Mold is everywhere. It lives outside and inside and prefers to grow in dark and damp areas. Despite the ever-present reality of mold, if you find any in your home, it is important to clean it up and take steps to prevent it from coming back.
Probably you know about all the negative symptoms that can be associated with mold. Whether it’s coughing, sneezing, wheezing, an itchy throat, or difficulty breathing, mold exposure is not fun and can cause adverse health affects in individuals that are allergic to it or that are immunocompromised. With all that in mind, one great household mold removal is ammonia.
Ammonia does kill mold, and it goes further to neutralize the toxins in some varieties of mold. Just be sure to take the necessary safety precautions when working with ammonia such as using a face mask, gloves, and working in a well-ventilated area. Spray it on the mold on any non-porous surfaces in your home and wipe it down. It’s that easy!
Why Does Mold Grow?
Mold can be found anywhere. It is outside and can get inside your home through windows, on your shoes or clothes, or through your vents. There is no way to completely eradicate your home from mold, but you can make you home as unhospitable as possible preventing it to grow.
Mold feeds on any organic material (wood, paper, cotton), and it likes warm, dark, moist places. Any combination of these characteristics can leave your home vulnerable to mold, but moisture is the main culprit.
Warm humid climates like Texas and Florida tend to have the most issues with indoor mold. This is why decreasing the humidity in your home and being proactive about any potential areas where mold could grow, will save you the headache of dealing with it in the first place and help you prevent it from returning.
Does Ammonia Kill Mold and how to use it?
It is important to keep in mind some safety tips when working with ammonia. Even though ammonia effectively kills the toxins in mold, the substance itself is a harsh and toxic chemical when inhaled in large amounts.
Make sure you protect yourself from the harsh chemical by wearing gloves and a respirator. Finally, never mix ammonia with chlorine bleach because it creates a toxic mixture that can cause respiratory issues.
Process is straightforward:
Work in a well-ventilated area. Be sure you have a respirator mask and gloves when cleaning with ammonia.
Find a household solution of ammonia which is usually diluted to 3–5%. If you would like to dilute it even more, you can use a solution of 1:1 diluted water to ammonia.
If this mixture seems ineffective, then you can use the original mixture with a higher percentage of ammonia for more cleaning power.
Put the ammonia into a spray bottle and shake it. Spray onto the mold and let it sit for ten minutes.
Wipe the mold with a paper towel or a rag that you can throw away after you are done cleaning.
You can also wash the rag (or any clothes that have mold on them) in the washing machine and add one cup of ammonia to the load.
NOTE: Do not do this if your water has chlorine in it because ammonia and chlorine create a deadly gas when mixed.
Make sure you wipe all the mold off the surface and allow it to air dry. Do not go into the room for at least five hours to allow the area to ventilate.
The mold should not return after this process. If it does, repeat steps one through five.
Ammonia definitely has some benefits and helps removing mold. Here are some takeaways:
- Effectively kills mold and neutralizes toxins.
- It’s cheap.
- Easy to find in your local grocery or home improvement store.
- Ammonia fumes can be toxic.
- Do not mix with bleach.
- Does not work on porous areas like wood or carpet.
Where to Buy Ammonia?
You can purchase ammonia at any local shop that sells household cleaners. Places like Amazon, Walmart, Home Depot, Lowes, or even your local grocery stores most likely carry ammonia cleaners.
Here is a great product that is no longer sold in stores but exclusively on Amazon. Parsons has a dedicated following of consumers who know it’s the best authentic ammonia you can find.
Is Bleach or Ammonia Better to Kill Mold?
Bleach is just as effective at removing mold as ammonia on non-porous surfaces. The only difference is that ammonia neutralizes the toxins in toxic mold species.
So, if you aren’t sure what kind of mold you are dealing with, ammonia may be your best bet to ensure you are neutralizing any potential toxins.
Please note that whichever cleaning product you choose, never mix the two. If you use beach, then do not use ammonia in that area and vice versa. These products can be deadly when the fumes mix.
How Do I Prevent Mold and Mildew Growth on My Floor?
The most common way to prevent mold from growing in you flooring is to seal the sub floor before laying the flooring. You can also purchase open cell cushion carpeting to make it easier for moisture to evaporate. Antimicrobial carpeting adds another extra layer of protection from carpet mold.
Also avoid installing carpet in damp or humid spaces like basements and bathrooms. Using a dehumidifier regularly can reduce humidity and therefore moisture in your home which makes it less welcoming to mold growth.
Be sure there are no opportunities for unwanted water to leak into your home from clogged rain gutters or any broken pipes. Address any moisture issues before mold has time to grow.
Helpful mold removal tips
- Ammonia works best on non-porous surfaces.
- Try using hydrogen peroxide first to clean any mold on porous surfaces because it can penetrate the small openings better.
- Sometimes your porous surfaces cannot be cleaned completely with anything. If there are large amounts of mold in your carpet or drywall, then it is probably best to through it out and replace it.
- Use a scrubbing brush for areas that are tough to clean the mold from.