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!
Leather, 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
Here’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.
Your 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!