How to clean mould and mildew from wood furniture

Mould and mildew are fungi that thrive and grow on any surface that's damp and warm. When wood furniture is exposed to these conditions - whether it's outdoor furniture or furniture in storage - mould and mildew can form and quickly spread. Thorough removal of mould and mildew from your wood furniture's surface will ensure the fungus doesn't continue to spread deeper into the wood.

For cleanliness, either move your wood furniture outdoors, or place a plastic dust sheet underneath. Wear rubber gloves to protect your skin from irritating chemicals. Mix the TSP in a bucket of warm water and stir the solution around with your gloved hand.

Dip a soft-bristled scrub brush into the phosphate solution and scrub the wood furniture. Pay special attention to areas where mould and mildew formation is very heavy. Dunk the scrub brush into the phosphate solution frequently, and continue to scrub.

Rinse your wood furniture with cool water. Hose it down, if possible, or wipe thoroughly with a clean towel rinsed in cool water. Dry the surface of your wood furniture with a clean towel.

Pour undiluted white vinegar into a spray bottle. Spray the entire surface of your wood furniture with the white vinegar. Vinegar is a natural mould and mildew killer and is safe for any type of surface, including your wood furniture.

Set your wood furniture in the sunlight for several hours so it can dry completely. The vinegar does not need to be rinsed off. The sunlight (another natural mould and mildew killer) will work with the vinegar to kill any tiny mould or mildew spores that remain.


Store wood furniture in a clean, dry, climate-controlled location. Wipe down outdoor wood furniture with an old towel to prevent the growth of mould and mildew.


Supervise children and pets when cleaning with trisodium phosphate.

Things You'll Need

  • Plastic dust sheet (optional)
  • Rubber gloves
  • Bucket
  • Eight tablespoons (1/2 cup) trisodium phosphate (TSP)
  • Soft-bristled scrub brush
  • Towels
  • Spray bottle
  • White vinegar
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About the Author

Mary Ylisela is a former teacher with a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education and mathematics. She has been a writer since 1996, specializing in business, fitness and education. Prior to teaching, Ylisela worked as a certified fitness instructor and a small-business owner.