Clean and Remove Mold on Your Own

 Keep Your House How You Want It

Nobody likes having mold at their house. Sometimes the mold is noticeable, like in the kitchen or bathroom, and you have seeing it. Other times it could be hidden, like spots from a spilled drink that someone forgot to clean up. It could be kids, pets, or just plain humidity that’s causing a problem, but I bet you want to know how to clean up those spots and patches, right? This week we’re looking at part one of how to remove mold from everyday places like your kitchen or bathroom. Check out a couple of steps to ensure you’re doing it right.

What to Do First: Is this mold?

The first step to cleaning up mold is to actually identify whether or not you are seeing mold. Look for dark or black spots where people typically find mold. Mold grows where food and water go often. That means on food items that are left out, anything that you touch frequently, or anything that can rot. Why things that you touch? Skin oils can build up and actually lead to small mold growth!

remove mold on showersLeather, wood, and drywall are particularly open to mold and mildew growing on it. Good places to check are discolored drywall, regularly damp decks, and the grout in the bathroom.  For the most part hopefully you’ll only find mold growing in your shower or bath. Your shower and bath tub usually has all the components for mold to grow, so you should check it often! Regular use and consent dampness are perfect for mold when combined with the oils and skin cells that people leave in there after showering. Yes, that may sound gross but it’s true! If you find mold in the shower, it should look something like this picture to the right. Whether you find mold in your shower, in the kitchen, or on furniture, you should be able to recognize it pretty well.

Once you’ve determined that what you are looking at is indeed mold, you are now ready to start cleaning it properly. But how do you do that? This next section talks about what you should do when you remove mold, including some dos and don’ts.

What Not to Do When You Remove Mold

don't use spray to remove moldHere’s an important tip that most people don’t know: bleach will not clean mold. I repeat, bleach will not clean mold! When bleach is used to “remove mold” what’s actually happening is much worse. You’re just bleaching the color out of the chlorophyll, making the mold clear and invisible. So it might look gone when your done, but in two weeks its back. And then the mold is meaner than ever.

Another tip is this: don’t spray anything on mold. Mold has survived longer than most everything on the planet, so its acquired some nasty skills to fight back in that time. One defense that it has developed is a sensitivity to chemicals. When you hit it with a chemical spray it will attempt to defend automatically, causing the mold colony to release its microscopic spores in defense. Mold also creates a thin film over itself, protecting itself from the spray’s chemicals after a few seconds. So, while sprays may sound good, you will actually be making the mold spread through the air. You and your house definitely don’t want that to happen!

The Best Way to Clean Mold? Dish Soap!

The best tool to remove mold is actually something you probably already have plenty of: dish soap! That’s right, household dish soap will do the job. I prefer using clear Dawn dish soap. It doesn’t have any artificial colors that can dye what you’re cleaning or bleach to make it invisible.

use dish soap and water to clean moldYour second set of tools? Water and some paper towels. Take a cup of water and mix some dish soap into it, but not much. You want it to be a little sticky or tacky, not liquid. Then dip a paper cloth into the cup to dampen it a little. By using a disposable paper cloth, you give yourself the ability to remove the mold from your home without spreading it by reusing cloths or transferring the mold to your towels. You should wipe the afflicted in a sweeping motion. After a few swipes, ball up the cloth, and throw it in the trash. Repeat this motion until you’ve removed all the visible mold from the area. There, you’re done!

As long as it’s only a small amount of mold you should be fine cleaning it up using the method above. If you have extensive mold issues or can smell the mold, please consult a mold specialist. You might have a much larger problem on hand and won’t be able to handle it without a professional!

19 thoughts on “Tips to Remove Mold at Home

  1. My neighbors noticed a funky smell in their house and soon after, discovered they had a mold problem. It is good to know that the best tool to remove mold is dish soap. It is treat to know that by using a disposable cloth, you have the ability of removing mold from your house without spreading it. We will be sure to inform our neighbors.

  2. I like how you said to use dish soap and water to clean up the mold. My shower is covered in mold and it worked a little bit. But I think that it is too big of a job and I’ll have to get professional mold services.

  3. I am starting to worry that I have mold in my house, and I would like to have it taken care of. It’s good to know that one way to determine if it is what it is see by looking for black spots where it is supposed to be. This is helpful to know so that we can know for sure what we are working with before taking action.

  4. We have been dealing with a huge mold problem in our bathroom. Now I realize we have been spraying it with bleach. We will go back to the drawing bored and we will try the dish soap recommended. I am hoping this will help us resolve the issue.

  5. Great article. Thanks for pointing out that bleach will not clean mold and dish soap will do. I recently noticed that there seems to be a mold build-up on my bathroom walls. I will definitely take heed of your advice when I do my general household cleaning this weekend. Thanks.

  6. I had no idea that dish soap can help to remove mold from the affected area! I’ve just moved to a new house, and I was surprised to find out the entire basement is covered with mold. I will make sure to try this method in the kitchen, but I’d rather call a service for the basement as I do not have time to clean the room myself.

  7. Thanks for the tip that bleach will not clean mold. There’s been quite a bit of mold build up in my garage, and I haven’t been sure how to take care of it on my own. Perhaps I should contact a mold removal professional to help me take care of my garage.

  8. To keep our home healthy, we’re thinking of getting mold removal services to get rid of unwanted mold. Thanks for your tip on not using bleach to clean mold as it will just bleach the color out of the chlorophyll, making the mold invisible and meaner. I’ll tell my wife to consider using dish soap to remove the small amount of mold in our home. Thanks for such informative article!

  9. It’s good to know about getting rid of mold. I’m pretty sure we have some nasty mold in our shower, so this is great. It looks like the picture on the right, so I think that’s right. Honestly, I don’t even want to mess with it, so I’ll probably use a professional service.

  10. When my fiance and I moved into our new home, noticed that there was a lot of mold. This made us really concerned about our health so we will be contacting a mold damage restoration service. In the meantime, we will try dish soap to keep it at bay.

  11. I was under the impression that bleach could basically clean anything in your home. It is good to learn that this isn’t effective when dealing with mold. I have noticed some in my basement and will probably need professional help to get rid of it.

  12. I never knew that bleach wasn’t meant to clean mold! My sister is looking to get some mold testing in her home because she doesn’t want any of her kids to get sick. I think I will talk to her about hiring a professional to remove mold if needed since bleach isn’t meant for doing that.

  13. I have been worried that I might have mold in my bathroom. It’s good to know how to identify it. It’s also good to know that bathrooms can commonly get mold, like you said. I’ll have to double check and see if it is really mold in my bathroom or not.

  14. I like your advice on not trying to take on mold on your own. Most likely it is not going work and it will be back before long. Getting someone who is experienced will help eliminate it for good.

  15. I tried the dish soap method on my shower walls and it did work work with a little bit of elbow grease. I appreciate the article. Thank you 🙂

  16. Thank you for pointing out that you shouldn’t spray anything on the mold. I didn’t know this and will be sure to make sure no one sprays anything on it until we can get someone out to clean it up. My entire basement seems to be molding and I need to find a company to come and fix everything as soon as possible.

  17. I appreciated it when you said that one of the ways to identify if it is mold is by determining if it is an area where people usually find mold. You also said that mold often grows in areas where food and water are frequently seen. Does that mean it is possible for mold to grow in gutters? My sister mentioned seeing what seems to be mold growing in the gutter right above the living room. There’s no way for me to determine this, so I think it will be best if I asked a professional to give it a check. Thanks.

  18. My dad was cleaning our bathroom when he noticed that there are black spots near the ceiling. It was suggested here that he should first identify if what he saw was mold or not. Moreover, it’s ideal to hire professionals for quality mold consulting services.

  19. Black spots in places like your bathroom is most likely mold…black spots, moisture (from water in the bathroom), enclosed spaces and lack of constant ventilation along with people showering every day is why it’s so common to find it in your bathroom. Talk with a professional is the best way to go as you never know everywhere it spread to unless you have a testing device!

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