There are several variations of mold out there, but one thing they all have in common is that they thrive in damp and humid places. You can usually find white mold in basements, laundry rooms and bathrooms. White mold is bright white, smells musty, and usually appears to be flat and fluffy or growing in small balls. You can easily remove white mold with water and a mild detergent, but to prevent it from growing back you must remove moisture from the area.
Things You'll Need
- Rubber gloves
- N-95 respirator (optional)
- Scrub brush
- Liquid fabric detergent
Open any windows to ventilate the area and promote drying, as applicable.
Mix mild detergent, such as dish soap, with warm water in a bucket. Do not use harsh cleaners such as bleach or ammonia. The idea of "killing" mold spores with bleach is largely a myth, and in most cases it is unnecessary to attempt to sanitize a moldy area with strong chemicals.
Put on rubber gloves to protect your hands. You can also wear an N-95 respirator (available at home centers and hardware stores) to minimize ingestion of mold spores if you are particularly sensitive to them.
Wash the moldy area thoroughly with the detergent solution, using a sponge or scrub brush. Because excess moisture is the cause of the mold in the first place, try not to over-wet the area if it will be difficult to dry afterward.
Rinse the area with a rag and clean water, if necessary. Wipe the area with a dry rag and allow it to dry completely. Use a fan or two to help dry the cleaned area and remove ambient moisture in the room, as applicable.
Fill a bucket with lukewarm water and mix in a few drops of liquid fabric detergent.
Dip a clean rag or washcloth into the detergent solution and scrub the area in a circular motion until the mold is removed. Note: The mold may have caused discoloration of the fabric that may be difficult or impossible to remove.
Wash the fabric in your washing machine, if possible. If not, wet a clean rag with water and wipe away any soapy residue. Pat the fabric dry with another rag. Dry the fabric completely, using fans or other means of ventilation/airflow.
Tips & Warnings
- Mold must have moisture and food sources, such as paper, wood, fabric and other cellular or organic materials, to survive. If you remove all moisture, mold cannot thrive or grow.
- Porous materials that cannot be cleaned effectively, such as carpet, ceiling tiles, drywall and insulation, may need to be discarded if contaminated with mold.