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How to clean mold with vinegar and baking soda

Woman Smiling with Gloves and Goggles. Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.

You know that the musty smell you’ve got at home comes from mold and mildew and needs to go away for once and for all. The first step to win this battle is to do some proper cleaning. How? Today you'll learn some easy DIY and cost-saving tips to clean mold in 4 different areas: bathroom walls, carpets, towels, and grout. They’re fairly simple and toxic-free. Most of the job is done with just vinegar and baking soda. And well... maybe a little elbow grease. Are you ready to rock it? 

Step 1: Identify if you need a professional

For bad cases of mold and mildew, you will need a professional service to do the inspection and cleaning. For others, you can do the cleaning yourself. But, how to know? Well, let’s see:

  1. Check all spaces to identify areas with black mold (please don’t touch it).
  2. According to Dengarden, “If you have over 10 square feet of mold growth the EPA and the American Industrial Hygiene Association recommend you contact a professional.”  They also say it's a better idea to ask for an evaluation from a Qualified Indoor Environmental Professional (IEP) or Industrial Hygienist instead of a mold remediation company.
  3. If they confirm that you need a professional service, go ahead and call a professional mold remediation company to do the cleaning. 
  4. If you definitely don’t need a professional, you're ready to follow our easy tips. 

Do I need professional mold remediation?

Step 2: Get ready for cleaning

Just like when you cook, you need to get all your gear, tools and ingredients ready. Each is important to do the perfect cleaning. Also, make sure to put yourself in the right mood. Turn on some music and make cleaning fun!

Playing music while cleaning Photo by Adrian Korte on Unsplash

Battle Kit (includes 4 parts)
This kit is mandatory for mold removal. You need to protect your eyes, respiratory system and skin to prevent spores from entering your body. Please take care! 
        • Mask/Respirator (make sure it’s safe for mold)
        • Gloves (Nitrile)
        • Goggles
        • Clothes that protect you (don't leave any skin visible)
    Tools & Ingredients
    Check this table to find the tools and ingredients that you'll need to clean each area:
    Table 1 Ingredients needed for cleaning mold in bathroom, carpet, towels
    Why vinegar and baking soda: Vinegar is a super powerful tool! It kills around 82% of mold species because it has acetic acid. On the other hand, baking soda is great because it absorbs moisture.
    Why we’re not including bleach: Although we may relate bleach to cleanliness, various sources suggest that it doesn’t really kill mold and may even worsen the problem. It’s great for general cleaning, but we won’t be using it to get rid of any fungi.
    Also… Watch out!
    Our tips include the use of vinegar, so make sure that you NEVER mix vinegar and bleach together. This mixture releases toxic chlorine gas, which can attack your mucous membranes and can actually kill you. You can still use both products separately, but make sure to rinse them thoroughly.
    Now that you know this, you can follow these easy tips to clean mold from different areas in your home.

    Step 3: Clean the mold!

    Area 1: How to clean mold on bathroom walls

    How to clean mold on bathroom wall Photo by Rawpixel on Unsplash


      • Spray bottle
      • Washcloth
      • Drying Towel


      • Vinegar
      • Hot water


    1. Put the vinegar inside the spray bottle without diluting it.
    2. Spray the vinegar onto the surfaces that have mold.
    3. Wait for 1 hour.
    4. Remove by wiping with hot water.
    5. Dry (remember that a moist area is what brings mold and mildew in the first place).
    6. Spray vinegar regularly onto mold prone surfaces to prevent it from growing back.

       A piece of cake!

      Source: WikiHow

      Humidity prevention tip: Take cold short showers and use a vent fan in your bathroom. For better results use a dehumidifier.

      Area 2: How to clean mold from carpet

      How to remove mold from carpets. Photo by Pixabay.

        • Vacuum
        • Spray Bottle


        • 1 cup of Vinegar
        • 2 cups of Warm Water


      1. Vacuum the affected area.
      2. Mix the vinegar with the water.
      3. Pour the vinegar and warm water mix inside the empty spray bottle. You’ve now got a mold removal spray.
      4. Spray the solution on the carpet.
      5. Pour baking soda onto the affected area.
      6. Wait for 1 hour and vacuum.

      Important note: Don’t soak the carpet, because this can cause mold and mildew to grow again. After you finish these steps, please make sure that the carpet gets completely dried.

      Source: Spot Removal Guide

      Humidity prevention tip: Please remember to dry your carpet very well every time it gets wet. You can do this with some towels, use fans or turn on your dehumidifier. For very humid areas, you may want to think about changing your floor to a mold resistant one.  

      For further tips on how to remove humidity from furniture and textiles, click here.

      Area 3: How to clean moldy towels

      • How to clean moldy towels. Photo by Domantas Jusionis on Pexels.


        • Washing machine
        • Drying machine (not necessary but preferred)


        • 1 cup of Vinegar
        • 1/2 cup of baking soda


      1. Place towels inside the washing machine.
      2. Turn it on at the hottest temperature and on the extra-heavy mode.
      3. Pour vinegar instead of detergent (yes, no detergent).
      4. Once the cycle has finished put the baking soda inside the machine and turn it on again for another cycle.
      5. Once this last cycle is finished, place the towels inside the dryer. If you don’t have one, just dry them outside in the sun and make sure they’re totally dry before you bring them back inside (remember that wet clothes and towels will raise humidity levels in your home).

        Source: Bethany Fontaine

        Humidity prevention tip: Hang your towels to dry immediately after every use (preferably outside). If it’s not possible, make sure that your bathroom has sufficient ventilation. 

        The same goes for sweaty clothes and shoes (set them out to dry immediately). And please remember that we don’t recommend drying clothes indoors.

         Area 4: How to clean mold in grout

        Pink Bathroom Wall Grout. Photo by Rawpixel on Pixabay.


          • Recipient
          • Toothbrush/ Brush


          • Baking Soda
          • Water
          • Vinegar

        1. Mix 50% water and 50% baking soda in a recipient to make a paste.

        2. Moisten the grout to prevent spores from flying all around.

        3. Place the paste on the grout and let it stand there for at least 10 minutes (if it’s too dirty, you should leave it there for around 2 hours).

        4. Scrub with the brush, but be very careful, because this can spread the spores onto the air.  Make sure you’re ventilating the space, but keep the bathroom door closed so that the spores don’t fly to another room and go outside instead.

        5. Rinse with warm water and wipe.

        6. Dry.

        7. To prevent mold from growing on your bathroom walls, every now and then you can pour a mixture of vinegar and water on them right after you shower.

        Source: Puroclean
        Humidity prevention tip: Take cold short showers and use a vent fan in your bathroom. For better results use a dehumidifier.

        Step 4: Prevent Mold Growth

        Now that you know how to clean these areas, make sure to keep humidity away if you don’t want mold showing up over and over again. Remember that it's what makes them stay alive and growing.  Stop any water leaks that you may have around and also check your indoor relative humidity. If it’s higher than 55%, a dehumidifier is recommended.

        Enjoy a mold-free life. A life well-lived is what it's all about! 

      1. To learn more, you can also read:

        6 Steps to Winning the Battle Against Mold

        9 Ways to Fight Humidity

      2. TOSOT Dehumidifier Reviews

      3. TOSOT Dehumidifier 70 Pint Basement Dehumidifier

      4. “Just received this a few days ago but my basement is already dry & moldy smells almost gone. Love it so far.” trishaearley

      5. “Runs great, is quiet and my basement is nice and dry with absolutely no mildew smell.Katherine Kress

        “We had a flood and needed to dry the underfloor. This really pulls the water out of the air. We have to empty it several times a day.” Rev Shoshana


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      7. Use information at your own risk:  The information presented is intended for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Never disregard professional medical or home improvement advice. The information and suggestions should be discussed with a professional.  You are responsible for independently verifying the information if you intend to rely upon or use it in any way. You use all information at your own risk. 


      8. 3 comments

        If they confirm that you need a professional service, go ahead and call a professional mold remediation company to do the cleaning.

        Clover Rayner

        This article is very good and bookmarked. I also found an article about How To Get Mildew Smell Out Of Hiking Boots I think it also helpful for people. thank you.

        Lucas Connelly

        I’m going to make this mixture but make it more moist than usual and spray it – will that work pretty good?

        Sheila Gazlay

        Leave a comment

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