How should mold be cleaned up and eliminated?
Melissa Conrad Stӧppler, MD
Pathologist, WebMD Medical Expert
Medical Editor/Author, MedicineNet
Mold clean-up procedures are somewhat dependent upon the extent of contamination and the type of surface that has been contaminated. Large areas of mold may require the services of a professional contractor who is skilled in mold clean-up and remediation. Hard surfaces that harbor mold may be scrubbed with detergent and water, and these should be dried completely. Porous or absorbent materials (such as cloth, ceiling tiles, carpets) may have to be discarded if they become moldy. In some cases, a dilute solution of chlorine bleach (no stronger than 1 cup of bleach in 1 gallon of water) or stronger commercial cleaners may be needed to kill the mold.
If you are sensitive to molds, be sure to discuss any health concerns with your health care practitioner prior to attempting mold removal. When washing with soap and water, rubber gloves are recommended, but for bleach and harsher cleaning agents, nonporous gloves (for example, natural rubber, neoprene, nitrile, polyurethane, or PVC) should be worn along with protective eyewear. Wearing an N-95 respirator (available at many hardware stores) can further limit your exposure to airborne mold or spores when cleaning. Avoid touching moldy surfaces with your bare hands.
After mold removal, it is important to prevent recurrence of mold by keeping affected areas as dry as possible.