How do I Remove Mold From a Shelf?

Mold, if left uncontrolled in a home, can cause serious health problems.

Bleach is an effective mold remover.Bleach is an effective mold remover.
Fortunately, a small surface area such as a shelf can be cleaned with common household products. It is very important that the person wear protective gear to avoid getting the mold into the lungs, or having the cleaning liquid splash into the eyes. Tracking down the source of the moisture is equally important. Otherwise the mold will continue to grow back.

Remove any opportunity for moisture to continue affecting the shelf.

Mix the bleach, the water and the detergent together.

Put on the protective gear and old clothes, open the windows and turn on the fan.

Discard in a sealed bag any material on the shelf that may be moldy.

Scrub the surface of the shelf lightly. You do not want to knock the mold off onto another surface or into the air. Moisten the shelf with the mixture and keep it wet for at least 15 minutes.

Let it dry, and scrub again to ensure the mold is completely gone. This may take several times to accomplish.

Seal a wooden shelf using a commercial sealant.

Discard all the cleaning materials in a sealed bag.

Wash the clothing with hot water, and take a hot shower.

Things You Will Need

  • Rubber gloves
  • Old clothes
  • Eye goggles
  • OSHA-recommended, filtered face mask, rated N-95 or better
  • 1/2 cup bleach
  • 1 qt. water
  • 2 tbs. detergent


  • Do not blow dry the shelf or turn the fan onto it.
  • Eye goggles and protective filter masks are found in hardware stores.
  • This only works with small infestations of surface mold. For larger problems such as mold in the walls, consult an expert.

About the Author

Jack Burton started writing professionally in 1980 with articles in "Word from Jerusalem," "ICEJ Daily News" and Tagalong Garden News. He has managed radio stations, TV studios and newspapers, and was the chief fundraiser for Taltree Arboretum. Burton holds a B.S. in broadcasting from John Brown University. He is a 26-year veteran of the U.S. Navy/Navy Reserves and the Navy Seabees.