Coming into contact with mold and its spores can cause various health complications, such as respiratory problems. The common fungus will also aggravate allergy and asthma symptoms, not to mention the possible damage to the surface the mold is growing on and feeding from. Fortunately, you can kill mold with a common, heavy-duty chemical called trisodium phosphate, or TSP.
TSP is a concentrated cleaning chemical that kills mold and cuts through grease and grime. Commonly used for cleaning walls in preparation for painting, TSP is available at home improvement stores. According to the Environmental Health Association of Nova Scotia, TSP is a less toxic option for mold and mildew removal than commercial antimicrobial products. It is safe to use on painted surfaces, wallpaper, wood, sinks, bathtubs, showers, vinyl and linoleum.
Mold Removal Solution
Before creating the homemade mold killer, wear a pair of rubber gloves to prevent possible skin irritation caused by TSP. While wearing the rubber gloves, fill a 5-gallon plastic bucket with 1 gallon of cool water. Add 1 tbsp. of TSP and mix with a long-handled spoon. To increase the strength of the homemade mold cleaning solution, add 1 cup of chlorine bleach to the TSP mixture and stir once again with the spoon.
When mold is disturbed, it releases spores into the air. To prevent the fungus from releasing spores, mist the surface mold with cold water before attempting to remove it. Dampen a clean sponge or white cloth in the mixture and wipe the mold off the surface. Let the mixture sit on the surface for 10 to 15 minutes before rinsing the mixture off with cool water. Remove the excess moisture by drying the item with a towel.
Only remove mold infestations smaller than 10 square feet. According to the Washington State Department of Health, a professional should handle any mold infestations larger than 10 square feet. Furthermore, wear the proper safety gear -- N-95 respiratory, goggles, safety glasses and rubber gloves -- when removing mold. Never mix bleach with ammonia or products containing ammonia. Mixing the two together will result in toxic fumes. Once you have removed the mold, keep the item as dry as possible to prevent future mold growth.