Water Pollution Control

How to Clean Up Mold

Exposure to mold is common both inside and outside the home, but some people are more sensitive to mold exposure than others, especially those with allergies and asthma. Mold exposure may cause cold-like symptoms, watery eyes, sore throat, wheezing and dizziness, and may trigger asthma attacks.


  • Mold can usually be detected by a musty odor and discoloration of surfaces - mold may change surfaces to white, green, brown, black or orange. Molds grow on organic materials, such as paper, leather, dirt and they grow in moisture - water leaks, flooding, high humidity and condensation. Correcting the source of the water or dampness will decrease the chance of molding.

  • During all clean up activities, wear a tight-fitting dust mask, goggles, rubber or vinyl gloves and waterproof boots. Open all windows and provide adequate ventilation.

  • Cleaning, disinfecting and drying surfaces prevents mold growth. Reduce moisture levels in the home to the best extent possible. Fix plumbing leaks and seepage. Dry surfaces quickly, within 24 to 48 hours, if possible. Increase air flow within your home.

  • All molding surfaces should be cleaned with a household bleach and water mix. Combine one cup of bleach with one gallon of water. You can add a little dish soap to the bleach water to cut dirt and oil on the walls or surfaces that can hold mold. Providing good ventilation, apply the bleach water mix to the surface with a sponge or applicator, let it sit for 15 minutes, then thoroughly dry the surface. Be sure to wear a dust mask, rubber gloves and open lots of windows when cleaning with bleach water. If certain items cannot be cleaned (like wet, broken ceiling tiles), are too damaged, or are disposable, discard and replace with new ones.

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