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What are the Best Tips for Cleaning Mold?

Tiffany Manley
Tiffany Manley

It is possible for mold to grow in areas where moisture and a food source are present. The methods used for cleaning mold depend on several factors, such as the severity and location of the infestation, the tools and cleaners available, the type of surface on which the mold is growing and how comfortable an individual is with cleaning mold. Using a solution of detergent and water or bleach and water to scrub the mold is one way to clean mold. Using a high-energy particulate air (HEPA) vacuum to remove mold spores from the air is another way to clean mold.

Mold that is growing on porous surfaces such as ceiling tile, carpet or drywall is usually hard to clean. Cleaning mold on these surfaces is virtually impossible because the mold grows into the porous surface. Removing the mold and its spores from these surfaces can be difficult, making replacement a much better course of action.

Moldy bread.
Moldy bread.

Cleaning mold is generally more effective if mold growth is on a hard surface such as floor tiles, a fiberglass tub or a window. For minor moldy spots, the affected area should be sprayed with a solution of half mild ammonia-free detergent and half water, then scrubbed until the mold disappears. The area should then be dried completely. Use of a dehumidifier, fan or air from an open window might help speed the drying process.

An orange with mold on it.
An orange with mold on it.

When one is cleaning mold in a larger area, a few extra steps must be taken for safety and to ensure that all of the mold and mold spores are removed. The area should be sealed off as best as possible with plastic sheeting taped around the doors and windows. A solution of detergent and water might be used to clean the mold, or a solution of bleach and water might be more desirable. A bleach solution made of eight ounces (0.24 liters) of bleach added to one gallon (3.8 liters) of water generally disinfects the area better than detergent and water alone.

Cleaning mold on hard surfaces like mirrors and tile is fairly easy.
Cleaning mold on hard surfaces like mirrors and tile is fairly easy.

The affected areas should be sprayed with the solution and wiped clean. If bleach is being used, the solution should be allowed to sit for 15 minutes. After all of the areas have been cleaned of visible mold and are dry, spores should be removed from the air in the room by using a HEPA vacuum. After all spores have been removed from the air and the mold has been cleaned from all surfaces, the room is safe to be opened again. Keeping air circulating through a mold-prone area might help prevent future growth.

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Discussion Comments


How do I clean mold and mildew from my shower? I have tried stuff I bought from the store but the tile and grout are still discolored. Any tips?


If you have a really serious mold problem it might be necessary to call in a mold removal company.

They are pretty common, especially in major cities. They have professionals that understand the science of mold and are also equipped to do some of the labor and refinishing necessary to completely rid a space of mold.


@BAU79 - I completely agree. I bought an old house a few years back and it was beautiful but it had some mold issues in a few of the rooms. I wiped everything down with bleach water and that fixed the problem completely. Once I got the house back in working order I never had problems with mold again.


Using bleach water is one of the oldest and most effective ways of cleaning mold. It will wash away the mold on the service and kill whatever mold is growing underneath. Curing your mold problem might take more than just bleach water but that is a good place to start.

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    • Moldy bread.
      Moldy bread.
    • An orange with mold on it.
      By: nito
      An orange with mold on it.
    • Cleaning mold on hard surfaces like mirrors and tile is fairly easy.
      By: Anton Maltsev
      Cleaning mold on hard surfaces like mirrors and tile is fairly easy.
    • Using a bleach and water solution is an effective way to clean up mold.
      By: design56
      Using a bleach and water solution is an effective way to clean up mold.