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How to Get Rid of Mold

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Limit Your Exposure to Mold
A person putting on a respirator face mask to avoid mold exposure.

It’s important to limit your exposure to mold and mold spores. Keep them out of your eyes and try not to inhale any.

  • Wear a mask or an N-95 respirator to avoid inhaling mold.
  • Wear gloves that extend to the middle of your forearm. If you’re just using water and a mild detergent, household rubber gloves work fine. 
  • Wear goggles that don’t have ventilation holes to avoid getting mold or spores in your eyes. 
Prevent Mold
A person cleaning gutters to prevent mold development.

Make your home a less friendly place for mold to grow.

  • Before you get rid of the mold, eliminate any moisture issues at the source, or improve the ventilation, ideally both. 
  • Be sure your gutters and downspouts are clear and water is properly draining away from your home’s foundation. 
  • Indoors, repair any plumbing leaks and install exhaust fans in bathrooms, the kitchen and the laundry room. 
  • Run a dehumidifier to reduce the overall moisture level in your home to keep mold from growing. 
Mold Removal
A person removing mold stains on a wall with a brush.
  • Scrub mold off hard surfaces such as window sills and tile with detergent and water and dry completely with a rag. 
  • For more porous surfaces, like drywall, just use a rag so you don’t damage the surface with more abrasive cleaners. If the surface is too porous to remove mold completely, such as in ceiling tiles, you may have to replace it. 
  • To speed up the job, try a mold cleaner specially formulated with mold killing ingredients. 
  • Always undertake mold removal and dry any surface before you paint. Otherwise, it is likely to peel.
  • To remove mold from wood, first try a detergent like dish soap. Diluted cleaning-strength vinegar may be effective as well. You may need to sand the wood after cleaning. Wear protective equipment and isolate the work area while you're sanding. 
Natural Mold Cleaner
A person cleaning tile to remove mold.

You can also create a mold removal solution with some common household items. Be sure to wear rubber gloves to protect your hands while working with cleaning products.


  • Use undiluted white vinegar on hard surfaces in kitchens and baths. 
  • A bleach solution also works to kill mold. Mix one cup of bleach in a gallon of water, apply to the surface and don’t rinse. 
  • Mix a 50/50 solution of ammonia and water. Spray on the surface, wait two to three hours, then rinse. 
  • Never mix ammonia with bleach or other all purpose cleaners; this will create toxic and dangerous fumes.
How to Remove Mold Outside the House
A person cleaning a home's exterior with a scrub brush to remove mold.

External mold is just as serious as mold inside the home. You’ll want to remove mold from the outside of your house, on siding or on your deck, as soon as possible. External mold can do significant damage to exterior surfaces over time, eating away at wood, stucco and other materials. In addition, exterior mold can easily work its way into the house if left unchecked.

  • Don gloves and eye protection and liberally spray a 1-to-10 solution of bleach and water on the surface. 
  • Scrub tough stains with a stiff bristle brush dipped in the solution.
  • Let sit for 10 to 20 minutes and rinse with a garden hose.
Clean Up After Mold Removal
A person disposing of a large bag of trash.
  • Dispose of the rags in a sealed garbage bag. 
  • Immediately wash your clothes in a separate laundry load with hot water.

Once you've learned how to kill mold and how to clean mold from every area of your home, you can shop our selection of mold and mildew removers. Then, check out our many other guides on home improvement and maintenance.