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How to remove mold from wood

By | July 4, 2016

Removing mold from wood

Mold and mildew thrive in places that have moisture, moderate temperature and lack of adequate ventilation or fresh air. They can grow on a variety of organic and sometimes even inorganic surfaces.

Wood is an organic surface that has the tendency to absorb moisture and consequently it provides a very conducive environment for growth of fungal microbes like mold and mildew. Humid climates make it even more favorable for mold to grow.

Wooden structures exposed to outside environment like rain or wet soil are more prone to develop mold growth. If these structures make up your house, then its very necessary to take care of the wood and prevent mold.

Why you should clean away the mold

Mold is a sign and symptom of decay which is not good in any way. Though in small quantities it does not really pose any risk, but you should ask yourself as to why should there be any decay or dirt in the house.

In large quantities, certain species of mold can be hazardous to human health. They give out toxic gases which if inhaled can cause allergies and other health symptoms. But why let the situation get worse to that extent. The best thing is to get rid of mold at the first sight.

Cleaning away the mold

Cleaning the mold may require some effort. Depending on the size of the affected area you may be able to either do it yourself or have to call a professional.

For most simple places like wooden furniture or a simple wooden structure you can work out yourself. You will need few household items like baking soda, bleach and detergent to clean the mold.

However if the affected area is quite large or is in a place that you cannot reach out to, you better call a professional. For example, if there is a large wooden ceiling that is badly affected by mold, then you may not want to do it yourself.

1. Scrub with soap or home detergent

Just mix some detergent in a small tub of water and prepare a solution. You can also add some baking soda to it to increase the alkalinity of the solution.

Now use a sponge or scrubber to soak the solution and start rubbing the wooden surface where the mold is. You should see the mold coming over to the scrubber instantly.

Keep rubbing till you have scrubbed off all the mold. Instead of detergent you can also use dish soap or dish washing liquid.

Detergent or dish soap are mild cleaning agents that work best if you are dealing with wood that is painted or has some kind of protective coating. On such wooden surface the mold generally remains only on the surface and has not penetrated deep. So cleaning with just detergent or soap will suffice.

Once the mold has been cleaned away, its very important to dry the wood completely. Make sure there is as much ventilation as possible in the room. Turn on the fans to get more air flowing. Alternatively you can use a vacuum blower to blow some hot air onto the wood to dry it quickly.

If the wood is not painted or polished in anyway, and the mold has grown all over in great quantity then you would need a more powerful cleaner like bleach or ammonia.

2. Bleach

If there is a very heavy growth of mold, then you need a more powerful cleaner like chlorine bleach. Chlorine bleach is a very powerful chemical that kills all microscopic organisms like mold and mildew.

Mix liquid chlorine bleach with 2x times water in spray bottle and begin spraying this solution on the mold. As earlier, use a scrubber to rub along the mold.

Bleach gives out a very pungent and toxic smell that you would not want to inhale in excess. If you are working indoors, make sure to ventilate the place by opening all doors and windows. Also use hand gloves and protective respiratory masks.

In case of polished wood, the mold is generally only on the surface and can be cleaned off completely with bleach.

Otherwise if the wood is not varnished or polished, the mold growth could have penetrated deep inside the pores of the wood surface. Bleach may not go deep inside the pores and fibers of the wood to clean out all mold. You may have to use some commercial mold removal product.

3. Ammonia

Ammonia is a strongly alkaline substance and is effective in eliminating mold. Simply mix equal parts of ammonia solution with water and fill in a spray bottle.

Now spray ammonia on the mold area and rub with a scrubber. That should remove the mold. Ammonia is very effective in disinfecting and cleaning. However ammonia has its own pungent smell that you may find very irritating. When using ammonia solution, mask your face with something.

Note – When using ammonia, always remember to keep it away from bleach. Ammonia and bleach react together producing highly toxic chloramine gases.

4. Other commercial mold cleaning products

Apart from the above mentioned remedies, there are various other commercial mold removal products( called mildewcides) available in the market out there. Here are the names of few of them.

Concrobium Mold Control – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000UVGHQK

Whenever using commercial mold removal products, make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for use.

Varnish the wood

After removing the mold and all stains, you may want to consider painting or varnishing the wood to protect it and prevent the mold from re-occurring in future.

There are quite a few options like paste wax, lacquer, varnish, polyurethane etc. These are industry grade chemicals and it is best advised to consult and hire a professional for this task.

Precaution

If you are dealing with massive amounts of mold and plan to use bleach, then its important to wear protection equipment to avoid inhaling any toxic gases that may be produced during the cleaning process.

Make sure to cover your mouth and nose with a mask or something else. Also get protective goggles is possible. Also make sure to put on hand gloves to avoid any direct contact with mold.

When using ammonia or bleach, always remember never to mix both of them together. Mixing ammonia with bleach produces highly toxic gases.

How to unclog a kitchen sink

By | July 3, 2016

Clean and unclog the kitchen sink

The food waste that falls into the sink in minute quantities, accumulates into a fat sized clog that eventually turns your sink into a pool. The clog is mostly composed to organic matter, grease and oily substances that all originate from your food recipes.

Keeping your kitchen sink drain pipe clean is essential hygiene. The build up in the drain pipe is not only dirty, but a growing ground for germs, bacterias and other problems.

One way to do this is by opening up the pipes beneath the sink and cleaning them and then assemble them back. However this can be too much of too complicated work. Or you can call a plumber for some extra bucks.

Another option is to use one of those commercial drain cleaner solutions. However many of those drain cleaning chemicals are toxic and need to handled with great caution. Hence consumers tend to avoid them and use other simpler and natural solutions that are safe.

Here in we show you some very simple tricks that can clean up the mess inside the pipes without too much of work. Keep reading.

1. Try unclogging with a thin plastic strip

If there is enough fancy dirt on the drain, clean it away with your own hands. Wear cleaning gloves to avoid contact with the rotten dirt.

Get a thin stick like thing made of plastic or wood and poke it inside the drain hole and push the clogged matter further and loosen it out. Pour some water again and push again.

Keep doing it for a few minutes till you have cleared as much as possible. This will make space to pour in cleanser liquids and powders.

You may also want to try a plunger to loosen the clog material inside the pipe.

If you don’t have one, try getting a Zip-It from amazon.com https://www.amazon.com/Cobra-Products-00412BL-Drain-Cleaning/dp/B000BO9204

2. Clean with baking soda + vinegar

Baking soda with vinegar causes a fizzy reaction that happens to clean organic and oil dirt and debris easily.

Pour in about a half a cup of backing soda in the drain hole. You can also mix about half a cup of salt with this. Make sure that it goes into the hole and does not just stay on the top. Try pushing with a thin stick if needed.

Now pour in about half a cup of plain white vinegar into it. This will cause a fizzy reaction that will cause the scum inside the pipe to loosen out and become easy to clean.

Let the vinegar and baking soda do the job for about 15 minutes. Meanwhile boil about a kettle of water, for the next step.

3. Pour hot and boiling water

Once the baking soda and vinegar have done their work, pour in about a liter of hot boiling water into the drain to flush out the residues.

The drain pipe should now be clean and clear.

4. Dishwash liquid

Pour about 1/4 cup of Dawn dishing washing liquid in sink, followed by hot water. This should clean up any remaining mess from the drain pipes.

5. Wipe the rest of the sink with vinegar

If there is scum on the surface and sides of the sink, or if it smells, then simply soak vinegar in a sponge and wipe the whole sink clean.

Vinegar not only cleans dirt, but also sanitizes the whole area and deodorizes. Finally your sink should look and feel clean and fresh. Good job!

Extra tips and advice

It would be an excellent idea to prevent clogging of drain. Get one of those drain protector plastic caps to cover the drain hole. These caps have much smaller perforations compared to the drain holes and block any solid or semi-solid matter from falling into the pipe.

The solid waste accumulates over the cap which can be cleared once every few days. This keeps the drain pipe cleaner for a longer time and lesser clogs to clean. However, you may have to work a bit to find the right sized cap for your sink. You can find plenty of such drain caps on amazon.com

If you have a garbage disposal installed beneath the sink, then make sure to first disconnect it from the power supply. Also be very careful to never put your hands directly into the garbage disposal unit.

If none of the above method helps out, the clog probably is too big and strong. The only option then is to open the pipes below and clean them. You may have to call a plumber for the job.

How to get hair dye stains out of clothes

By | July 2, 2016

Remove hair dye from clothes

Any kind of dye is supposed to stick to whatever it falls on, be it your hair or clothes. So when you drop even a little of it on a garment a powerful stain emerges almost instantly. Even worse if it goes un-noticed for a few hours while you were busy applying the dye.

See that you don’t turn a whole bottle of dye onto the fabric, which could mean a differently colored garment all together 🙂

So hair dye stains are quite strong and the sooner you take action the very better. There are some home remedies to treat it and sometimes even get rid of it. But many a times you might need help of a professional.

1. Try rubbing alcohol

Alcohol is known for its properties of dissolving many different kinds of chemical and organic coloring agents like ink, marker, tea etc.

Dab the stain with a sponge dipped in rubbing alcohol and see if the dye color loosens out. Keep doing till you see the dye color coming out into the sponge. Do not rub the stain at all, or it will spread even further. Just keep dabbing gently making the stain wet with alcohol and applying pressure.

2. Hair Spray

Instead of alcohol, you can also try hair spray. Similar to alcohol, hair spray can also dissolve colored stains from dyes, markers, nail polish etc.

Spray on the stained area and dab with a cotton ball or something similar. You should notice the color coming out in the cotton. Keep removing the dye color out of the fabric till you see no further improvement.

3. Dish washing liquid

Dishwashing liquid can be useful to remove the hair dye from the clothes. Mix about 1 tablespoon of vinegar + 1 teaspoon of dish soap + 1 cup of water.

Now use a sponge to apply this solution to the stain. Rub very gently and dab it. Check that the stain should start lifting out of the fabric.

4. Hydrogen Peroxide

Dye stains are best removed by using some sort of bleaching agent. Hydrogen peroxide is a moderate bleach that can leave the color of the fabric unaffected.

Mix a little hydrogen peroxide in a cup of water and use a sponge to apply this solution on the stain. Just dab gently and avoid rubbing too much. However, make sure to first test the solution on some hidden part of the fabric to ensure that colorfastness of the fabric.

Hydrogen peroxide can be used with fabrics like cotton and polyester. Check the washing instructions for your fabric before applying it.

5. Ammonia

Ammonia is more powerful than hydrogen peroxide. And if hydrogen peroxide fails to completely lift the stain then you can go ahead and try ammonia.

Mix about 1 tablespoon of ammonia solution in a cup of water. Now use a sponge to apply this solution onto the stain.

Again, remember to first test it on an inconspicuous part of the fabric to ensure colorfastness. Then apply on the stain to wet it and dab it for few minutes. Soak the sponge with the solution again as needed.

After the stain has completely dissolved, rinse with cold water and launder as usual.

6.Commercial stain cleaners

Due to the strong nature of hair dye stains, you may have to consider using a commercial stain cleaner if all other remedies fail to work or if some residue to stain still persists. For

1. Clorox2 Stain Fighter and Color Booster –
https://www.amazon.com/Clorox-Stain-Fighter-Color-Booster/dp/B0028IN0VS

This is a popular stain removal product that is claimed to be quite effective in removing stains without affecting the original color of the fabric.

Extra tips and advice

Some of the methods shown above involve the use of bleaching agents like hydrogen peroxide or ammonia. Be cautious when using bleach on clothes. Bleaching agents can spoil the color of the fabric or even the damage the fabric itself.

Check the label on the fabric for washing instructions. When using bleach, apply it on a hidden part first to ensure that the fabric is not loosing its color under the effect of the bleach.

6 common household things you can use for cleaning

By | July 1, 2016

Cleaning with common household items

Cleaning does not always need to be a super scientific task involving the use of advanced cleaning solutions and chemical agents, available only in the superstores.

There are lots of simple things present in your house that can be used to clean almost anything from floor to ceiling and clothes to furniture. The cleaning solutions include vinegar, lemon juice, baking soda, rubbing alcohol, hydrogen peroxide and many others.

1. White Vinegar

Vinegar is a universal cleaning agent that can be used to clean and sanitize hundreds of things in your house. Vinegar contains acetic acid which acts as a clean and disinfectant. It can remove stains, mold growth and sanitize various things from clothes, carpets to tiles and other surfaces.

Prepare a mixture of equal parts of plain white vinegar with water in a spray bottle and you are ready to start cleaning.

It can remove a variety of stains from clothes and carpets. Dab stains on clothes with a mixture of white vinegar and water.

It can be used as a sanitizer and deodorant. Wash a bunch of clothes in the washing machine with detergent and a cup of vinegar to get rid of mildew smell.

It can be used as a disinfectant. Clean the glass surface, tiles, grouts and other fixtures in your bathroom with a vinegar solution to get rid of any smelly surface, mold growth and hard water marks.

However, there are some places where you should avoid applying any vinegar at all. Do not apply vinegar on countertops made of marble, granite or other organic stone material.

Due to its acidic nature vinegar can corrode the surface of marble or granite and make them rough and ruin the shine of the surface.

Also avoid vinegar on wooden floors and leather items. It can corrode the shine of these surfaces.

2. Lemon Juice

Lemon juice is the best household cleaner, sanitizer, disinfectant and it is absolutely natural. It has numerous applications apart from just serving as a food ingredient.

Lemon juice contains citric acid which acts as the cleaning agent. It can be used to remove certain kinds of stains from washable fabrics like cotton and polyester. Simply make a paste of lemon and salt and apply on the stain.

Lemon is also used to clean kitchen utensils, pots and pans. Just use a used up lemon peel and rub it on the pans and other utensils, then wash with warm water and you should be done. Works best on stainless steel, brass and copper utensils.

However be careful with silver and gold utensils. The acid juice in lemon can potentially react with silver and corrode it.

A simple mixture of water and lemon juice is an excellent cleaner for plastic items like buckets, bottles and other things. Just use a sponge to rub plastic items with lemon solution and they should be clean and smell fresh.

Lemon juice solution is also excellent for cleaning sinks and clogged drains. Rub it on the sink and it will not only clean it, but also sanitize it and fight bacteria and other forms of germs.

Avoid cleaning any stone surfaces (like marble, granite), wooden surfaces, polished leather and iron objects with lemon juice. The acid in lemon can potentially react with these surfaces and spoil the shine and texture.

3. Plain Salt

Something as simple as salt can be a powerful cleaner if you know how to harness its cleaning powers. Here is a cool video on youtube that shows you exactly how to use salt to clean dirt and mess around your house.

3. Baking Soda

Baking soda is yet another very common household item that can be used to do cleaning tasks. Baking soda is alkaline in nature which is the reverse of vinegar and lemon.

It can be used to clean cookware, plastic tubs, buckets, wash basins, drainage pipes etc. Baking soda works best on dirt that consists of grease, oil, soil and organic matter.

Baking soda is also useful in cleaning the drainage pipe of your wash basin or kitchen sink. Simply pour some baking soda into the drainage making sure that it drips down into the pipe. Then pour some vinegar.
This will clean the pipe and wash away any organic and mineral dirt accumulated d

4. Rubbing Alcohol

Rubbing alcohol (methylated spirit) is mildly acidic and and excellent dissolving agent for various chemical compounds.

Rubbing alcohol is not a very powerful cleaning agent. However it is quite effective in removing specific stains like those of permanent marker, ink, wine, tea, coffee. Rubbing alcohol can be used on surfaces that have delicate coatings like polish.

Aftershave solution also has a similar effect like that of rubbing alcohol. It can be used to clean off permanent marker stains from leather sofas, furniture etc. It is also ideal for cleaning glass surfaces with mild dust stains.

5. Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is another quite powerful cleaning agent. It is useful in removing strong and deep stains from clothes and carpets.

However, due to its strong acidic nature it needs to be used with caution. If you are using it on a fabric to remove stains, make sure to check the fabric type and read the washing instructions on the label.

It can also be used to disinfect plastic containers like buckets, tubs etc. You can also wash rugs and rags with it.

There are certain things you should avoid cleaning with hydrogen peroxide. The rules are similar to any other acidic cleaner like vinegar. Mineral surfaces, wood surface, iron, leather etc should not be cleaned with hydrogen peroxide.

Also avoid hydrogen peroxide on any delicate or non washable fabric like silk, linen or wool. Hydrogen peroxide can bleach the dye on the fabric, ruining the color.

6. Dish Soap

Dish soap is a common household ingredient that is useful beyond just washing dishes. Dish wash liquids can be used to treat many of the food stains.

Stains from chocolate, oil, grease can be removed using a little of baking soda and dish soap. Rub the little baking soda on the stain, followed by a little dish soap. Soak for few minutes, rub again and the stain should be gone. We talked about removing oil and grease stains from clothes in a previous post here.

Resources

Here are some useful resources that will explain you further about what are the different types of cleaners and which one should you use when.

[url]http://www.cleanfax.com/carpet-care/the-role-of-ph-in-cleaning/[/url] – This page explains about the pH level of various cleaners, and which one to choose depending on the situation

[url]http://modernstonecare.com/acid-vs-alkaline-what-why-and-when/[/url] – A nice explanation on the pH level of cleaners

How to get grease stains out of clothes

By | June 30, 2016

Removing grease stains from clothes

Grease stains can come over onto clothes from many different places. Be it the cooking oil, or some grease on your bike or bicycle. Cosmetic products like creams and gels also contain petroleum substances which can stain fabrics. Oily substances tend to stain clothes very quickly.

Common food recipes also contain oil and dropping some of it on your clothes lead to colorless stains even if you manage to clean it well. Towels and rugs also catch lots of oily stains when you use them for cleaning.

Oil stains are still easier to remove compared to stains from industrial greases and synthetic oils. Industrial grease stains are a lot stronger and require a lot of extra work to get rid of.

Some common household items that can be used to clean oil or grease stains include dish soap, talcum powder, baking soda.

oil stains on clothes

1. Soak oil with Talcum Powder/Baby powder

If its a fresh or recent stain then try soaking out excess oil using an absorbent powder like talcum or baby powder. You can also use corn starch.

Sprinkle plenty of baby powder on the stained area to cover it entirely. Then press and rub it with fingers so that the powder and soak the oil well. Let it stay like that for about 15 minutes.

Dust off the powder from the clothes. Use a tissue paper or normal paper to press the stain. The paper should absorb some of the oil out of the stain. This should reduce the stain and make it easier to treat.

2. Baking soda

Baking soda can also be used to absorb oil out of the fabric like talcum powder. Just follow the same step as before. Sprinkle baking soda on the stained area and press and rub a little. Let it sit for few minutes and then dust off. Press a tissue paper on the stain to absorb whatever oil can come out.

3. Club soda/Coca Cola/Pepsi

Club soda or coca cola are mildly acidic liquids can be used to loosen the oil in the stain. However make sure to check the washing instructions on the fabric first.

This method should work fine with regular washable fabrics like cotton and polyester. However, do not use this method on delicate fabrics like silk or non washable wool.

Pour some coca cola on the stain and let it sit for a few minutes. That should loosen the stain and make it lighter and easier to treat.

4. Dish Soap

Dish soap like Palmolive and Dawn are seen very effective in removing grease stains from clothes. Just apply a little dish soap on the stain. Rub it a little and then let it sit for few minutes.

Rinse with water and the stain should be gone. If a little of the stain is still left, repeat the steps again. Afterwards wash as usual with laundry detergent.

5. Laundry detergents

Laundry detergent can be used to pre treat the stain. However it may not be very effective in lifting the stain. Prepare a paste of detergent with water. Apply it on the stain and let it rest for about 15-20 minutes.

Rinse with water and see if there is any improvement in the stain. If the detergent could lift some of the stain, you may want to repeat the process. Or else try some commercial stain remover.

Extra tips and advice

Another common recipe to remove grease stains is Salt + Shampoo + Dish soap. Mix a little of each in a cup with water to make a thick and dense solution. And then rub this solution on the stained area with fingers and let it sit for 15-30 minutes. Then wash as usual.

Another usual piece of advice is to be careful about the fabric and its washing rules. If its a silk garment for example and marked as dry clean only on the label, then your best option is to take it to a professional rather than trying to fix the stain yourself.

How to remove chocolate stains from clothes

By | June 29, 2016

Removing chocolate stains

Kids love eating chocolates, pastries and cakes and when they rub their little fingers on their clothes, the chocolate stains are created nicely. So if you have kids at home these chocolate stains may be an everyday thing to deal with.

Chocolate itself has a low melting point due to which in most recipes it will turn into a thick liquid or creamy texture that can easily get easily displaced while eating.

Like with other stains, the sooner you act on it, the better. Other ingredients in the chocolate recipe like natural oils etc can help the stain set in if left unattended for long.

Removing the stains is not a heavy task. Common household items like detergent, vinegar, dishwash liquid can be sufficient to deal with and remove the chocolate stain completely.

1. Scrape the excessive chocolate

Chocolate stains are best treated when they are fresh. The first thing you should do is scrape off the excess chocolate from the clothes carefully without smudging it further. Use a spoon or just your fingers to do it.

Once you have removed the chocolate, rinse with cold water to dilute the stain as much as possible. This will make it light and easy to remove.

2. Pre-treat with detergent

After rinsing with water, the residue left behind would be a tight stain that needs some treatment. Prepare a paste using detergent and water, and apply it on the stain directly. Dab and rub gently.

If the stain is large in size then you may have to soak the whole thing in a detergent solution in a bowl or something. Let the thing sit for 10-15 minutes. Then rinse with cold water. The stain should be significantly reduced, if not completely gone. Then launder as usual.

4. Vinegar or Lemon

As always, vinegar is effective in removing chocolate stains too. Mix equal parts of vinegar with water and use a sponge to dab the solution on the stain. Keep doing till the stain gets lighter and lighter until you see no further improvement.

You can also try some lemon juice with salt. Lemon has a mild bleaching effect and can loosen out the stubborn stain that has been sitting for long.

However be cautious when applying lemon to clothes. It might bleach the color of the fabric. Read the label for instructions, check the fabric type and then first test on a hidden part of the garment to ensure that the color or texture of the fabric is not affected.

If you are still not very sure, then skip this method and use a stain remover or detergent only.

3. Dish washing liquid

Dish washing liquids are also quite effective in removing common food stains from clothes. Apply some dish washing liquid like Palmolive to the chocolate stain. Dab and rub gently till the stain is removed. Rinse the clothe with water and wash as usual.

5. Stain remover

Old and dried up chocolate stains appear as deep colored patches and are difficult to remove. With time, these stains set into the fabric and become difficult to remove. But even with such old and dried stains you can try the above mentioned remedies.

If the stain is very strong and refuses to leave using the above methods, then your last resort is to try some commercial stain remover product. Any of the popular stain remover spray or gel should be sufficient for the job.

Extra tips and advice

The above method should work well with most fabrics like cotton and polyester. If the garment is marked as non-washable then do not apply any of the above methods. Instead take it to a professional.

Garments made of silk and delicate wool are generally non-washable and apply any kind of detergent on them can ruin the fabric. So make it a habit to check the fabric type and the washing instructions on its label.

The ultimate guide to removing mold from anything

By | June 28, 2016

Removing mold

Those black organic patches that grow over at damp places, look quite ugly and sometimes even scary. Mold (mould) grow in damp places where the humidity level is higher than average with lack of fresh air. Such an environment is conducive to to growth of micro organisms like bacteria, fungi.

Bathrooms and kitchens are the most common places where mold occurs. These are the places that exposed to water and damp more than any other room. The tile grouts, the area around fixtures and hidden places like under the wash basic, are places where there chances of mold growth is high. Mold can grow even on tiles if soap or other substances settle on them. This is one reason you need to keep your bathroom and kitchen clean.

mold on walls

Here are some very simple home-made tricks to get rid of mold from all places. Most of the methods involve using common household items like vinegar, baking soda, detergent and soap. You should find these somewhere in your house.

1. Clothes

Clothes can catch mold, if they are left un-attended after a machine wash. Or if they stay damp for a few days in some hidden or low-lying place, mold can start growing depending on the humidity levels.

But its easy to get rid of mold and any smell coming out of such rotting clothes. Simply put the clothes into the washing machine. Add detergent as usual and 1 cup of plain white vinegar. Wash with hot/warm water.

After the washing is over, hang the clothes in bright sunlight. This will further remove any remaining mold spores or smell, and make the clothes feel fresh.

For special fabrics like silk or leather that cannot be washed inside machine as usual, the recommended way is to get to a dry cleaning center and consult a professional.

2. Hats

Hats are another common wearable item that can catch mold on it if its left unused for quite some time in a remote corner of your house. Hats are generally not machine washable and may not even be hand washable with water.

Dealing with mold on such hats is again quite simple. Use a brush to rub away the loose mold on the surface. Then sprinkle some talcum power on the mold stain area. Talcum powder absorbs moisture and can absorb the mold out of the hat as well. Leave it like that for 10-15 minutes.

Then rub off the talcum power again with a brush. Now take a damp cloth or sponge and rub the remaining powder and mold. This should remove most of the mold. Repeat the above steps till the hat is clean. Put the hat in bright sunlight to dry and remove any remaining microscopic mold.

3. Leather Shoes

Removing mold from leathers is again quite easy. Just use a shoe brush and rub the shoe equally everywhere to remove dust and mold. Then wipe with a damp cloth and let it dry in sunlight. You can also use mild soap or a leather cleaner to clean the shoe from all sides.

4. Painted Walls

Walls tend to catch a lot of mold growth specially in areas where there is a lot of damp. Damp may be caused by a number of factors. If there is a kitchen or bathroom adjacent to the wall and there a leaking water pipe line inside the wall, then it will very quickly absorb the water and start developing damp. If there are cracks in the wall then water from rain may settle inside and cause damp to grow. All this will eventually cause damage to the wall and growth of microbes like mold and fungi.

To treat molds on walls, the very first thing to be done is to fix any leakage or cracks in the wall. Fix any leaking water pipelines, ensure proper insulation and get new plaster where-ever there are cracks. Check other structures on the wall like window frames which may be cracked at the edges causing water to sip down into the wall.

Check our previous post here that talks more about mold treatment for walls –
How to remove mold from walls

The best way is to fill a small bucket with water and some detergent. Dip use a rag or sponge in this water and use it to wipe the mold. Keep doing it again and again till you have cleared all the mold. Mold on wall is easy to remove just by wiping. Afterwards use a vacuum to blow some hot air on the area where the mold was. This will further clean any remaining invisible spores.

5. Curtains

To remove mold from curtains, you can use the same process like other clothes if the curtains are washable. Just put them in the washing machine with detergent and a cup of plain white vinegar and wash as usual.

If there are specific mold stains that persist even after a wash, then try applying a paste of lemon juice and salt over it. However make sure to first test the paste on some hidden part of the curtain to test the colorfastness of the fabric.

6. Grouts

The plaster in the thin gaps between tiles in bathroom absorb water and moisture over time and slowly start developing mold. Vinegar is quite effective in removing mold from such grouts.

Mix equal parts of plain white vinegar with water and put it in a spray bottle. Now spray the solution the mold and rub with a wet sponge or kitchen scrubber. The mold will start coming out with the effect of vinegar.

After the cleaning is done, make sure to wipe with a dry sponge to make the tiles and grouts as dry as possible. You may want to blow some hot air using a vacuum if possible. The idea is to make it dry and let some fresh air on it.

Another method is to use baking soda. Make a paste of baking soda with water and rub it on the grouts. Keep doing till all the mold is cleaned away.

Do not mix vinegar and baking soda together. Vinegar is acidic and baking soda is alkaline, so they will react.

7. Tents

Tents when packed into a small space can develop mold if there is some moisture or damp left behind that does not dry up. Since tents are made of fibers similar to that of clothes they can be cleaned in a similar way.

Mix some detergent in water. Use a sponge to apply this soapy water and the tent and rub evenly at all place to clean it. Apart from usual laundry detergent, any fabric cleaner would also do the job.
After the cleaning is over, hang out the tent in bright sunlight for drying and further cleaning.

For treating mildew stains in specific spots you can use a mixture containing lime juice, water and salt. Prepare the solution in a bowl and use a sponge to apply and rub it on the stains. Again rinse with clean water and spread out in the sun to dry.

Tips and Tricks

For cleaning molds, we are often using vinegar. Vinegar contains acetic acid which acts as a cleaner and disinfectant. In place of vinegar you can also try lemon juice with salt. Lemon juice contains citric acid which also works in a similar way as vinegar.

Another common cleaning liquid often used is rubbing alcohol. However it may not be very effective on mold, because it is very mildly acidic.

If the mold is too strong to go away with simple household methods shown above, you may want to try some commercial mold cleaners. Check out on amazon.com

How to remove ketchup stains from clothes

By | June 27, 2016

Remove Ketchup Stains

Ketchup or tomato sauce from your food can sometimes spill out if you are not very careful while eating. The result might be a stain on your clothes. This is common with kids whole love ketchup a lot and drop something dipped with ketchup on their shirts or jeans.

Like with most other food stains, ketchup stains are easily removed if action is taken immediately. The longer it stays on the clothing, the more work and effort is needed to get rid of it later. In a previous post here we talked about simple techniques to get rid of mustard stains from clothings. The steps for ketchup stains are also quite similar.

ketchup stains on clothes

Here are some very simple home remedies that can help you fix the ketchup stain in time without letting it get too deep or strong.

The first thing to do is quickly rub away any excess ketchup that is on the garment. You can do this with just a piece of paper or something similar.

Next rinse the stain with cold water to reduce it. Water will reduce the stain and flush out the ketchup from the fabric fibers. The residue left behind would be a light version of the stain that needs some special treatment.

1. Pre-treat with liquid detergent

If you have liquid laundry detergent then apply a little of it on the stain right away and let it sit for about 15 minutes. Alternatively you can also try liquid dish washing liquid.

Afterwards rinse with cold water and the stain should be gone.

2. Apply vinegar

After detergent, the next thing to try is vinegar. Mix about 1 tablespoon of plain white vinegar in a cup of water. Use a sponge or washcloth to soak the mixture and then dab it on the stain area.

Rub the stain area gently and let it sit for a few minute. Then rinse it with cold water. Repeat the process as needed.

3. Stain remover

After trying detergent and vinegar, if there is still some faint residue of the stain left on the fabric, then you can handle it with some stain remover stick or gel. You can find lots of stain removers on amazon.com or your local hardware store.

Here are some popular stain remover products –

1. Shout Stain remover – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B007W29I6Q


Shout is a commonly used stain remover that works well with most fabrics and does not cause any discoloration. It should be used to pre-treat the stain before washing. Once the stain is completely gone, wash as usual.

Extra tips and advice

If the stain is quite strong or dried up, then the above methods might be ineffective in removing it completely. You may use some mild bleach like hydrogen peroxide on the stain. The bleaching effect will dissolve the stain out.

However not all fabrics can withstand bleaching, specially the delicate ones. Bleaching and fade the color or even damage the fabric. Fabrics made of linen or silk might get ruined at the slightest effect of a bleaching chemical. So check the fabric type and read the label on it for washing instructions first.

For any other queries or feedback, please use the comment box below.

How to remove mustard stains from clothes

By | June 27, 2016

Removing mustard stains

Mustard is a commonly used condiment in many recipes and spilling a little of it on any piece of fabric will give a stain. Mustard stains are strong and often difficult to remove and more so if it has dried.

Food recipes with mustard often have oil within them, which makes the stain even stronger. The situation is even worse if the garment is white in color, like a white shirt.

mustard stain on clothes
Sometimes it might be even impossible to completely remove the stain. Therefore its best to take immediate action on the stain without even a minutes delay.

Here are some simple methods to treat mustard stains in order to reduce and remove them. You can try using warm or little hot water with the methods shown below. Warm/hot water helps in releasing many kind of food stains.

1. Try Glycerine

Apply a little glycerine to the stain area and gently rub. Leave it for few minutes. Then dab it with a piece of wet cotton ball or washcloth.

Some of the stain would be absorbed by the washcloth. This will reduce the stain if not remove it completely. After this step you can try other methods to eliminate the stain completely.

2. Try liquid laundry detergent

Dab the stain with a liquid laundry detergent, and let it sit for about 10-15 minutes. After that rinse with cold water. Repeat the process till no more of the stain can be removed.

Apart from liquid laundry detergent you can also try liquid dish washing liquid. Afterwards wash the clothing as usual.

3. Vinegar with detergent

Vinegar is an excellent cleaner for many kind of stains on clothings. So use it with detergent to fix the mustard stain.

Mix about 1 tablespoon of plain white vinegar with 1 teaspoon of dishwashing liquid in 1 cup of water. Soak the stain with this solution and allow it to stay for about 10-15 minutes. Dab gently to see if the stain is loosening. Keep like that till no more stain is coming out. Then rinse with plain water.

Vinegar works well for stain. However fabrics like Linen do not go well with vinegar or lemon juice and might get damaged. Make sure to check the fabric type and also reach the cleaning instructions on the label.

If you do not have vinegar at home, then try rubbing alcohol. Rubbing alcohol acts as a solvent and can be used to remove stains from clothes very effectively.

4. Commercial Stain removal products

Take some “Biz” powder and make a paste with little water. Apply it on the stain and leave it overnight. Next day, wash as usual. The stain should be gone.

Another useful product is the Clorox Stain fighter pen. However first apply it to some hidden part of the fabric to ensure colorfastness.

Other popular stain removers are –

Biz – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B007BV79BY
Clorox Stain fighter pen – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0042EKMN0
OxiClean
Zout Stain Remover – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000QR94VI

Any of those should work well to remove the mustard stains from your clothes.

Extra tips and advice

Mustard stains are known to be the most difficult ones to remove. The above shown home remedies can work well for light stains on washable fabrics like cotton or polyester.

However if the stain falls on some fabric that is not easily washable or dry-clean only, then you should avoid trying any of the above methods yourself. Instead, take the garment to some cleaning professional.

When ever applying any kind of cleaning solution to a fabric, always make sure to first check the fabric type and read the cleaning instructions on the label to ensure that the cleaning method is safe for the fabric and will not spoil it.

Thanks for reading and if you have any queries or suggestions, please use the comment box below.

How to remove oil stains from leather

By | June 26, 2016

Removing oil stains from leather

Oily substances tend to leave a strong stain where ever they go. It could be the oil from your food like melted butter, or some kind of massage oil or anything.

Sometimes, kids would put paper food wrappers (like a pizza box) on the couch which could leak the oil and grease up whatever surface they are lying on. And the stains are even more visible on light colored leather.

Oil Stains on leather Sofa

The oil or grease can settle into the leather permanently and be very difficult to remove. Therefore its best to act as soon as possible. However, you need to be very careful when applying any kind of cleaning solution, since it can remove the shine of the leather.

Here are some simple remedies that you can try out with common household items to remove oily stains from leather objects.

1. Corn Starch or Talcum powder

Corn starch or talcum powder act as an absorbent and pull the oil out from the leather. First take a tissue paper and gently rub the oil stain to lift as much oil as possible. The tissue paper shall absorb oil and there will be less oil left on the leather.

Next drop some talcum powder or corn starch (or wheat germ) on the stain area. Press gently and leave it like that for a day. The powder will absorb the stain back from the leather.

Next day rub the powder off and again rub with a tissue paper. The stain should gone.

This method works best for stains that are fresh or very recent. Old and dried stains will be difficult to remove using this method and you would need some alternative.

2. Dishwashing liquid

Mix a teaspoon of dishwashing liquid with a cup of water. Now wet a piece of sponge and dab over the stain very carefully. Dab only till the stain is removed and stop immediately after that.

Doing this can potentially cause the leather surface to loose its shine from the stained area. So be careful.

3. Little baking soda

Mix about a tablespoon of baking soda in a bowl of water. Moisten a piece of microfiber washcloth or sponge with it and use it to dab over the stain gently without rubbing elsewhere.

You should see the stain loosing out with the effect of the water and once the entire stain has been removed stop dabbing any further.

4. Vinegar Solution

Vinegar contains acetic acid which can remove oil stains quite effectively. But it must be diluted by mixing with water so that its corrosive effect on leather is minimal and only the stain is removed by its effect and not the leather’s shine.

Mix about a tablespoon of plain white vinegar in a cup of water. Now soak a cotton ball or sponge with it and gently dab over the stain. Keep doing till the stain disappears and then stop immediately.

Extra tips and advice

After removing the oil stain, the leather might loose some of its smoothness and shine from the stained area. In case of leather shoes this will be insignificant since you can always polish the shoes and make them shine again.

With other items like jacket, purse or car seat, you need to apply leather conditioner to restore the shine of the leather to make it look like before.

If the item under the stain is something expensive and valuable then its best to call a professional for the job rather than trying yourself.