Mold and mildew are microscopic fungi that live on plant or animal matter. It can be black, brown, red, orange or pink. Mold and mildew grows in areas of low light, excess moisture and low air flow.
Getting rid of mold can be one of the hardest cleaning jobs you tackle. It is not easy to get rid of mold but it's not impossible either.
There are dozens of cleaners you can buy in stores. Look at the label and your find that they are caustic and hazardous to your health. Honestly, mold itself can be hazardous enough but using harmful products to get rid of it seems excessive.
Mold Cleaning Solutions:
The good news is that there are 3 cleaning products that you can use when cleaning up mold that are probably already in your home. All 3 of them work. Each has their own strengths and weaknesses as a cleaning solution. Select your cleaning solution based on the item to be cleaned- what the item is made from, where the mold is located and the cause of the mold to begin with.
Use caution when using any cleaning product and never mix in any additional chemicals. I've made that mistake myself and it was a horrible experience. Mixing chemicals can cause poisonous gasses to form- In my case when I accidentally mixed bleach with ammonia a toxic gas was formed which made it extremely difficult to breathe.
- Bleach- Highly alkaline and caustic so it will burn your skin and can damage the surface belong cleaned. A mixture of bleach with water will make mold stains instantly dissapear even without scrubbing. Make a cleaning solution of 1 cup bleach to 4 cups water. Make sure that you rinse off the bleach from the surface being cleaned to avoid damage.
- Vinegar- Natural mild acid, environmentally safe. Acidic solution kills mold, but does not help with stain removal. Acidic properties inhibits mold regrowth. Use full strength vinegar to make the cleaning solution.
- Borax- Borax is also alkaline just like like bleach is but it is not as caustic. Beacuse borax is alkaline it removes stains and brightens the stained item without having to use bleach it also inhibits the regroth of mold. Borax doesnt take mold stains off on contact like bleach but it will also reduce discoloration. Use 1/4 cup borax dissolved in 4 cups of HOT water to make the mold cleaning solution.
It's OKAY to try to clean your item using each of these cleaning solutions (provided the material can withstand the cleaning product). IF you try each solution separately and make sure to rinse and dry thoroughly in between each application of cleaning solutions.
Mold Cleaning Supplies:
- Scrub brush
- Paper towels
- Spray bottle to hold the cleaning solution
- 3 plastic trash bags
- Mask to cover your nose and mouth. (Safety glasses are also recommended)
- Rubber gloves
The Cleaning Process:
- Select your cleaning product and fill the bottle with the cleaning solution.
- Put on your face mask. Never attempt to clean mold without wearing a facial mask.
- Put on you rubber gloves and safety glasses if you have them.
- Decide where you wish to begin and start sprayinging from the top to the bottom. Do not attempt to clean an area larger that 1 foot at a time.
- Use the scrub brush to clean the whole are area and use the toothbrush to focus on any small areas, gaps or crevases.
- Use a paper towel to dry the area of the cleaning solution.
- Continue spraying the cleaning solution, scrubbing and drying the area until the affected area is cleaned thoroughly.
- Repeat the cleaning process to ensure that you removed all of the mold. If you used bleach to clean the mold make sure you rinse the area thoroughly as bleach will degrade substances it is applied to given enough time.
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