Black mold isn’t just unsightly. It is also linked to health problems such as breathing problems, including asthma, and can cause pneumonia in people with underlying health conditions.
Even if you know how to clean a bathroom and cleaning a kitchen is high on your daily to-do list, black mold can still be a challenge you have to deal with. That’s because black mold is a symptom of a moisture problem – which is also one of the causes of cracks in walls and is cited as one of the most undesirable interior design features that puts people off. buyers.
Even if you need to hire a professional to deal with a deeper moisture problem, you can find out how to get rid of black mold in your home. We spoke to the experts to find out more.
How to get rid of black mold – expert advice
Using bleach to kill mold is one of the most common DIY solutions to black mold growing in your home. But it’s not always the best or the only one. In addition to natural solutions, such as cleaning with white vinegar and lemon juice, you can purchase mildew killer sprays that use chemicals to fix the problem.
But know that getting rid of black mold is only the first step to making sure your home is mold-free for good.
“Mildew is caused by moisture, whether on a surface or in a damp environment. You can clean it as many times as you like, but new mold will continue to form as long as the moisture problem exists,” says Robert Vaughn, Managing Director of Damp Detectives. (opens in a new tab) and a Clean & Tidy Homes Show attendee (opens in a new tab). “Therefore, the best way to deal with mold and dampness is to locate the source.”
1. Decide if you can get rid of black mold yourself
Whether you can do a DIY black mold cleanup or need to hire a moisture and mold professional will depend on the size of your problem.
Advice on fighting mold from the United Stages Environmental Protection Agency (opens in a new tab) is to consider doing the job yourself if the affected area is less than 10 square feet.
You may want to seek professional help if you have health concerns, if you suspect your home’s heating, ventilation, or air conditioning system may be contaminated with mold, or if black mold covers a large area.
2. Get rid of black mold with soap
The jury is out on whether soap and water, bleach and chemical treatments, or natural cleaning solutions like white vinegar are the best way to get rid of black mold. But most experts agree that the first step to fixing the problem is a simple wash and scrub.
“If you have surface mold on walls or surfaces, you can clean it with a soapy solution and rinse off the mold,” says Robert Vaughn of Damp Detectives. His advice on using bleach? “Do not use bleach or other chemicals that can cause health problems on their own.”
3. Get rid of black mold with bleach
A diluted bleach solution is a good way to kill any mildew that grows on white, non-porous surfaces, such as countertops and tiles in a kitchen or bathroom – find out which material is best. kitchen backsplash to find out which ones are the most mold resistant.
But be careful when using, wear gloves and a mask to protect yourself from the toxic fumes released by bleach.
If an initial scrub with bleach does not remove much of the mold, you can take advice from professional cleaners and soak the affected area with bleach.
“Our cleaning professionals are instructed to soak mold stains with bleach for at least 15 minutes before wiping up the bleach,” says Justin Carpenter, founder of Modern Maids. (opens in a new tab).
For severely affected areas, you can also soak cotton cloths in bleach and leave them on the affected area overnight. Make sure the surface won’t be damaged by the bleach if left for that long by testing an invisible patch first.
4. Get rid of black mold with white vinegar
This is advice from Sara San Angelo, known professionally as The Housekeeper (opens in a new tab). She recommends using white vinegar for areas of mold on porous surfaces — a helpful tip when you want to know how to clean a closet.
“Bleach will kill mold spores growing on a hard surface, but if the mold has spread below the surface, white vinegar is the best choice,” she says. “The vinegar will penetrate to kill mold and mildew at the root, preventing it from growing back.”
5. Get rid of mold with natural cleaners
Home kitchen cleaners made with pantry staples can be a quick fix for fighting mold, though some may be more effective than others.
“Cleaning with baking soda has proven to be effective if you want to get rid of black mold from grout between tiles,” says Homes & Gardens‘ Contributing Editor, Hayley Gilbert.
“An easy way to clean grout is to mix one part hydrogen peroxide with two parts baking soda. Apply the paste to the grout using an old toothbrush, then let it work its magic for 20 minutes before rinsing with cold water.
You can also try a teaspoon of tea tree oil with 1 cup of water. Spray the solution on the mold, let it sit for at least an hour, then wipe with a cloth or sponge. Tea tree oil is a natural fungicide that can kill mold spores.
6. Get rid of black mold in the washing machine
If you want to know how to get rid of mold and mildew from the shower curtain, the easiest way to do it is to wash it hot on laundry day. Even plastic shower curtains are machine washable, but always check the laundry symbols on the care label before you start to make sure they can handle high temperatures. Adding a bath towel or two to the load will increase the chances of removing black mold since their textured fabric will scrub dirt from the curtain and prevent creasing and tearing by acting as a buffer.
Why should I get rid of black mold fast?
There are a number of reasons to deal with black mold quickly.
The first is that it spreads, so the longer you leave it on, the more mold there will be.
Second, black mold is linked to health problems, including allergic reactions, asthma attacks, and irritation of the eyes, nose, throat, lungs, and skin.
Finally, mold can damage and discolor the surfaces and objects on which it grows. Guidance from the United Stages Environmental Protection Agency (opens in a new tab) is to “act quickly”. Mold damages what it grows on. The bigger it grows, the more damage it can cause.
How can I stop the growth of black mold?
Black mold is caused by moisture and moisture entering or being trapped in your home. Therefore, repairing leaks and managing your home’s ventilation, to eliminate condensation inside windows, for example, are key to preventing the growth of black mold.
One way to control humidity is to protect exterior wood, brick or stone from rain. “Driving rain can penetrate through masonry over 2 feet, think in as little as 24 hours,” says Gordon Grainger, Director of Kingfisher Building Products (opens in a new tab).
Fixing leaks in windows and doors and reducing condensation through good ventilation, air conditioning, or using a dehumidifier are effective strategies for reducing dampness and mold.