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People have traditionally used bamboo to make furniture, houses, fences and even boats, but although it's as durable as wood, bamboo is a grass. Its sinuous strands form an ideal substrate for mold growth if enough moisture is present, and, unfortunately, there's often plenty of moisture in new bamboo furniture. The most harmful bamboo mold feasts on the lignin in the bamboo strands and can cause permanent damage unless you kill it early. It isn't difficult to do, and drying out the bamboo and giving it a protective coating can prevent a recurrence.
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Take mold-infested bamboo furniture outside to treat it. This prevents the spread of mold in the house.
Wipe off surface mold with a rag. Treat areas blacked or weakened by mold with a disinfectant. Many household cleaners work, including vinegar, lemon oil, ammonia and bleach. Never use ammonia and bleach together -- the combination produces poisonous gases.
Spray full-strength vinegar on the mold, using a plant spray bottle. If you prefer, use full-strength lemon oil. As an alternative for tough mold problems, mix a cleaning solution by combining 1 cup of ammonia, 1/2 cup of vinegar and 1/4 cup of baking soda in a gallon of water. When mixed together, baking soda and vinegar produce carbon dioxide, which helps kill mold.
Use a toothbrush to scrub the mold from joints and crevices.
Rinse the affected area with water, and then allow it to dry. It helps to put the furniture in the sun to hasten drying. You can also use a hair dryer. Don't use the furniture while the bamboo is wet. It might lose its shape.
Clean the furniture with turpentine after it dries to remove natural oils and other oily deposits. Wipe it dry with a rag, and apply three coats of polyurethane with a paintbrush to protect the bamboo from moisture and inhibit further mold growth.
It's important to thoroughly dry the bamboo before applying polyurethane, or mold may grow underneath the finish.
Wear a respirator when dusting mold and mildew off your bamboo furniture. The mold is a respiratory hazard.