Allergies, respiratory infections, structural damage and an all-around awful smell - these are just some of the atrocities that mold and mildew can mete out on you and your family.
Once you start picking up that distinctive smell and unsightly scourge that mold creates, it is time to figure out how to get rid of it as fast as possible. There are DIY ways to do this by cleaning mold with vinegar and baking soda.
Here are some practical tips on how to go about cleaning and getting rid of mold as well as mildew from your house.
Knowing When to Call a Professional Mold and Mildew Cleaner
While cleaning mold with vinegar and baking soda is a simple DIY trick that anyone can apply as the need arises, the truth is that, sometimes, you might not know how far the mold problem has spread and a home remedy might not work.
In these instances, you need to call a professional for your own safety and peace of mind. How do you tell when you need to call a professional mold cleaner?
- Check the entire house to see if there are areas with black mold (DON'T TOUCH!)
- According to the EPA, if you have anything more than 10 ft. of mold in your home, you need to contact a professional. They also advise that you get an evaluation from a professionally qualified "Indoor Environmental Professional (IEP) or an Industrial Hygienist who will directly recommend whether you need a professional cleaner.
Should you find that you don't need a professional based on these three parameters, you can embark on your DIY quest of cleaning mold with vinegar and baking soda.
What You Will Need to Clean Mold with Vinegar and Baking Soda
When it comes to mold removal, some gear is pretty much mandatory:
- Respirator or mask
- Nitrile gloves
- Protective clothing (make sure no part of your skin is unprotected)
There are also a few tools that you will need depending on where the mold occurs:
- Spray bottle
- Washcloth or microfiber cloth
- Washing machine
- Old toothbrush
Once you have gathered all that you need, it's time to get to work. Remember that this kind of work requires great care and should not be taken lightly.
DIY Process of Cleaning Mold with Vinegar and Baking Soda
Now, the process of cleaning mold and mildew from your house varies depending on the specific area in your house that the mold occurs. This guide will give you tips on how to clean some of the most common areas in which mold and mildew tend to occur with vinegar and baking soda.
How to Clean Mold From Bathroom Walls
You will need your spray bottle, washcloth and a drying towel.
- Distilled white vinegar
- Hot water
- Pour the distilled white vinegar into the spray bottle as is (do not dilute it with water)
- Spray the concentrated vinegar on the moldy surface
- Wait for 1 hour
- Take your washcloth and dip it in hot water then wipe the surface clean
- Dry the surface thoroughly (wet surfaces tend to encourage mold growth)
- Regularly spray the surface with concentrated vinegar to prevent the mold from reoccurring
It is that simple.
How to Clean Mold and Mildew from Your Carpet
You will need a vacuum cleaner and a spray bottle.
- 1 cup of vinegar
- 2 cups of warm water
- Thoroughly vacuum the area with the mold
- Mix the vinegar with the two cups of warm water
- Pour the cleaning solution into your spray bottle
- Spray that solution on the carpet
- Take some baking soda and pour it onto the affected area
- Wait for 1 hour and then vacuum again
Pro Tip: Do not soak the carpet in water because that will encourage the regrowth of mildew and mold. Once all these steps are completed, make sure that the carpet is completely dry. You can even take it out and air it under the hot sun to achieve this end.
How to Clean Mold Off Towels
You will need a washing machine and a drying machine or just the sun!
- 1 cup of vinegar
- Half a cup of baking soda
- Place the infected towels into your washing machine (don't mix them with any other clothes)
- Set your washing machine to the hottest temperature possible as well as on the extra-heavy mode
- Instead of using detergent, pour the cup of vinegar (don't add detergent)
- Once it goes through the entire cycle, replace the vinegar with baking soda and let it run for another cycle
- After the second cycle, take the towels out of the washing machine and put them in the dryer to get them completely dry. If you don't have a dryer, take the towels out and dry them under the sun. Always makes sure that they are completely dry before bringing them back into the house. You can also use a baking soda paste to help remove a mold stain
One of the best ways to ensure that your towels don't get infected by mold and mildew regularly, make it a habit to hang them out to dry as soon they have been used. It is advisable to take them out to the sun for this purpose.
This advice applies to wet or sweaty shoes and clothes. You are advised not to dry them indoors but to clean them or dry them out under the sun and make sure that they are completely dry before bringing them back in.
Why Use Vinegar and Baking Soda to Clean Mold and Mildew?
Vinegar, in particular, is a very powerful ingredient in this fight because it kills about 82% of all mold spore species thanks to the acetic acid it contains. Baking soda, on the other hand, is added to this list because it does a great job of absorbing moisture.
To prevent the reoccurrence of mold, stop any water leaks within the house and use a dehumidifier to balance your indoor humidity.
As you can see, when it comes to cleaning mold with vinegar and baking soda, the procedure itself is quite simple. It, however, must be reiterated that you need to put on protective clothing before taking on this task.