Safe Ways to Remove Mold

Updated April 17, 2017

Mold remediation---or mould removal---is important to maintaining a healthy home, school, office or other public environment. Mold and associated mould spores can be dangerous to your respiratory health and can trigger severe allergic reactions. Removing mould safely reduces your exposure to mould, mould spores and other dangers such as harmful fumes from cleaning products.

Safe Damp-Wiping and Scrubbing

Damp-wiping is the process of removing mould with a cloth or sponge dipped in warm water. You may add a mild detergent to create a cleaning solution for your mould removal if desired. Bleach and chlorine are rarely necessary for mould removal on hard surfaces. Wear gloves to protect your hands from mould and any cleaning solution used during mould remediation. Cover your mouth with an N-95 respirator mask to protect your mouth and respiratory tracts from mould, mould spores and cleaning solution fumes. Protective eyewear such as goggles is also recommended to prevent mould or cleaning solution from getting into your eyes.

Safe Wet Vacuuming and Steam Cleaning

Wet vacuuming and steam cleaning are also safe alternatives for mould removal when executed properly. As with damp-wiping, use gloves while operating a wet vacuum or steam cleaner to avoid accidental hand contact with mould. Wear an N-95 respirator mask as the vacuum may stir up mould spores and other allergens. Goggles are recommended to protect your eyes from increased mould spore volume.

Safe High-Efficiency Particulate Air Vacuuming

High-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) vacuums remove mould remnants and spores from cleaned and dried affected surfaces. Wear your gloves and N-95 respirator as with the other techniques. You could inhale the particulates your HEPA vacuum loosens if you do not wear a mask.

Tips and Warnings

Contain the mould-affected area with plastic or polythene sheeting. Cover all windows, vents and door openings to make sure spores do not escape and affect other areas of your home, school, office or public area.

Ventilate the area thoroughly before making it available for use. This assures that the area is dry, making it an undesirable environment for mould growth.

Discard all mould-affected materials and surfaces in sealed plastic bags. Do so carefully so that you do not further infect other areas of the home. Remove the mouldy materials and surfaces through the nearest exit, avoiding carrying it throughout the building.

Wear full body clothing you are willing to discard for larger mould remediation jobs.

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About the Author

Stephen A. Powell is a tenured, versatile music writer based in New York. After honing his skills at St. John's University and City College (CUNY), Powell took his writing and media development services to XXL Magazine, SiTV and One Networks among other media outlets. Powell's love of language arts and desire to help others realize their full creative potential are pervasive throughout his work.