CleaningTIPS

How To Rid Mould From Your Home For Good

By Katie

Mould can ruin clothes, furniture and be terrible for your health. Here's some effective ways to get rid of mould from your home.

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If you live in Sydney, you’ll know it’s been a very wet autumn and a cold start to winter. Along with the awful weather, mould and mildew may have also snuck into the home and taken up residence in your bathroom or wardrobe.

spring cleaning organising wardrobe

No matter how much house cleaning you do, it can ruin furniture, your clothes and there is a real health risk. Mould can cause issues such as sinus, asthma, yeast infections, headaches, fatigue, depression, skin and respiratory infections and aching joints. It’s toxic and needs to be taken care of immediately.

Your first instinct will be to go to your local supermarket and stock up on mould killing products, but I hate to be the bearer of bad news – they won’t work. And I’m going to tell you why.

Mould vs. Mildew – what is it?

Mould is a type of fungi (yep, gross) and mildew is a type of mould. Mildew is what can show on surfaces like wood, wool, leather, silk, cotton and linen) and it’s pretty much everywhere and only needs water to get a colony started.

airtasker dusting house cleaning

Mould and mildew love warm, moist, sometimes dark spaces – that’s why it’s important to air areas like garages and cellars regularly (especially after rain).

How to get rid of mould

Feel like throwing everything out?  Unfortunately, it’s the mildews food source, which means you’ll have to get rid of the water source. To do this requires you to dry out your home and eliminate any moisture and dampness.

Are you renting?

You should tell your landlord (in writing) as they have a duty to maintain the rental in reasonable repair, which includes mould. For more information head to tenants.org to find out what your rights and responsibilities are.

Here’s a quick list of things you can do:

  • Make sure you have ventilation leaving doors and windows open on dry days.
  • Insulate your ceilings to keep them warmer so it’s less prone to condensation – moulds water source.
  • Open up the curtains and windows to let the sun in (remember it likes dark spaces).
  • After a rainstorm check for leaks and water pooling on the roof.
  • Dry all wet areas.
  • Clean indoor plants of dust and extra water.
  • Wipe away condensation.
  • Use a dehumidifier – set it to less than 55% humidity.

spring cleaning hacks shower curtain

What about bleach?

Bleach will only mask it and not get rid of the mould at all and if you are suffering any allergies from the mould, those symptoms will stick around too.

To clean mould, you’ll need…

  • Face mask
  • Goggles (especially for ceiling and walls)
  • Gloves
  • Newspaper
  • Micro-fibre cloth
  • Bucket
  • Broom
  • Toothbrush
  • Old stockings
  • Oil of Cloves
  • Vinegar

vinegar baking soda oven cleaning

Fixing Mouldy Things

Washable fabrics (curtains, cushions, bedding, towels, clothing)

  1.  Soak in 1 cup salt and vinegar in 10L of water with 3 drops Oil of Cloves – Leave overnight.
  2. Next morning, squeeze out as much as possible and hang in the sun until dry and leave out for an additional hour as a salt crust forms.
  3. Use a soft brush to remove salt crust over the newspaper and dispose of it after.
  4. Machine wash with warm water and hang to dry as normal.
  5. Spray with 3 drops Oil of Cloves and 1L of water and leave to dry.

cleaning-kids-toys

Non-washable fabrics (suede, leather, silk)

  1. Lay down sheets of newspaper and put the items on top.
  2. Mix some coarse salt with a little vinegar and a drop of Oil of Cloves.
  3. Leave to sit for a day in the sunshine.
  4. Brush off mould as mentioned in washable fabrics and spray again with Oil of Cloves water mixture.

Leather goods

  1. Put 3 drops of Oil of Cloves with 1/2 cup baby or coconut oil.
  2. Wipe mouldy area in a circular motion.
  3. Leave to soak and store in a light airy location.

Non-portable/washable fabrics (carpets)

  1. Spray with a mixture of Oil of Cloves (3 drops), 1/2 cup vinegar, 5 cups of water and then sprinkle salt over the top in a thick layer.
  2. Leave overnight to dry and then vacuum.
  3. Repeat if necessary.

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Mouldy grout

  1. Use a toothbrush or grout brush and dip into vinegar and then in a mixture of 3 drops Oil of Cloves and 1/2 cup bicarb soda.
  2. Brush while fizzing on grout.
  3. Repeat and afterwards spray with clove oil and water mixture and leave to dry out.

Cupboards

  1. Hang a stick of chalk tied together with ribbon to absorb moisture.
  2. When chalk become damp, hang outside to dry.
  3. Reuse chalk bundle.

Walls and ceilings

  1. Mix 3 drops Oil of Cloves, 1/2 vinegar and 5 cups water.
  2. Use a clean broom, and the leg portion of stocking over the head and dip into solution.
  3. Sweep over the mouldy area.
  4. Allow it to dry and repeat.
  5. Every month spray walls/ceiling with a solution of 3 drops Oil of Cloves to 1L of water and leave to dry completely.

spring cleaning ceiling hack

All of this cleaning can take a lot of energy and time, so if you need a helping hand there are plenty of Airtaskers in your local neighbourhood who can help.

Do you have any more mould killing tips? Share with us in the comments below.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Katie

Marketing Communications Manager Katie is bright, bubbly and slightly obsessed with sport whether it's watching or playing in social teams. She also enjoys music and the fact that she can walk to and from the beach.

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Comments

  1. Martha

    Good article. I assume you mean a DEhumidifier rather than a Humidifier though…..

  2. Dan

    When you want the humidity to be at 55%, you should use a DE-humidifier, not a humidifier.

  3. Jax

    Hi
    Any suggestions for dealing with mould in the sealant in the shower area?
    Thankyou

  4. Bill

    Hi Jax
    I would remove the old sealant and replace,easy enough to do,but takes a bit of time

  5. Garima

    Very useful article

  6. Philip

    Hi Katie, Great tips and help, thank you, having battled mould for years, I was very happy to find a product by chance – OzKleen “Mould Power” which is wonderful, it has no chlorine or bleach but uses natural bioflvanoids and can be used on all surfaces including fabrics! I know I sound like a sales pitch but we love this stuff 🙂 It is hard to get, Australian made, our local IGA got it in for us. I keep sending our friends to get it from them. anyway happy mould killing.

  7. Do Done Did It

    Jax, if you can’t get rid of moulds in the sealant of the shower area, it’s because the mould has penetrated under the sealant – you need to remove the old sealant and apply new ones –

  8. Seahorse

    What do you suggest for bedroom furniture? I find I have a problem with it growing behind my bed head, footboard & side tables. At the moment I use a rag soaked in white vinegar & water to wipe with but it eventually returns..

  9. Roof Vents

    Excellent article Katie.

    Most online articles about mould just highlight how to clean mould off a surface, as opposed to how to eliminate the root cause of mould.

    One more tip that I could add is to install roof ventilators. You highlighted leaving windows and doors ajar, which is excellent. But the added benefit of roof vents, also known as whirlybirds, is that they remove moist air from your house and your roof cavity.

    When you turn on your exhaust fan in your bathroom or kitchen, where does all of that moisture go? Into your roof cavity! This moisture can then seep through your house and cause massive mould issues.

    Roof ventilators remove moisture from your roof cavity and increase airflow throughout your house.

    Hope that helps.

  10. Ester

    Great article I’m going to try using the oil of cloves as an adjunct to my existing bicarb and vinegar regime. Here’s another tip that I use – After each shower I squidgy the surfaces to minimise the amount of water hanging around, it only takes half a minute but can help prolong the time between deep cleans.

  11. Anonymous

    Where to buy oil of cloves?

  12. Lorraine

    Yes I did enjoy and will try this mould remover and hope it works thanks for the hint .

  13. Lynne

    Excellent. Thanks for this