Mold and mildew grow on any moist or damp surface. They feed on organic materials such as dirt, paper, soap scum and leather. They grow in temperatures between 0.00 and 35.0 degrees C, but they grow best in warm, humid areas with a lot of condensation. Dark, damp places that flood or have pipes that leak or drip are common areas to find mould and mildew. Kitchens, bathrooms, laundry rooms, basements, closets and outside walls are all places mould and mildew grow easily, but there are many ways to remove them and to prevent them from returning.
Mix 1/2 cup of chlorine bleach, 1/3 cup of heavy duty enzymatic washing powder without ammonia, and a gallon of hot water. Put on rubber gloves, safety glasses and a painter's mask. Apply the bleach and detergent mixture to walls with a sponge or a soft brush, working from the bottom up, and let it set for 10 minutes. Rinse the mixture off the wall with vinegar and water.
Add 1/8 teaspoon of TSP (trisodium phosphate), available at hardware stores, to one quart of bleach and three quarts of hot water. Put on rubber gloves, safety glasses and a painter's mask. Work in a well-ventilated area or turn on fans. Apply the solution to walls with a sponge, working from bottom to top. Rinse the solution off and dry completely.
Spray Tilex mould and mildew remover or a pine-oil based commercial cleaner on the mildew and mould. Clean walls with a soft brush. Rinse and dry completely.
Paint walls with oil paint, which doesn't attract mould and mildew as easily as acrylic paint, or add mildewcide to the paint. Move furniture and other belongings away from the walls to let the air circulate, and use an air conditioner during hot, humid weather.
Keep humidity in your home below 40 per cent. Run exhaust fans and dehumidifiers. Open windows to keep air circulating, and dry showers as soon as you're finished showering. Turn on exhaust fans in kitchens when boiling a lot of water, and vent dryers and exhaust fans outside.
- If you show any symptoms of sensitivity to mould, such as sneezing, coughing, congestion, or dizziness, hire someone to remove mould from your walls.
- To avoid toxic fumes, do not mix bleach and ammonia.