How to Remove Mold

How to Remove Mold from your Home

I don’t like finding mold anywhere- Either inside or outside our home.

It’s not just because it makes my home look dirty and uncared for, but all of the news reports on the dangers of living with mold inside your home concerns me too.

But the plain old truth is: Mold will grow anywhere and is caused simply by mold spores that blow in on the wind and reside in an favorable environment.

I live in Western Washington State (the rainy side) and mold has to be combated regularly.

It just takes the right environmental conditions to have mold spores start up and grow and nice big patch of:

  • green
  • blue
  • yellow
  • orange
  • and to infinity and beyond, I’m sure….

I’ve learned a few tips and tricks along the way that will help to clean up the mold fast.

Are you ready to learn how to be an expert mold remover too? I’m ready to share!

So, let’s get busy cleaning up that yucky mold!

Stop the Conditions that are Allowing Mold Growth

Moisture

Mold has to have moisture or high humidity in order to grow.

The good news is no moisture, no mold; which is pretty simple.

The bad news is that after mold has appeared; taking away the moisture will not kill the mold. Mold can lay dormant and wait for conditions to become optimum and regenerate.

Food Source

Mold requires organic material for food.

This can be wood, paper, cotton; or if the surface is inorganic and there’s mold, you can be sure that there is dirt, grease, food or other organic particles on it.

Poor Ventilation

Other preferable conditions are lack of air flow and ventilation.

You’ll typically find mold in the bathroom, basement, kitchen and attic–anywhere that air flow is not optimum. Now that you know what conditions support mold growth, let’s learn the steps for mold removal.

 How to Get Rid of Mold

Before you start removing mold, a great tip is to wet the area first before scrubbing at the mold. While this may seem to be counter-intuitive, spraying the mold down with water first will reduce the number of spores that become airborne as you scrub.

Removing Mold From Glass, Vinyl, Plastic:

There are two very effective methods listed below. Both bleach and borax are effective, inexpensive and good multi-taskers. Pick the one you have on hand or use borax for a non-scented solution. Do not use bleach on metal surfaces.

Cleaning Mold with Bleach

Be sure not to mix any other product with bleach as this can create and release toxic gas.

Create a solution of;

  • 1/2 gallon of water
  • 1/2 cup of bleach.
  1. Mix the solution in a spray bottle and saturate the area.
  2. Wash the infected area and keep it wet for at least 15 minutes.
  3. Then follow with clean water to remove the bleach residue.

Bleach kills spores and removes discoloration. If mold has grown due to a leak, first you will have to fix the leak to prevent it from reoccurring. Opening the window to increase air flow, using a dehumidifier or air conditioner and regular cleaning will stop mold from coming back.

Cleaning Mold with Borax

Some people do not like the smell of bleach and that’s why Borax is so handy. Borax is a natural product that does not emit fumes. It is also a fungicide and mold inhibitor. To top it off – it is inexpensive!

Mix a solution of:

  • 1/2 cup borax
  • 1/2 cup plain white vinegar
  • 2 cups warm water

You can mix this in a bucket or use a spray bottle.

  1. Pour it over the affected area or saturate with a spray.
  2. Let it sit for 10 minutes
  3. Scrub the surface
  4. Repeat the process if necessary

After application, the mold spores have been killed and the Borax will retard any spores growth on the surface.

Removing Mold From Metal Surfaces:

Cleaning with Vinegar

Metal surfaces should not be cleaned with bleach! For any mold issues on them, you can use Vinegar. Vinegar in full strength kills 82% of mold.

  1. Pour plain white distilled vinegar into a spray bottle
  2. Spray entire area
  3. Let it sit; don’t worry, the smell will dissipate as it dries

Vinegar will kill the mold and disinfect the area.

Cleaning with Borax and Vinegar

Using Vinegar and Borax will clean, disinfect and, since Borax is a fungicide it will retard mold growth.

This is a great solution to use on window frames and sills because the old metal windows sweat and that creates moisture and a breeding ground for mold. Since window replacement is a huge cost, I used this solution to keep the mold from returning until I could afford to have them upgraded.

After application, try to keep the surface as dry as possible. If the surface continues to get moisture, you will need to re-apply as necessary.

Mix a solution of:

  • 1/2 cup borax
  • 1/2 cup plain white vinegar
  • 2 cups warm water
  1. Pour it over the affected area or saturate with a spray.
  2. Let it sit for 10 minutes
  3. Scrub the surface
  4. Repeat the process if necessary

Removing Tough Mold Stains

Tough mold stains sometimes need extra help. If the above methods aren’t strong enough, I have found Mold Armour is the best at removing those stains. It’s about 2 times stronger than bleach.

It removes the mold and the stain with no pretreatment or cleaning required. Each treatment lasts for 2 months. This is helpful for areas where mold keeps coming back or it’s not possible to remove moisture completely.

Cleaning Black Colored Mold

Don’t panic. Let me share the facts according to the Center for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC):

“At present there is no test that proves an association between Stachybotrys chartarum (Stachybotrys atra) and particular health symptoms. Individuals with persistent symptoms should see their physician. However, if Stachybotrys chartarum (Stachybotrys atra) or other molds are found in a building, prudent practice recommends that they be removed.”

Basically, any mold can make otherwise healthy people have hay fever like symptoms. People that already have immune system issues or breathing difficulties can experience increased symptoms. My rule of thumb is: if you see any kind of mold get busy and clen it up.

There are fairly simple, inexpensive and effective ways to get rid of all colors of mold for good, providing that it is found in the early stages.

Now that wasn’t so Bad?

Great job taking care of your mold problem!

It takes a bit of time but if you stay in top of it and take protective measures such as reducing moisture and increasing ventilation, your mold problem is easy to keep at bay!

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