Mold can be a big problem in homes, especially in rainy or humid climates, and can cause several health issues. Fortunately, you likely already have some effective mold removal products in your home. Take a look at some of the most common household cleaning supplies that can remove mold from your house.

What is Mold?

Mold is a common component of household dust. It is composed of fungal spores, which are secondary metabolites that cause biodegradation. If these spores find an environment that allows them to grow, they root themselves to a surface and begin spreading, leading to telltale mold patches.

Mold and mildew typically develop in damp or waterlogged areas, so it’s common to find mold in basements, bathrooms, and other rooms with high humidity. Leaks in your walls, roof, or plumbing system can leave standing water and damp spots in your home, leading to mold growth.

Spores in mold can irritate the eyes, nose, throat, and lungs when inhaled. Many people are also allergic to mold, leading to allergic reactions, and people with asthma may experience increased asthma attacks. Certain varieties of mold also produce mycotoxins, a toxic substance that can cause more serious health issues.

When Not to Try Household Methods

Even though household products can be great for removing mold, there are some times when somebody else should handle mold removal. Here’s when not to try DIY mold and mildew removers.

  • On Large Patches of Mold

Because mold can pose a risk to your health, you should never attempt to clean large patches of mold yourself. The United States Environmental Protection Agency recommends that you call a professional to remove mold covering more than 10 square feet, or about 3×3 feet. Only clean small amounts of mold on your own.

  • On Moldy Carpet or Ceiling

The materials used for carpeting and ceiling are porous, making mold control nearly impossible. Remove moldy carpets or ceiling materials and replace them with something else.

  • On Prized Possessions or Certain Materials

Some mold-killing household products can cause damage to the surface you use them on, like fabrics, countertops, and electronic screens. They can also damage antique items. If you’re concerned about discoloration or damage, call a professional.

Using Household Cleaning Supplies to Remove Mold

Mold can be a tough cleaning challenge, but many cheap household products can double as mold removal products. Here are some of the most effective cleaning supplies and how to use them.

1. White Vinegar

Vinegar may have an odd smell, but it’s a potent mold killer with an affordable price tag. It can be added to a spray bottle to target hard-to-reach places, making it an effective cleaning solution.

Here’s how to use white vinegar to kill mold:

  • Add the white vinegar to a spray bottle.
  • Use the spray bottle to spray the vinegar directly onto the mold.
  • Allow the vinegar to sit for an hour. Do not scrub the area.
  • Grab a brush and scrub the area to remove the mold. Continue until the mold is gone.
  • Use a clean rag to dry the affected spot.


2. Baking Soda

Baking soda is commonly used for cleaning. It’s generally considered safe for use in the home and will not damage most surfaces. However, baking soda is most suitable for removing mold from nonporous surfaces such as countertops and wall or floor tile and will not work as well on other surfaces.

Here’s how to clean mold with baking soda:

  • Make a paste using water and baking soda. 
  • Apply the paste to the moldy area.
  • Allow the paste to sit for several minutes 
  • Scrub away the paste. 
  • Repeat as necessary.

You can also combine vinegar and baking soda to create a more powerful cleaning solution than vinegar or baking soda on its own.

3. Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is a bleaching agent, but it’s far less toxic or damaging than bleach. That makes it a far better solution for homes with children or pets. However, it’s best used with caution, as it carries a risk of discoloring surfaces.

To clean porous materials, like wood or drywall:

  • Scrub the moldy area with 3% hydrogen peroxide.
  • Wait 15 minutes to allow the peroxide to work.
  • Rinse off the peroxide with water.
  • Allow the material to dry over a few days.

To clean non-porous materials, like tile and porcelain:

  • Combine equal amounts of hot water and 3% hydrogen peroxide.
  • Wash the material with the water-peroxide mixture.
  • Use a brush to scrub materials with rough textures.
  • Wait 15 minutes to allow the peroxide to work.
  • Rinse off the peroxide with water. 
  • Use a clean rag to dry the material.


4. Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil is a natural disinfectant. This essential oil’s antifungal properties can be used to clean mold from surfaces and prevent mold from growing in the future. Unlike chemical cleaners, tea tree oil is non-toxic and will not harm your family or pets.

Here’s how to use tea tree oil for mold removal:

  • Add a few drops of tea tree oil to a spray bottle of water 
  • Use the spray bottle to mist the affected area. 
  • Allow the solution to sit for several minutes.
  • Wipe away the mold with a clean cloth. 


5. Bleach

Bleach is often touted as the ultimate mold killer, but while it’s effective at killing mold spores, it isn’t the best option. Bleach does not work well on porous surfaces like wood or drywall and is better suited for things like tile or porcelain. Since it’s a harsh chemical, it can also damage surfaces if not used carefully. Ultimately, bleach can be a good choice, but it is essential to be aware of its limitations.

Here’s how to get rid of mold using bleach:

  • Combine one cup of bleach with a gallon of water. 
  • Add the bleach solution to a glass spray bottle.
  • Use the spray bottle to spray the bleach mixture on the moldy area.
  • Use a brush to scrub materials with rough textures.
  • Wait 15 minutes to allow the bleach to work.
  • Rinse off the bleach with water.
  • Use a clean rag to dry the material.


6. Borax

Borax is a common household cleaning product. While it can be effective at removing mold, borax is a toxic substance that can irritate the skin and be harmful if ingested. 

Here’s how to get rid of mold using borax:

  • Mix one cup of borax with one gallon of hot water.
  • Combine the borax and water thoroughly. (If your container has a lid, secure the lid and shake the container.)
  • Add the mixture to a glass spray bottle.
  • Use the spray bottle to spray the borax mixture on the moldy area. 
  • Use a scrubbing tool on the area to remove the mold. Continue until the mold is completely gone.
  • Use a clean rag to wipe down the affected area and ensure it dries completely.

End Your Mold Problems with Common Household Cleaners

While several household products can effectively remove mold in your home, it is important to use caution and consult with a professional if you are unsure how to use them. 

No matter what you use to clean up mold, keeping your home dry is essential to prevent mold from growing again. You can keep your home mold-free and smelling fresh with proper home maintenance and effective cleaning strategies.