View Full Version : An oldy Moldy Ukulele

05-20-2013, 03:53 AM
I have an older uke that has a bit of what appears to be mold inside. Is this something I should be concerned about? It's directly under the sound hole so it is easily accessible. maybe a quick spray of dilute bleach solution? It never really bothered me, but a prospective buyer was very concerned , his/her exact words" you have mold growing on the inside that will cost me at least $600 to clean properly"

05-20-2013, 04:50 AM
This shows the technique on a guitar but it works un ukuleles as well.



05-20-2013, 05:54 AM
thanks, I've also heard bleach and a toothbrush may help'

05-20-2013, 09:55 AM
I would be hesitant to put bleach in or on any wooden instrument.


05-20-2013, 10:21 AM
I have used the rice technique myself, it works well.

05-20-2013, 10:30 AM
Now I'm curious. Could we see an after picture if you try out the rice technique?

David Newton
05-20-2013, 10:39 AM
Have your customer send it to me, I'll clean it for $500. Save him a bunch of money.

mm stan
05-20-2013, 12:16 PM
thanks, I've also heard bleach and a toothbrush may help'
Aloha Andy,
I tried that and did it even full strength...and it always came back....I paid 750.00 for it and got burned..it is not healthy and I got sick many times playing the uke...it sounds awesome
but not worth the throat and chest infections...I though of spraying the inside with clear finish paint...but how would you do the iside of the soundboard...I believe while I did with the
toothbrush and bleach method...I could not see and do the soundboard and why it always came back...good luck...if you find a soulation for the soulation let me know...forgive the pun.. :)
I believe it is real bad for you because the uke acts like a pump, as it pumps air and mold spores out of the ukulele and you get sick...well with people with low
immune system and or healthy people.. I would double think playing it...even though it might be the best uke with great sound...I was going to take it to kamaka
to do a process...but just never did....shoots Chris even offered to pick it up for me

05-20-2013, 12:37 PM
Mold grows where it has sufficient moisture to survive. Have you tried putting it it a dry place for a while? Might kill off the mold without any further need for chemicals.

Once dead, you could spray the inside with a furniture oil that would both protect the inside and inhibit further mold growth.

Humans and mold have an ancient history together. Not all of them are inimical. Some are even food - mushrooms, puffballs and many cheeses for example.

05-20-2013, 01:25 PM
First you have to kill the mold - just cleaning it just moves the spores into the air where you can breathe them more easily but doesn't solve the problem.

A strong UV-C light will kill many types of mold, but not all. Strong UV-C light will also burn your skin and retinas, so not to be fooled with lightly.

The lady quoting $600 was actually probably not far off - remember she said "proper" and if that's one of the more aggressive and dangerous types of mold "proper" cleaning - that completely removes the mold permanently without just moving the spores around - can be quite expensive.

In Texas and Louisiana (and I'm sure other places) very nice houses have been condemned because of mold in one or two rooms.

Oh, ozone can also kill mold, though less reliably than UV-C and the ozone has to be strong enough to be uncomfortable (and probably unsafe) to breathe. There is some evidence that the simple ozone generators that some people have in their homes do help prevent mold from growing - but if you already have mold they probably won't kill it. For that you have to bring in the heavy equipment.


05-20-2013, 03:18 PM
I second on the no bleach. I think hydrogen peroxide would be safer and just as effective if not more so. Small UV light too.

05-20-2013, 04:27 PM
I second on the no bleach. I think hydrogen peroxide would be safer and just as effective if not more so. Small UV light too.

Good idea Phil. Any oxidizer (including bleach) should kill mold. Mold spores are everywhere in the world, waiting for the right humidity. Maybe try Oxi-Clean?

05-20-2013, 06:37 PM
I wonde if a steripen stuffed into the uke would work?