… remove mould from my home?
By GAtherton

If you come across small amounts of mould in your home you may want to remove them yourself before they get any worse. Here are some of our tips for how to remove mould, and when to leave it to the professionals.

If at all possible, ask someone without a condition like aspergillosis to do it, so that you’re not putting yourself at any risk.

Before cleaning any mould, put on appropriate protective gear: goggles, rubber gloves and a face mask (read our guide to choosing a face mask here).

Only remove mould if it’s caused by an identified source of condensation (read our guide to finding the source of the damp here). Do not attempt to remove mould caused by sewage or contaminated water.
Only remove small amounts of mould (areas less than 1 metre squared).
If your mould problem is bigger than this, you should get it professionally cleaned.

Open all the windows in the room, but leave doors shut to prevent spores from spreading around your house.

Remove any growing moulds using  an antifungal disinfectant or, if you cannot find an alternative, 10% household bleach is effective: Suggested guidelines and limitations here.

NOTE Disinfectants containing quaternary ammonium salts, bleach, alcohol & hydrogen peroxide have recently (2017 study on heavy occupational exposure) been implicated as a risk factor for increasing the incidence of COPD. We don’t yet know why it does this or if it is a hazard to domestic users, but assuming it is caused by the fumes released, ensure you clean in a well ventilated area and wear waterproof gloves to prevent skin contact. Cleaning products containing these chemicals are used very widely – if in any doubt check the list of chemicals contained in any product (bleach is often referred to as sodium hypochlorite). Quaternary ammonium salts go by several different chemical names so if in doubt check against the list published here under ‘antimicrobials’

If you can’t find an alternative disinfectant and don’t want to use one of the irritant disinfectants listed above then you might follow guidelines suggested by the US EPA which suggest just using a simple detergent and thoroughly drying the wetted surfaces.

Surfaces (such as walls):

Fill a bucket with detergent diluted to the recommended strength and use a rag soaked in this mixture to carefully wipe the mould-covered surface. Be careful not to brush the surface as you may release mould spores.

Once you have removed the mould, wipe the surface with a dry cloth and throw both of these cloths away in a tied plastic bag.

Vacuum or wipe down all of the surfaces in the room.

Soft furnishings, clothes and soft toys:

Put them in a plastic bag and tie it shut.

Mouldy clothes should be dry cleaned and soft furnishings should be shampooed.

Taps and shower heads:

Take the shower head apart and remove any tap aerators – these are the perfect places for mould and bacteria to lurk!

Soak these in a mixture of detergent and water.

Give the rest of the shower heads and taps a wipe with a rag soaked in diluted detergent, and use a toothbrush to get up inside the taps.

Give the soaked shower and tap parts a wipe to remove any mould left on them and reattach them.

Also: Read our guide to removing mould from your washing machine