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How to Clean to Eliminate Mold & Mildew

No doubt you’ve heard horror stories about how toxic mold has robbed victims of health and home. But what’s the truth behind the hype? Could your bathroom or kitchen be host to strains of mold and mildew that could harm you and your family and destroy your house?

Although mold and mildew appear more often in hot, humid weather, there is a significant difference between the types of mold that typically grow around the caulking inside your tub and shower than those that feed on particle board and leach inside walls. The experts at My Cleaning Lady would like to unravel the mystery of this phenomenon for you by explaining the differences between these two types of spores and offer suggestions for how to safely rid your home of all varieties…just to be safe.

Mold & Mildew—are both terms that are used generally to describe growths of fungi on various surfaces. “Mildew” also is a scientific term that describes a type of plant disease. In common usage, the difference between mold and mildew usually is in their appearance and the surfaces on which they are growing. Mold is often thick and black, green, red or blue in color, and mildew usually is lighter, powdery and gray or white. Both mold and mildew often grow in moist and warm locations, but mildew is more often found in showers, on paper and on fabrics, and mold is often found on foods and in walls and other permanent structures.

To conquer mold or mildew, stay on top of moisture and mold as soon as it arises. Dry anything that is damp, such as basements (use a dehumidifier) and completely dry rugs and carpets. Fix leaks in plumbing and roofs. Wipe up spills. Make sure water doesn’t escape from shower curtains.

Toxic Strains of Mold—the most common indoor molds are Cladosporium, Penicillium, Aspergillus, and Alternaria and Stachybotrys Chartarum. Although all types of mold and mildew can potentially be dangerous to your health, even if you aren’t allergy prone, even those individuals who do not have mold allergies will likely be affected with prolonged exposure to toxic strains of mold. Toxic mold does not typically grow on tile or inside bathtubs or shower stalls. Instead, these strands of mold live in walls.

If you think your home might have a toxic form of mold, don’t be hasty. It might be worthwhile to carefully remove a sample and send to a lab. For about $50, you should be able to get a definitive answer about anything questionable. And if the lab reports the presence of toxic mold spores, you may have to hire an abatement company to safely remove the damage.

How to Clean All Kinds of Mold

No need to invest in commercial mold cleaners. Three common products effectively kill mold:

  • Tea Tree Oil (an essential oil found in most health food stores). This is a broad spectrum fungicide that seems to kill all types of mold it comes in contact with.
  • Grapefruit Seed Extract. Admittedly a tad pricey, this natural product is odorless and effective. And there is no need to rinse.
  • Vinegar. By far the cheapest alternative, this miracle product eradicates almost every variety of mold or mildew if applied liberally. Straight vinegar reportedly kills 82 percent of mold. Pour some white distilled vinegar into a spray bottle. Spray on the moldy area and let the solution set without rinsing.
  • Bleach. Although far from green, bleach is the best bet for wiping away almost any organic material, including mold and mildew.

The best defense against mold and mildew is to keep your home as clean as possible. The professionals at My Cleaning Lady can keep your home so that pests won’t have a chance to infest. My Cleaning Lady is a domestic referral agency.  The house cleaners we refer offer complete home cleaning services including thorough dusting at reasonable prices. My Cleaning Lady Referral Agency proudly serves Arcadia, Chino, Chino Hills, Duarte, Ontario, Pomona, LaVerne, Covina, Rancho Cucamonga, Fontana, Montclair, Claremont, Phillips Ranch, Upland, West Covina, Glendora, San Dimas, and Sierra Madre. Visit call (909) 593-6690 for information or to arrange a free estimate.