If there is one thing in Bermuda that we all battle with its mould and mildew. Due to our humid climate and the general dampness of winters, especially in older houses, our belongings can be barraged with mould before we know it.

This can be a tremendous problem on wood furnishings. With so much wood inside the house, either flooring, windows & doors or just plain ole furniture and trinkets, it is vital to take up arms and ensure you win the battle on mould and mildew.

Battling the Mold:
Mold spores are everywhere. They float through the air, inside and out, undetected by us all, until they start growing. Given the right conditions, in the presence of moisture, they begin to grow mold.

It can be devastating to discover your cherished furniture speckled with mold spots. Even more devastating is working hard to clean the mold off only to realize your chosen cleaning method damaged the wood.

Take precautions with your methods of cleaning mold in order to protect the integrity of the furniture. Learn how to remove mold from wood furniture properly.

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Battle the Mildew:
To remove mildew from wood cabinets, paneling, or furniture, vacuum the loose spores with the soft brush attachment. Then clean small areas using a well-wrung cloth dipped in a few squirts of dishwashing detergent and a gallon of water. Rinse with a clean water-dampened cloth and dry immediately with a fan. (Don’t oversaturate the wood; it could warp and damage the finish.)

If a cloudy film forms, wipe the area with mineral spirits. This is wax buildup, and needs to be cleaned, else the mold will reappear. Follow up with a thin layer of paste wax as you have stripped your furniture of its protective wax cover and to restore the shine.

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Battle the Odour:
Odour can usually be detected all over but the actual growth is usually on the inside and underside of furnishings. One method for elimination of this problem is to wipe down the interior, bottoms or other unfinished areas with a mild solution of chlorine bleach in water. The chlorine bleach should be used at a rate of 1 tablespoon to a quart of water. Remember not to drip the bleach on any of the finished wood surfaces. Wipe only a small area at a time.

The finished areas should be cleaned with a wood cleaner and then the finished wood item should be left in direct sunlight to dry. You should only leave it in the sunlight for a few hours at the most. Sunlight can be a natural oxidizer and will have a positive effect on killing the source of the mold/mildew odor.

Pro Tip: To reduce moisture — and prevent mold buildup — install a dehumidifier in your home.

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While it’s always nice to complete your own DIY sometimes it can be more harmful than good. When it comes to grandma’s antique rocker consider bringing it in to the professionals. When excessive mildew has occurred on valuable antique furniture it’s always better to consult with professional refinishers and cleaners.

Together we can win the war on mould and mildew and help you have a home that will shine.

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