How To Get Rid Of Mold From Any Surface (And Keep it Away)

The only furry friend you really don’t want to cuddle with.

Boo, mold. We can all agree that discovering you’ve got a mold problem is literally the worst. No one wants to deal with that. Plus it can make you sick. It runs the gamut from speckly to furry, and every variety is totally gross.

Mold can grow practically anywhere, but you’ll generally find it creeping around near pipes, beneath stinks, in basements and cabinets and in rooms with water features, such as bathrooms, kitchens and basements. If you’re especially unlucky, you may even find mold hidden behind drywall or wood. Mold also tends to inhabit ceilings that lack proper ventilation, where moisture can accumulate untouched.

What causes mold?

What causes mold? In a nutshell: moisture. But temperature and oxygen certainly play a role, as well. Like most humans, mold thrives in climates that tend to be humid and between 60 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

We’ve broken down what causes mold into a more detailed, itemized list for the sake of knowledge. Behold.

10 common causes of mold

  • Humidity

    • No one is surprised by this, we know. In particularly humid climates, especially those close to large bodies of water, mold runs rampant. Proper ventilation can help these scenarios, but where there is humidity, there will be mold. It’s a fact.
  • Bad ventilation

    • Poorly ventilated areas cause air to become stagnant, which creates an ideal environment for mold to develop. Opening windows and running exhaust fans helps to alleviate stagnant or humid air, typically caused by steam from your shower, appliances or cooking.
  • Condensation

    • Fluctuations in temperature can cause condensation to form on cold surfaces, such as concrete, floor tiles, brick or metal pipes. Once again, proper ventilation of these areas could help prevent mold spores from developing.
  • Leaky AC

    • Air conditioners sometimes develop an allergenic type of mold where water drips or condensation forms. This stuff appears in white patches beneath the AC unit where the moisture builds up.
  • Leaky pipes

  • Mold found lurking under the sink or behind drywall is often attributed to leaky pipes. Sometimes wall or ceiling mold could be a result of leaky pipes, too.

  • Leaky roof

    • Damaged roofs can lead to ceiling or attic mold, especially if there’s a slow leak that goes on unnoticed for a long period of time.
  • Wet clothes

    • Don’t leave wet piles of freshly laundered clothes around, and you can avoid this one. It seems pretty straightforward. Mold can grow in just 24 hours, so stay on top of your laundry.
  • Flooding

    • Experiencing a flooding home is already a nightmare, then there’s mold growth to deal with on top of that. When a home gets flooded, it typically takes a good while to completely dry out, during which time mold moves in. If this is the case, you’ll probably want to call in some cleaning or mold removal professionals.
  • Moist foundations

    • We know, you hate that word, but moistness does cause mold. (And we hate that word.) Sometimes the way that your home’s property slopes can create drainage issues, where rainwater pools and puddles.
  • Damp basements

    • Most basements are dank. That is the nature of the basement, being subterranean and all. Their ventilation generally isn’t awesome, plus they’re nice and dark (which mold likes). Water leaks in basements also tend to go unnoticed, which can lead to a sneaky mold problem.

How to identify mold

Mold can be anywhere. (Yay!) It’s crucial to be able to recognize mold, since mold can be super toxic and poses potentially serious health effects for you and your family (and especially for vulnerable groups like kiddos, the elderly, those with pre-existing health issues and pregnant women). If you’ve got a major mold situation, we recommend calling professionals to best assess the problem, assist in mold removal and help you to prevent future mold development and damage to your home (or wherever the mold is growing).

A brief overview on health impacts that mold exposure can lead to

  • Mold sensitivity

    • This could be in the form of allergies that appear through congestion, coughing, sneezing, sore throat, watery eyes, skin irritation and headaches.
  • Lung infections

    • Those with preexisting lung issues or compromised immune systems can develop lung infections from mold exposure.
  • Respiratory conditions

    • Even healthy people are prone to upper respiratory tract problems caused by mold. They often develop asthma-like symptoms, such as shortness of breath, coughing or wheezing.
  • Severe and/or chronic conditions

    • Mycotoxins, a by-product of mold, can make you very, very sick. Long-term exposure to mycotoxins (which are absorbed into the body through your skin, airways and intestinal lining) can cause immune disorders, liver and kidney problems, digestive and heart issues, cancer and pulmonary fibrosis (among other things).

Pretty scary stuff, eh? And there are, like, thousands of types of mold. Not all of them are harmful to humans, but it’s best to know what you’re dealing with. Each type of mold has its own growth pattern and characteristics. Mold can come in small or large (but usually irregularly shaped) growths. Sometimes it just looks like a dirt stain, but often it’s fuzzy or slimy. Mold can range from blues and greens to yellows, browns, grays or blacks. It can even be white!

You can tell the difference between dirt and mold by conducting this little trick: Dip a cotton ball or rag into some diluted bleach (about 1 tablespoon of bleach for 2 cups of water), and dab the offending spot. If the spot lightens quickly or keeps coming back after cleaning, it’s likely mold. Also, areas covered in mold tend to rot, so examine the material you’re dealing with to see what condition it’s in.

If you’re still not sure, you can purchase a mold test kit that tests for airborne mold spores or surface mold. These kits will tell you whether or not there is mold, and often which type of mold.

Types of mold

3 categories of harmful mold

  • Allergenic

    • Allergenic mold causes allergies and allergic reactions (duh), like asthma attacks.
  • Pathogenic

    • Pathogenic molds can cause health problems, especially in people who suffer from an acute illness.
  • Toxigenic

    • Toxigenic mold (aka “toxic mold”) produces toxic substances that may lead to dangerous or even deadly health conditions.

12 most common types of harmful mold

  • Acremonium

    • This toxigenic mold evolves its appearance over time. It begins as a small, moist mold and turns into a powdery substance. It can be pink, orange, gray or white.
    • Acremonium is generally formed from condensation from window sealants, drain paints, humidifiers and cooling coils.
  • Alternaria

    • This is the most common type of allergenic mold.
    • Alternaria is velvety and dark green or brown
    • It can grow anywhere that’s damp, from showers to sinks. If you’ve experienced water damage in your home, you’re likely familiar with Alternaria.
    • It spreads super fast.
  • Aspergillus

    • This allergenic mold is also super common, with its long, flask-shaped spores that can form in gross, thick, chain-like layers.
    • There are nearly 200 species of Aspergillus, so it can appear in all colors.
    • This guy has the ability to become more toxic, depending on its environment. Some species of Aspergillus produce aflatoxins, which are deadly carcinogens.
  • Aureobasidium

    • This is another allergenic mold, often found on wooden or painted surfaces (or sometimes behind wallpaper!).
    • It can be pink, brown or black. Older Aureobasidium mold can turn dark brown.
    • Never touch this stuff with your bare skin, as it’ll cause dermatitis and can irritate your eyes and nails, as well.
  • Chaetomium

    • This is another mold commonly found in water-damaged homes.
    • It’s sort of cottony and can appear as white, gray, brown and eventually black once it’s aged.
    • If you smell a musty odor wafting from your basement, attic or beneath your sink, it could be Chaetomium.
  • Cladosporium

    • This allergenic mold is quite dynamic, growing in both warm and cold environments, from fabrics and upholstery to floorboards and cupboards.
    • Cladosporium (which kind of sounds like the name of your local arcade) can appear olive green or brown, with a suede-like texture.
    • Don’t touch this stuff, since it can cause rashes and lesions, in addition to potential lung infections and allergic reactions.
  • Fusarium

    • Fusarium is another allergenic mold that also likes cold temperatures. But wait, it can also be toxigenic! Cool.
    • It’s often found in carpeting, behind wallpaper or in other fabrics. It may also grow in your compost bin or on food.
    • This mold is usually pink, white or reddish.
    • Prolonged exposure to this mold can cause very severe reactions, from bone infections to brain abscesses and internal bleeding.
  • Mucor

    • This allergenic mold appears in thick white or gray patches and spreads like wildfire.
    • It’s typically found near AC or HVAC systems because it loves condensation. It can also appear in old, damp carpets.
    • Exposure to Mucor can cause flu-like symptoms, including a fever. Prolonged exposure to this stuff can also cause fungal infections.
    • Never attempt to remove this mold yourself—call in the pros ASAP.
  • Penicillin

    • Finally, a familiar face! You’ve heard of this guy. It’s an allergenic mold with a blue-green hue and velvety texture.
    • Penicillin can appear anywhere from water-damaged walls to carpets, ducts or mattresses.
    • It spreads quickly!
    • While penicillin has been used to develop antibiotics, it also causes awful respiratory issues among both humans and pets. Prolonged exposure can also cause chronic sinusitis.
  • Trichoderma

    • This allergenic mold is usually white with green spots and forms woolly clusters.
    • It thrives in carpet, wallpaper or damp fabrics, but also can be found near AC filters and in HVAC ducts.
    • Trichoderma secretes an enzyme that makes it especially damaging to building materials, causing rot in wood.
  • Ulocladium

    • This mold is generally black in color and found in extreme water-damaged areas, like kitchens, basements and bathrooms. But it’s not opposed to windows prone to high condensation levels, either.
    • This stuff is gnarly and can cause hay fever and skin infections, in addition to regular asthma-like symptoms.
  • Stachybotrys

    • This is the one you’ve been waiting for: the dreaded “black mold.” This toxigenic mold is the stuff of nightmares.
    • While it’s generally black, it can also appear to be dark green. And slimy. Very slimy.
    • Black mold loves to grow on cellulose, like wood, paper, hay, wicker or cardboard.
    • This stuff produces mycotoxins that can cause major health issues, from difficulty breathing to aches and pains in your mucous membranes. Nosebleeds, bad headaches, a tight chest and a nagging cough are also side effects of black mold exposure.
    • Don’t mess with this stuff. Call a pro to remedy Stachybotrys mold immediately.

Mold versus mildew

Mold and mildew are often lumped together categorically. They have a lot in common, including their affinity for humid environments. Mildew actually is a type of mold. But there are some major differences between mold and mildew, particularly when it comes to getting rid of them. Read on to determine how to differentiate mold from mildew.

Appearance

  • Mold

    • Slimy or fuzzy
    • Raised, can form in thick layers
    • Ranges from blue or green to black or red
  • Mildew

    • Dry and powdery
    • White or gray
    • Flat

Odor

  • Mold
    • Strong and pungent
  • Mildew
    • Mild, musty (think: damp socks)

Growth pattern

  • Mold
    • Burrows into material
  • Mildew
    • Grows on surface

Preferred climate

  • Mold
    • Damp areas, like basements, bathrooms and water-damaged spots
    • Natural materials like wood, paper or leather
    • Loves subterranean adventures, burrowing into materials and beneath surfaces
  • Mildew
    • Damp areas, like basements, bathrooms and water-damaged spots
    • Natural materials like wood, paper or leather
    • Relative humidity between 60 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit (think: shower stalls and windowsills)
    • Reproduces most effectively in temperatures between 75 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit

Health risks

  • Mold
    • Respiratory problems that can range from mild to severe
    • Potential nervous system problems, skin and eye irritation
    • Long-term exposure can lead to severe and even fatal illnesses
  • Mildew
    • More mild asthma-like symptoms

Removal techniques

  • Mold
    • Challenging to remove because of its burrowing nature, health hazards and airborne spore distribution
  • Mildew
    • Can generally be removed with household products and cleaners because it exists solely on surfaces

How to get rid of mold

We’ve said it a few times already, but if you’re experiencing a major mold problem, best to call in professionals. Always wear some serious protection—like KN95 masks (which we’re all now very familiar with), eye protection and rubber gloves—when handling mold. When dealing with mold, remember to ventilate the affected area by opening nearby windows. Most of the cleaning agents used for cleaning mold are very abrasive, so the more fresh air being circulated through, the better.

Cleaning agents most effective for getting rid of mold

  • Chlorine bleach

    • Sodium hypochlorite (aka basic household bleach) is effective for destroying mold. That being said, it should be used sparingly and diluted before using. While bleach should help with the discoloration from the mold, it could further discolor whatever it is you’re applying it to.
      • Note: Never ever combine bleach with ammonia.
  • Hydrogen peroxide

    • While peroxide is much gentler than bleach, hydrogen peroxide (3–10% solution) can still kill most molds.
    • Peroxide has a bleaching effect, so it can also help to dissolve mold stains. Because it’s less harsh than bleach, peroxide tends to work more slowly.
  • Distilled white vinegar

    • Vinegar’s acids can slowly work to break down the structure of mold, ultimately killing it.
    • Vinegar may not completely dissolve residual stains from the mold stains. Additional treatment and scrubbing with a household cleaner may be needed to finish it off.
  • Baking soda

    • Sodium bicarbonate (aka baking soda) has a high pH, which can stop the growth of mold.
  • Microban 24 Multi-Purpose Cleaner

  • This stuff prevents the growth of mold and mildew for 7 days after use on hard surfaces.*

How do you get rid of black mold

You guys, black mold is bad. Like, real bad. We already told you a lot about it, but Stachybotrys (aka black mold) can cause major respiratory issues that have the potential to become quite severe. This stuff grows really fast in moist and humid environments, like water-damaged areas, bathrooms, basements and under sinks and cabinets. It’s truly an invasive species.

You may smell it before you see it. And when you find it, it’ll appear spotty, slimy and dark green or black. If the black mold seems to have moved into your walls, call in a professional mold removal service immediately.

How to get rid of mold on wood

For interior wood, be sure to close all surrounding doors and use plastic sheeting to prevent mold spores from spreading to other areas of the house. If possible, take the moldy wood outdoors to clean it.

Reminder: Always wear safety goggles (ideally airtight ones), rubber gloves and a protective face mask when dealing with mold.

  • Put on your protective gear.

  • Using a vacuum with a HEPA filter, vacuum all visible mold from the wood surface.

    • Empty and clean out the vacuum bag or container immediately, or dispose of the vacuum bag if it’s single use.
  • For painted or sealed wood, combine a few drops of dish soap, such as Dawn, with warm water, and scrub the moldy area with a soft bristle brush.

    • Try not to saturate the wood with too much water while doing this.
    • Use a sponge to remove any excess water.
  • Fill a spray bottle with white vinegar, and lightly spray the offending surface.

  • Let the vinegar air dry on the wood for about an hour.

  • If the mold is gone at this point, you can finish the wood off with a widely available wood cleaner.

  • For unsealed wood, you can mix ½ cup of chlorine bleach with 1 cup of warm water. Apply to the mold using your scrub brush, and allow it to air dry.

  • If the mold is still there, chances are it’s burrowed super deep into the wood. You could try sanding down the wood and refinishing the piece to fully eliminate the mold (but even that might not do the trick!). If you sand and refinish the wood, be sure to use a sealant to prevent further mold damage.

How to get rid of mold on walls

If there’s mold on your walls, you might be dealing with some potential structural damage, so we suggest you call in a professional to assess the damage. If you end up digging into the wall yourself, good on ya. Be sure to bag all moldy drywall and insulation in heavy-duty trash bags and check local regulations on how to dispose of it correctly.

Reminder: Always wear safety goggles (ideally airtight ones), rubber gloves and a protective face mask when dealing with mold.

For porous walls (drywall, concrete, etc.)

  • Put on your protective gear.
  • In a bucket, mix a solution of 1 part bleach to 3 parts water.
    • Alternatively, you can use 3% concentration hydrogen peroxide. Spray the peroxide onto the wall, and let it sit for 10–15 minutes. Then scrub the moldy wall with a soft bristle brush to remove the mold.
  • Apply your solution to the moldy wall with a sponge (or a mop for large surfaces), but try not to soak the area unnecessarily.
  • Let the solution air dry.

For wallpapered walls

  • Go the natural route with tea tree oil, grapefruit seed extract or vinegar in order to avoid damaging the wallpaper.
  • Combine 1 teaspoon of your essential oil with every cup of water you use.
    • Alternatively, combine white vinegar with warm water in a 1:1 ratio.
  • Use your spray bottle to apply the cleaning agent to the wallpaper.
  • Scrub the moldy wallpaper with your soft bristle brush in circles until the mold is gone.
  • Try to avoid oversaturating the wallpaper.
  • Let the wallpaper air dry.

How to get rid of mold in a bathroom

Bathroom mold is generally the easiest to get rid of, since it’s usually on nonporous surfaces (meaning it probably hasn’t burrowed in too deep). There are lots of effective ways to rid yourself of bathroom mold, whether it’s on your shower, grout or tiles. Walls and ceilings will, however, prove to be trickier.

Reminder: Always wear safety goggles (ideally airtight ones), rubber gloves and a protective face mask when dealing with mold.

Our favorite mold cleaning agents to get rid of bathroom mold

  • Bleach

  • A 1:10 bleach to water solution is awesome for all nonporous surfaces, from sinks and tubs to toilets and showers. Best not to use bleach to clean mold from bathroom ceilings or walls, though.

  • Distilled white vinegar

  • This is the gentler option for getting rid of bathroom mold. You can dilute vinegar to scrub your tile floors or use it to dissolve mineral buildup from hard water on your showerhead, unclog drains or even to eliminate weird toilet stains. Vinegar can kill mold when sprayed directly on to it. Just let the vinegar sit for 5–10 minutes before wiping it clean with a sponge or rag.

For bathroom ceiling mold

  • Find the source. Is there a leak someplace? Is it just excessively humid? Turn on the fan and open the windows to attempt to dry out the place.
  • Mix your vinegar and water solution in a spray bottle, and start applying it to the moldy area.
  • If your ceiling is painted or finished (it probably is), get to scrubbing with your soft bristle brush.
  • If your ceiling is unfinished, this job might be out of your wheelhouse, since you’ll need to scrape and finish the moldy ceiling.
  • Repeat spraying and scrubbing until the mold is gone.
  • Let the vinegar solution air dry.

For bathroom wall mold

  • Find the source. Is there a leak someplace? Is it just excessively humid? Turn on the fan and open the windows to attempt to dry out the place.
  • Mix your vinegar and water solution in a spray bottle, and start applying it to the moldy area.
  • If your walls are painted or finished (they probably are), get to scrubbing with your soft bristled brush.
  • If your walls are unfinished, this job might be out of your wheelhouse, since you’ll need to scrape and finish the moldy walls.
  • Repeat spraying and scrubbing until the mold is gone.
  • Let the vinegar solution air dry.
  • If the mold appears to have burrowed deep into the drywall, call in the pros. It’s going to be a total pain to remove and could even become a health hazard.

For tiled bathroom wall mold

  • Use vinegar for tiled walls.
    • Mix a 1:1 ratio of vinegar to warm water.
  • Spray on solution, and let it sit for 5–10 minutes.
  • Scrub away the mold and the cleaning solution with your soft bristle scrub brush or sponge.
  • Let it air dry.
  • Is the grout moldy? Try making a paste with baking soda and a dash of water. Apply the paste, and let it sit for a few minutes before scrubbing away. You can try using an old toothbrush to scrub into those little nooks and crannies. Repeat as necessary.

How to get rid of mold in the shower

For fiberglass showers

Hydrogen peroxide

  • Soak a rag in a hydrogen peroxide solution (1 part hydrogen peroxide to 2 parts water), and apply liberally to the entire fiberglass shower.
  • Let it sit overnight.
  • Rinse the fiberglass shower with hot water.
  • Use your squeegee to scrape any remaining water droplets.
  • Polish dry with a microfiber rag to eliminate any streaks.

For shower curtains

Pretreat your shower curtains with vinegar Take your new plastic shower curtain and run it through the washing machine on the rinse cycle with ¼ cup of white vinegar. Be sure you’re running the cycle on warm (not hot!) so you don’t melt the plastic shower curtain. Once the rinse cycle is done, hang the shower curtain and/or liner up on the curtain rod to let it air dry.

DIY hydrogen peroxide + baking soda solution FTW Start by taking your shower curtain off the rod and laying it down outside on a flat surface. When you’re doing this, be sure to fold the moldy areas inward so you don’t spread any mold spores.

Step 1

  • Mix a solution of 2 parts hydrogen peroxide and 1 part water.
  • Apply the solution with a spray bottle, or soak a clean rag with it and wipe it onto the shower curtain.
  • Allow the solution to sit on the shower curtain for about 10 minutes.
  • Rinse off the solution with warm water.

Step 2

  • Make a paste of equal parts baking soda and water.
  • Scrub the paste onto the offending moldy areas of the shower curtain with a soft bristle scrub brush.
  • Rinse and repeat if necessary.

Step 3

  • Repeat all steps on the opposite side of the shower curtain.
  • Hang the shower curtain back on the curtain rod to air dry (or let it dry in the sun, weather permitting).

How to prevent bathroom mold

  • The easiest way to prevent mold and mildew in the bathroom is to always run your bathroom’s exhaust fan during your shower—and then also leave it on for about 30 minutes afterward to really get the moisture out of the air.
  • Squeegee your shower walls after each use.
  • Hear a persistent drip? Fix it ASAP! Mold and mildew just love leaking and pooling water.
  • Wash your bath mats and towels regularly. And be sure you’re hanging them up in a way that allows them to dry completely. Damp fabrics create ideal conditions for mold growth (plus they get smelly!).
  • When you’re not using them, store your washcloths or loofahs someplace dry (aka not in the shower).

How to get rid of mold in a basement

This might get a bit complicated, since basement mold usually results from some sort of leak. When it doubt, contact a professional for help.

Reminder: Always wear safety goggles (ideally airtight ones), rubber gloves and a protective face mask when dealing with mold.

  • Put on your protective gear.
  • Check your HVAC system. Is there mold near the intake? How about inside the air ducts? Is there a noticeable musty smell?
    • If you don’t find any signs of mold (and no one in your household is exhibiting asthma-like symptoms or allergies), your air ducts are likely mold free.
    • If you do see signs of mold around your HVAC system, shut it off ASAP.
  • Should you call in professional mold cleaners? If you encounter mold that’s taking up a large swath of your basement real estate, like larger than 10 square feet or so, call in the pros. If the mold is especially odorous, call the pros. Is there a ton of water damage? Or contaminated water from sewage backup or flooding? Yeah, you’re going to need help.
  • Can’t figure out whether it’s mold? Try using a store-bought mold testing kit.
  • Seal off your HVAC with plastic sheeting and duct tape to either contain the mold or prevent external mold from entering the ducts.

If you’re attempting to get rid of basement mold yourself, consider the following.

  • Remove any exposed or contaminated items from the basement.
    • Assess the damage done to these items. Take the items outside. Go full Marie Kondo on everything. Is it disposable? Does it spark joy? Can you soak it with bleach?
  • Deep clean any leather, wood or inorganic furniture. Upholstered furniture will need to be trashed or professionally cleaned.
  • Pro tip: Don’t store cellulose-based items in your basement. It may be too late for this suggestion at this point, but stuff made of cardboard, paper or wood generally shouldn’t live in the basement, since it’s prone to mold.
  • Does your basement have carpet? Depending on the situation, you may need to tear it up and replace it (or have it professionally cleaned). You can try to hit the moldy carpet or rug with a vacuum with a HEPA filter. Then apply one of our suggested cleaning agents, and allow it to air dry (you can turn on strategically placed fans to assist with the drying process). If it’s a rug, bring it outside to clean it (mold hates sunshine).
  • Tackle any remaining mold stains with diluted bleach, white vinegar or peroxide. A baking soda paste is great for spot treating mold.
    • Apply the cleaning agent with a spray bottle.
    • Let it sit.
    • Scrub it with a soft bristle brush, and sponge away any remaining residue.
    • Repeat as necessary.
    • Let air dry.
      • If you used bleach, wipe the area clean with water to remove residue before letting air dry.

How to prevent basement mold

  • Increase ventilation by running AC units and dehumidifiers in your basement. This will also help control the humidity.
  • Do a perimeter check, making sure that there’s no external water pooling around the walls of your home and leaking into the basement. Clear away any wet debris or leaf piles.
  • Check your appliances to ensure proper drainage and venting, especially the washer and dryer.
  • Is your insulation up to code and your roof properly waterproofed? What about basement windows? How old is that caulk?
  • Check your pipes and gutters. Make sure the gutters are disposing of water at least 6 feet from your home’s exterior walls, otherwise it might just be sinking into your foundation and then your basement.
  • Check your AC pan and duct joints for condensation. Seal any leaky joints with flexible mastic. Remember to seasonally clean out your AC pan with a bit of bleach to prevent mold growth.
  • Make sure your sump pump is spouting water at least 20 feet from your home’s exterior walls.
  • Does your basement have earthen flooring? That stuff holds onto lots of moisture. You can cover it with poly sheeting or consider installing flooring.

How to get rid of mold smell

Blech, it’s damp and humid and now it smells like it’s damp and humid … and moldy. It’s tricky to get rid of that smell and then keep it away. Luckily we’re hip to lots of odor neutralizers found right in your own pantry. And if those don’t work, we’ve got some more tips for making your house smell good.

  • First, locate the source of the smell.
  • Clean the offending area following our extensive guidelines above, with either bleach, vinegar, peroxide or baking soda. If you choose to use essential oils, they’ll help with the smell instantly.
  • Ensure the mold or mildew is gone to the best of your ability, including its stain.
  • If the moldy smell has infused fabrics, like upholstered furniture, curtains or carpet, sprinkle baking soda liberally over the affected area, and let it sit overnight.
    • Vacuum up residual baking soda in the morning.
  • Run fans and dehumidifiers in the smelly area to dry out the space and decrease the humidity.
  • You might also try filling a jar or bowl with kitty litter and leaving it overnight in the moldy-smelling room to absorb the odor. You can actually leave the kitty litter container someplace discreet in the smelly room and swap it out with fresh litter monthly.
  • Spray some Febreze Air throughout the moldy-smelling room to clean away bad odors and freshen up the space.
  • Regularly scrub the walls of the moldy-smelling room with vinegar to further neutralize odors. Yes, walls absorb smells, too!

In conclusion

Getting rid of mold can be a gigantic pain in the butt. It’s tricky to identify and potentially hazardous to be around. Plus it literally burrows into anything porous, so even if you think you’ve removed it, it’s probably still there and will likely come back.

Not to be discouraging, but if you’re considering undertaking a major mold removal project, maybe just don’t. Yes, we just provided you with an encyclopedia’s worth of information regarding mold and how to remove it from this, that and the other thing—but at the end of the day, if you’ve got a colossal mold infestation, just cut your losses and look up your local mold removal services. They’ve definitely got more hearty protective gear, stronger cleaning products and way more knowledge than you do about how to both get rid of your mold and prevent it from coming back.

*Effective against Aspergillus niger.

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