The Best Way to Clean Mold

Mold is a common household problem.

It is impossible to totally eradicate mold or its spores from the indoors, but it can be managed through controlling the amount of moisture in indoor spaces. As mold grows, it feeds on whatever material it lands on, gradually causing cosmetic and structural damage. The best way to clean mold is to do it safely. Mold spores are allergens, so contact with the skin or eyes should be avoided. Special care must be taken not to breathe in mold spores, as they cause reactions ranging from hay fever-like symptoms to full blown respiratory problems in asthmatics.
Fix water leaks.

Eliminate the source of moisture. Leaking plumbing or inadequate ventilation in humid areas, like bathrooms or laundry rooms, must be addressed. Wipe up any standing water.

Use gloves when you clean up mold.

Put on your gloves, respirator mask and goggles. Remove mold from hard surfaces using all purpose, household detergent and water. A good detergent solution is 1/4 to 1/2 half cup detergent per gallon of water. Soft surfaces, like carpet and drapes may need to be discarded. Scrub thoroughly, using a brush if needed.

Wipe the affected area with a chlorine bleach solution.

Apply a bleach solution of 1 tbsp. chlorine bleach to 1 gallon of water to colorfast, hard-surfaced areas. Apply to a towel and wipe down, removing all visible mold that remains. Dry thoroughly.

Proper ventilation inhibits mold growth.

Remove the moisture and humidity in the affected area. Proper ventilation is a must. Dry thoroughly, using a fan or dehumidifier if needed. Ideally, water and moisture should be eliminated within 48 hours to inhibit mold growth.

Things You Will Need

  • N-95 respirator
  • Goggles
  • Rubber gloves
  • All purpose detergent
  • Dish towels
  • Chlorine bleach
  • Scrub brush
  • Fan
  • Dehumidifier

Warnings

  • When using chlorine bleach solutions, ventilate the area.
  • Never mix chlorine bleach with cleaners that contain ammonia.

About the Author

After realizing the character curriculum she wanted to teach was unavailable in Mexico, Perri Sams began writing curriculum for children and their parents in 1990. Sams attended Louisiana State University and graduated from Calvary Ministerial Institute Spanish Language School in 1989, where she was valedictorian. Sams has been based in southern Kentucky since 2003, where she has written extensively for "Kentucky Family Living" magazine.