Almost every house has a little mold in it somewhere. Mold grows when you mix moisture and darkness. Mold actually uses your home’s plaster, drywall or wood as it’s food. And it destroys its food source as it grows. Address mold early, when tiny spots just appear, and remove it as soon as you find it so it doesn’t create a larger problem and potential damage your home.
Removing mold from your home
- Before trying to remove mold from your home, make sure no one in your family has an allergy to mold. Some molds can be highly toxic and can cause a severe reaction. If you have any reservations about removing the mold in your home, consider calling a professional mold expert to handle the job.
- Look for mold in damp, wet or steamy areas. This areas can include bathrooms, kitchens, flooded areas, basements, cabinets with plumbing leaks, garages or outdoor areas in humid climates.
- Remove all the contents of the affected area and place them in sunlight to dry up the mold spores that may be on the items.
- Mix up a bucket or spray bottle of oxygen bleach and water. Oxygen bleach will kill mold and bacteria just as well as chlorine bleach. Plus, it’s safer to use and won’t affect your respiratory system. Mix a few tablespoons of oxygen bleach in hot water until it’s dissolved.
- Using a microfiber cloth, wipe all the items that were in the moldy area with the oxygen bleach solution. Place the item back into the sunlight to dry. If there are a lot of mold spores on some of the items, use a mask to protect yourself from the moldy dust.
- Once the area is emptied and any affected items are clean and dry, use the oxygen bleach solution to wipe the visible mold off of any hard surfaces in the room. If it’s easier, you can put the oxygen bleach solution into a spray bottle and spray the areas. Let the oxygen bleach solution sit on the areas for 10-15 minutes. Then wipe the areas with a clean damp microfiber cloth. Once wiped clean the area needs to dry completely. Use a hair dryer for small, tight areas or use a room fan for larger areas. You also want to keep a window or door open to the outside to let fresh air into the area.
- When the area is completely dry, spray the surfaces that were affected with mold with a mixture of witch hazel and 15 drops of Tea Tree oil. Tea tree oil is a natural essential oil that not only kills mold but also kills the mold spores that may be left in the surface. If the spores are not terminated, the mold will reappear. Tea Tree oil is a great option for removing the spores from the area naturally. Let the Tea Tree solution dry completely on the surface. It does not need to be wiped off after spraying.
- If you have a severe mold problem in a bathroom or kitchen area, consider using a mold inhibiting paint primer on the surface. There are a number of primers that are available on the market. Some manufactures say that you can paint right over the mold, but most recommend removing the mold before painting the affected area. Painting the primer on the cleaned surface will prevent the mold from returning. These primers contain an EPA recommended antimicrobial ingredient that prevents the growth of mold, mildew and other fungal organisms. These primers can be found at your local hardware or paint store and can even be tinted to match your existing paint.
For more information on how to clean and control mold, see these posts:
For more information on green cleaning, visit Leslie Reichert’s site: Green Clean Coach.