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I have to clean a long-neglected area that has mold growing on tiled walls and floor. Soap and a good brush is called for, but I'd like to "fortify my assault" with household chemicals.

Is there any way that I might spray either a dilute bleach solution, or a dilute ammonia solution (never mix them!) to either first to make scrubbing faster/easier, or to post-treat to remove organics to slow down regrowth?

Rather than talk about this specific mold, I'm more curious about a general practice here, using household products beyond soap and water to make scrubbing easier (I'm currently nursing some tendonitis) and/or to remove traces of "mold food" so it won't grow back as quickly.

I live in a humid subtropical area, mold is everywhere, it's a constant battle.

  • One question is whether one would first spray with bleach solution or first clean with detergent and water and then spray with bleach. I go back and forth on this in my own mind. – Jim Stewart Oct 8 '18 at 10:33
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    This article from Servicemaster suggests vinegar is a better choice than bleach. Prior to recent questions on this topic I’ve always been in the bleach camp too. – Tyson Oct 8 '18 at 13:31
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Anytime I get any mold growing in a very humid area, like areas around a shower I spray the mold growth with a strong water/bleach mixture (about 4 to 1) water to bleach. let it sit and the mold goes away. If it is a heavy growth you may need to spray it twice. And yes, wear protective clothing and a respirator.

  • I like the "goes away" part particularly! I'll give this a try when I can arrange for some good ventilation and figure out some reasonable approximation of a respirator. – uhoh Oct 8 '18 at 11:06
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Wen working at a hospital I learned that hydrogen peroxide is one of the best ways to kill organics without the bleach smell. The hospital used 3% hydrogen peroxide and water to clean and sterilize. This solution is stronger than the store bought hydrogen peroxide for personal use if you have a industrial chemical store a quart can be purchased an be added to water then sprayed on the area and rinsed off , remember AAA always add acid to the water, if the growth is severe a stronger solution can be used. I started using this mix many years ago and have found it to be very effective to kill mold and mildew with very little work after letting it sit for a while you can see it working as it kills the mold then a rinse has been all that was needed and no bleach smell. Rubber kitchen gloves to protect your hands and being careful when pouring the full strength hydrogen peroxide into the water is the only safety precautions they used at the hospital and I do the same.

  • This is really interesting, I never would have thought of it. I'll give this a try in a few days and report back. Thanks! – uhoh Oct 8 '18 at 13:16
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If you're in or near the States, I've found Concrobium to be a better long-term solution because it addresses the one thing most chemicals don't: regrowth. It won't solve regrowth permanently, but it inhibits it. Hopefully would buy you more time between cleanings. It's also not bleach based, so you can use it on things like fabric.

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