So you’ve discovered mold in your home and you don’t know what to do about it. Well, you’ve come to the right place! We’ll let you know how to get rid of mold on every surface in your home in the safest way possible.
Preventing Mold With Air Purifiers
Both air purifiers and dehumidifiers are great at preventing mold in the home. Air purifiers keep your air clean and free from mold, dust, and mildew. Whereas dehumidifiers keep your air dry in humid climates.
If you want to remove dampness from your home and help prevent mold, consider getting a dehumidifier. There are plenty of small dehumidifiers that are perfect for removing dampness. Find the best small dehumidifiers here.
Note: humidifiers and dehumidifiers are both useful but are opposites. Humidifiers actually make a room more humid and are perfect for dry climates. However, they need to be cleaned regularly to prevent mold buildup.
Can Mold In Walls Hurt You?
The short answer is that yes, mold in walls can hurt you. It really just depends on what type of mold you are dealing with. There are thousands of different species of mold. In fact, there are over 100,000 different ones.
This is why it’s always best to be safe, wear a mask when cleaning, and treat the mold as if it can hurt you. Because mold can be very dangerous if it’s the right kind, or shall we say wrong kind, of mold.
Mold Vs. Mildew
Mold is much more harmful than mildew, but most people have no idea that there’s a difference between the two. If they do, they don’t know how to tell the difference. But it’s much easier than you may think.
How To Get Rid Of Mold With DIY Methods
There are multiple ways to get rid of mold, some more effective than others. While buying a mold-remover is a great idea, and likely the most effective route, there are probably items in your home that will do the trick today!
Bleach is by far the strongest and most effective over-the-counter way to get rid of mold. However, it should be diluted before being used as it is quite strong and can damage materials as well as skin.
When using bleach, make sure to wear gloves and a mask if you have one. You can never be too careful. Also, never use bleach without diluting it unless otherwise directed by a professional.
Peroxide is another proven method similar to bleach only much milder. It is safe to inhale and to use on the skin, so there are no ill effects connected to this useful material. Peroxide is a great way to avoid harsher chemicals.
Vinegar may not always work, but for small infestations, it may do the trick. Try it out and you can find out if it will work for you. If not, you may have to amp it up and use a chemical to get rid of the mold in your home.
If you plan on having an all-natural life in the home, vinegar is your best bet for removing mold. It not only removes stains but disinfects as well. From dishwashers to windows, there’s not much that vinegar can’t clean.
Baking Soda And Borax
If all you have on hand is baking soda, you can still try to get rid of the mold in your house without buying anything else. Mix it with a little water and scrub away. If it works, great! If not, buy some bleach to take care of the stain.
Is Bleach Or Vinegar Better To Kill Mold?
Before we move on, let’s go back over two of the most effective methods for killing mold. Bleach and vinegar. Now, you can use either of them but they are both useful for different reasons. Let’s break that down.
If you live a chemical-free life then vinegar is a much better option. Not to mention, it’s also much safer. However, bleach will always be the strongest and most effective option. For stubborn mold, bleach is a must.
How To Remove Mold On Indoor Walls
This is the most common and most dangerous type of mold. Because bleach is the strongest chemical used for getting rid of mold, it’s the best one to use for walls. Along with that, there are a few precautions to take before you begin.
A lot of times, you’ll smell this mold before you see it. This is because it will start building up behind the wall and grow until it is visible on the surface. Mold you can’t see is more dangerous because you can’t clean it!
You’ll want to do this in the safest way possible. This means, wearing N-95 masks if you have them, goggles, gloves, and old clothes that you don’t mind tossing. You’ll also want to place a fan blowing out a window if you can.
The fan can either be cleaned thoroughly later or tossed as well. On the same note, you’ll want to turn off all other ventilation, which means AC and furnaces. Cover them and clean them when you’re’ finished.
You’ll also want to shut all doors and seal them with plastic. As long as you have your N-95, you’ll be safe. So why not keep the spores from spreading?
What Else You’ll Need
- Drywall saw
- Rubber gloves
- Safety glasses
- Scrub brush
- Pry bar
- Shop vacuum
- Utility knife
- Thick garbage bags
- Other heavy-duty cleaners
Opening Up the Walls
Now that you’ve prepared and gathered the materials you need in your room, you’re ready to begin. Keep your mask on and start removing baseboards. After you get baseboards removed set them aside.
If they need bleached, bleach them, or replace them. But more importantly, you need to assess the damage done to the wall. Work in sections, spraying any affected are of drywall with water. You want it damp to contain the mold and make it easier to remove.
Cut the sheetrock with a utility knife and pull it from the walls. Bag all moldy drywall and insulation and bag it up good. After it’s all removed, you can move on to the wood inside. You can even buy a drywall patch kit for small areas.
Cleaning Studs And Plywood
Create a mixture of about one-quart water and 1/2-cup bleach. Use the mixture to scrub down the exposed wood until it is gone. Do not rinse the last wash from the wood, instead, let it sit and soak.
After the area is dry, set out dehumidifiers and clean fans to help dry the area fully. Let them sit for about three days before cleaning the area again and putting up new insulation and drywall. You can then paint it again.
How To Clean Mold On Other Surfaces
While drywall is hard to work with and requires a lot of work to clean the mold off of, other surfaces can be cleaned in a day. Here’s what you need to know to clean mold from each surface in your home.
If mold has been growing on your furniture or clothing for a long time, there’s a good chance that there is no hope in restoring it. It will need to be replaced. However, if this is new growth, it shouldn’t take much to clean it.
If possible, take the item outside. Scrub the fabric with a clean brush to remove surface stains. If you can wash it, wash it with bleach and then again without bleach. You can buy laundry bleach that is safe to use on colors.
Take the item outside and brush it with white vinegar gently. After the stain is removed, clean with specialty leather soap and warm water. After the item has dried, you will need to condition it with a leather conditioner.
Only clean dried paper and books. If the work is expensive or historical, you will want to call a professional curator to clean them for you. For all other books, use a soft paintbrush to brush away mold from each page and the cover.
You can even put wax paper between each page and lightly clean each page with peroxide. However, with all of this time and effort, it may be worth it to replace the book instead of try to salvage it.
Clean washing machines by running an empty cycle with bleach. Clean coffee pots and washing machines by running empty cycles with vinegar. Other appliances will need to be cleaned by hand with vinegar or bleach if not around food.
Tile is actually one of the easiest surfaces to clean when mold is present. Simply clean it with diluted bleach. You may need to scrub it down, but this shouldn’t be too difficult. After it has dried, mop it up with standard tile cleaner.
It’s not always easy to hear it, but moldy carpet needs to be removed as it cannot be cleaned good enough to ensure your family’s safety. Dampen the carpet to contain the mold and cut out the carpet in sections.
Immediately put the carpet in large trash bags and duct tape them for easy transportation and safe disposal. Take them to the dump as soon as you can.
Cleaning mold on exterior surfaces is easier than interior because it’s much safer with open ventilation. However, bleach will kill plants so cover any plants you want to be kept alive. Then, mix a gallon of bleach per one gallon of water.
Scrub down exterior surfaces and then power wash with water for best results. Powerwashing is an amazing amenity that should always be used when possible.
How To Get Rid Of Mold In Shower
We left this method till last because it is one that people often neglect. This is because mold in the shower is often slimy and clear. When this happens, you may assume it is some sort of soap scum instead of mold.
To get rid of mold in the shower, you can mix bleach with twice as much. Pour the solution into the bottom of the shower or spray it on the shower walls if that is the problem area. Let it sit for ten minutes.
Then, you can scrub it with a scrub brush and rinse it with water. This should take care of the mold and you can wash your shower as you normally would in order to prevent mold from growing again in the shower.
How to Prevent Mold In The Shower
- Ventilate Your Bathroom – leave a window open in the bathroom after you shower to get rid of excess moisture. Or consider getting a dehumidifier which can help prevent the moisture from building up.
- Keep Fabrics Dry – always make sure that if your shower curtain, bath mat, or even your towels begin to draw moisture, you dry them. You can use a blow dryer, ventilation, or throw them in the dryer.
- Fill Gaps – gaps are hotspots for mold because they are difficult to reach. So make sure that you fill them with epoxy filler, ceramic repair kits, or grout in order to ensure that mold doesn’t grow.
- Use Appropriate Materials – don’t use wood in the bathroom unless it is water-resistant wood. If you use drywall, ensure that it is waterproof drywall. Simple steps like these can make the biggest impact.
FAQs Regarding Removing Mold
Here are a few questions you may still have after reading our article. They are quick answers to some of the most popular questions regarding how to get rid of mold and hopefully they answer your questions.
Can I Remove Black Mold Myself?
Of course, it is possible to remove black mold yourself. The problem is that black mold can be quite dangerous so you may not even want to remove black mold on your own. If you can afford it, then have someone remove the mold.
If you can’t, then simply make sure you ventilate, wear a mask, and always clean up well when you are done. Throw away every brush, clothing, and drop cloth that you used when cleaning the mold.
What Kills Mold Instantly?
There are two primary ways to instantly kill mold. While most products will remove the mold, these two products can actually destroy this growing bacteria. These two products are bleach and mold remover.
We have talked about bleach already so let’s talk about mold remover. Mold remover is a cleaning agent that you can buy over the counter. It is just as strong as bleach but usually quite a bit more expensive.
What Kills Mold Naturally?
The major products that would be considered natural that still kills mold are vinegar and baking soda. Both of these do a good job of killing mold separately but they will work even better if used together.
The vinegar will do most of the natural work of killing the mold while the baking soda can work as a scrubbing agent to lift the mold up. You can’t use baking soda alone without a liquid to help kill the mold.
When To Hire A Professional
Let’s face it, sometimes, a job is far too big for one family to handle. When this happens, you’ll want to call an expert. Their prices range anywhere from a couple of hundred dollars to five thousand dollars.
This all depends on how deep the mold runs and if any demolition is needed. Even if you don’t have them remove the mold, having someone come in and assess the damage is always a good idea. Then you can make your decision.