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

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