How to Get Rid of Mold: 15 Tips Every Homeowner Should Know


mold spores

A few days ago, I wrote an article about the dangers of mold, and the response I received was overwhelming. Everybody wanted to know more about mold. In fact, within a few days of publishing the post, I got a couple dozen emails asking how to get rid of mold.

So, I wanted to share my personal tips that I use at my home, as well as here in the office. Please feel free to drop your tips in the comment section below.

How to Get Rid of Mold:

  1. Investigate your home or office for moisture leakage. If you find any moisture leaks, clean them up with a dry towel immediately and find the source of the leak. Consider hiring a professional if the leak does not stop or if you are dealing with a plumbing issue. Controlling moisture leaks in your home or place of work will reduce the mold’s ability to thrive.
  2. Mold loves warm and wet places. If you live in a place with humidity levels of 70% or more, you must particularly take heed to prevent toxic moldy air. Invest in a high-quality dehumidifier and test your home for mold over-growth.
  3. Temperatures above 75° F, as well as poorly lit rooms and unmoving air, can actually create more mold. Keep fresh air moving in your home, as well as bright sunlight coming in through your windows. This will help reduce toxic mold.
  4. Open a window while you take a shower, if possible.
  5. Change air filters regularly in heating and air-conditioning vents.
  6. Invest in a good quality air purification system that employs both a HEPA filter and UV & negative ion technologies. In my opinion, this will give you the best results when cleaning your air.
  7. Keep your home at a moderate temperature, at around 69-73° F and keep the humidity level at 54% and below.
  8. Make sure your clothes dryer has an anti-humidity vent.
  9. Check closets for mold growth. This is especially important if you have ever placed wet or damp clothing in your closets. If you find mold in your closet, wash your clothes immediately to help clean any possible mold spores.
  10. Protect your breathing passages when removing active or dead mold. Wear a mask, eye protection and protective gloves that filter mold.
  11. When cleaning, slightly wet the mold to lessen the amount of airborne spores in the breathing atmosphere while you are cleaning. This can be done with a wet cloth.
  12. Scrub hard surfaces infested in mold with a non-ammonia soap. Non-toxic, organic soap is best for the environment.
  13. Porous surface cannot be cleaned of mold. Things like moldy carpeting, drywall, wall-paper, fabric, or other porous surfaces, must be completely removed and replaced from your home or office.
  14. If you have mold on the structural support of your home or office building, it may not be cleaned out by scrubbing alone. It may have to be sanded. Don’t forget to wear the appropriate protective coverings.
  15. Remember, the best prevention for mold is to KEEP THINGS DRY and always use a good air purification system!

Do you of any other ways to get rid of mold? Please add any mold removal tips in the comment section below.

- Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, ND, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM

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  • Rankin

    This is a good list of tips on how to get rid of mold. As a homeowner, I can’t even begin to tell you how often I have run into water damage, that ultimately turns into mold damage.

    I never thought about getting a dehumidifier.. That would probably work wonders. Thanks!

  • Adam

    My mold-removal tip:

    I get my air-ducts in my house cleaned at least once a year, preferably twice a year. Plus I use a HEPA filter for my AC unit, this helps me clean any possible mold spores in the air. I also have numerous air purifiers scattered around my house.

    Great article! Glad that somebody is trying to show homeowners how to get rid of mold.

  • memory foam mattress

    Thanks for all the info. I was able to correct a mold problem I had last summer using two of these ideas —using a dehumidifier and using a HEPA filter. It really seems to make a good difference. During the time when the mold issue was there, I was getting a lot of colds/flu. This cleared up after the remedies.

  • Kate

    We were told to scrub the window frames and then paint them with a paint that supposedly kills the mold. We have tried it on a few windows but the mold grew back on top of the paint. Also, I am wondering if that paint is really safe to have in the home, but it seems like it must be better than the alternative if that is the only way to get rid of the mold.
    Any advice on this (apart from the great tips above) would be great, especially about the paint.

  • William

    Greetings!

    The two best methods I know of for killing/removing mold is:

    1) Use an ionizer (generates negative ions in the air)

    2) Hospitals use Chlorine Dioxide (It kills all pathogens, including the deadly MRSA) It kills all molds, etc. with extra oxygen ions.

    Make your own Clorine Dioxide:
    28% Sodium Chlorite
    10% Citric Acid

    Perform a search for these words:
    Jim Humble
    Miracle Mineral Solution

    Thanks for being there to serve us Dr. Group!

  • William

    I just wanted to clarify that negative ions in the air is called ozone. Ozone kills molds, mildew and will remove odors from anything!

  • Matt

    I had a broken faucet in the second floor bathroom. Faucet has been fixed 2 months ago. Since than I have this odor in my bathroom, it seems like it’s coming from the wall. I am affraid I have mold groving in there. Any remedy will be greatly appreciated..

  • Greg

    Speaking of dryers, (#8 above), make sure the dryer vents to the outside of the home and NOT the crawl space or attic. Along these lines, all exhaust fans in the kitchen and bathroom should vent to the outside and NOT the attic.

    If you have venting that terminates in the crawl space or attic, moisture can form in these places and lead to mold growth.

    Greg

  • Roxanna

    I just wanted to let you know i used MMS and sprayed it in our crawl space, because it smelled musty. and we also had black stuff on our window panes. we sprayed on MMS and no more black stuff and the house doesnt smell musty

  • Kimberly

    The two things I have found that will eleminate mold is to clean with vinegar, or you can use a solution of tea tree oil and water.

  • http://globalhealingcenter.com Moxie

    Has anyone used the enzyme products to get rid of mold in plumbing?

  • Zach Smith

    Molds also grow in mattresses. It is imperative that you clean your mattress every month. Dry clean only. If there are spills, immediately wipe the excess moisture and sprinkle baking soda. This will help absorb excess moisture. Completely dry the mattress before putting bed sheets.

  • jim smith

    has anybody had any success treating an entire house with heat to get rid of mold? because rather than chemicals i would like to treat the whole house rathar than a room or two, just to be safe.

  • Tamar

    These are good tips about getting rid of mold. We just had to clean the mold out of our air ducts. Wasn’t a fun process. But we needed to do it for our 3-month-old.

  • Karen Gipin

    what is MMS and where can you get it?
    Thanks,
    Karen

  • Dan

    I would definitely recommend considering an organic crib mattress for your home. There are countless benefits.

  • Jason

    Make sure everything can breath like couches and mattresses. Avoid moisture built-up.

  • K.Parmley

    Hi we have just moved into a rented property, we are having a mold problem in our spare bedroom. The mould is only on one wall, it started off just on the skirting board and is traveling up the wall. We have pulled all the furniture into the middle of the room to let the air to it, however this is not helping.
    what can we do? do you know what could be causing this?

  • Dr. Edward Group

    You most likely will have to ozonate the room and find a local person to do this.

    Thanks!

    - Dr. G

  • Dr. Edward Group

    Initially it may be best to gather more information about this concerns and then go from there.

    Mold requires nutrients, water, oxygen and favorable temperatures to grow. Nutrients for mold are present in dead organic material such as wood, paper or fabrics; mold can also derive nutrients from some synthetic products such as paints and adhesives. Mold requires moisture, although some mold species can obtain that moisture from moist air when the relative humidity is above 70 per cent. Many molds thrive at normal indoor temperatures; few if any molds are able to grow below 40 F or above 100 F. Outside this range molds may remain dormant or inactive; they may begin to grow again when the temperature is more favorable. Temperatures well above 100 F will kill mold and mold spores, but the exact temperature required to kill specific species is not well established.

    If mold is present, what’s the best way to get rid of it?

    The answer depends on how much mold is present and where it is located. If the mold is on furnishings or boxes simply discard the materials. Moldy materials are not considered hazardous waste; they can be sent to a regular landfill. However, it is smart to seal the mold material in heavy plastic to protect the people who handle it in transit and prevent spreading large amounts of the mold into the building as you carry the material out of it.

    If the mold is on a hard surface but occupies less than 10 square feet wash the area with soapy water (scrubbing with a brush may be necessary), rinse and allow the area to dry before repainting. If you have asthma, severe allergies and a weaken immune system get someone else to do the clean up.

    Larger areas (greater than 10 square feet in area) should be cleaned by someone with experience in doing this type of work. Remember, determine what caused the moisture problem and correct that problem. Otherwise, mold is likely to recur.

    Is it possible to completely eliminate mold from the inside of a home or office building?

    The answer depends upon what is meant by “completely eliminate mold.” To keep a building completely free of mold spores requires very efficient air filtration and is only accomplished in special situations such as hospital operating rooms and manufacturing “clean rooms.” Remember, mold spores are in the outside air virtually all the time and some of them will get inside buildings.

    However, it is possible to keep mold from growing inside a building. Moisture control is the key to controlling mold in interior spaces. Air filtration can contribute to lowering mold spores in the air but is secondary to moisture control.

    Fixing the problem would require locating the source of the moisture and correcting the issue, this may require the help of a professional to really get to the bottom of the concern. Once the moisture is under control I would suggest the use of a good Air Purifier in order to filter out the mold that may be circulating through out the home.

    Please let me know if you have any other questions and I will be more than happy to help you.

    Thanks!

    -Dr. G

  • Dawn

    After you scrub/clean (1 cup chlorine bleach works very well in a gallon of water), wipe and dry a moldy area, you can paint it with Kilz primer. Kilz is the brand. It’s an oil-based primer. After priming with Kilz, then paint over the primer with a regular paint. Follow the directions. This works well for any area containing mold.

    Prior to doing this, you should ensure the water/moisture source is eliminated (if a leak is involved). Adeqate cleaning will also not allow mold to grow in the first place in other areas without leaks (such as in a bathroom).

  • tim daniel

    i had mold develope in my house from rotten wood . i had to remove and replace wood. cover over with kilz primer. knock down mold with clorox. i even sprayed in my air ducts while fan was running. need to open windows and leave imediately. if you get sick try oil of oregano and or iodine.

  • Stuart

    I had the same problem here in Australia..The root cause was overhanging tree branches..got rid of them, also cleaned out the gutters. to get rid of the mold…I used Shower Sparkle…any good shower cleaner will do..empty the room of furniture first…after the Shower sparkle treatment (you may need to treat it more than once, to kill the mold,)I repainted the ceiling with a mold inhibitor paint…same routine in the bathroom…so far no reappearence of mold..but keep an eye out, especially in wet areas…

  • Peterson

    Dr. G.

    I have a glass block shower and one of the blocks at the bottom has black mold under it visible through the glass. Apparently there is a void beneath the block and a pinhole in the mortar that lets in moisture. How can I get rid of it without dismantling the entire wall?

  • Jenny Gomez

    You’ve got some nice information here. Many households in Birmingham were having issues with mold. There was, literally, an outbreak of molds in a number of houses in Birmingham. So we at Birmingham plumbers were called in to help people get rid of mold.

  • Sara

    wILL BLEACH WORK TO KILL THE MOLD?

  • http://www.mouldrescue.com.au Penny Tralau

    Bleach will not kill mould, its 97% water and 3% sodium chlorite, it will take the colour out but will not get rid of the spores

  • Sara

    For the carpet and dry wall, can we use vacuum cleaner? It’ll dry the surface and probably lessen the mold..what do you think?

  • imaginestone

    The mold that you are seeing in your shower is not starting in the wall. The floor of your shower is made of a four to one sand and portland mix, it is mixed dry to allow water to pass through it and allow it to dry. Underneath the mortar is a thick rubber sheet called choralloy, the water is collected on this sheet and the sheet should slope towards the drain. There are small holes at the bottom of the drain flange that allow the water to escape, so if you are getting mold in the base of your shower it is because of one of two things. One, the rubber lining of the shower does not slope to the drain, or two, the small holes at the base of the drain flange (weep holes) are clogged. Either of these two scenarios would require that you remove everything from two feet up the wall and down from there. This includes the shower pan, wall tile (at least two feet high) and in your case the glass block. If there is a bench in your shower, you will probably have to take that out as well. This is a problem that started with the way the shower was built, I have seen this problem quite often and it is sad, because it is the fault of the builder of the shower. If custom showers are constructed correctly, this problem does not occur.

  • Jean R

    It may take a few extra minutes, but each time I have a bath, I use a towel to dry the shower, including the glass door and the floor. I take my used damp towels straight to the laundry, instead of leaving them around, hanging over the shower door. I also leave the shower door open so that any areas I did not get with the towel, can air dry. I believe this will prevent some unnecessary moisture from accumulating in the bathroom

  • J.

    Does drying out wood with heat (under sink) stop mold odor.
    Thank you your great service,

  • rachel

    i just bought shower sparkle the other day for my shower (obviously haha) and just read this, worked so much better than my mould spray!! im in tasmania and we are renting, and have mould in the spare bedroom/bathroom which seemed to appear out of nowehere within a few days! so now we know that we have to open windows (during winter – which sucks), but i still need to get it all cleaned. thanks for the suggestion of sparkle!!

  • shannon Gue

    I believe I have a mold/meldew issue in my living room. We had rain like 2 weeks ago n rain came n thru the air conditioner n my carpet was wet from wall to wall I cleaned it with a carpet cleaner twice . Now it has a stinky musty oder N i cant afford new carpet right now but ibalso have 6 kids living here with me . What can i do..please help me..shannon Gue

  • ghc_health

    You may have to replace the carpet…. once mold and mildew sets in, it’s hard to get rid of. However, here is a guide to making your own organic cleaning products-

    http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/make-your-own-natural-cleaning-products/

  • Kris

    we have scrubbed and scrubbed some kitchen cupboards in a house we moved into but they still have a musty smell, is there anything else we can do besides ripping them all out, they are in good shape, thanks

  • ghc_health

    Is it actually the cupboards or could it be the space behind? Don’t rule out inside the wall.

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