You’ve invited all the neighbors round. You have the grill going and some pretty tasty food and drink lined up for them all. You’ve arranged all of your wooden outdoor furniture in a very ‘Better Homes and Gardens’ set up and it’s beginning to look like a bit of a magazine shoot in general. Great. Right up until Aunt Gert points out (in a loud voice) that the chair she was going to sit on has mould in the corners. Yuck.
Outdoor wooden furniture is beautiful and durable but yes, it is prone to mould. Given the fact that it is asked to sit out for a season (or more) in conditions that are likely to vary between hot sticky and humid and then wet when those summer rain showers hit this should hardly come as a surprise. these are just the kinds of conditions mould thrives in best and it is very fond of wood as a ‘base of operations’ as well.
If you do discover that your wooden outdoor furniture has developed mould it isn’t a death sentence for it though. Here’s a relatively easy and rather effective way to deal with the problem without ruining your furniture.
What You’ll Need
Dish soap or detergent
Soft scrub brush
How It’s Done
Before you begin make sure the furniture to be worked on is as dry and dust free as possible. Use the scrub brush to get rid of as much ‘loose stuff’ as possible but do so gently to avoid scratching the wood.
As bleach is not very friendly to plants, move your ‘workspace’ to a spot where they (and kids and pets) are not. The driveway would be a good choice.
During the dry scrub process the chances are that a lot of the mould spores will have been displaced already. To make sure that they stay gone rinse down your furniture with the garden hose.
Next, fill your spray bottle with a mixture of bleach, water and soap in the following concentration; 10 % bleach and 90% water with several drops of gentle soap. If you prefer not to use bleach, rubbing alcohol can be substituted for it however, rubbing alcohol and water should be mixed 50/50 before adding the soap.
Spray the entire piece with the solution, paying extra attention to the underside, as that is where mould really likes to lurk. Make sure that every inch has a thin layer of the mixture covering it but don’t oversoak.
Scrub the piece gently with the soft scrub brush again. Work slowly in a gentle circular movement until you have been over the entire surface and underside of the piece. Rinse the whole thing again with the hose and check to make sure that all of the mould has been removed. Let the furniture dry naturally before replacing it in its spot.
It should be noted that this method is good for the kind of hardy patio furniture you might buy in Walmart. If yours is actually Granny’s antique teak then you may not want to take any risks and opt to have a professional take a look instead, especially if the mould is extensive as it may have already penetrated the wood more deeply.