The rain arrived and it appears it came to stay. Many of us are living in a continual state of damp conditions which if that’s not enough to make us all feel crabby, it’s also the perfect environment for mould to bloom and flourish. So how do help shift it or get rid of it? Here are some helpful hints…
Mould, SO much mould…
Wet weather usually means dealing with a battle of muddy footprints, wet socks and trying to dry copious amounts of washing inside, but 2022 has unlocked a whole new level of a battleground – mould. These wet, humid conditions we’re currently experiencing are a breeding ground for mould and mildew issues WAY beyond the shower recess. And if my social media feed is anything to go by, keeping on top of it is proving to be tough for many.
Wiping mould away isn’t the answer
First and foremost, don’t be fooled into thinking that because you’ve wiped the mould away, it no longer exists. Nope. Mould produces tiny particles called spores that travel through the air to reproduce and live on surfaces elsewhere. Not only that, we breathe those spores into our bodies. Ewwww. Mould needs to be treated at the root (or spore) level.
There IS a mould busting superhero…
There are many, many products on the supermarket shelf that promise to remove mould but there’s one product that has long stood the test of time … clove oil ($12.39 at Chemist Warehouse) as it effectively kills mould spores (unlike bleach). It’s long been called a mould busting hero but never has it been in more demand than now. You can find clove oil at chemists, health food stores and online retailers.
How to remove mould from most surfaces
It was reported that Lisa Bentley of Brisbane based Lisa’s Eco Cleaning swears by this clove oil formula after 17 years of mould removal research. Though it’s not advised to be used on marble or limestone materials.
- Add ¼ teaspoon of clove oil and a litre of water into a spray bottle.
- Lightly mist the solution onto the mould and leave it for 24 hours to work its magic.
- Wipe the mould away with one cloth and then wipe the surface over with a white vinegar and water mixture (3 parts vinegar: 2 parts water) using a clean cloth.
You only need the tiniest bit of clove oil – don’t be tempted to add a little extra as the oil can discolour surfaces if too strong.
Other things you can do to help
- Wear protective clothing (gloves and mask) when removing mould and use a paper towel or disposable cleaning cloths.
- Ensure house gutters are cleared so water can move freely through and not sit.
- Move furniture away from walls so they have adequate air circulating around them.
- Vacuum and turn your bed mattresses frequently.
- Do open up the house to let air flow through but ONLY on clear days. If it’s raining outside, forget it.
- Use ceiling fans and pedestal fans inside to help air circulation.
Will mould make me sick?
The short answer is yes it can. Better Health Victoria reports mould can trigger nasal congestion, sneezing, coughing, wheezing, respiratory infections and worsening asthma and allergic conditions. If you’ve been subjected to living with mould for a while and have noticed a change in your health, it would be a very good idea to visit your doctor for medical advice.
Finally, there are some things you might just need to let go
Sadly there are some things that once the mould is in them, chances of getting rid of it are slim. The backs of photo frames are a prime example – you may be able to kill the mould spores but the staining lives on due to porous material. Heartbreaking as it is, not everything is going to survive a mould invasion – in which case, it’s best to call your house and contents insurance company and see where you stand on replacing items in terms of your cover.
Hang in there folks, the endless cleaning WILL come to an end at some point. In the meantime, stock up on clove oil, paper towel and rubber gloves. Sunnier days are coming!