I have bought bamboo fittings in the bathroom (towel holders, dishes etc). I see that as a result of hanging damp towels on the towel holders, a black mold is accumulating on the bottom of the holder bar.

enter image description here

What would be the best treatment for the bamboo in order to seal from the elements?

edit: I live near the sea and things do not dry as quick as i would want them to. And no, there are no extractor fans in the bathroom.

  • 2
    How often do you clean the bathroom? Do you wipe the towel bar down from time to time? Do you have an exhaust fan in the bathroom, and do you run it during and after showers?
    – Tester101
    Sep 17, 2012 at 19:08
  • @Tester101, thanks i have edited the post. I think your advice is great about the exhaust fan, i will probably go that route, however i also feel that these bamboo products are too porous at the moment, they need to be "sealed"
    – Hightower
    Sep 18, 2012 at 6:17
  • Since you bought the fittings I have to ask - what did the manufacturer instructions say about finishing? Sep 18, 2012 at 10:48
  • they say nothing about finish... just some marketing mumbo-jumbo... see the website dejay.co.za/category/bamboo-range
    – Hightower
    Sep 18, 2012 at 10:52
  • 1
    Wow that website is about as uninformative as it possibly could be... Sep 18, 2012 at 10:57

2 Answers 2


A standard approach to sealing is polyurethane, either brush on, rub on or spray on. If the old finish is pretty solid, a light sanding may do. If it is not adhering well or where the piece is worn and stained, a more thorough sanding is needed. In all cases, you need to wipe off all dust, preferably with a tack cloth before finishing. Wiping down with mineral spirits also helps clean before finishing.

A dust mask is always a good idea when sanding, especially if there is a chance that mold is present.

A much harder finish is marine or spar finish. While originally varnish, it is now available in a urethane formula as well.

spar urethane

These types are specificly formulated to hold up better in wet environments.

For almost all types of finish, two or more coats are needed for a durable protection.

 Images and links are illustrative only, not an endorsement of goods or sources.

Borax and Tea Tree Oil will kill mold and hinder the growth of mold, if not completely wiped from the area after cleaning.

There are many methods for cleaning mold, but cleaners like Bleach or Ammonia only help clean off what is on the surface, they don't get deep into porous materials like wood or drywall, and they should be cleaned off after; so they can't inhibit future growth.

Borax is cheap and Tea Tree Oil is expensive. But Tea Tree Oil is probably your best bet for porous materials.

Conversely, after cleaning the mold off, removing the porous characteristic by thoroughly coating the wood in a sealant (a few times) will also likely inhibit future growth.

reference: http://blackmold.awardspace.com/kill-remove-mold.html

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.