Mold is every trailer owner`s biggest nightmare. Unfortunately, a lot of RV owners sooner or later come across this problem as your camper or motorhome is good environment for mold due to closed environment.
Mold not only looks disgusting, but mold spores can also cause some serious health problems like allergies and skin infection. It can also cause a lot of damage to your trailer internally and externally.
I will show you exactly how to get rid of the mold with simple DIY home remedies (no need to buy expensive mold treatments) and also how to stop it from coming back
Mold needs 3 things to grow- moisture, food and optimum temperature. Mold will grow anywhere as long as there is enough moisture. It also needs optimum temperature. Most mold spores thrive best around 70 degrees Farenheit, but different molds grow in different temperatures from 32 to 120 degrees F.
Mold loves warm temperature and excessive humidity.
How to Detect Mold in a Trailer
No one likes realising that they have mildew in their trailer, but you need to address this problem immediately. You can`t just clean some of the most visible mildew and pretend that the problem has disappeared.
Mold appears as black, green or blue spots. You may also detect mold by a musty smell. Black mold (Stacybotrys Chartarum) is the most toxic and dangerous.
You now have to act like an investigator and detect any mold in your trailer. If you found mold in one place, chances are it is growing on other surfaces as well (even if less visible).
Inspect your trailer very carefully for any signs of mold spores in all these places:
- Underneath sink and stove
- Roof vents
- Inside cabinets and storage compartments
- Under the mattress
- On the back of the couch
- In the carpets and under the carpets
- Under seats
- On vinyl awnings
- Water and sewer hook-ups
If you are not sure if the mold spores are present in some specific areas or how bad the mold spores are I would suggest getting DIY Mold Testing Kit from Amazon. This might be especially usefull if you are allergic to mold or if your trailer has had some type of water damage. It is easy to use and the results from the lab are sent back to you quickly.
If the mold has attacked the inside of your insulation, then I HIGHLY recommend that you replace it as the mold will not just disappear from places where you can`t kill it properly. The same is with carpet- if you see mold throughout the carpet, then the only option you have is to remove the carpet. I recommend staying away from carpets in your trailer.
How to Clean Mold Out Off a Trailer
When dealing with mold, make sure you wear protective gloves, long sleeve clothing and preferably goggles and a mask to protect yourself. You want to make sure you are not in direct touch with mold spores- they can be dangerous to your health.
I am not a big fan of using toxic mold removal products that contain bleach can be dangerous as well as they can stain or bleach different surfaces. Products that contain bleach can be harmful to your body. Avoid using bleach-based products if you have pets or children around!
Fortunately, there are some simple, inexpensive and most importantly non toxic ways how to clean mold out off you RV. These natural ways how to get rid of mold can be the same effective and are safe to use.
Vinegar is non toxic and can kill 82% of mold species and will work like magic to make the ugly mold disappear. Vinegar has been used to kill mold for years and is very effective.
Chances are you already have vinegar at home. The best is to use white distilled vinegar.
- Put vinegar in a spray bottle (use it full strength, no need to mix it with water)
- Spray the vinegar on tho the affected area
- Leave it to sit down for about an hour
- Clean carefully with a sponge and water
Baking soda is another great natural way how to kill mold plus it is also safe to use around kids and pets.
- Add approx.. ¼ of baking soda to a spray bottle that has water inside
- Shake the bottle and wait while the baking soda dissolves into the water
- Spray the solution on to the mold affected area
- Use a a brush to scrub off the mold
- Spray the baking soda and water solution and leave it for a while so the surface is completely dry
Hydrogen peroxide is one of the most common household disinfectants in the world. It works like magic and is also very cheap. In fact, you can clean just about anything with Hydrogen Peroxide, but this time we will use it for mold removal.
- Pour 3% concentration hydrogen peroxide into a spray bottle.
- Spray on the moldy area
- Leave it to sit down for about 10-15 minutes
- Scrub off the mold with a brush
- Wipe off the surface
There are other natural remedies you can use to get rid of mold like tee tree oil, grapefruit seed extract. They are very effective, but will be more expensive and you may not have them already at home.
Tip! For hard to reach areas and corners use toothbrush to remove the mold.
How to Prevent Mold in a Trailer
Ok, so you have done the dirty job and killed all of the mold in your trailer or motorhome. But you want to make sure that the it does not grow back! So it is important to take the necessary precautions in order to prevent the mold.
- VENTILATION! Air circulation is the key when it comes to preventing mold in your trailer. Open all windows, doors and vents to ventilate as much as possible. Even if you are using furnace, keep your roof vents at least halfway open.
- Fix any water leaks in pipes, roof leaks, and damaged caulking.
- Check if you have any air leaks and fix them.
- Keep all surfaces dry and clean.
- When cooking, washing dishes and taking shower, make sure to use vent fan and open window whenever possible.
- Cover pots and pans when cooking.
- Do not dry your clothes inside your trailer, especially towels and swimming suits.
- Avoid carpets or consider removing your existing carpeting.
- I HIGHLY suggest that you use a dehumidifier to remove all the excess moisture. This Ivation DehumMini Dehumidifier from Amazon is powerful and quite at the same time and will work great for RV- it is great for spaces up to 1,100 cubic feet.
- Keep the humidity levels between 30 and 50 %. Use indoors humidity monitor to control the humidity.
- DampRid Hanging Moisture Absorber is great to eliminate excess moisture in small spaces such as RV bathrooms, closets, storage compartments etc. It will not only collect all the excess moisture, but will also help against musty odors and keep the air fresh. It is especially useful when you are storing your travel camper away. It lasts up to 60 days. Just hang it and replace when the water bag is full. Great product to prevent unwanted mold and mildew.
- Did I already mention VENTILATION? Yes, it is that important! Let your RV breathe!
How To Prevent Mold In RV Refrigerator
Your RV refrigerator is great place for mold to grow due to the dark and moist environment.
When you are storing your RV and have turned off the power, keep the refrigerator doors open so that the air can circulate. I cant` stress enough how IMPORTANT this is if you want to prevent mold in your refrigerator. If you don`t do this, chances are you WILL have mold. It is really the least places you want to see mold growing. Yikes. So make sure the doors are opened when your RV is stored!
If your refrigerator doesn`t have the built in storage clips, then just just use your imagination and be creative – use some towels or newspapers.
Tip! Keep an opened box of baking soda in your refrigerator that will will absorb the moisture and all the odours. Add some fresh coffee grounds to the baking soda to make it more effective. Change it every month.
How to Clean Mold Out of RV Refrigerator
- Make sure the refrigerator is switched off.
- Remove all trays and drawers and clean them separately (do not use dishwasher as the mold can spread). You can soak them in warm soapy water.
- Put white distilled vinegar in a spray bottle.
- Spray the vinegar throughout the fridge.
- Clean with a sponge and scrub where necessary.
- Scrub out the mold from fridge seal and use toothbrush to clean under the gasket.
- Wipe everything with paper towels and make sure everything is completely dry.
- Sprinkle baking soda throughout the fridge. Let it sit down for about an hour. Then wipe off. This will help to eliminate the musty smell that you might have in your refrigerator.