How to get rid of mould

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It goes without saying that we’ve started 2022 with some wild weather and an unprecedented amount of rainfall, particularly in northern New South Wales and south east Queensland. As a result, many of us have seen mould and mildew sneak into our homes, especially in our bathrooms, ceilings, and wardrobes! 

No matter how much you clean your home, mould can ruin clothes and furniture. It can also cause a range of different health concerns. Overall, mould is toxic, and you need to remove it immediately. Your first instinct might be to go to your local supermarket and stock up on mould-killing products. However, this might not always be the best solution. 

If the problem is widespread or beyond your DIY skills, it’s essential that you seek professional help.

mould on wardrobe cabinet

How do I know if my house has a mould problem?

Sometimes, mould is insidious; it's not always easy to spot. For example, it might be in your cupboards, behind your closet, and even in the dust jackets of your books. If you don't know where to start looking, here are some common signs of mould buildup:

  • Musty odours
  • Frequent nasal allergies or respiratory problems
  • Damp ceilings and warped walls
  • Visible traces or dark spots on surfaces
  • Stained or spotted clothes

What's the difference between mould and mildew?

Mould is a type of fungi, while mildew is a type of mould. Mildew shows up on wood, wool, leather, silk, cotton and linen. It’s everywhere and only needs water to build up.

Mould and mildew love warm, moist, and dark spaces. That’s why it’s important to air areas like garages and cellars regularly, especially after heavy rain.

How to keep your home dry

Proper ventilation is essential to your home life. Humidity results in dampness, which then encourages mould growth. A simple solution is to get a dehumidifier or configure your air conditioner to the dry setting. These appliances can filter out room moisture, collecting the water in small buckets. If you're unsure where to put your dehumidifier, move it around your home or leave it in each room for a day or two for optimal coverage.

water leaking inside a room

How to prevent mould buildup

  • Keep your doors and windows open on dry or sunny days.
  • Insulate your ceilings to prevent condensation.
  • After a rainstorm, check for leaks and water accumulation on your roof.
  • Dry all wet areas.
  • Keep your indoor plants dry.
  • Wipe away condensation.
  • Use a dehumidifier; set it to less than 55% humidity.

Things you need to remove mould

  • Face masks
  • Goggles (especially for ceiling and walls)
  • Gloves
  • Newspaper
  • Micro-fibre cloths
  • Buckets
  • Brooms
  • Toothbrushes
  • Old stockings
  • Clove oil
  • Vinegar

How to remove mould at home

mould buildup on white walls

Mould removal is a meticulous process. If you aren't careful, simple scrubbing or handwashing might damage your items further. Basically, different home areas or items require specific cleaning methods. Here are some steps to follow:


Washable fabric (curtains, cushions, beddings, and towels)

  1. Mix one cup of salt and vinegar in 10 litres of water with three drops of clove oil. Soak the fabric overnight.
  2. Squeeze out the solution as much as possible, hang the material in a sunny place, and leave it until salt crusts form.
  3. Use a soft brush to remove the salt over a newspaper and dispose of it afterwards.
  4. Wash the fabric with warm water and dry it as usual.


Non-washable fabric (suede and silk)

  1. Put the items on newspaper sheets and leave them under the sun.
  2. Soak the items in a mixture of coarse salt, vinegar, and a drop of clove oil.
  3. Dry them as usual.
  4. Brush off the mould and spray some clove oil onto the items.


Leather goods

  1. Mix three drops of clove oil with half a cup of baby or coconut oil.
  2. Wipe mouldy areas in a circular motion.
  3. Soak the items and dry them in an airy location.


Carpets

  1. Mix three drops of clove oil, half a cup of vinegar, and five cups of water. Spray the solution and sprinkle some salt onto the carpet.
  2. Dry it overnight and then vacuum it.
  3. Repeat the process if necessary.


Grout

  1. Dip a toothbrush or grout brush in a mixture of vinegar, three drops of clove oil, and half a cup of baking soda.
  2. Brush the grout thoroughly.
  3. Spray the solution onto the surface and leave it to dry.

mould on bathroom tiles


Cupboards

  1. Hang a stick of chalk with a ribbon to absorb moisture.
  2. When the chalk becomes damp, hang it outside to dry.
  3. Reuse the chalk.


Walls and ceilings

  1. Mix three drops of clove oil, half a cup of vinegar, and five cups of water.
  2. Use a clean broom and a stocking to absorb the solution.
  3. Sweep the mouldy area.
  4. Allow it to dry.
  5. Every month, spray the walls or ceiling with a solution of three drops of clove oil and one litre of water.


Hire a mould removal specialist

Overall, mould removal requires meticulous hands. If the bad weather in recent months has caused severe mould buildup in your home and the problem is too far gone, the best solution is to hire an expert. Fortunately, plenty of Taskers nearby can do the job well for you. All you have to do is post a mould removal service task on our platform, and you can finally say goodbye to your mouldy blues!

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FAQs on mould removal

Bleach only masks the mould and its traces, but it won’t be enough to get rid of it entirely. More often than not, bleach also doesn’t penetrate porous materials like wood. This means you only get to “remove” the mould above the surface and not all the way through.
It’s best to inform your landlord because they need to keep the property in good condition. Mould removal is part of this. Visit tenants.org to learn about your rights and responsibilities as a renter.
Bleach only masks the mould and its traces, but it won’t be enough to get rid of it entirely. More often than not, bleach also doesn’t penetrate porous materials like wood. This means you only get to “remove” the mould above the surface and not all the way through.
It’s best to inform your landlord because they need to keep the property in good condition. Mould removal is part of this. Visit tenants.org to learn about your rights and responsibilities as a renter.