Mold spores establish colonies and spread rapidly in locations where moisture isn't able to dry completely. Bathrooms and kitchens often attract mold colonies, which may give off a tell-tale musty odor and appear on walls, ceilings and other surfaces as a white or green powdery substance. Bleach won't completely kill mold, but is a good pre-cleanser for moldy walls and ceilings. To kill mold colonies, use borax or borate dissolved in water. Many detergents, especially those designed for automatic dishwashers, contain borate.
Things You'll Need
- Eye goggles
- Long vinyl gloves
- Particle-resistant masks
- Trash bags
- Warm water
- Clean rags
- Laundry detergent
- Spray bottles
- Scrub brush
- Borate detergent
Don protective eyegear, gloves and mask. Inhaling mold spores can make breathing more difficult for people who suffer from asthma or other respiratory illnesses.
Remove all items and furnishings from the area you're about to clean. If you detect or suspect any mold on them, close them up tightly in plastic trash bags to prevent mold spores from spreading to other areas of your home.
Dissolve 1 cup of laundry detergent in a gallon of warm water. Working in small sections, wash the walls and ceilings with the mixture. Scrub stains to help remove deep-ground mold.
Allow surfaces to dry. Use fans and open windows to speed the drying process.
Add 3 tbsp. of bleach to a quart-sized spray bottle. Fill the bottle with warm water. Spray the mixture on mold spots, working top to bottom, left to right. For large areas, dissolve ¼ cup bleach in a gallon pail of warm water and apply with clean rags.
Wait for the walls and ceilings to dry completely. Dissolve 1 cup of borate-based detergent in a gallon of warm water.
Apply the solution to the walls and ceilings with clean rags. Allow the area to air dry, using fans and open windows to quicken the process.
Sweep and wash floors, counters, appliances and other surfaces with the borate solution before returning moved items to the room. Be sure all surfaces and items are mold-free, or mold colonies may return.
Tips & Warnings
- Use a dehumidifier to keep moisture-prone areas dry.
- Don't allow people to move in and out of the room while you're cleaning away mold. They can easily carry mold spores from one place to another.
- Attack new mold colonies as soon as they form to keep mold from spreading.
- Photo Credit George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images
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