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How To Clean Mold & Mildew from Painted Surfaces

Mold and mildew can stain a variety of materials, including painted surfaces. It is important to clean not only the visible stain, but to attempt to eradicate the spores that may not be visible to the eye as well. Mold and mildew stains should be removed promptly and thoroughly. Persistent, cyclical or wide-spread stains may require the attention of a professional. When dealing with mold and mildew, it is especially important to wear appropriate clothing such as gloves, protective eyewear, and a mask. When at all possible clean the furniture or object with a painted surface outside, or in the case of painted walls, work in a well-ventilated area. Dispose of cleaning implements such as rags and sponges, or use implements that can be disinfected after you have finished cleaning the area to help avoid spreading the mold and mildew to other surfaces.

In a plastic bucket that can be easily disinfected mix a gallon of water and a mild pH neutral dish liquid for a lightly sudsy solution. Add 1/2 cup of borax to act as a booster, as well as for its anti-fungal properties. Mix well as borax is lightly abrasive in powder form. Use a scrub brush or sponge to work the diluted borax into the area affected by the mold/mildew. Appearance is still a concern, and you can choose a brush that will be appropriate for the painted surface, however keep in mind that in the case of mold and mildew, health is the main priority. Borax has anti-fungal properties and will hopefully help the treated areas resist future mold/mildew growth. Rinse the sponge regularly, and refresh the solution as needed. When the mold and mildew has been removed to your satisfaction, rinse the area and dry well. In the case of mold and mildew, completely drying the painted surface is an essential step to remove mold-friendly moisture. You may wish to use additional tools such as hairdryers and fans to assist in the drying process.

Preventative measures include keeping painted surfaces dry and areas well-ventilated. You can also consider re-painting objects or areas that are repeatedly subjected to conditions that are conducive to mold and mildew growth with paint that is specially formulated to be resistant to mold and mildew growth. In the case of mold and mildew that has penetrated deep into the furniture or other objects with painted surfaces, it may be advisable to dispose of the object.

Caution: Never mix cleaning agents or chemicals, the result can be dangerous or deadly. Before cleaning, always test the agent on an inconspicuous location to determine its suitability and to make certain it does not damage the material. Wear appropriate clothing such as gloves and protective eyewear, and work in a well-ventilated area. Accidental inhalation or ingestion of cleaning agents can be hazardous and even fatal, particularly to pets and children.

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