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Best Techniques to Remove Mold from Your Outdoor Furniture

Wood furniture offers a stunning and natural touch to your outdoor space, but it’s susceptible to the hazards of an open natural environment. Mold is a common problem on patios and decks, as these areas are exposed to dew, humidity, and rain. Mold and mildew can create unsightly stains on your wood furniture and decrease its life span. It’s crucial to know how to properly maintain and care for your wooden outdoor furniture to prolong its life and retain its beauty.

Why Does Mold Grow on Outdoor Furniture?

Mold needs moisture to grow, which is readily available in most outdoor environments in the form of humidity and precipitation. Combine this with a nice shady spot and a sprinkling of organic material, and you have the perfect recipe for mold growth on your outdoor furniture. In warm temperatures and high humidity, fungus can start to take root in just 24 hours.

Wood furniture, such as that made from teak, is especially susceptible to mold and mildew when it’s not properly maintained. Due to its porous nature, the wood can absorb and hold onto moisture long after the morning dew evaporates or the rainstorm has passed. This creates favorable conditions for mold or mildew colonies to thrive.

The Impact of Mold on Wooden Furniture

Mold growth creates an unsightly mess on outdoor furniture. Mildew is a particular type of mold that tends to grow on the flat, smooth surfaces of furniture. Mildew begins as a white powdery or downy substance that progresses into a yellow, brown, or black growth that gradually spreads over the surface of your outdoor items. Mold is more common on cushions and other fabrics, such as the underside of patio umbrellas. It’s fuzzy in appearance and may be green, yellow, gray, brown, white, or black.

Both mold and mildew give off a musty odor that creates an unpleasant ambiance in your gathering space. Worse, these unsightly growths can cause serious health issues, including migraine headaches and respiratory problems.

As mold and mildew infiltrate the wood, they can damage the structural integrity of your furniture. Wooden items that suffer this type of growth will typically have a shorter life span than properly maintained pieces.

Safety Precautions Before Beginning Mold Removal

Mold spores are hazardous to your health, so taking the proper precautions before you start working with this substance is important. You should take care to protect your eyes, nose, mouth, and skin. Wear protective gear, including rubber gloves, masks, and eyewear, when you’re cleaning moldy furniture. Choose goggles without ventilation holes so the mold can’t get into your eyes, and wear an N95 or HEPA mask to prevent inhalation of mold spores. Make sure that the clothing that you wear is easy to clean.

Always work in a well-ventilated environment when you’re dealing with mold. Don’t take your furniture into a garage, basement, or other enclosed space, as the mold may take root there. If you must work in an enclosed space, keep windows and doors open, and use a fan or dehumidifier to remove moisture.

Best Techniques for Removing Mold from Wooden Outdoor Furniture

If mold and mildew have taken up residence on your wooden outdoor furniture, it’s important to tackle these growths as soon as possible. There are several cleaning methods that can help eradicate mold. Remember never to mix commercial cleaning products, as their ingredients may dangerously react with each other. You should never use bleach and ammonia together, for example, as doing so will create toxic vapors.

Dish Detergent and Borax

One effective cleaning solution for minor mold growth is a blend of dishwashing detergent, baking soda, borax, and hot water. Stir these ingredients together until they’ve completely dissolved in the water, then apply to moldy furniture using a scrub brush. Work in a circular motion to remove the mold from wood surfaces.

Borax is hazardous for pets and children, so take care to keep this cleaning solution well out of their reach. Make sure that your workspace is secured from small hands or paws to keep everyone safe.

Bleach and Lemon Juice

Dilute 1/2 cup of bleach in a gallon of water. Wipe down your furniture with this solution to kill visible mold and remove stains from the surface of your furniture. Next, combine lemon juice and salt to make an abrasive scrub that will more thoroughly eradicate the deeper mold and mildew growth hiding in the wood.

Homemade Ammonia Cleanser

You can make a homemade ammonia cleanser with ammonia, distilled white vinegar, baking soda, and water. Shake this blend up in a spray bottle, and spray liberally on the affected surface. Once you’ve saturated the stain, you can scrub the mold away. If you’re dealing with some particularly problematic spots, you can spot them with hydrogen peroxide.

Preventing Future Mold Growth

Though you can take steps to remove mold growth from your wooden outdoor furniture, you may not be able to fully reverse the effects of this growth. The best strategy is always to prevent mold and mildew growth to begin with. These tactics can help stop mold from growing on your furniture.

  • Cover your furniture when not in use.
  • Store your furniture indoors if you won’t use it for a prolonged period. Make sure that every piece is completely dry before you put it away.
  • Keep furniture in a sunny spot.
  • Dust your outdoor furniture frequently. Mold feeds on dust, so removing it regularly will help eliminate its food source.
  • Pick up cushions when you’re not using your outdoor furniture so they can’t trap moisture against your furniture.
  • Immediately towel off your furniture if it gets wet. Place it in a sunny place to thoroughly dry.
  • Treat your wood furniture with a protectant to prevent mold growth.

Schedule Regular Maintenance for Outdoor Furniture

Though mold is a common problem for outdoor furniture, it can be effectively managed and prevented with regular care. If you need help maintaining or restoring your outdoor wood furniture in the Los Angeles area, contact the experts at Teak Master for skilled services.

Bring Life Back to Your Wood Investment