Mold! You’ve probably seen those ugly patches in your basement or bathroom and put off doing anything about them…but don’t do that. If you’re exposed long enough to mold spores, you may become allergic, experiencing a chronic runny nose, rashes, sneezing, asthma—even pneumonia or arthritis. Yikes! Here’s some help…
Heavy-duty mold solvent: We usually like to err on the side of gentle, nontoxic cleaners, but when dealing with mold or mildew, sometimes you have to play hardball. To remove small patches of mold (it can be black, brown, green, yellow or white and may have an acrid smell), scrub the infected area with a mixture of one-eighth cup of laundry detergent, one cup of bleach and one gallon of water. Be sure to dry the area completely after using this solvent.
Note: Mold on a wall often is a sign that mold also is within the wall, so you’ll need to consult a professional about removal, especially if the area is larger than 10 square feet.
Bathroom mold stopper: To help deter mold from forming in your bathroom, leave a bowl of charcoal briquettes near your shower or tub—they will absorb some of the moisture (mold thrives in wet areas) and then give it back to the air slowly through evaporation. You can use an attractive bowl…and maybe place your charcoal batch up high on a cabinet top so that you (and guests) can’t see the briquettes. Wherever you put it, make sure that it’s out of the way of children and pets. And don’t forget to leave the door open after those long, steamy showers.
No more mold on your shower curtain: The easiest way to keep mildew off your favorite plastic shower curtain is to prevent the icky growth from happening in the first place. Here’s what to do: Before you hang up a brand-new curtain, fill the bathtub with a few inches of warm water, then add two cups of table salt. Submerge the new curtain in the saltwater bath, and let it soak for about 10 minutes. Shake off the water, dry with a clean cloth and then hang your mildew-proof curtain.