Mold is a sneaky house guest. Since most mold thrives in dark, moist places, it’s easy to overlook it while you’re taking care of home cleaning. Unfortunately, the longer you ignore it, the worse it gets.
Some people are especially sensitive to mold and may have reactions such as nasal stuffiness, throat irritation, coughing or wheezing, eye irritation, and even skin irritation. People with compromised immune systems or chronic lung illnesses are especially vulnerable to getting sick.
Plus, mold can cause damage to your home, which may lead to costly home repairs down the road. The best thing you can do to avoid getting sick or letting it damage your house? Find the hidden mold and kill it before it gets out of control.
Read on to discover the hidden places you should check for mold.
1. In the blender
Any small appliance you own with a seal or rim that comes in contact with moisture is susceptible to mold growth. Be sure to completely disassemble the pieces when you’re cleaning them to remove mold build-up.
Next: You probably don’t check here as often as you should.
2. Underneath the sink
A slow leaking pipe underneath your sink could cause serious damage. Rather than using the storage area under your sink as a disorganized storage catch-all, grab some baskets from the dollar store and keep it clean under there. Set a reminder every few months to clean it out and check for moisture and mold growth.
Next: You definitely have this in your house.
3. In the fridge and freezer
Does your refrigerator have a built-in water dispenser? Then you should be taking it apart every few months to wash the tray. Produce drawers and drip pans are also likely to get wet and should be frequently cleaned to prevent mold.
Next: Wet areas breed mold.
4. In the dishwasher
Mold in the dishwasher won’t help get your dishes clean. To combat this common problem, always keep your dishwasher door open at the end of a cycle. You can also periodically run it empty with just vinegar to further kill off mold growth.
Next: Cleaning mold from this is easy.
5. In the coffee maker
Run a mix of vinegar and water through your coffee maker every so often to kill mold that’s hiding out in the reservoir tank. Just be sure to run a few water cycles through before you brew your next cup, or your coffee might taste bitter.
Next: You might be missing this obvious spot for mold.
6. Under the toilet rim
Sure, you know to scrub the toilet bowl. But are you getting up under the rim? The holes where water fills the toilet are hot spots for mold growth. Get a good quality toilet brush and scrub this area with a mix of vinegar, baking soda, and water.
Next: You may be forgetting to look for mold here.
7. Under the shampoo
If you’re like most people, then you probably have a collection of products in the shower that rarely get used. These bottles attract mold on the bottom, which can discolor your caulk and grout if you’re not careful.
Next: There’s a natural way to kill mold here.
8. On the window sill
Is there condensation on any of your windows? If so, mold may be growing in the tiny cracks and crevices (that’s what those black spots in corners really are). Scrub the area down with vinegar to naturally kill the mold growth.
Next: Follow one simple rule to eliminate mold here.
9. In the hamper
A pile of damp clothes sitting in the hamper for the week will almost certainly grow mold. Save your clothes — and the air purity of your bedroom — by only adding dry clothing to the laundry basket.
Next: It’s easy to kill the mold in this common spot.
10. In your washing machine
Notice your clean laundry is starting to stink? Your washing machine may be the culprit. Front-loading washers are notorious mold magnets. To keep the problem at bay, try running a cycle of vinegar without clothing, or purchase special washing machine cleaner if you prefer. Then always remember to leave the door open after you use the washer to prevent future growth.
Next: You may not realize you can wash these.
11. In those old sneakers
Any shoes you stash while they’re damp could grow mold in your closet. If you have a wet or filthy pair of sneakers, check to see if they can go in your washer or dryer to get them totally clean and mold-free.
Next: You may be forgetting to check this spot.
12. On your electric toothbrush
Remove the head from your electric toothbrush every day to inspect for mold and toothpaste buildup. It can get disgusting quickly.
Next: This spot can get disgusting.
13. On kids’ cups and toys
There was a huge recall of Tommee Tippee Sippee cups in 2016 when the company found mold could build up in the cups’ valves. Before the recall, there were 68 reports of kids experiencing diarrhea, vomiting and other symptoms after sipping from the cups.
It’s important to fully disassemble cups and water bottles before washing them as mold thrives in these moist environments.
Next: Stick to a schedule for throwing this out.
14. In your makeup
Mold loves dampness, so if you store your makeup in the bathroom, it’s likely to get moldy. Check your cosmetics and be sure to stick to the schedule for tossing them before they expire.
Next: Dark spaces like this attract mold.
15. In the microwave
Check the corners of your microwave for mold every time you use it. The closed door creates a dark, enclosed environment where mold can grow quickly. Clean this appliance by microwaving a glass container full of vinegar and letting the fumes do the work for you.
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