How to Get Rid of Mold or Mildew

Updated February 21, 2017

Mold and mildew doesn't just look and smell bad. Some mould, such as black mould, can present a health risk as well. Mold and mildew can also cause wood to rot, ruining the surface under bathroom and kitchen floors and countertops where moisture can accumulate. It can also ruin windows framed with wood. But you can easily remove mould or mildew and prevent them from returning.

Protect your hands with rubber gloves, and your eyes with goggles. Mix one cup of bleach with a gallon of warm water in a plastic bucket or other container that is not metal. Then, pour some of the mixture into a spray bottle.

Spray the bleach mixture directly onto the mould or mildew, if it is on painted walls. Protect furniture and any other nearby objects by covering with newspaper, tarp or old sheets.

If the mould and mildew is on clothing, towels or other fabric, spray full-strength bleach on the spots, not the diluted mixture. Decide if the fabric is worth treating because the colours may be bleached out.

Wait at least five minutes for the bleach mixture to penetrate the mould and mildew on a surface. Then, scrub the mould with a stiff scrubbing brush.

For clothes, let the bleach sit for a half hour, then wash as usual.

Rinse the surface with cool water, and let dry. If any mould or mildew remains, repeat the steps, or hire a professional restoration contractor to get rid of the mould and mildew.

Dry clothing as usual.

Prevent mould and mildew from returning by properly ventilating the area. Turn on a fan whenever you use the shower, or open a nearby window.


If you suspect or know that mould is under flooring or behind wallpaper, or in the attic or basement, consult professionals to get an estimate for a removal. Try setting wet, mouldy fabric items out in the sun before treating them; sunlight naturally kills mould.


Be sure to use fans and open windows when spraying the bleach mixture; it should not be inhaled.

Things You'll Need

  • Rubber gloves
  • Goggles
  • Bleach
  • Water
  • Stiff bristle scrubbing brush
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