wipe away any of the mildew and mold spores with the vacuum cleaner. It is very important that you use a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter to ensure that the mold and mildew spores are not airborne as you begin to suck them up with the vacuums. For this step you simply need to gently vacuum the surface of the wood to ensure all of the spores have been removed. Once you are done vacuuming it is important that you empty the container and filter into a plastic garbage bag outside of your home.   
  3. Next, you will need to take a look at what type of wood you are cleaning. If you are cleaning finished wood (painted or stained) you can use the simple soapy water method to remove the mildew. All you need to do is add liquid dish soap to warm water and begin to gently scrub the wood with the soft bristled brush. Remember to gently rub the wood, as to not damage the finish of the wood. Once you believe the mildew has been removed you can rinse the wood with warm water and dry the wood off with a clean towel.
  4. If you were unable to remove mildew from wood with the liquid dish soap and you can choose to use white distilled vinegar to help you kill the mold or mildew spore. Vinegar is a wonderful green solution to help fight mold and mildew in your home. You can learn about more ways to use vinegar at 
  5. For this step you simply need to pour the white distilled vinegar into a spray bottle and spray the affected area. You will then need to let the vinegar sit on the wood for about 1 hour. The vinegar is mild enough to help  fight the stain without harming the finish. Once you have waited the hour you should wipe the wood down with a damp towel. If mold remains you can treat the wood with diluted bleach, but this should be a last resort as bleach is a harsh chemical that could harm the surface of the wood or even the wood itself. 

How To Remove Mildew From Wood If The Wood Is Raw

Things you will need before removing mildew from wood:

  • Bleach 
  • Water
  • Liquid dish soap
  • Hard bristled brush
  • sandpaper (Optional)

You can use a bleach solution on finished wood, but it is not recommended. However, a stronger bleach solution will need to be used if you are tying to remove mildew from wood that is unfinished. If the wood is unfinished it is more than likely that the mildew has penetrated the wood since wood is a porous surface. It is for this reason necessary to use the stronger bleach solution to treat the mildew. 

  1. To begin you will need to mix the liquid dish soap, water and bleach. The basic formula for this solution is 20 parts warm water, 1 part liquid dish soap, and 10 parts bleach, You will need to fight that urge to add more bleach if you are a person that really wants that mold gone. 
  2. Once you have the bleach solution you can use a spray bottle to spray the affected area or you can simply apply the solution with the hard bristled brush. You will need to then scrub the surface of the wood until you feel you have removed all of the mildew from the wood. Allow the solution to air dry. You can repeat this method to ensure you have removed the mildew completely, but if you are truly struggling to remove mildew from wood there is always one more option to try.
  3. If the wood you are trying to clean is raw, you can use sandpaper to remove any of the mildew that has penetrated the surface of the wood. For this method all you will need to do is sand the wood until the mildew stain is gone.