|Mold Cleaning Best ways for removal of spores, mold and mildew by Stan Halpern, Environmental Cleaning Consultant|
|Editor's note: Cleaning up mold is very important. I happen to be allergic to Clorox myself and only use it once a year when absolutely necessary. We are investigating alternatives but nobody claims to have as an effective an alternative. Get somebody else to do this for you. In our household it is my long suffering husband who has to venture in to the bathroom to get rid of mold.|
Mold and mildew is a vegetative growth, and NOT a type of dirt to be cleaned. It is produced by a tiny plant of the fungus family. It can sprout on most surfaces especially if a food source is present for the minifungus to thrive on, especially on paper and wood. Additionally, mildew can grow on the dirt and soil on them, especially in dampness. Mold spores (seeds) exist everywhere and will grow when the conditions are right. The optimal conditions for growth are 77-88 degree Fahrenheit temperature; moisture-70-98 percent relative humidity; dark and poorly ventilated environments. Like a weed growing on your front lawn, mold and mildew must be killed by an effective, acknowledged, E.P.A. registered disinfectant cleaner making mold and mildew claims. The Environmental Protection A.gency overseas and tests all chemicals which makes claims to kill any living organism such as insecticides, herbicides, algaecides, sanitizers, disinfectants, and rodenticides. An E.P.A. registration number on the label attests to the fact that if the product is used exactly as directed, that the promised "kill" factor which is claimed will take place with the least amount of harm to the environment while applying the product with the most precautionary measures. Your first line of attack is undiluted hydrogen peroxide which is an oxidizing agent (JUST LIKE CHLORINE BLEACH) and should kill the mildew on contact within several minutes. However, hydrogen peroxide is a far safer substitute. Its chemical formulation is H2O2. As the excess molecule of oxygen is released during the oxidizing process, H2O (water) remains as its residue. Just apply, agitate with a stiff brush, allow chemical to dwell for 10-15 minutes, and wipe clean. If problem persists, repeat process several times. Allow to air dry. One of the least expensive mildew removers is common household bleach like "CLOROX". Mix 1 part bleach with 3 parts water into a trigger spray bottle. Wear rubber gloves and goggles. Place an inexpensive drop cloth onto the floor for protection since chlorine bleach will leave white bleach spots. Spray solution onto affected areas, agitate with a scrub brush or stiff pad. Allow to stand for several minutes. Wipe down with a damp cloth. Another store- bought choice is "TILEX" spray. Then, thoroughly rinse areas with clean water.