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Bleach-free formula does not contain harsh chemicals. Odorless and safe to use indoors. Also removes and prevents mildew and odors. Will not stain or damage clothing. Ideal for home surfaces, basements, automobile detailing, attics, and furniture.
May not be strong enough for heavy problems.
Especially affordable. Foaming solution rapidly dissolves caked-on mold stains. Effective on a wide range of surfaces, including glass, hardwood, and concrete.
May require more than 1 application to fully dissolve a strong stain.
Effectively removes grease and dirt from surfaces with buffered-bleach, chelating agents, and surfactants. Suitable on plastic, painted surfaces, tile, fiberglass, vinyl, and outdoor surfaces such as concrete and wood. Commercial-strength formula.
The bleach smell in this product is quite strong.
Quickly wipes out mildew stains. Optimized for ceramic, plastic, and many other household surfaces. Ideal for use indoors on bathroom surfaces such as showers, tubs, and sinks.
Must be sprayed in a well-ventilated area due to its strong fumes.
Spray bottle is easy to use and requires no additional scrubbing. Treats stains both at and below the surface, and odors from mold and mildew. Can be used on counters, different floor types, showers, and brick walls.
The smell is very strong and caution should be used when applying.
We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.
What can you do when mold makes an unwelcome appearance in or around your home? You could break out the soap and water, get a scrub brush, and start applying a lot of elbow grease, or you could take care of it the easy way: with a mold killer.
Mold can cause a lot of health-related problems, so you need to address it as soon as it appears. There are lots of choices available. Some mold killers are best used on concrete but not wood while others are designed specifically for use on wood. Mold killer can take several forms, too. There are sprays, foams, gels, and concentrates that need to be diluted before you use them.
It’s crucial that you pay close attention to safety issues with mold killers due to the chemicals they contain.
Mold is classified as part of the fungi kingdom. It doesn’t use photosynthesis from the sun to get its energy. In fact, UV rays from the sun inhibit mold growth. Mold derives energy from the material it is growing on, “eating” it as it grows.
Periodically, mold releases spores into the air, like tiny floating seeds. Once those spores land on a suitable material under the right conditions, they will begin a new colony of mold. Let’s take a deeper look at what causes mold.
Mold needs a food source such as cotton, drywall, or wood. It only grows in the dark, so to thrive, it needs an area that is sheltered from the sun. It also needs warmth and moisture. Mold can’t grow in freezing temperatures or dry climates.
A shaded backyard near a swimming pool is an excellent place for mold to grow.
Mold spores that are released into the air can cause health problems such as allergies and lung infections. It can even cause hair loss. In extreme cases, mold can cause death.
Given the danger posed by mold, you need to get it out of your house. Because molds “eat” the surface they’re growing on, they need to be removed before the surface is weakened or destroyed.
Step one: The first step is to spray the affected area lightly with water. This helps prevent the escape of spores into the air.
Step two: Next, scrub the area lightly with a scrub brush. This will knock off the outer layer of mold and break up the inner layers, exposing them for the next step.
Step three: Spray the area with mold killer. Be careful to follow the directions on the bottle concerning ventilation, PPE (personal protective equipment), treatment surface, and other cautions. Many mold removal products will cause damage if you use them on the wrong surface. Luckily, there are mold killers for almost any surface.
Step four: Once the mold killer has finished its chemical work, thoroughly rinse the area to remove any remaining chemicals.
The EPA recommends the use of PPE when cleaning mold, regardless of any recommendations from the product manufacturer. At a minimum, the EPA says you should always wear a respirator, goggles, and rubber gloves. This is to protect you from mold spores, not the cleaning product. However, you may need to wear PPE to protect yourself from the chemicals in the mold remover, too.
Mold treatment inside the house poses special problems due to the strength of many mold removers. The chemicals in mold killers are often hazardous, acidic, even toxic. They can burn your skin, and the fumes can irritate your eyes, nose, mouth, and lungs.
Before using a mold remover, vent the room to the outside by opening as many windows and doors as possible. Use two or three fans to pull air from the rest of the house and blow it through the affected room out of the house. Make sure all of this is done before you begin applying the mold killer.
Note: Gels might seem like they would be safer than sprays, and some are, but some of them have been reported to create the same toxic fumes as sprays. Read the label thoroughly before use.
Dodecyl dimethyl benzyl ammonium chloride, an ingredient in some mold removers, is a surfactant (surface active agent), meaning it sticks to things. If a mold killer contains it and you get some on you, it won’t come off easily. Whatever it is mixed with will stick to you, as well.
Bleach and ammonia are common chemicals in mold removers, and both produce strong toxic fumes. Other active ingredients often used are sodium percarbonate and N,N’ethylenebis (N-alkylamide).
Sodium hypochlorite salt (hypochlorous acid and sodium) is another ingredient found in many mold killers. The MSDS (material safety data sheet) on this substance is seven pages long and contains many cautions and warnings.
In short, mold killers are excellent products, but they are composed almost entirely of hazardous chemicals. You must be cautious when using them.
Due to the chemical ingredients in mold removers, many of them should not be used on colored fabrics, aluminum, steel, copper, and metal ductwork. The chemicals can permanently stain or discolor these surfaces and materials. If you have mold growing on your wooden deck, remember that there are mold killers that can be safely used on wood, but there are others that cannot be used on wood. Carefully read the label and/or description for each product.
Some mold killers are sold as concentrates that must be diluted with water before use. Be sure you know which is which. If you use a concentrated mold remover without diluting it, you could cause permanent damage to the surface you’re treating.
Scrub brush: Although many mold removers claim to be “scrub-free,” it’s better to have a scrub brush just in case there is some stubborn mold that doesn’t want to come off.
Cleaning gloves: To protect your hands from any harsh chemicals in the mold killer you use, you'll want to use a pair of cleaning gloves. Make sure your gloves are in good condition with no cuts or tears.
Respirator: Avoid inhaling mold spores by using a respirator.
The low price range is under $10 per 32-ounce bottle. These mold removers are usually not as effective as pricier products. Other than gloves, PPE isn’t usually required.
The medium price range is between $10 and $25 per 32-ounce bottle. These are strong chemicals that work, but they definitely require the use of PPE.
The high price range for mold removers is anything over $25 per 32-ounce bottle. These are usually professional-grade cleaners. Some may require the use of a full face mask.
A. No. Detergent and hot water are the best way to remove mold from clothes.
A. There is less chance of misapplication with a gel, but it is the active ingredients that determine the effectiveness, not the method of application.
A. It depends on the product. Many products can be safely reapplied once a month after the initial cleaning. As always, though, you should read the directions for your particular product (and your particular surface) before taking action.
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