Mold Removal and Remediation

If you've spotted mold in your home, it's time to fight it fair and square. Use these mold removal tips and kiss that nasty fungus goodbye.
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jupiter-images_woman-with-cleaning-supplies_s4x3

Woman with cleaning supplies

Photo by: Jupiterimages

Jupiterimages

By: Caroline Shannon-Karasik

It's hard to imagine two better friends than mold and water. But like Bonnie and Clyde, when paired together the two partners in crime make a dangerous team, ready to wreak havoc. If moisture has taken your home hostage, it's time to consider the most effective mold-removal technique.

Even though you may have seen your grandmother or mother scrub mold away with a bit of bleach, experts say it's not the best technique for mold remediation. Instead, it's recommended that your take a few basic steps to remediate mold, starting with identifying the source of the excess moisture.

Spring Cleaning Made Easy

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Around the House

Wash windows inside and out. Wipe down the sills. To clean window screens, rub them with kerosene on both sides, and then rinse them with soap and water. Make sure to do this in a well-ventilated area, preferably outside.

Around the House

To revive drab drapes, take them down, remove hooks and run them through an air-fluff cycle in the dryer with a damp towel (to attract the dust) for 15 minutes. Re-hang immediately. Wipe blinds with a damp cloth.

Photo By: Aaron Rapoport

Around the House

Dust your home thoroughly. Take everything off shelves, tabletops and dressers to dust. Now is also the time to get to all the places you've been neglecting throughout the year, including ceiling fans, above kitchen cabinets and baseboards and doorways.

Photo By: DK - House Works ©2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Around the House

Wash out trash cans. To really clean garbage cans, spray them with a hose and dump out the water. Next, spray the inside with a disinfectant spray, scrub with a handled brush and rinse. Leave them upside down to dry.

Around the House

Move furniture away from walls and clean underneath.

Around the House

Deep clean your flooring. Have your carpets professionally cleaned and wax wooden floors.

Around the House

Clean upholstered furniture. Vacuum pillows, as well as underneath the cushions. Look for stains and clean according to the care label.

Around the House

Investigate all doors and windows for leaks and drafts, particularly near the corners. Look for peeling and chipping paint, which can signal water intrusion. Seal any open areas between the frame and the wall to keep out water, which can deteriorate building materials.

In the Kitchen

Clean inside the refrigerator. The best cleaner is a combination of abrasive salt and bubbly soda water.

In the Kitchen

If there's lime buildup around the faucet, lay paper towels over the fixture and soak it with vinegar, letting it set for one hour. The deposits will soften and become easier to remove.

Photo By: Carley Knobloch

In the Kitchen

To clean chrome, glass or stainless steel appliances, fill a spray bottle with a mixture of 50 percent rubbing alcohol and 50 percent water.

Photo By: DK - House Works ©2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

In the Kitchen

Use a toothbrush to remove softened food from around the burners, knobs and dials on the stove top.

Photo By: DK - House Works ©2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

In the Kitchen

Set your oven to self-clean. Be sure to wipe up major spills before setting it to self-clean.

In the Kitchen

Organize your pantry, and throw out any expired foods.

Photo By: Nathan Kirkman

In the Bathroom

Spray a generous amount of bathroom spray or pine cleaner to the shower or bathroom walls. Allow cleaners to stand while other work is being done. Then go back and start scrubbing.

Photo By: DK - House Works ©2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

In the Bathroom

To remove hard-water scale or mildew on showerheads, faucetheads and drains, soak them in vinegar. If the head isn't removable, position a plastic bag filled with vinegar over it and tape it shut.

Photo By: DK - House Works ©2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

In the Bedroom

Over time, mattresses can wear unevenly. So, extend the life of your mattress by vacuuming it and turning at least four times per year, alternating between end-over-end and side-over-side rotation.

Photo By: DK - House Works ©2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

In the Bedroom

Launder bedding and pillows. If you change bedding for the season, air out the spring blankets before putting them on bed. Store winter bedding after having it cleaned.

Photo By: DK - House Works ©2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

In the Bedroom

Switch out cool-weather clothing for warm-weather clothes. Be sure to wash or dry-clean winter clothing before storing.

Photo By: DK - House Works ©2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

In the Home Office

Get important papers in order. Set aside all tax return information so it's handy. Store any files from last year that need to be saved.

Outside the House

Sweep porch and deck, as well as around doors and windows to get rid of cobwebs and debris.

Outside the House

Wash outdoor furniture. Mild dishwashing detergent should work for most materials, but check your care labels to be sure.

Photo By: DK - Gardening Shortcuts ©DK Publishing 2012 Gardening Shortcuts

Once that's done, clean up the water and eliminate the source. In order to nix a mold problem for good, it is important to remove mold with a biocide and disinfectant, like OxB biocide. Be sure to open windows and wear gloves, eye protection and a facemask when applying a biocide because of the harsh chemicals that are often used in these products.

After cleaning up, allow the affected area to dry or speed up the process by using a fan.

Cleaning Solutions

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