101 Guide to Removing Mold (from Everything..almost!)
How To Remove Mold From Every Surface In Your Home
You will find mold spores almost everywhere, irrespective of the climate. There are various types of mold – while some of these fungi are very useful, for instance, penicillin, others are detrimental to the wellbeing of humans and crops.
Detecting The Presence And The Nature Of The Mold
Mildew is more common in homes. It is a type of surface mold that thrives in places that are warm and damp. So, you will most likely find them in your bathroom, on the surface of fabrics, and those books you are keeping in your slightly wet basements.
In the early stages of its development, it appears as a gray or white powdery colony. With time, it becomes black or brown – more like soil building up. The simplest way of detecting the presence of mildew on a stained surface is to dab such stain with a swab that has been wet with household chlorine bleach. Mildew will disappear or gets lighter after two to three minutes, while dirt remains unchanged.
Mold present in significant amount is indicated by a musty odor around such locations, which are usually damp. So, think of all the damp places in your home – they are thriving grounds for mold. And it is best that you remove them before the situation escalates.
Summarily, all molds are not mildew; however, all mildew is mold. The adverse effect of mildew on a surface is usually a progressive discoloration. However, other mold forms can affect the structural integration of these surfaces. For instance, a black or green greasy mold will most likely damage the wood or drywall underneath them. These surfaces eventually become soft and crumble – a result of the permanent rot caused by the mold. In such cases, discard the damage surfaces alongside the mold instantly.
When Should I Hire A Professional Mold Remover?
Household cleaners can get rid of mildew if detected early. Here is one of our favorite Mold Removal Cleaners, it works in like 15 seconds just look at the results. However, the bigger mold problems are best handled by an expert. People who are allergic to mold are at greater risks of health problems, especially respiratory issues, irrespective of whether the mold is the toxic or less dangerous ones.
Once you have a mold infestation that covers 10 square feet, it is beyond any home remedy. Hence an expert should be invited. A professional mold remover will come in with heavy-duty chemicals and apply their expertise to dispose of the infested building materials properly. You may consult your public health department for help on mold testing or recommendations for a professional mold remover.
Which Products Eliminate Mold?
Here are some products that can kill mold:
- Regular household Chlorine bleach, also known as sodium hypochlorite, is effective against mold. It also gets rid of all discolorations. It is best to dilute before use and ensure caution while applying it. This is because the chemical is harsh and toxic. Never allow the bleach to combine with ammonia.
- Hydrogen Peroxide is not as harsh as chlorine bleach and has no bleaching effect. Just 3-10% solution is enough to lighten the stains and get rid of the mold. It works slowly and releases no harmful fumes or residue.
- Distilled White Vinegar is an acidic solution, and it works slowly, but effectively, by compromising the mold structurally. It is not toxic in nature less effective. Thus, you may need to scrub with a household cleaner to get rid of the mold stains.
- Baking Soda (Sodium bicarbonate) and Borax both offer a high pH, and thus ensure that the mold does not grow nor survive. The role of Borax is to get rid of any persisting stains, although it is not as effective as stronger cleaning agents. However, both products are cheap and harmless – you only need to mix them with water.
It is highly advisable to leave a bit of these cleaning products on the surface after use; it ensures that the mold does not regrow anytime soon.
Removing Mold From Fabric
You can easily get rid of mildew from your fabrics if discovered early. However, in the case where mold and bacteria have infested your home extensively, you may not be able to save your fabrics. Once you discover the presence of mildew, take the affected items out of the home, then brush the surface mold away. This is to ensure that the mold spores do not spread inside your home again. For washable fabrics, wash with the hottest water possible (as stated on the care label), and pour in some disinfectant. You can remove the persisting stains (if any) by soaking the cloth in a solution of oxygen bleach and water for not less than eight hours. Oxygen bleach is safe for all washable fabrics.
If your fabrics are dry clean only, take them outside and brush away the mildew. Then proceed to a professional cleaner, and show them the stains on the fabrics. The chances are high that you will get a fully-restored fabric after.
Removing Mold From Furniture, Coats, Leather Shoes, Accessories
Mold on such surfaces is best removed outdoors. Start by wiping with warm water, then dry using a soft cloth so that the air is sufficiently dried. Apply some leather conditioner on the completely dry item.
Removing Mold On Books And Papers
Leaving mold on books and paper for long can damage them. However, you can remove them easily if found on paper, but you may need the services of a professional curator in cases of valuable historical papers or expensive books.
Do not attempt to treat a damp paper – the mold will eventually smear and become permanent. Instead, leave such papers in the sun to air dry sufficiently. Alternatively, you can air dry by keeping the damp paper in a sealed container alongside silica gel or other moisture absorbent materials. You can also sprinkle some cornstarch between the pages before keeping in the sealed container.
Heat the dry book outside, before brushing away the mildew gently from the cover and the pages with the aid of a soft cloth or paintbrush. Protect the page underneath the page you want to work on by sliding a sheet of waxed paper under. Then wipe down each page gently, with a clean, soft cloth that has been dampened with hydrogen peroxide. Finally, leave the wiped page to air dry entirely before proceeding to the page after it.
Removing Mold In Household Appliances
You may also find mold in appliances like coffee makers, refrigerators, and washers, considering that they offer food, heat, and moisture, all of which facilitates the growth of mold. Hence, you need to clean them regularly.
Washers can be cleaned by combining chlorine bleach and hot water and running it over at least once in a month. Mold tend to hide in the corners of the front-load washer door seals, so make thorough checks to get rid of mold that makes clothes smell.
For refrigerators and coffee makers, distilled white vinegar works fine in preventing the growth of mold.
Removing Mold On Tiles And Grout
Mold growth is facilitated by the accumulated body soil on bathroom surfaces and the humidity. To combat mold in these environments, try out chlorine bleach and water solution or other commercial cleaners. Combine one cup of bleach in one gallon of water and apply the mixture to the areas affected. Leave the solution on the surface for about 15-20 minutes, then scrub and retreat. Do not rinse away, even when the mold is removed.
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Getting Rid Of Mold From Interior Walls, Carpet, And Flooring
In cases of black and fuzzy molds, you may need to open the interior to ensure that there is no structural damage. While at it, put on respiratory protection and safety glasses. Infested building materials should be appropriately discarded in heavy-duty plastic bags. Leave the area to dry out entirely before initiating any repairs required.
For porous surfaces such as drywall and wood, you can clean them by combining the detergent with bleach and water solution so that it can adhere to the surfaces. A good formula is ten parts water, five parts bleach, and ½ part dishwashing detergent. Then apply the mixture with a mop or sponge without over-saturating the affected areas. Rather than rinsing away, leave the solution until it dries off on its own.
Carpets infested with mold are known to have a musty smell. Start by obliterating such carpets, then cut the carpet and pad into small pieces. While at it, put on a respirator for protection. Combine the underflooring and the materials with water, to ensure that the airborne mold spores are well contained. Dispose of the carpet by wrapping it in heavy plastic bags. Clean the affected area with a wet or dry vacuum and leave to air dry for as many days as possible. Finally, replace the flooring.
Removing Mold On Exterior Home Surfaces
You can get rid of mold on stones, brick, concretes, and all kinds of house siding by applying chlorine bleach. However, do not allow the bleach spread to plants and lawns, else it kills them. Cover such plants with heavy plastic sheeting while applying the bleach.
Form a chlorine bleach solution by mixing a cup of the bleach with a gallon of water, then apply the solution via hand-scrubbing, power washer, or a garden sprayer. Ensure that you have your safety glasses, a respirator, gloves, and protective clothing on while at it.
Start by applying plain water to wet the infested areas, and then add the bleach and water solution. After several minutes, check if the mold lightens up. If it does, you can proceed to another section, but if it doesn’t, scrub the area and apply some more bleach and water solution. Do not rinse off the bleach solution, instead leave it to air dry entirely on its own.
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