How To Remove Mildew From Outdoor Wood Furniture: 5 Steps

Having a good piece of furniture outside your house with mildew on it is unsightly. If you’re curious about how to remove mildew from outdoor wood furniture, you’re in the right place. 

In this article, you will learn what mildew is, if it’s harmful, a step-by-step procedure to guide you on removing mildew, and some tips that may also help as prevention. Continue reading to know more.

how to remove mildew from outdoor wood furniture


What Is Mildew?

Mildew is a fungus that appears white to gray on furniture surfaces. It can also grow on plants, papers, and clothes, as long as the environment is warm and damp.

Mildew and mold are often used interchangeably due to their almost similar characteristics. They are related to each other but also aren’t the same. 

Mildews are relatively milder compared to molds, and they wouldn’t immediately cause damage to your health or your things. However, give it time to grow, then it’ll most likely affect you and your family’s health while also leaving unsightly traces on your belongings.

It is harder to find places with mildew in your home if you don’t look closely enough, but the smell can indicate something. Mildew smells musty and earthy; it is milder than rotting wood or wet socks.

If you smell this in your place, then probably somewhere there grows mildew or even mold. If you are curious, you can also see this article to know what does house mold smell like in comparison to mildew.


Is mildew harmful?

The potential dangers caused by mildews are less compared to mold. Extended exposure to untreated mildew can still cause symptoms such as a stuffy nose, coughs, sore throat, and headache.

Those symptoms mentioned above are far more manageable than those that can be caused by mold. Still, the symptoms can be far worse for sensitive people such as a baby or a toddler, children, the elderly, and people with respiratory problems.

It’s always best to eliminate mildew upon sighting to preserve you and your family’s health. This is also best for your belongings because even if the mildew doesn’t penetrate it and only grows on the outside layers, it can still leave a mark.


Mildew Removal From Outdoor Wood Furniture

Who would want to have their furniture infested with mold? It doesn’t only look unsightly, but also the smell can make you feel uncomfortable.

The good thing is that it’s easier to remove because it only grows on the surface, unlike molds. Follow the steps indicated below to have an easier task of removing molds on your outdoor wooden furniture:


Step #1. Protect yourself

Before starting to clean your mold, make sure to wear some protective equipment. See this article about what to wear so you can prepare before beginning.


Step #2. Inspection

Identify the affected areas so that you can put away unnecessary items on the way that mildew can infect too.


Step #3. Preparation

If the mildew only affects a small area, you can start by brushing away the mildew from the furniture as much as you can. You can also use vacuum cleaners; make sure to dispose of the bag used in your vacuum correctly.

If the mildew has grown too much, you can use garden hoses to rinse the furniture first, then clear excess dirt using a sponge. Let this dry first before continuing.


Step #4. Choosing the solution to use

Proceed with choosing the most effective item. You can use different solutions such as the household detergent with water, diluted vinegar, and baking soda with detergent solution.

Whatever you choose from the above choices, after direct application of the solution to the affected area, make sure to scrub it and leave it aside for a few minutes to an hour before rinsing with water. Allow it to dry thoroughly.


Step #5. Sanding

If some mildew deposits remain, you could deal with them by sanding them off. Make sure to use a sheet of light-grit sandpaper.

Finally, wash it with water and leave it to dry under the sun.

If the smell stays even after cleaning, here are some pro tips to help you get rid of musty smells in your home.


Tips For Preventing Mildew Growth

Moisture control is the solution to stop mildew from growing and taking root; that is something you would want to note. However, the following is a bit of more detailed advice you can follow easily:

  1. Keep your wood furniture clean and dry.
  2. If you’re going to paint your furniture, then pick mildew-resistant ones.
  3. Use some suitable sealant for your wood furniture.
  4. Dust and regularly disinfect, especially after it rains. 
  5. Use CLR to prevent the growth of mildew and even mold. See this article about where to buy CLR mold and mildew remover to know more.
  6. Always inspect your furniture; once signs of mildew growth are showing, immediately take action.



It would be a shame to let mildew growths taint an excellent piece of wooden furniture. Not only harmful in the long run, but it can even spread to other furnishings outside and inside your house through spores carried by the wind. 

Worries aside, with the five steps explained earlier, you would know how to remove mildew from outdoor wood furniture easily. Remember to immediately take action upon seeing mildew growths to prevent it from affecting other good furniture.

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