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02/17/2012 09:32 am ET Updated Oct 11, 2012

How To Be Organized: Cleaning Mold

Where there is moisture, there is a way...for mold to grow. So don't fret when you see white or greenish-black furry spots popping up around your bathroom sink. It's evitable, as mold spores travel through the air and grow once the spores land on wet surfaces. The easiest way to prevent the infestation is to wipe down and dry the surfaces. Here are our tips on how to properly clean it.

Watch the size. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, only clean a moldy area less than 10 square feet. Any affected area larger than that should be handled by a professional; the vast amount of mold could be toxic for your health.

Find the water source. Fix any water leaks that could be sourcing the moisture. This will stop re-infestation. If humidity or steam is causing the moisture, remember to use bathroom and kitchen fans or open a window to increase ventilation.

Scrub mold off hard surfaces. On surfaces like tile or marble, mold can be easily cleaned with a mixture of a 1/2-cup bleach, one-quart water, and detergent. If the mold remains, reapply the solution, but this time, let the cleaning mixture soak into the mold for about five minutes before scrubbing again.

Cleaning mold from absorbant materials. Mold can grow in the nooks and crannies of permeable or spongy surfaces like carpet. In the worst cases where there is a significant amount of mold growing on carpet, you'll have to remove it altogether. However, if towels and clothes are affected, first soak the items in water and all-fabric bleach for half an hour. Then, rinse and re-wash through the washing machine and dryer as usual.

Be gentle on wood. Wood furniture affected by mold can smell foul. Use a vacuum with a brush tool, suck up any spores. Be sure to toss the vacuum bag and clean the tool later. Then, with a damp cloth soaked in dish detergent and warm water, gently wipe away any mold stains.

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