It would be an understatement to say that mold is a nuisance. Not only is it extremely annoying; it’s actually quite dangerous. This is especially true for the elderly and people who have a weakened immune system.
It can discolor drywall, blacken grout lines in your bathroom and ruin siding. The problem is that mold can grow almost anywhere. It releases microscopic spores throughout your home, which can cause significant allergy problems, among other things.
At some point, most homes will suffer from mold growth. Fortunately, if you know how to identify and remove mold from your home, you’ve already won 90 percent of the battle.
In most cases, you’ll be dealing with a minor mold growth, which has occurred in your home. The good news is that these small growths can be removed easily with household cleaning products.
It’s better to leave very large mold infestations to the experts because disturbing such growths can have dangerous consequences. Some types of mold are incredibly toxic and should only be handled by professionals.
Identifying Mold Growth
Before you clean and remove mold from your home, you should know how to identify it. Virtually anywhere you find moisture there is the possibly to find mold. It usually grows comfortably in temperatures between 40 and 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
Mildew is the most visibly noticeable type of mold. It starts as tiny black spots. It’s commonly found in the shower or grout lines. You can dab a small amount of bleach onto mildew, and if it’s really mildew, it will lighten.
In homes where a lot of mold is present, you’ll be able to smell it. You’ll notice a very musty, pungent odor. Once you’ve identified mold growth in your home, it’s not too difficult to remove. Let’s get right to it.
How to Clean Mold from Your Home with Natural Cleaners
First, we’ll look at a few natural ways to eliminate mold. The first method uses hydrogen peroxide. Since it’s an antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal, it’s a great cleaning agent to get rid of mold. It can be used to clean mold from walls, floors, bathroom fixtures and kitchen appliances, to name a few.
All you need to do is pour a 3-percent concentration of hydrogen peroxide into a spray bottle and use it to saturate the mold. Allow the HP to sit on the mold for about 10 minutes. Next, give the area a good scrubbing.
Just wipe the surface down when you’re finished. Another natural cleaning agent that you can use is vinegar. It’s a mild acid and can kill over 80 percent of known mold species. Depending on the species, some people prefer to use baking soda mixed with vinegar to kill mold.
All you need to do is grab a spray bottle, fill it with white distilled vinegar and use the same process as you would with hydrogen peroxide. Spray the mold, let sit for 60 minutes and scrub the area clean.
The third natural cleaner that works very well is baking soda. All you need to do is fill a spray bottle with water and add one tablespoon of baking soda. Shake the bottle well, spray the mold and scrub it away.
How to Kill Mold with Bleach or Ammonia
If you’re the type of person that doesn’t really believe in natural cleaners, you can use bleach or ammonia. However, keep in mind that bleach produces some harsh fumes, so you’ll need to make sure the area you’re working in is well ventilated.
Also, wear gloves and goggles to protect your eyes and hands. To kill mold with bleach, create a mixture of one cup bleach per one gallon of water. You can use a cloth, sponge or spray bottle to apply the cleaning solution.
Afterwards, there is no need to rinse the surface, unless the surface will be used for preparing food. If pets or children are likely to come into contact with the bleached space soon after you’re finished cleaning, then you should give it a good rinse.
It’s important to understand that bleach and ammonia don’t work very well to kill mold on porous surfaces. These chemicals work best when used on hard tile, glass or countertops. They aren’t very effective for killing mold on drywall or wood.
Before you start, create a solution containing 50 percent water and 50 percent ammonia in a spray bottle. Go ahead and spray it onto the mold and allow it to sit for a few hours. Next, wipe and rinse the area. Make sure the ammonia you’re using says ‘clear ammonia’ on the product’s label.
Keep in mind that you can also kill mold with borax, tea tree oil, detergent and grapefruit seed extract. Most homeowners find it easiest to use bleach or ammonia.
You can use these techniques to clean mold from the shower, basement, carpet, walls, leather and ceilings. As mentioned, however, bleach and ammonia don’t work well on porous surfaces.