Michelle said, “The lady I am a caregiver for has a laundry bin that’s made out of cardboard and fabric around the cardboard. The bottom became moldy. How do I clean it, and is the cardboard keep growing mold if cleaned or not? Is the bin worth cleaning to save?”
There are two crucial parts to removing mold from a surface: eliminating the moisture that is allowing the mold to grow, and removing the mold spores, which are basically the ‘seeds’ of mold. Since cardboard is such a plentiful material, it may be easier to simply replace it rather than attempting to remove the mold. However, if you want to try to remove the mold, follow the steps below to kill the spores, then look in the Additional Tips section at the end of the article for tips on removing the moisture.
Removing the Mold
You Will Need:
- White vinegar
- Rubbing alcohol
- A bucket
- Tea tree oil
- A cloth
Steps to Remove the Mold:
- Put on long sleeves and pants, preferably ones that you wouldn’t mind discarding afterward.¹
- Take the furniture item outside and set it in direct sunlight. Sunlight will kill the mold and taking the item outside will also prevent the spread of mold within the house as you clean.²
- If the mold is on the surface of the cardboard, begin by brushing off the mold with a broom. Do not sweep any areas where you don’t see mold, as you can spread the mold spores to those areas.²
- Choose a cleaning solution.
- To use white vinegar, simply go get a bottle of white vinegar.³
- To use rubbing alcohol, simply go get a bottle of rubbing alcohol.³
- To use chlorine bleach, fill a bucket with water, then add 1/4 cup of bleach per quart of water.³
- To use tea tree oil, mix 1 teaspoon of the oil in 1 cup of water.⁴
- Soak a cloth with the cleaning solution and wipe the surface of the cardboard.
- If the mold is not only on the cardboard, but also within the cardboard, pour just enough of the bleach solution onto the area to wet the cardboard. Let the cleaning solution soak into the cardboard, but don’t apply so much that the cardboard becomes soggy or water-logged as it will be more difficult to dry.
- Let the cardboard air dry. Putting it in the sun can help to speed the drying process, as well as continue killing any mold that remains. If you want to use a fan or hair dryer to help speed the drying process, be sure to do so outside, otherwise you could blow any mold spores that may remain into your home.³
Additional Tips and Advice
- DampRid is an easy solution for removing moisture from the air. Set the DampRid next to the area that became moldy.
- There are a variety of DIY dehumidifiers online that can also help to remove excess moisture in the area.
- How To Clean Practically Anything by Consumer Reports
- The Complete Idiot’s Guide To Green Cleaning by Mary Findley and Linda Formichelli
- Cleaning Plain & Simple by Donna Smallin
- Natural Green Home Cleaning For Beginners by R. Kishore