Eliminating Black Mold on Wood: Does Vinegar Work?

Image of wood mold but Will Vinegar Kill Black Mold on Wood?Wood being a perfect absorbent of water, it’s prone to infestation by many mold types. One of these types is the black mold which contributes to the reduction of the wood’s durability. You’ll find many ways of dealing with the mold problem. But if you want an eco friendy and effective way of eliminating black mold on wood you may want to try using vinegar. But will vinegar kill black mold on wood?

Yes, it will. The most preferred one is the distilled white vinegar which can kill more than 80% of the mold species.

To achieve the best result, please combine equal portions of warm water and vinegar, then spray the solution on the affected area.

Why is Mold Growing on My Wood Furniture?

Mostly, mold will grow on your furniture due to excess humidity. Since wood is an organic material, it only requires oxygen which is always present in your room, and moisture may result from leakage or high humidity to form the mold.

How to Remove Mold From Wood

Did you know that using everyday household cleaners can eliminate the toxic black mold on an area not larger than ten square feet? Well, now you know. However, you should ensure some consistency since any delay will allow the mold colony to expand, and if you are exposed to such environments for a long time, it may affect your health.

Here are the steps you will require to kill the mold on your wood.

Step 1: Wear protective gear.

Like any other cleaning job, you’ll require to have some protective gear. It even becomes most important when dealing with mold since they are very dangerous to your health, especially when inhaled or ingested. 

The essential safety gears include a face mask covering your nose and mouth, goggles, and rubber gloves.

Step 2: Vacuum the area

Before you start cleaning off the mold, consider using a vacuum with a HEPA filtration system to suck up the loose mold spores on all areas of your wood that seem affected.

You can do this by vacuuming over the affected area. After this, please take the vacuum to an open space where you can freely dispose of the contents.

Also, ensure your vacuuming material has a tightly sealed plastic bag to prevent the spores from escaping.

Step 3: Clean off the mold

You might be lucky to completely kill the mold on your wood if it hasn’t penetrated deeply. But how can you do this using a simple cleaning solution of warm water and dishwashing soap? Here is how…

  • In a spray bottle filled with water, add a teaspoon of soap, then shake well until you’re sure of a uniform solution.
  • After getting the solution, use it to spray the affected area, then gently scrub the mold away with a soft-bristled brush. Also, don’t forget to sponge away any excess liquid as you clean.
  • Now you can completely dry the surface using a dry towel.

If you realize that the method is not adequate, consider using distilled water with vinegar. The reason is that the solution will kill more than 80% of the mold species.

  • Using this method is as easy as combining equal volumes of warm water and vinegar in a spray bottle then spraying it over the affected area.
  • After spraying, give the solution at least an hour to dry so you can wipe down the surface using a moistened cloth then with a dry towel.

However, if you realize that the mold persists, consider using the alkaline mineral salt cleaner, also known as Borax. The unique thing about this cleaner is that it’s safer than bleach.

  • If you want to use this solution, you’ll have to mix a cup of water with a tablespoon of Borax, then using a soft-bristled brush, gently rub the solution onto the affected areas of your wood.
  • Continue scrubbing away the mold to ensure the borax solution enters the wood grains, but don’t sponge up any excess solution. Doing this will allow the liquid to enter the wood, preventing any chances of future growth.
  • With the Borax still under the wood’s surface, run either a dehumidifier or a fan in the room to increase the drying time. 


Even though bleach is very effective in killing mold on nonporous surfaces, please don’t use it for killing mold on wood since it doesn’t work well on wood. The reason is that bleach contains chlorine which can’t penetrate wood, meaning that only the water present in the bleach penetrates the wood.

If you use bleach to kill molds, you’ll only see the effect on top of the wood, but underneath the wood will be some mold that will reappear within a few months.

Step 4: If necessary, sand the wood

Sanding your wood surface is the best way to remove the stubborn traces that may have remained under the surface after cleaning using the above solutions.

  • In this step, it would be great to use 100 grit sandpaper to sand the affected area gently. Also, ensure you don’t overdo the sanding process since you might affect the surrounding areas.
  • After this, repeat step two using a HEPA filter vacuum cleaner to remove any loosened mold spores or dust from the wood’s surface.


Even though the above steps might sound straightforward, you must not disturb a colony of toxic mold. The reason is that it may result in a release of harmful spores into the air, which poses a threat to your health and anyone around. 

The best solution to this is to seek a mold specialist. Even better, consider moving to alternate accommodation.

Here’s how to remove mold from wood:

How Long Does it Take Vinegar to Kill Mold?

The duration in which you’ll let the vinegar sit on your wood surface to kill the mold varies depending on the amount of mold on the surface. I recommend letting the vinegar settle on the surface for about 60 minutes before you wipe it off or scrub.

How Does Vinegar Kill Black Mold?

White vinegar is the most preferred vinegar type to kill black mold. The product is acidic. Hence, it helps deodorize, disinfect, and clean up to 82% of mold species. You can use the product on both porous and nonporous surfaces. 

If you use it safely, its offensive odor will go away in no time. But, of course, it would help if you had a spray bottle to pour the dilute white vinegar. Besides, don’t think of diluting the vinegar with water since it contains only 20% acetic acid. Thus water will make it less effective.

With undiluted vinegar in the spray bottle, spray it over the affected area and give it at least an hour to work effectively. After this, wipe off the area using clean water, then give it some time to dry completely. 

You should also note that any smell will clear off within a few hours.

Other Common Methods of Naturally Getting Rid of Mold

Even though using vinegar is one of the best ways of clearing mold on wood surfaces, some other natural ways may also work. 

Here are some of the ways that will prove effective in clearing mold.

  • Getting rid of mold with baking soda

You can also use baking soda for other purposes, such as clearing black mold apart from its everyday use to relieve heartburns and absorbing odors in fridges. Again, the product is safe for use since its less toxic, kills black mold, and absorbs moisture that might attract the mold.

The procedure includes adding at least a quarter a tablespoon of baking soda in a spray bottle with water, then shaking until you realize that it has completely dissolved. 

After this, spray the affected area with the solution, then scrub the surface with a soft scrub brush to remove the mold from the wood surface. After washing the surface, rinse it with clean water to remove the remaining baking powder and any other residue.

Finally, you’ll have to respray the area with the baking soda solution then allow it to dry without wiping. Doing this will ensure that no left mold survives and prevents any possibility of future growth.

What if your wood is highly infested with tough black mold. In such cases, consider mixing a baking soda, white vinegar, and water solution in the ratio of 2:1:1. After mixing, thoroughly stir the mixture to get a thick paste solution.

Next, you’ll gently spread the mixture onto the affected area then allow it to dry, after which you can scrub away any stains and black mold before wiping down with water.

  • Black mold removal with essential oils

There is much more than essential oils can do apart from their use in household activities. For instance, tea tree oil is among the safest way of doing away with black molds since it’s insect repellant, a deodorizer, and an antiseptic. 

You can use the product to effectively clean away molds from the wood surfaces and prevent them from regrowing.

The steps include mixing a teaspoon of tea oil with water in a spray bottle, then spraying the affected areas, and giving the surface at least an hour to dry. After drying, wipe off the surface with a dry cloth or towel. 

Since essential oils can irritate your skin, consider having some protective gear while using the product.

How to Treat Mold with Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is commonly found in medicine cabinets since its antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal. Apart from this, you can also use it in killing molds, especially in bathroom fixtures and tubs, hard flooring, kitchen appliances, and counters.

You’ll need at least 3% of the solution in a spray bottle. Before applying, consider testing the solution on a different area to prevent discoloration. 

The next step involves spraying the hydrogen peroxide on the affected zone and leaving it for at least 10 minutes before scrubbing. In the final step, you’ll have to clean the surface until it drys.

How to Treat Mold with Lemons

Lemons are known for their high concentration of citric acid that helps in breaking down the mold. Even better, they have nice smelling citrus that will let you enjoy the cleaning process.

You’ll only need to squiz at least three to five lemons, then pour the solution onto the mold-affected area. You’ll then let it sit for approximately five minutes before wiping it off with a damp towel. 

If your surface has tough mold stains, consider repeating the above procedure, but this time you’ll have to scrub the surface. The best thing about using lemons is that they are non-toxic, and you can use them to get rid of mildew. 

Another reason is that they are safe for your health and the environment and readily available than chemical-based black mold removers.

Can Cleaning Black Mold Make You Sick?

Yes, it can. Getting exposed to black mold is no more dangerous than getting exposed to the other mold types. The worst part is that it’s impossible to avoid getting exposed to mold since they are all over in the air.

If you get exposed, you may suffer from allergies or more severe complications, especially if you have underlying health conditions.

For this reason, if you realize any mold growth in your home, consider getting rid of it before the colony expands.

How Can I Get Rid Of Mould Permanently?

If you want to prevent mold growth in your home, consider getting rid of moisture build-up. One of the ways includes proper ventilation of your home or using a dehumidifier. 

The only problem with using this technique is that it increases the energy bills, and you’ll have to constantly clean and empty the system.

Final Thought

You now have the clue of how dangerous the black mold can be to your health if you don’t permanently get rid of it. You have also seen the different ways of doing this, but I still sensitize that if you are not sure of the steps to take, consider using a mold expert. But the remaining question is…

Will Vinegar Kill Black Mold on Wood?

Yes, it will. Even better, it will help even kill more than 80% of other types of mold if they may be coexisting with the black mold.

Thanks for the time you’ve dedicated to this article. I hope it has been of assistance to you. If you still need to learn more or have any observations, kindly reach out to the comment section below.

Image of a woodworker wearing hearing protectors for woodworking

Tyron Otieno

Tyron is an avid woodworker and writer. He founded this website to help other woodworkers, whether hobbyists or professionals by sharing his knowledge and experiencie after a decade of woodworking.