DIY Mould Removal: Mould Management for Landlords – PART III

how to get rid of mould

Do you have mould problems in your rental property? Want to know how to get rid of mould in your rental property? Unfortunately, some types of mould are cause for serious concern, particularly if the problem is caused by faults with the building itself. In this, our Part III of our series about mould management for landlords, we look at some effective DIY solutions for removing mould in rental properties.

Additional Reading:

Mould In Rental Property : Mould Management For Landlords – Part I

What To Do If Your Rental Property Has Mould : Mould Management For Landlords – Part II

DIY Ways To Remove Small Spots Of Mould In Your Rental Property

Several very effective DIY mould ‘killing’ options require nothing more than some household chemicals and a bit of elbow grease. Some of these products are probably already sitting in your pantry! They’re ideal for spot cleaning small areas of mould and mildew.

Before you start – an important note about removing mould:

Even though these products are household chemicals, always wear PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) when using them to clean mould in your rental property. Protective gloves, protective clothing, goggles or other eye protection, and a mask, plus proper ventilation, are a must.

Furthermore – don’t mix’n’match some of these chemicals. Whilst reasonably ‘inert’ on their own, when combined with other chemicals they can produce dangerous chlorine and chloramine gases.

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White Vinegar

This humble pantry staple has many uses beyond being an excellent pickling and food preserving agent, and tasting delicious splashed over hot chips! It’s also an excellent de-scaler!

Vinegar in fact has powerful antibacterial, antimicrobial, and antiseptic properties. And…when it comes to dealing with small areas of mould, especially on porous surfaces, vinegar comes highly recommended.

It works because some 82% of mould species don’t like acetic acid, which is able to soak right down into the organism, killing both the mould and mould spores. Note though that if you’re using the same stuff you cook with, it may not be as effective as the stronger cleaning vinegar, which is around 6% acetic acid v 3% for culinary vinegar.

How To Use Vinegar For Killing Mould

Spray undiluted (cleaning) vinegar over the mould-infested surface; leave it to ‘soak’ for several hours, and then scrub it down with a brush. Be sure to test an inconspicuous spot first, though, to be sure the surface finish or material is not adversely affected.

Hydrogen Peroxide

This is another common household product with good disinfecting and antiseptic qualities. It also makes an excellent mould killer and remover. Unlike vinegar, it should be diluted – around a 3% solution works well.

How to apply – Hydrogen Peroxide

Spray it onto the mouldy surface, let it sit for 10 minutes, and then give it a good scrub.

Tea Tree Oil

Every household needs a bottle of tea tree oil in the medicine cabinet! Handy for treating insect bites, cuts, and grazes, and deodorising and sanitising socks in the wash, it is a natural antifungal and antibacterial. It’s also an effective ‘mould remover’ and works on black mould too. Plus it’s completely natural and non-toxic.

How to apply – Tea Tree Oil

The recommended ratio is 1 teaspoon to 1 cup of water. Mix well, and spray the solution onto the mouldy surface. Then just leave it be… Tea tree oil can also be mixed with vinegar and used regularly to keep areas like showers and baths clean and mould-free. Again, it’s just ‘spray and leave’ so perfect for the busy property owner, or tenant!

Baking Or Bicarb Soda

A common baking product, baking soda is yet another pantry staple with a multitude of uses. These uses include removing mould and deodorising. It can be mixed in water to create a mild abrasive paste, or added to vinegar to boost its cleaning power. Be careful doing this though because it reacts with acetic acid to create carbon dioxide foam (the reason it’s used as a rising agent in baking).

How to apply – Bicarbonate of Soda

If using it as a paste, spread it over the mouldy area, scrub, then rinse clean.


Ammonia is a common ingredient in many commercial mould removal products. Certainly, if your mould is growing on a non-porous surface (i.e. glass, steel), ammonia will help remove it. However, it’s a harsh chemical, and doesn’t work on porous surfaces, like wood (vinegar works better on these surfaces).

How to apply – Ammonia

Use a 50/50 mix of ammonia and water, spray on the mouldy area, and let it sit for several hours before rinsing away.


Bleach is probably the first product you think of in relation to mould removal and it’s certainly effective at doing so on hard, non-porous surfaces like glass. However, it’s also very harsh. This is probably why most authority websites recommend vinegar instead. Vinegar is just as effective but far less caustic. And works on porous surfaces as well.

How to apply – Bleach

Mix household bleach at a 1:4 ratio of bleach to water, apply it to the affected area, and let it sit for several minutes before rinsing.

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Commercial Mould Cleaners

Alternatively, you can use an off the shelf product from the cleaning aisle in your local supermarket or hardware store.

When To Get A Commercial Cleaner To Remove Mould From A Rental Property

If the mould in your property is caused by structural issues within the building itself, you will need to not only get that assessed and fixed, you’ll probably also have to call in the ‘big guns’. Professional cleaners… Especially if there is a large area to clean. They have the equipment and the expertise to do it properly.

Ensure You Have Good Property Management For Your Brisbane Rental Property

A reputable, experienced property manager can make all the difference in the condition of your rental property. At Position One our ongoing inspections help problems, like mould, be spotted early and dealt with promptly. That way, your rental property will remain free of mould, 100% habitable and capable of generating ongoing income for you.

Contact us today to talk about your property management requirements.

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