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Question
Hello

I have some outdoor wood benches made of natural mesquite, not processed, still look like the tree,   that turned black, part of it...  What is the best way to take off this black accumulation?  

Thanks,   Gabe

Answer
Gabe,
As you know - mesquite is in the family of very dense and hard woods. I know that in parts of  Mexico; they cut the mesquite trees and make outside benches etc. - without applying any exterior oils.  Your can't get by with doing this with teak wood etc. - for outside usage.
Over time; the water doesn't penetrate the mesquite like many woods, - but is stays on the surface. This is when the black mold starts to form. (not noticeable to the human eye - when forming.)  As you know it is a greenish - black color.

I am assuming from your email; that you haven't used any finishes on the wood (as stated - still looks like the tree)

The only product that I  have heard of that people use is HOUSEHOLD BLEACH.
This is known to kill the mold; but, you need to be careful how much you use and how often.
Bleach contains chlorine and caustic soda - lye.
This will kill the mold bacteria; but, if used more than several times on wood - it gets into the fibers of the wood and depletes the strength and durability.
Make sure that you try this in small areas first; to see if you are going to get the results wanted; without changing appearances more than you want.

You will also have a whiter color on your bleached areas; than the natural hue from being exposed to the elements.

We also use wood bleach in the woodcare business; when you have different stains and colors in the fibers of the wood - after stripping.
We are also careful how many times we use the wood bleach; because of the destruction of the fibers in the wood; that your are trying to refinish.

I hope this works for you.

If you are planning on using any products afterwards; use penetrating exterior wood products, as we get better protection of the exterior woods -- by protecting from the inside-out verses trying to coat with numerous coats of polyurathanes etc.

Regards,

Joseph A. Eldredge
Conscientious Wood Care

Cabinets, Furniture, Woodworks

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Joseph A. Eldredge

Expertise

We have been in the wood care business for almost 30 years (we are still learning) We do refurbishing and touch-up of furniture, paneling, antiques etc. The number one question that we receive; is what do I use on my furniture, to keep it looking moisturized, clean and get the depth perception back into the finish. I believe we can help on products to use and answer questions on why we don't use certain products that are available to us. I am sure that there are many questions on wood care that we can't answer; but, give us a try anyway. We find that many people use products for maintaining the wooden furniture, etc., and can't understand the reason it looks worse as they continue to use certain products. Most people use the products that their mothers and grandmothers used. Finishes on furniture have come a long way; from shellacs, waxes, varnishes etc. Give us an email and see if we can help with some of your questions and concerns.

Experience

Have worked in Omni, Brown Palace etc. hotels. Have refurbish items in the Colorado Govenors mansion and the Colorado Capital building etc. We have been caring for millions of dollars worth of furniture and antiques for large corporations for years.

Education/Credentials
Have received certificates from numerous companies who teach wood care clases through-out the country.

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