9 ways to get rid of mould (and some ways to prevent it)
HUNDREDS of millimetres of rain, flash flooding and further wet rain on the horizon mean that Northern NSW households face two main dilemmas: when to was wash clothes and how to keep mould at bay.
According to NSW Health, the key to preventing mould growth is reducing dampness in the home.
"Repair all water leaks and plumbing problems e.g. burst water pipes, leaking roof or blocked rain gutters," the government suggested on its website.
"If water enters your home, completely clean and dry water-damaged carpets and building materials. Discard material that cannot be cleaned and dried completely."
To prevent mould at home, turn on exhaust fans, particularly when bathing, showering, cooking, doing laundry and drying clothes.
Open windows when weather permits, to improve cross-ventilation.
NSW Health said the spores associated with mould may cause health problems if inhaled.
Symptoms include running or blocked nose, irritation of the eyes and skins and sometimes wheezing.
What to do?
1. Detergent of vinegar: For routine clean up of mouldy surfaces, use mild detergent or vinegar diluted in water solution (4 parts vinegar to 1 part water).
2. Bleach solution: If the mould is not readily removed and the item cannot be discarded, use diluted bleach solution (250mls of bleach in 4 litres of water) to clean the surface. When using bleach, protective equipment is recommended: PVC or nitrate rubber gloves; safety glasses; and safety shoes. Make sure the area is well-ventilated while you are cleaning with bleach.
Ensure the surface is dried completely once cleaned.
Absorbent materials, such as carpet may need to be professionally cleaned or replaced if they are contaminated with mould.
3. Tea Tree oil: Add 15 drops of your chosen oil into a spray bottle. Spray onto mouldy areas and leave for two hours, spray a bit more, wipe away.
4. Vodka: The cheaper the better. Put some straight vodka into your spray bottle. Spray, leave for an hour, wipe off with warm water.
5. Hydrogen peroxide: Mix two parts water and one part hydrogen peroxide into the spray bottle. Spray generously over the affected area. Allow solution to sit for 10-15 minutes then use the scrubber to brush away stubborn mould stains. Wipe away any mould debris and allow to dry.
6. Supermarket spray and wipe mould killers: Spray the anti-mould directly onto the mouldy areas, making sure to follow the instructions on the bottle. Then simply wait a few minutes for the spray to do its job.
7. Soapy water: As soon as you see mould you first need to remove it using a scrubber or a salt paper, then wash the area with soapy water. Use detergents to wash mould away and then repeat washing the area everyday to avoid mould regrowth.
8. Distilled ethanol: Visit any pest control store to buy a special type of distilled ethanol. Spray it in the mould-struck areas. Ethanol kills mould and also controls mould regrowth in the mould prone areas.
9. Grapefruit extract: Mix 10 drops of grapefruit seed extract per cup of water and pour into a spray bottle, shake well. Spray the solution directly onto the mould and leave for 5-10 minutes. Use a scrub to brush and remove the debris.
If mould persists, call a professional.