How To Clean Away Mold And Mildew?

Mold and mildew in the home can be a persistent and pesky problem with a high rate of recurrence in the same spot. If mold attacks the same place over and again, the problem is not really the mold but something else entirely. Mold exists everywhere, indoors and outdoors but only grows when provided with the right environment that usually includes a damp, dark and moist spot. Mold will not grow in the absence of moisture, and if you are successful in cutting off the water source you will effectively prevent mold recurring after a clean up.

Here are a few ways to clean up mold and mildew from household surfaces, but do remember that a clean up is effective in keeping mold at bay only if the underlying problems, like dampness caused by water damage, are addressed, prevented and fixed.

Cleaning Mold In A Wall

Painting over a mold affected wall is only a quick fix that does not get rid of the mold but only covers it up. If the problem is in the wall of a store room or an under-sink area it is due to the build up of damp and moisture. Clean the wall, with a solution of all purpose cleaning fluid like dishwashing detergent to get the mold out and remember to keep the area better ventilated and dry to prevent a recurrence. Once completely dry, painting over the affected area is recommended. 

If the mold problem is in a wall with water seepage, cleaning away scaling paint and painting over it will never get rid of the problem and the mold hiding beneath the paint will continue to resurface till the seepage problem itself is fixed.

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Mold in the wall under a sink

Cleaning Mold In Bathroom Grout

Wipe down or spray bathroom grout with a store bought mold specific cleaner like Tilex that is available in better supermarkets. For a DIY home solution, spray with a 1:1 solution of vinegar to water or bleach to water and scrub away. A paste of borax and water or baking soda and water, applied to mold, left for a few minutes and then scrubbed with a brush, is also effective in cleaning away mold from grout. Another DIY prevention tip is to spray mold prone areas with a few drops of Tea Tree essential oil diluted with water and shaken well to combine. Pressure steam cleaners are another way to clean grout without using any chemicals.

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Apply a mold specific cleaning fluid to bathroom grout and scrub 

Cleaning Mold In Cupboards

Mold can attack wooden cupboards and your clothes too! If mold affected wood is peeling, or shredding, it is a sign that rot has set in and you will need to replace the  wood. If wood holds together well, the mold is only on the surface. Clean cupboards with a cloth dipped in a mild detergent solution, taking care to wring out excess moisture from the cloth to prevent saturating the wood with water which may aggravate the problem further. Leave the cupboard open, with a fan on and let it dry completely. Remember to air out the cupboard every now and then to prevent mold returning.

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DIY options for cleaning mold

If you have a persistent mold problem consider installing a dehumidifier in your home, and moving it from room to room in a rotation pattern, to prevent mold growth by keeping the humidity levels in you home in check. 

Ranjita Bhandari

The Author

Home Concierge


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