Damp weather is a magnet for mildew and mold growth. The best way to get rid of mold in your home is to completely remove any mold or mildew as soon as possible to prevent any chances of permanent staining.
While mildew and mold typically grow in bathroom and basements, they can develop in any area of a home where there is excess moisture and limited air circulation. The problem can be solved easily by removing the mold and mildew as quickly as possible and continuing to clean the surface of the area where the spores had previously grown on a regular basis.
Mold Cleaners and Removers
Depending on both the intensity of the mildew and the surface it has formed on, different tools for removal can be employed. Here are a few examples of items and substances that can effectively remove mold in order from gentlest to the most powerful.
Fill a small container with cool water. Immerse a cleaning cloth into the water. Squeeze out any excess water and gently wipe the item with the cloth. Allow the item enough time to dry completely.
If possible, take any items that have accumulated areas of mold and mildew outdoors to clean. Cover your working surface with newspaper. Use a dry, stiff brush to remove as much of the mold and mildew as possible without using any solvent.
Once the abrasive parts of the brush have removed the large mold particulate, address any smaller patches with the cold water method from above, and tackle any tough stains with the cleaning solution below.
Make Your Own Cleaning Solution
Carefully combine 1 cup of bleach with 1 gallon of warm water in a bucket. Use a funnel to pour the bleach solution into a spray bottle. Attach a label to the spray bottle, and use a permanent marker to print the name of the solution onto the label.
Because bleach can be harsh, a test area should be used before tackling bigger patches of mold or mildew. Apply some of the cleanser to a toothbrush and attempt to clean a small, innocuous area of spores. If you can successfully remove the mold and mildew in this way without damaging your item, continue this process across the entire affected surface area of your item.
WARNING: Mold and mildew spores can cause sickness. When scrubbing or cleaning mold and mildew, wear a disposable face mask. When, wear rubber gloves, protective eyewear, and even old clothes that can afford to be dirtied or damaged for skin protection because bleach can stain.
For indoor carpeted areas with mold and mildew growth, first ensure that there is enough clean air flowing through the space. Close the doors to the space and open all of the windows. This will prevent any spores from moving to another room and provide enough safe ventilation for cleaning the area.
Step 1 - Vacuum
For carpeted areas that have mold and mildew, begin by vacuuming the area. Be sure to place the used vacuum bag directly into the garbage when you have finished.
Step 2 – Test the Solution
Spray the either your homemade solution or a purchased solvent of choice onto a spare toothbrush. Use the toothbrush to apply the solution to a small area of the carpet as a test. If the solution does not damage the carpet, spray the entire area.
Step 3 - Patience
Allow the solution to sit for about 15 minutes. Use a larger brush to scrub the area.
Step 4 – Brush Mildew
Immerse the brush in clean water. Scrub the carpet area with the clean water to rinse away the solution. Allow the carpet to dry completely before use.
Counters and Walls
Just as mildew responds differently to various cleaning solvents, the procedures for getting it out of certain household materials and surfaces are specific and varied as well.
Step 1 – Dry Brush
For counter and wall surfaces, first use a dry brush to remove as much mold or mildew as possible.
Step 2 – Apply Solution
Spray the surface with the solution. Allow the solution to remain on the surface for about 15 minutes.
Step 3 – Wipe Clean
Immerse a cleaning cloth in cool clean water. Use the cloth to rinse off the solution. Allow the area enough time to dry completely before use.
Mold and Mildew Prevention
While these tips are effective for removing mold that is already present, they are not necessarily a permanent fix.
To prevent mold and mildew from returning to your home in future, ensure that the conditions are right for a healthy environment. This means maintaining proper air flow through any vents, using a dehumidifier to decrease the level of moisture from dangerous to normal, and cleaning your surfaces regularly.
Another thing to consider for mildew prevention is that spores could be forming on other outdoor surfaces and being tracked inside. Fortunately there are other ways to kill outdoor mold on surfaces like brick and stucco.