How to clean mold from wood furniture

Updated February 21, 2017

Mold is a fungus that thrives on organic materials. Wood is just such a material, particularly if it has been exposed to water or high humidity. You can usually prevent mould from forming by regularly cleaning your furniture, and controlling the temperature and moisture in your house. But if mould should form on your wooden furniture, clean it as soon as possible. Mold can typically be removed from furniture with a few easy steps.

Prepare a cleaning solution consisting of one part mild detergent and four parts water.

Apply the solution to the wood furniture with a rag or sponge.

Wipe away the solution with a rag that has been submerged in water.

Allow the wood's surface to dry. Unless the wood was submerged or exposed to water for an extended period of time, the piece of furniture should dry within an hour or two. You can speed up the drying process by aiming a fan at the furniture, or by placing it outdoors in direct sunlight.

Prepare a solution of chlorine bleach and water if the mould has grown into the surface of the wood. Mix one part bleach with five parts water. Do not use this solution on finished wood.

Test the chlorine solution on a small part of the bottom or back side of the furniture. Wait five minutes. Do not use this solution on the rest of the furniture if the spot test causes the wood to change colour. If there are no adverse effects, scrub the chlorine solution into the wood. Rub with force to remove the mould's roots. Run a wet rag over the wood surface to remove mould and excess cleaning solution. Allow the wood to dry.

Clean the furniture with a wood cleaner to disinfect and root out any remaining mould. Wood cleaner will remove a wood's protective wax cover, so replace it by dipping a clean cloth into a can of paste wax and rubbing the wax into the wood's surface. Buff the area with another clean cloth.

Place the furniture outside in direct sunlight to dry.


Begin the cleaning process on wood furniture as soon as you notice the mould. Another sign of mould formation is a musty odour.


Wear rubber gloves when scrubbing mould. Eye goggles and a painter's mask are also a good idea for extensive mould growth. For severe mould growth, it's possible the piece of furniture may have to be discarded.

Things You'll Need

  • Detergent
  • Rag
  • Sponge
  • Chlorine bleach
  • Wood cleaner
  • Paste wax
  • Fan
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About the Author

John Smith is a writer with over 30 years experience. He has worked at a newspaper, various magazines and websites, and he has interests in a wide range of subjects including sports, politics and entertainment. Smith earned a bachelor's degree in history from the College of New Jersey.