Mould is a sign your house is damp. It can cause health problems for your family and should be removed promptly. Regularly check hidden areas like wardrobes, under carpets, and behind curtains and furniture. Identifying and managing the dampness sources that cause mould in your home is essential for preventing mould recurrence.
How to remove mould
You can remove small patches of surface mould easily yourself, following the steps below. For larger areas of mould and persistently recurring mould, seek advice from a registered or accredited building surveyor.
Things to consider first
- Keep children, allergy sufferers and people with a weakened immune system out of the room during mould treatment.
- Wear rubber gloves, a dust mask and protective goggles. Shower and wash your clothes afterwards.
- Keep all chemicals well away from children, and open flames or fire.
- Treatment may discolour some materials, so may not be appropriate for all surfaces. Refer to manufacturer for further advice.
Steps to remove mould from walls, ceilings or furniture
Watch: How to remove mould in your home | 00:23 min
The following steps are for removing superficial mould from wallpaper, plasterboard and wooden surfaces. Where mould has already penetrated deep into the material, cleaning may not be possible - removing the affected material may be necessary.
- Thoroughly scrub away all visible mould using soapy water and a cloth or scrubbing brush.
- Rinse well with water and a clean cloth.
- Let dry completely.
- Disinfect the affected surface by applying methylated spirits or isopropyl alcohol (available from supermarkets and hardware stores) to the area using a brush or spray bottle. Air the room well during treatment until all fumes have evaporated. Do not smoke or use candles whilst handling methylated spirits or isopropyl alcohol.
- Let it set for 30 minutes.
- Re-apply methylated spirits or isopropyl alcohol.
- Let it set for a further 30 minutes.
- Wipe with a clean cloth and methylated spirits or isopropyl alcohol.
- Clean all cloths and brushes well, or throw them in the rubbish when finished, to avoid spreading mould spores.
Bleach, vinegar and commercial mould removers
We don’t recommend bleach or commercial mould removers because they release harmful fumes into your home over a long period of time. We also do not recommend treating mould with vinegar, as any residue left behind may encourage more mould growth in the future.
Removing mould from other materials
- Mould on smooth surfaces like glass, porcelain or metal can simply be washed away with water and a household cleaner.
- For mould on fabrics such as clothing, bedding, curtains or upholstery, wash and dry, take to the dry cleaners or throw out. Follow manufacturer’s cleaning instructions.
- Replace mouldy silicone seals such as those found around your shower, bath, basin or kitchen sink.
If mould returns after repeated removal, humidity in your house is probably too high.
Mould on walls or ceilings that reappears within a couple of weeks may be caused by dampness inside the wall or ceiling cavity, with the mould growing from the inside out.
Consult a registered or accredited building surveyor for advice.
How to prevent mould
To prevent mould in your home, ensure your home is warm, dry (not damp) and well ventilated. Find out more about heating, dampness and ventilation below.