To know how to manage mold, one must know about mold.
Mold is in the air, all around you, spores are constantly everywhere and settle everywhere. Sometimes you breath it in, and in very bad scenarios you might get a respiratory infection. Mold spores among other things lay dormant and collect in the dust.
In European traditions, people aerate their homes every day, even if it’s cold mid-winter. This is to let old stale air out and new fresh air in. The science behind whether or not you’re reducing your mold concentration or increasing it, isn’t yet settled. However, even the Eastern Traditions have respect for the chi or qi in the air, and the quality of it flowing through homes like in Feng Shui. So there’s bound to be more than mold-related reasons for their actions, but it may also help reduce mold.
In general, it helps to clean, have clean air filters, and eliminate dust to help reduce chances of mold. So sweeping and wiping down surfaces can help. I personally recommend using microfiber cloth to wipe things down, and then washing it, but to each their own.
Mold spores are ‘dormant’ and ‘reactivates’ when it comes into contact with moisture and nutrients. Mold isn’t a picky eater, so it’ll take a lot of biodegradable items as nutrients, from the grout collecting skin cells in your showers to the old books or paper towels you accidentally soaked.
It gets even worse if you have any form of water damage in your home or items.
But luckily, you can take steps to reduce mold that’s already grown.
As a side note, if it’s bad enough, you may have to consider the cost of repairs and time versus the benefit of your solution. Meaning that if the damage is big and bad, you might be better off gutting it and throwing it away.
There are some common household ingredients that can help kill mold.
You can use Cinnamon to ward off mold or kill it. Some people resort to using cinnamon oil or other cinnamon byproducts. This is great for dishes and other things that you may inadvertently leave out, since you can eat cinnamon and it doesn’t negatively affect the flavor.
Other people have been known to use mustard or garlic cloves.
And a very common method and probably the most effective is a mixture of distilled white vinegar and water. The active ingredient in white Vinegar is the Acetic acid. A good mixture of 10-30% water and 70-90% vinegar is a great mixture for killing mold and all around general cleaning.
Just know that if you douse or soak things in vinegar, that it will, -well-, smell like vinegar. So, keep that in mind.
One of the common mistakes of trying to clean or kill mold is using bleach. Bleach has been known to be highly toxic and able to kill most things. As it turns out mold in porous surfaces (like wood) gets in deep and bleach can only kill the surface or what the bleach actually touches. So it’s better to use vinegar-water to soak and clean mold and not bleach.
Also, Bleach is less safe for your body, health, and lungs. So it’s much more preferred to use Vinegar-Water. Especially if you’re going to soak things.
If you want to really ensure extreme prejudice against mold, you could use nail polish remover (with specifically Acetone) to seriously kill mold. It has a lot of Acetic acid. For me though, I’ll stick to my Distilled-White-Vinegar-Water.
Hopefully I helped answer some questions and misconceptions to better handle mold. Essentially knowing how mold grows and spreads- that will help us to better manage mold. And knowing not to use bleach is a pretty helpful tip.
It’s important to know more about Fungi like mold, so that we may better understand and manage it. That helps to maintain ourselves and our lives healthy.