How to Use Borates to Kill Mold
Mold can damage your home and belongings and even your health, especially if you suffer from allergies or asthma. A thorough cleaning that includes a borate-based detergent can eliminate mold on surfaces and keep it from growing back. Borate is a colorless and odorless material made from the element boron. It is non-toxic to humans but toxic to mold.
- Put on the goggles, gloves and mask. If you are cleaning a large or very contaminated area, consider wearing a particle mask that carries Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) approval.
- Remove any furnishings from the contaminated room. Vacuum the room to pick up loose mold spores. Throw out the vacuum bag.
- Cover vents and openings with plastic sheeting or drop cloths to seal off the area so that loose mold spores cannot spread to other areas. Open a window for ventilation.
- Scrub the moldy surface with a mild liquid detergent dissolved in warm water. Use enough detergent to make a sudsy solution. Rinse and allow the surface to dry. Discard the solution.
- Mix one cup of borate-based detergent with one gallon of water and scrub the surface again. Scrub hard with a clean, sturdy brush until the area appears mold-free.
- Wipe up any drips or mold dust. Do not rinse the area; the borate needs to stay behind to kill any remaining mold. Dispose of the solution and cleaning materials.
- Allow the cleaned area to dry before painting or refinishing.
Things You Will Need
- Plastic sheeting or drop cloths
- Plastic gloves
- Scrub brushes
- Clean rags
- Mild liquid detergent
- Borate-based detergent, such as borax
- If you need to clean a moldy area larger than 10 square feet, hire a professional cleaning company skilled in mold remediation.
- Never paint over mold. It will continue to grow and cause the paint to peel.