Removing and Killing Mold

mold remediation projectThere are a number of different ways to remove mold, from baking soda to bleach.  In this guide, we’re going to talk a bit about several of them and how to use each.

Bleach

Bleach can effectively kill nearly every variety of mold, along with their spores, provided it is growing on a nonporous surface.  On porous surfaces, however, bleach is unable to penetrate to kill the roots of the mold.  Another downside to using bleach is that it may damage some surfaces.

Be sure to have plenty of ventilation, as bleach fumes can be harsh.  Dilute 1 part bleach in about 10 parts water.  Apply with either a spray bottle or bucket and sponge.  It’s not necessary to rinse the surface, as long as it’s not used to prepare food or a surface that may be touched by a pet or child.

Borax

Though it can be toxic if swallowed, borax does not give off harmful fumes.  Mix a cup of Borax with a gallon of water and use to scrub the mold.  The surface does not need to be rinsed, but should be left to dry thoroughly before use.  Be sure to wipe up any excess moisture, mold, or dust to keep the spores out of the air.

Vinegar

Vinegar is non-toxic, mildly acidic, and effective at killing 82% of mold types.  Use a spray bottle to spray undiluted distilled white vinegar on the moldy surface.  Leave for an hour, then rinse if desired. Vinegar will smell a bit, but only until it dries.  To prevent mold regrowth, repeat periodically.

Ammonia

Like bleach, fumes from ammonia can be harsh.  NEVER mix ammonia with bleach, as this will cause a highly toxic chemical reaction.  Dilute clear ammonia with an equal amount of water and spray on moldy surface and allow to sit for a few hours before rinsing.

Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is anti-fungal, anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and a good alternative to bleach, as it doesn’t have toxic fumes.  As a bleaching agent, peroxide may fade the mold stain, but be sure to spot test it, as it could also fade colors.  Spray peroxide to completely saturate the moldy area and leave for 10 minutes.  Scrub the area and wipe it down to remove any mold or spores that may be left behind.  Peroxide can be safely mixed with vinegar for an even more effective solution.

Baking Soda

Nontoxic and harmless to children, pets, and most surfaces, baking soda can not just kill mold, but rid your home of the smell it can leave behind.  Put about a teaspoon of baking soda in a spray bottle of water and shake to dissolve.  Spray moldy area thoroughly, then scrub with a sponge or brush.  Rinse to remove any residual spores, respray and allow to dry thoroughly.

Tea Tree Oil

Somewhat expensive, tea tree oil is one of the most effective ways to kill mold.  Dilute one teaspoon of oil per cup of water in a spray bottle and spray the moldy area thoroughly and let dry.  Tea tree oil will prevent mold from returning.  The oil’s smell will dissipate as it dries.

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