Molds Have existed for millions of years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) – but that fact doesn't make mold safe to have around. A good rule of thumb is if you see or smell mold, remove it.
As a fungus, mold thrives in moist spaces and can grow both inside and outside. The experienced cleaning professionals at ServiceMaster Clean constantly see mold in bathrooms, kitchens, laundry rooms, basements and even garages so we have the tips you need to get rid of it safely and effectively.
One of the most common places to find mold is between tiles, because the porous nature of grout is highly susceptible to microscopic growth. Whether part of a kitchen backsplash or bathroom detail, tiles usually see a ton of moisture. Rarely do we take the time to dry tiles or the grout between them completely after we cook or wash. If a damp room has inadequate ventilation and you don't run a fan or dehumidifier, it quickly becomes the right environment for mold. Removing mold from the grout between tiles can be tedious, but it's well worth it to avoid mold-related illnesses.
Fortunately, there are several cleaning agents that work to remove mold from the grout between tiles. When cleaning the grout between tiles, first check to make sure the cleaning agent you use won't cause any damage to that specific kind of tile. Some tiles should not come into contact with bleach or abrasive agents like baking soda.
Always work in a well-ventilated space with an open window or operational fan. Wear non-porous gloves to protect your skin, and don't forget safety glasses to protect your eyes from splash-back while cleaning.
Regular chlorine bleach works well to remove mold from white grout. Avoid bleach if you have colored grout, since it can cause fading, and never mix bleach with other cleaners. Wear a mask along with your other protective gear to keep from inhaling the bleach. Work in small sections and scrub the bleach directly onto the moldy grout using a stiff bristle toothbrush. Let the bleach sit for at least 30 minutes (keep the exhaust fan running), then rinse with warm water. Repeat as needed.
Vinegar is a great, natural cleaning agent and generally won't cause grout discoloration or deterioration. Using a spray bottle, saturate the moldy area with white vinegar. Let it sit for 30 minutes and then scrub with a bristle brush, being careful not to chip away at the grout itself. Spray again and let sit for another 30 minutes. Rinse with warm water, and repeat if necessary.
Baking soda is a stellar lifting agent. To make a paste that you can spread over mold to lift it, stir together 1/2 cup of baking soda and several teaspoons of water. Adjust the combination until you have an easily spreadable consistency. Apply the baking soda paste directly over the moldy grout, let sit for 10 minutes, then scrub the mold away with a bristle brush. Rinse with water, and repeat as needed.
Apply a thick baking soda paste to the area affected by mold. Spray or carefully pour hydrogen peroxide over the baking soda paste so it begins to fizz, which will help loosen the mold further. Scrub the fizzing paste using a stiff bristle brush, then rinse the paste and mold away with water. Repeat as needed.
Tip: If there's mold on the caulk that seals around your tub, faucet, sink or toilet, the safest thing to do is remove the caulking. Sterilize the area with bleach or distilled white vinegar and dry it thoroughly before replacing the caulk. Opt for a mildew-resistant caulk to inhibit the growth of future mold. Some mold problems can't be tackled with home remedies or commercial cleaners found at your local store. If you're facing stubborn grout mold or too much mold to handle alone, call the pros at ServiceMaster Clean for complete mold removal from any area.