How to get rid of mould

It doesn't just look ugly. It can damage your walls, furniture, and clothing. Here's how to keep it at bay.

The things we do every day, such as cooking, bathing, or even breathing can cause moisture in our homes which can turn into mould.

Bathrooms and kitchens are usually the best places for mould to grow because of the moisture in the air. Ugly black patches and a terrible smell are usually the first signs of mould.

Here are some areas where mould is most likely to grow and how to get rid of it:

Tile grout

To get rid of mould in between your tiles, use an old toothbrush dipped in bleach or diluted vinegar to scrub out those stains. A paste made from water and baking soda also works well. Let it soak for about 15 minutes and then scrub. Once done, be sure to rinse well and wipe down your tiles with an old towel or absorbent cloth.

Around your bath or shower

This can be a tricky one. If bleach, diluted vinegar, or the paste doesn't work on the sealant, you might need to cut it out with a utility knife and reseal the edges of the bath or shower.

On walls or ceilings

Just like your tile grout, the mould on your walls and ceilings can be scrubbed away with a brush. Soak the brush in a bleach solution for a few minutes before scrubbing the area. Oh, and don’t forget to wear gloves, goggles, and/or masks to protect yourself. Wipe down the area with a cloth dampened with a bleach solution, and then dry it with another clean cloth. Do not leave it wet – this is how the problem started in the first place. Keep the area ventilated while working.

On your clothing

This happens when wet clothing is left in a pile for more than 24 – 48 hours (the time mould takes to grow) and not hung out to dry properly. The best things to do in this case is soak the item (or items – as it can spread) in diluted vinegar. Mix about half a cup of vinegar in 2L boiling water, or however much you need. Soak for an hour and then wash – preferably with hot water because the heat kills mould. Also, bleach (use a colour safe one for bright clothing items) destroys mould just as quickly.

How to avoid the problem?

In areas with high condensation, like the bathroom, it is best to have proper ventilation. Using an extractor fan, or opening all the windows after bathing, can help with this. Also, never put wet items in the laundry basket, especially if it will be there for a few days. I learned this the hard way. Mould will form and might spread from the initial clothing item to all the others in your washing basket.

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