How to Remove Mildew Stains From Wood Tables

Written by chris anzalone
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Wood surfaces are highly susceptible to the effects of mildew contamination. If you allow moisture to remain on the surface of your wood, you may find yourself with an active mildew problem after the moisture comes into contact the with the microscopic mould spores travelling through the air. If your this occurs on a wood table, you should have an easier time neutralising the mildew than you would if it appeared on a larger, less-mobile object like a fence or deck, but you must still take steps to remove the problem immediately.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Broom
  • Chlorine bleach
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Sponge
  • Space heater
  • Mild alkali cleaner
  • Rubber gloves
  • Protective goggles

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  1. 1

    Place your wood table outside in direct sunlight, if active mildew still remains. Allow a couple of hours for the entire surface to dry, and then use a broom to wipe away any powdered residue left behind.

  2. 2

    Combine three parts water with one part chlorine bleach or hydrogen peroxide. Apply the solution to a soft sponge or cloth, and scrub the mildew stains that appear on your wood table. Allow the bleach to set on the surface for at least 15 minutes and then rinse with warm water.

  3. 3

    Dry your table in direct sunlight. Complete moisture removal is essential, as mildew can reactivate when exposed to prolonged damp conditions. If you do not have any sunlight available, use a heating source, like a blow dryer, dehumidifier or space heater.

  4. 4

    Apply a mild alkali cleaner if bleach fails to remove your stains completely. A report from the University of Missouri Extension recommends using washing soda or trisodium phosphate, which you can purchase at paint stores and some grocery stores. Dilute your alkali by adding 8 to 10 tbsp to 1 gallon of water, and scrub using a soft sponge or cloth.

Tips and warnings

  • Perform this in a well-ventilated area.
  • Test the bleach or peroxide on an inconspicuous area first.
  • Always wear rubber gloves while cleaning mildew from tables and any other surfaces. While wiping the inactive mould spores from the table, you may also want to wear protective goggles.

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