It’s a rare house these days that doesn’t have a mold problem, whether it’s a little mustiness under the bed or a full blown black mold disaster in the walls. And while major problems can have you picking up the phone and crying out for help from a mold removal specialist, If your house falls on the musty-mildewy-smelly end of the scale, the solution to your immediate problem can be as simple, non-toxic and “green” as stringing up a clothesline between two trees in your backyard. Yes, that’s right: sunshine. Mold’s worst enemy is now your best friend.
I know of what I speak: when I recently cleaned out my closet, I found a basket with some purses and baseball caps that I hadn’t laid eyes on in at least two years. And while I couldn’t really smell mold in my closet, I sure could smell mold on those few items. I considered attempting to wash everything but washing leather purses wasn’t practical and we all know what happens to baseball caps when you put them in the washing machine – mushy, deformed bills at the very least. I also considered dry cleaning but, frankly, none of these items were worth the expense, so I opted for the Sunshine Cure.
Solar Magic and Mold Removal
This method works for any item made of fabric and most items made of leather depending on their level of mold infestation. And it’s so simple to do, it’s worth it to try this method first:
- Working as early in the morning as possible, put on gloves and a simple mask to protect yourself from flying spores, then wipe each item with a clean cloth.
- Hang each item with as many sturdy clothespins as needed, leaving some distance between each item so the breeze and the sun can do their jobs.
- Around sunset, go take a careful sniff. You’ll be amazed … but if you aren’t, try this:
- The following morning, hang everything out again. Spray each item with a 1:1 mixture of white vinegar and water and let the sun go to work again.
- At sunset the second day, you’ll have fresh smelling stuff.
If sunshine, a fresh breeze and little time doesn’t take the moldy smell out of your stuff, you may have a bigger problem than you imagined and will have to bring out bigger guns. Washing in detergent and hot water, drying in the sun then disinfecting with white vinegar and water is your next step. Beyond that, drycleaning or (and I hate to say it) the thrift store pile awaits.
If you have some mildly moldy smelling items in your closest, take the time to let the power of the sun do its thing. Then take a long hard look at your closet. Is the mold in your baseball caps a harbinger of bigger problems under the flooring? In the walls? Any mold is a sign of too much moisture and too little air circulation. Be vigilant and you’ll keep your family – and your clothes! – safe from the harmful effects of mold.
-Tanya Soriano is a guest contributor at Mold Removal Center-