Discovering mold growth on your walls can be alarming, because it’s unattractive and poses health risks. In this article, I cover the process to effectively remove mold from walls using two homemade mold-killing sprays made from common household ingredients. Plus, I’ve got some practical strategies that can help you keep mold from returning and ways to keep it from developing in the first place.
Signs of Mold Growth
Mold often appears as green, brown, orange, or even black spots, but there are other less apparent signs to watch out for, including:
- Cracked or peeling paint
- A recurrent “soot” or black streaks, specks, or dots
- A musty odor or damp smell
- Allergy symptoms
Safety Tips for Mold Removal
When removing mold, it is important to prioritize your safety. Follow these precautions:
- Wear protective clothing: Put on a filtered dust mask to prevent inhalation of mold spores. Wear goggles to shield your eyes from irritation caused by mold spores and sprays. Protect your skin by wearing rubber gloves, long sleeves, and pants that can be laundered in hot water once you’re done.
- Protect nearby furnishings: If you are treating a large area, cover the surrounding furnishings and floor with plastic sheeting secured with tape.
- Avoid using different treatments simultaneously: Never mix the ingredients of separate DIY mold killers together or use them simultaneously in a room, as this can produce a dangerous cleaning combination.
- Stop if you feel ill: People with greater sensitivity to mold or mildew spores should avoid mold removal. If you are allergic to mold or experience allergy symptoms during the process, stop and contact your doctor.
DIY Mold Killer for Painted Walls
This homemade mold killer is suitable for painted walls or washable wallpaper, non-textured ceilings, rugs, and washable fabrics.
- 2 tablespoons of borax
- 2 ounces of white vinegar
- 16 ounces of hot water
- Combine the ingredients in a spray bottle.
- Spray the affected area well, then immediately scrub it with a clean cloth or brush to remove the surface layer of mold.
- Reapply lightly to just dampen the area. Wait 10 minutes and wipe it with a clean dry cloth. Do not rinse.
- Leave the area to dry overnight. Inspect the next day and repeat if needed. Otherwise, wipe the spot with a damp cloth and let it air dry.
DIY Mold Killer for Textured Ceilings
Use this homemade mold killer on tile, stone, concrete, popcorn or knockdown ceilings, and cement.
- 2 ounces chlorine bleach
- 16 ounces water
- Combine in a spray bottle.
- Apply to dampen the area but avoid dripping. Immediately scrub it with a rag, scouring pad, or brush and wipe away the residue.
- Reapply, wait 15 minutes, and rinse with a fresh cloth dampened with water.
- Let the area dry overnight and inspect it the next day. Repeat if needed.
Mold on Drywall
When dealing with mold on drywall, the best approach is to remove and replace the affected section. Bare drywall or sheetrock is porous, allowing mold to penetrate beneath the surface. But if you aren’t prepared to remove the drywall, follow these steps:
- Mist the area with the homemade bleach-based mold remover spray mentioned earlier.
- Immediately wipe the surface to remove the mold.
- Allow the area to dry for 48 hours.
- Apply a mold-blocking primer to seal the spot and prevent further mold growth. Zisner and Killz both make good ones.
Mold Prevention Tips
To keep mold from growing on your walls, it’s important to address sources of excess moisture including condensation, leaks, and humidity.
Mold from window condensation in the summer: On scorching hot days, some condensation on glass windows and doors is inevitable. To prevent mold, avoid letting the condensation sit in place. Use fans to direct airflow towards the glass or regularly wipe away the condensation with a cloth or squeegee.
Mold from window condensation in the winter: Window condensation in winter means cold outdoor air is entering your warm home. To stop it, add weatherstripping around doors and caulk any gaps around windows as part of getting your home ready for cold weather. If these measures are not possible, make it a habit to wipe or squeegee the windows daily.
Mold in bathrooms: After every shower, run exhaust fans for 15 minutes to remove excess moisture. Use a squeegee to dry off shower walls and glass doors, or shake off any excess water from shower curtains. Additionally, leave shower doors and curtains open on either side to promote air circulation and quick drying.
Mold caused by leaks: Keep a close eye on the base of toilets and beneath sinks for any signs of moisture. Monthly checks of washing machine and refrigerator water hoses are also important. Immediately address and fix any leaks you discover to prevent mold growth.
Mold from excess humidity: Use a hygrometer to monitor the humidity levels in your home. This allows you to adjust and maintain humidity within the ideal range of 30-50%. In winter, you may need to add moisture through humidifiers, while in summer, you may need to employ dehumidifiers to lower humidity levels.
By implementing these tips, you can keep the problem from returning once you’ve removed mold from your walls.