Mold can be removed from most items if you clean and dry the item quickly. If an item is expensive or has sentimental value, you may want to consult with a home remediation or cleaning specialist. Companies that work in fire and water damage restoration, rug and carpet cleaning, furniture repair, and textile and art restoration usually have this expertise.
|Household Item||Impacts of Mold||Cleaning Process|
|Clothing and Fabrics||Mold can cause permanent damage to some items.||For washable items, pretreat stains with a non-ammonia detergent. Read the product label and wash at the hottest temperature with detergent and appropriate bleach(oxygen based for colors and delicate items; chlorine for bleach-safe colorfast items).|
|Carpeting, Rugs, and Padding||Mold can be avoided if carpet is dried out within 48 hours of getting we. Moldy padding should always be discarded.||Use a water extraction vacuum to dry wet carpeting. Remove and replace saturated carpet padding. Accelerate the drying process by using fans and dehumidifiers, air conditioning or heaters. Professionally shampoo or sponge-clean mold areas of carpet using carpet cleaning products. Use hydrogen peroxide on stubborn stains; test first. If the mold persists, discard the item.|
|Hard Surface Floors: Vinyl, Linoleum, Tile, Ceramic, Laminate, Wood||May be cleanable unless water remains under the flooring where it can damage substrate or subfloor.||Surface mold on hard flooring may be vacuumed with a HEPA vacuum (do NOT use a standard vacuum) or removed with a damp mop and a solution of water and mild non-phosphate detergent. Scrub or strip floor finish, if necessary. Dry quickly and thoroughly, making sure the subfloor is dry.|
|Ceiling Tiles||Seldom salvageable if damaged by water and mold.||If the tiles show minimal mold growth, you may be able to clean them. Wear protective clothing and clean with a damp cloth and solution of water and mild non-phosphate detergent. Dry quickly. A stainblocker coating may be needed before repainting to prevent water stains from showing through.|
|Drywall and other Wallboards||Mold may not be visible, but may be growing in the wall cavity.||Dry within 48 hours. If the wall insulation is wet, it must e removed and discarded to reduce the risk of wood decay. To clean, use a HEPA vacuum and wipe with non-phosphate detergent. Damage caused by sewage water should be disinfected using a bleach and water solution.|
|Furniture: Hard-Surfaced (Wood, Laminate, Veneer, Bamboo, Steel, Resin, etc.)||Cleanable, but some items may be damaged.||Remove mold with a damp rag and solution of water and mild non-phosphate detergent. If the damage was caused by sewage water, disinfect using a bleach and water solution. Dry thoroughly in a well-ventilated location, but not in direct sunlight, which may cause it to warp.|
|Upholstered Furniture and Mattresses||Seldom salvageable if damaged by water and mold.||If the item has sentimental value or was in contact with clean water for less than a few hours, you may be able to restore it. Upholstered furniture can be stripped to the frame; the frame disinfected using a bleach and water solution; and then reupholstered after the frame is completely dry. It is a good idea to have mattresses sanitized by a professional.|
|Leather Clothing and Furniture||Salvageable if cleaned. Clean when mold growth is first notice.||Use a soft bristled brush or clean cloth to brush the mold spores off. Clean with a solution of water and non-phosphate detergent. Wipe off with soapy residue and dry thoroughly. Items may be wiped down with a 50/50 mixture of water and isopropyl alcohol. Dry thoroughly then use a leather conditioner.|
This material is adapted from Healthy Homes: Removing Mold in Your Home, authored by Dr. Pamela Turner, Melanie Badding, and Jackie Ogden, University of Georgia Extenison, 2018.
Publication date: April 22, 2022
Revised: April 22, 2022
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