Mold has a power of sneaking up on you. One day, you may notice a neglectable tiny dot in your closet and the next will be a huge shadow covering the whole wall.
A documentary named Moldy reveals that at least 45 million houses in the US have a toxic level of mold.
Just because you didn’t notice mold in your house yet, doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist in your home. This fungus grows anywhere like closets, walls, books, clothes, or even behind the wallpaper.
Thus, you should learn everything about how to prevent mold in the closet to keep your house safe for living. Let’s have a detailed tête-à-tête about this toxic slimy spots.
What is Mold?
Mold is nothing but a typical fungus. It’s a conspicuous mass of mycelium. This fungus covers the surface as fluffy mycelia and spreads faster than you can imagine.
Mold is typically black in color. But, you may notice a few others like green, white, orange, or purple too. These fungi can live almost anywhere indoor and outdoor. Depending on the mold category and its growing place, mold could appear in rough, fuzzy, or velvety shape.
These small organisms are useful for the environment too. It decomposes the organic matters in nature. Besides, these fungi also help to keep the soil fertile.
Mold becomes a burden only when it grows inside the house. It causes a health hazard and increases airborne pollutants, asthma, chronic sinusitis, allergies, and so on.
Types of Mold
To eradicate mold from your house, you must start by identifying the molds. Thus you can take necessary steps to prevent mold in the closet or anywhere else.
There are about 300,000+ types of molds. But, you shouldn’t be concerned about this number. Only a few of those might appear in your house. The common household molds are listed below:
Penicillium is the most common and popular among these molds. It is renowned for its excessive use in the medical industry.
Penicillium mainly grows in damp areas. Basically, it looks green, but it’s also available in blue, grey, yellow, olive-grey, and pinkish too.
Cladosporium is the most dangerous mold for us. It grows in the wooden surfaces and fabrics in both warm and cold places.
The molds you notice in your closet are most probably Cladosporium. It can be black, white, green, purple, or something like a discolored wood.
Alternaria mainly grows in the dump places like chicken waterer, under the leaky sinks, or shower rooms. It can also grow in the backyard pool if you don’t clean the pool regularly.
Aspergillus is the food mold. It mainly affects the powdery foods like bread, butter, cakes, or something like this. Besides that, it also grows on construction materials or indoor walls too.
These are the basic indoor molds. Whenever you notice any of those in your house, get rid of it ASAP.
How Do Molds Get Into A House?
Mold spores are microscopic organisms and unable to notice with your bare eye. These invisible spores can invade your home via multiple hosts. Let’s have a look at those:
Clothe is the best host for molds. Whenever we go out for a morning walk or relax at the porch swing in the afternoon, mold spores may get attached to our clothes. And if you store those clothes without cleaning properly, your storage may get affected.
The 2019-2020 National Pet Owners Survey shows that about 85 million families, 67% of total US citizens, own at least one pet in their house. It implies lots of us are living with pets.
We go out with our pets, let those walk alone in the park or the backyard as a normal daily activity. But, the mold spores may get attached to your pet’s skin while playing outdoors.
Just like your clothes and pets, shoes also work as an excellent host. While returning home from outside, you may return with plenty of mold spores attached in your shoes.
As you walk in your home with those shoes, you just make the mold situation uglier. That’s why you should make a habit of cleaning your whole house regularly.
Molds are not only invisible but also lightweight enough to travel through the air. These spores can enter your house via ventilation, windows, or doors.
There’s no possible way no restrict these entries. But, don’t get worried! You can still stay safe from these molds. We will discuss about the prevention of mold in your closet in the following section.
How to Prevent Mold in Closet?
Mold is an open threat to both your family’s belongings and health. As most of the molds start spreading from the closet, you must prevent decay from there. You know, “Prevention is better than cure!”
Here we’ve listed a few professional tips to prevent mold from your closet. Have a look:
Maintain a Balanced Moisture Level
Moisture is important for our health. It keeps us hydrated and helps the skin from drying out. But, excessive humidity will result in some gruesome problems.
You may probably think about making your mirror foggy. But trust me, that’s the least of your problem. The real problem is way more worst than that. Excessive moisture will grow the mold.
The U.S Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that your closet’s humidity level should not be more than 50%. Otherwise, it increases the possibility of growing molds, especially Cladosporium.
Dry the Wet Items Properly
Most of us don’t dry the clothes or other belongings properly before storing those in the closet. It increases the moisture level of your wardrobe.
You MUST dry the wet items properly before storing them. Try to dry those in the direct sunlight to get a better result.
Use Storage Basket with Holes
Nowadays, almost every closet is equipped with multiple drawers or baskets. There’s no problem with having drawers in the closet. But the problem arises when you don’t open those drawers for a long time.
These drawers or sealed containers create a barrier for air circulation. As a result, fresh air cannot reach your stuffs inside it. Thus the clothes or other items become dull and increases the possibility of growing mold.
You can avoid this problem only by applying a simple technique. Make some holes in your existing drawer or get a storage basket with holes. That’s it!
It improves the air circulation and keeps the mold away from your closet!
We love to close the closet door all the time. It may keep our staff safe but also increases the airflow problem.
You know, proper airflow reduces the possibility of growing mold in your closet. To increase the closet’s airflow, you have to maintain it throughout the whole room.
Then, try to keep the closet window open whenever possible. You can also move the furniture’s that blocks the air circulation route. It will ensure a balanced airflow inside your room as well as the closet.
Use a Louvered Door
Let’s say, you have children or pets in your house. Thus you can’t keep the closet door open. So, what should you do?
Well, the louvered doors are your life savior then. The louvered doors are designed specially to increase the airflow in your closet.
Use Plastic-coated Shelves
The solid shelves cannot maintain the proper air circulation. Even the wooden shelves also increase the possibility of molds.
What should you do?
Simply, start using the plastic-coated wire shelves!
Mold doesn’t grow in plastic. So, you are tension-free about that! It maintains proper air-circulation too. It looks like you can kill two birds with one stone only by using plastic-coated shelves!
Avoid Packing the Clothes Tightly
We often pack the clothes tightly to save space. But, it causes a few problems too.
First of all, tightly packed clothes lose their firmness quite easily.
Secondly, it prevents the air from reaching inside. If you put your clothes like this for a month or so, it increases the possibility of growing mold in it. Fold the clothes firmly and keep it safe for a long time.
Never Store Your Clothes on the Floor
There’s no problem with storing the clothes on the floor temporarily. Let’s say, you are redesigning the closet or stacking your clothes. In the meantime, you can store clothes on the floor. But still it is allowed only if you clean your house deeply on a regular basis.
If you are planning to store those clothed permanently on the floor, I would say, ‘Never do that.’ Storing the clothes on the floor prevent trapping moisture underneath them. Thus, mold might grow there.
Keep Your Yoga Clothes Away From the Wooden Shelves
Yoga is good for our health and mind. We all should perform yoga regularly to stay healthier. The problem occurs when we throw our sweated yoga dresses directly into the closet.
These sweated clothes help to grow bacteria in clothes. If you repeatedly do the same thing, it will cause excessive mold in the closet.
Always wash your sweated dress and dry properly before storing it in the closet.
Take Action Against Musty Odor
Smell indicates the previous stage of growing molds. The stronger the odor, the higher possibility of mold.
Thus, you have to take action just after noticing any bad smell from your closet. Try to find out the reason and get rid of it as soon as possible.
Clean the Occasionally Used Item Regularly
When did you clean your tent last? After the last camping, right?
Well, maybe the tent still remains clean in the outer portion. But there’s a considerable possibility that mold starts growing in your tent.
Most of the time, we don’t take proper care of our occasionally used items like tents, boots, gloves, camping gears, or other sporting items. Storing those staff in the sealed compartment increases the possibility of growing mold.
Try to clean the occasionally used item regularly and also don’t store those into a sealed compartment.
Keep Warm Foods Away From the Closet
Warm foods increase the moisture level in a particular place. Whenever you put warm foods beside the closet, the closets moisture level gets imbalanced.
These extra moisture get trapped into the clothes. Thus molds proliferate in that place. To stop this problem, you should never put warm foods near the closet.
Clean And Disinfect the Closet Walls Regularly
In general, we put our closet near the wall. There’s almost no space between the building wall and closet wall. After a bizarre storm or a heavy rain, the humidity of the building wall increases.
As a result, the moistness of the closet wall also increases. The building wall may get dried because of sunlight. What about the closet wall?
You have to clean it manually. Dump walls are highly responsible for molds. If you don’t want that on your wall, clean it regularly and keep disinfected.
If you have a rain gutter attached to the wall, keep it clean too. These gutters are the actual hotspot of the molds.
Prevent Condensation in the Basement
Condensation is a huge problem for the closets in the basement. You know, sunlight can’t reach the basement directly. Further, we store lots of unused stuffs on there and don’t care to keep those organized. It’s a really bad thing.
Whenever you are cleaning and organizing your home, you should clean the basement too. It reduces the possibility of growing mold. However, if you put a closet in the basement, you must be extra careful about that. Always keep it clean and maintain proper airflow to prevent condensation in there.
Get Professional Help
Trying those tips above will help you to prevent mold from the closet. But if you still can’t get rid of that, maybe it’s time to seek some professional help. You shouldn’t live with those mold pests in your closet.
“Remember, no moisture means no mold! That’s the key to remove mold from your closet.”
You might already realize that moisture is your main problem while preventing mold.
And which room contains the most uncontrolled moisture level?
Yes, the bathroom!
That’s why we decided to put an entire section about bathroom safety. Here are few tips about preventing mold growth in your bathroom.
Use a Daily Shower Spray
The shower walls and curtains increase the moisture level badly. You can use a simple solution to avoid this.
Make a solution of 1 teaspoon of vinegar and 1 cup of water. Mix it properly and spray it on the shower door and wall after showering every time. You may also use tea tree oil instead of vinegar.
Fix Pipe Leakages and Seepage
Pipe leakages and seepage are the most probable reason behind the mold growth. Nowadays, most of the shower pipes are hidden in the wall. That’s why it becomes a tough job to find the leakages of the pipes.
You should keep an eye on the walls to detect any leakages or seepage. If it happens, the wall will get damped, and you should take action ASAP.
Clean the Mold Friendly Areas
Most of the molds on the bathroom grow on the tiles, grout, curtain, and bathtub. Thus you ought to clean these areas after each shower.
Using a squeegee will make this cleaning process far easier. It removes the soap residue from the floor and keeps it mold-free.
Keep the Shampoo and Conditioners Away
How many shampoo and conditioners do you need actually?
One, two, or even more? I don’t think you will need more than that. But still, there are plenty of bottles in your shower room.
Remove those unwanted toiletries jungle today and keep your shower room mold-free.
Hang Dump Clothes
You must hang the dump clothes until it gets completely dried. You should store only the dried clothes in the closet.
Otherwise, it will affect the other clothes of your closet and make a mold army in there! Beware of it!
Use an Exhaust Fan
You know, mold usually doesn’t attack in the dry place. But, it’s almost impossible to keep the shower room dry for a long time. Most importantly, there are few places like beneath the bathtub which is impossible to reach.
In this case, an exhaust fan in the shower room will help you to keep the place dry. It will remove the water droplets from your washroom and make it dry.
How to Clean Mold and Mildew?
On average, professional mold cleaning services cost around $500 to $5,000 – but it will soar into twice or thrice based on the spreading phase.
But following these steps below will help you avoid the cost and clean those mold and mildew from your closet with ease. Follow this step-by-step guide below and clean the molds with ease.
Step #1: Ensure proper ventilation
Open any window, ventilator, or doorway of that room. It will adequate air circulation throughout the whole room. Keep those open for around 4/5 hours.
Step #2: Set a tarp
Lay a bed sheet or tarp on your closet floor. It will keep your closet floor safe from chemical solutions.
Step #3: Keep yourself protected
Mold cleaning is a sensitive task. You should stay away from the molds. Using a protective face mask, face shield, and hand gloves will ensure your safety.
As you are cleaning the closet, you must work in narrow spaces. That’s why these protections are highly recommended.
Step #4: Spray some water first
Take a spray bottle and fill it up with plain water. Spray some plain water on the molded area. Remember, it won’t remove those molds. Water will just prevent the molds from spreading in the air during cleaning.
Step #5: Start removing soft molds
Collect some dishwashing detergent, a bucket, and one litter of warm water.
At first, fill the bucket with warm water. Then add a few drops of dishwashing detergent in the bucket and mix it properly.
Apply this solution on the mold and scrub with a brush. It will remove the soft molds. If you still notice some molds which you can’t remove with detergent solution, follow step #6.
Step #6: Use chemical solutions
It’s time to get rid of those stubborn stains. We will apply some chemical solutions to clean every single spore of mold.
- Salt and Lemon Juice
Get a bucket and mix salt and lemon juice in it. Apply this mixture on the affected pace and wait for few minutes. Then, rinse the place thoroughly, and hopefully everything will be removed.
- Chlorine Bleach
To make this solution, you will need 2 pints (0.96 liters) of warm water with two tablespoons of liquid chlorine bleach. Mix this solution and apply it to the stained area.
Keep this solution on the affected area for 15-20 minutes. Then rinse the area properly. But there’s a problem with chlorine bleach. Chlorine doesn’t stop working even after cleaning the area.
To completely stop this procedure, you will need a vinegar mixture. Mix two tablespoons of vinegar to one cup of plain water in a bucket and keep shaking until the vinegar gets thoroughly mixed with water. Apply this mixture everywhere you’ve applied chlorine. Thus, your molds will get removed entirely and the closet will stay safe.
Caution: Chlorine has an adverse impact on fabrics like spandex, wool, silk etc. Keep these fabrics away while applying bleach.
- Peroxygen Bleach
Mix 1 pint (0.47 liters) of lukewarm water with two tablespoons of Sodium perborate or Potassium monopersulfate. Apply this mixture directly on the dampened stain and keep for around half an hour.
To get the better result, try to apply sodium perborate solution near the boiling temperature. When the molds get annihilated, rinse the bleach thoroughly. This solution is safe for the fabrics. But dry the fabric overnight to stay on the safe side.
Step #7: Apply water spray again
Hopefully, all of those mold spores are already removed from the area. But, we will use our basic solution from 4th step again.
Spray that detergent solution again on your closet and rinse again. It will wash away all of the residues and remaining mold spores from your wardrobe.
Step #8: Drying
To dry the whole closet, you must use a large towel. Keep rubbing the towel until every portion of your closet gets dried. Now, keep the closet door open for a day to dry the surfaces thoroughly.
And, that’s the end of the cleaning journey of your closet.
- Is mold harmful to health?
Yes! Molds and mildews are very, very harmful to our health.
Three doctors of Mayo Clinic, David Sherris, Jens Ponikau, and Eugene Kern, conduct research about fungus’s impact on chronic sinusitis on 210 chronic sinusitis patients. They found that 96% of sinusitis patients were in direct contact with mold.
Another study of Berkeley Lab and EPA confirms that about 21% of asthma cases are directly related to mold exposure. It causes significant harm to your little angels too. WHO says children who are directly exposed to mold have three times greater risk of being asthmatic.
- What types of mold grow inside the closet?
The common closet molds are Cladosporium, Alternaria, Aspergillus, or Stachybotrys chartarum. These molds also grow in your shower room, under the wallpaper, or in the rooftop too.
- Does the temperature has any effect on molds?
Yes, mild grows the best between 77° F and 86° F. If the air is humid enough, mold will grow even faster. The EPA recommends keeping the indoor humidity between 30 to 50 percent (maximum 60 percent) to keep your house free from mold and mildew.
- Does washing the clothes kill mold?
Washing the clothes in vinegar and hot water can kill around 80% mold spore.
- How can I reduce moisture in my closet?
You can use the calcium chloride-based moisture-absorbing product like washed charcoal, chalk, baking soda, or silica gel. These products soak the excessive humidity and moisture from your closet.
Molds and mildews will not only rot and weaken the closet material but also causes a huge hazard to your family’s health.
After reading this article, you might already know details about how to prevent mold in closet.
If you hold any question or thought about mold, put it in the comment box. We will answer all of your queries within a short time.
Prevent molds, stay healthy!