Cleaning Mold Effectively
Not only is mold ugly to look at, it can cause damage to the surface and it can cause some serious health issues, especially for those who already have a weakened immune system and allergies.
Choosing the most effect mold cleaning method will depend on the surface the mold has moved in on. There are three really good cleaning solutions that you can use when cleaning up mold that are most likely already in your home. All three of them work. Each has their own strengths and weaknesses when being used as a mold cleaner.
Make your selection of cleaning solution to use based on what you are cleaning, where the mold is located, and what works best for you. In no case should you mix all these together or add additional ingredients to boost the mold cleaning solution. Cleaning chemicals when mixed can cause poisonous gasses to form. For instance, bleach when mixed with ammonia will produce a deadly gas.
Mold Cleaning Solutions
- Bleach- Highly alkaline, caustic it will burn your skin. Bleach instantly removes mold and it’s stain on nonporous surfaces with minimal scrubbing. Bleach must be rinsed thoroughly off the surface being cleaned to avoid damage. Use 1 cup bleach to 1 gallon water to make the cleaning solution. Spray the area, let sit 15 minutes. Scrub and wipe down. Bleach is great on hard surfaces such as tile, sinks, tubs and showers, brick, etc.
- White 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. Let sit two to three hours. Scrub. Clean surface again with a clean cloth and full strength vinegar.
- Borax- Borax is alkaline like bleach but is not as caustic. It remove stains and brightens without bleach. It won’t take mold stains off on contact, but they should come off easier than with vinegar. Alkaline borax inhibits mold regrowth. Borax is one of my favorite cleaning products. It’s cheap and highly effective. Use 1/2 cup borax dissolved in 1 quart HOT water to make the cleaning solution. Spray surface, scrub, let sit a few hours, rinse surface with water. Borax is a great mold remover and works on most surfaces.
Supplies You’ll Need
- Stiff bristled scrub brush
- Lots of Paper towels
- Clean spray bottle
- Thick, plastic trash bags
- Rubber gloves
Basic Cleaning Process to Remove Mold
- Fill a spray bottle with the cleaning solution you have chosen from above.
- Put on your mask. Never attempt to clean mold without wearing a facial mask. This would be very dangerous as breathing in the spores can create a host of health issues for you.
- Put on your trusty rubber gloves. If your hands tend to get sweaty when you use rubber gloves, sprinkle baby powder, corn starch or baking soda in them. This will keep your hands dry and comfortable while working.
- Select the area in which you want to start the removal process.Start at the highest point of the mold and work your way down. You should work in small areas – about one to two foot squares. Working in larger areas would be incredibly difficult and for the most part futile.
- Spray the area with your chosen cleaning solution. Be very generous while spraying. Remember to only apply the solution to the immediate area you will be cleaning.
- Use the scrub brush to clean the area. The toothbrush should be used in areas that have small crevices such as grouted tiles or porous surfaces. The toothbrush will work the cleaning solution into any gaps and destroy the mold.
- Once you believe you have removed all of the mold in that space, dry it off with paper towels. Immediately place the paper towels into the trash bag. Twist the top of the bag to keep all spores inside of it.
- Continue with the process until the affected area is cleaned thoroughly.
- Tie the plastic trash bag and immediately bring it outdoors. Ideally, it should not be carried through your home. It is best to get it directly out of the area by way of an exit to the outside or out of a window. Doing so will eliminate the chance for additional spores spreading throughout the home.
- Repeat the entire process two more times to ensure that you did remove all of the mold. It is very easy to think you’ve cleaned it all away only to have it still there a couple of days later. It is better to be safe than sorry when it comes to mold.
There are many things you can do to help keep mold at bay. Use the bathroom fan or open a window when taking showers and leave them on or open for a time after you’ve finished. Inspect for leaks in the roof, basement, garage, faucets, etc.
Cleaning Mold from Bathroom Shower Tiles
Mold cleaning from bathroom tiles is fairly easy, provided you do it regularly and don’t let the mold have the run of the room. As long as you understand that mold will grow in any dark, moist place, you can attack it. If you have mold growing on the tiles in your shower, here’s how to remove it:
- Mix your solution of mold cleaner and add what you can to a large spray bottle.
- Spray the shower walls with the mixture.
- Be sure to get into hidden areas like a built-in soap holder, under the faucet or shower head and in the corners.
- Let the mixture sit for 5 minutes.
- Wipe the walls down with a scrub brush.
- Rinse the shower completely to remove all traces of cleaner.
Cleaning Mold On Outside Furniture
Patio furniture, especially a cushion, is subject to mold growth in most parts of the country. To clean mold and to prevent future growth, you’ll need to follow these five simple steps:
Mix solution in a medium-sized spray bottle
- 1 teaspoon of mild dishwashing liquid
- 1 teaspoon of borax
- 1 quart of lukewarm or warm water
Spray the patio furniture cushions with the solution. Make sure all areas of the cushions are sprayed. Let the cushions sit with solution for 15 minutes.
Spray the patio table and chairs with the solution while the cushions are soaking. Wipe the furniture (legs and the bottoms of the chairs, too) with a damp cloth.
Scrub one side of the cushions with a soft-bristled brush and then flip over to do the other side. Using the spray attachment for the hose, spray the cushions and the furniture to remove the cleaning solution.
Place the cushions and the furniture (if possible) in a sunny area of the yard and allow to air dry.