The best mould removers that actually work

08 March 2021

woman with spray bottle

Black mould doesn’t just ruin your walls, grout and possessions. It can also be bad for your and your children’s health. If you see signs of spores, apply a mould remover as soon as you can.

Black mould spores can inflame allergies and cause breathing problems, as well as damage your clothes, curtains and even the grout between tiles.

While you should always try to ventilate your house by opening windows and drying clothes outside, or even using a dehumidifier, sometimes that’s just not enough. If your bathroom doesn’t have a window or if your windows are old, then mould can be impossible to prevent.

Mould removers can help. More than just bleach – which only disguises the spores – these products will make mould vanish. Non-toxic versions contain enzymes to break down the mould, while more traditional products contain chemicals that aim to banish the mould for good.

Whether you’re looking for a spray, foam or liquid mould remover for indoor or outdoor use, here are the best mould removers to buy as recommended by parents.

1. Best overall mould remover: HG Mould Spray

“HG Mould Spray. Brilliant stuff. My DH, who is obsessed by mould, swears by it.”

“Another vote for HG. I bought it last week TOTALLY based on older Mumsnet threads and it worked! Unfortunately, I didn't protect my clothes so I’ve had to throw away a black T-shirt I was wearing, but at least the sealant in my shower is back to white.”

 1. Best overall mould remover: HG Mould Spray

HG Mould Spray is a name that comes up again and again (and again) on Mumsnet. Users love it because it is affordable and it works!

Whether you’ve got mould on plaster, grout shower cubicles or pretty much anywhere else, just spray HG Mould Spray, wait 10 minutes and wipe. It will even remove coffee or tea stains from plastic worktops.

One of the reasons it’s so effective is that it contains strong chemicals to help kill the mould for good, so make sure you use biocides safely. Always read the label and product information before use, ventilate the area well, wear gloves and goggles, and shove on some old clothes.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Effective

Cons

  • Contains powerful chemicals so use with caution

2. Best value mould remover: Dettol Mould and Mildew Remover

“Another vote for Dettol Mould and Mildew Remover. Takes three to five minutes to work, stinks (so open all the windows), but works a treat.”

2. Best value mould remover: Dettol Mould and Mildew Remover

Dettol’s Mould and Mildew Remover contains Sodium Hypochlorite and the very hard to pronounce Alkyldimethylamine Oxide, which will reduce mould spores. It also contains bleach so there’s no need to scrub, and it will remove 99.9% of bacteria.

As you’d expect, you must be extra careful when using it – have your windows open, and ideally wear a mask and gloves too.

Because it’s a spray, it’s great on tiles, grout, chrome and stainless steel. It’s also one of the cheaper mould removers on the market.

Pros

  • Great value
  • Works on many surfaces

Cons

  • Smells very strong

3. Best mould remover for bathrooms: Cif Black Mould Remover Spray

“Cif Black Mould Remover Spray. I’m a professional cleaner and it's the best I’ve used. Spray, leave it on for five minutes, use a scrubby pad or toothbrush. Sometimes I don’t even have to scrub – just rinse with water.”

3. Best mould remover for bathrooms: Cif Black Mould Remover Spray

Many Mumsnet users may still be struggling with Jif’s name change to Cif (can you believe it’s been 20 years?), but they love the brand’s Black Mould Remover.

Cif’s Spray is designed to be sprayed on, left for 15 to 20 minutes and then you just wipe it away. It doesn’t just remove existing mould – it prevents it from returning too.

Users really rate it, especially on shower curtains and around the kitchen sink, and considering how strong it is, it doesn’t smell as strong as some.

Pros

  • Very strong and effective
  • Smells nice

Cons

  • Bottle is on the small side

4. Best environmentally-friendly mould remover: Ecozone Mould Remover

“I’m a big fan of Ecozone.”

4. Best environmentally-friendly mould remover: Ecozone Mould Remover

If you want a bleach-free way to remove mould, then Ecozone could be the answer.
It’s non-toxic and cruelty-free, as well as vegan and PETA-endorsed. Just spray it on, wait and then wipe.

The only downside is that some users say it’s not as effective at removing mould as some other products like HG or Cif, but if you’re looking for a non-toxic, gentle formula, it’s brilliant at preventing the mould from returning. And you can’t beat its eco credentials.

Pros

  • Environment-friendly option
  • Cruelty-free

Cons

  • Not as effective as some

5. Best mould removing foam: HG Mould Destroyer Foaming Spray

“HG Mould Spray now comes in a foam, which I prefer, and there’s less of a smell too. They've basically improved an already amazing formula.”

5. Best mould removing foam: HG Mould Destroyer Foaming Spray

From the makers of our best overall mould remover, HG’s Mould Spray, comes a Mould Destroyer Foaming Spray too. Foam is better for hard-to-reach areas (for example around window closures) as it doesn’t run. It’s also less likely to splash on your clothes.

Some users say the smell of the foam is less strong than the spray so that’s another bonus, but sprays can be easier and quicker to use. The best product will depend on where you’re trying to remove the mould from. If the mould you have is in particularly tricky spots, then you can’t go wrong with this foam.

Pros

  • Best for hard-to-reach areas
  • Very effective

Cons

  • Harder to use than spray

6. Best for mouldy bath toys: Milton Sterilising Liquid

“Soak them in Milton.”

6. Best for mouldy bath toys: Milton Sterilising Liquid

Plastic bath toys, like squirty ducks, make bath time more fun (for children, not necessarily their parents), but if you’ve ever looked inside then prepare to be disgusted.

Because they fill with water and never have a chance to dry, this makes them an ideal breeding ground for mould – the last thing you want in your baby’s bath. You also don’t want to use harsh chemicals when these toys are going to be near your child’s skin.

Mumsnet users recommend Milton – usually used for sterilising breast pumps, baby bottles, dummies or even bleaching pen marks from school shirts. It’s a very mild bleach that takes just 15 minutes to work and is safe for your baby or child to use their bath toys straight after.

Pros

  • Great for bath toys
  • Child-safe and non-toxic

Cons

  • Mild so won’t work on stubborn large mould patches

7. Best outdoor mould remover: Wet & Forget: Mould, Lichen and Algae Remover

“We use Wet & Forget, which you spray on and leave.”

7. Best outdoor mould remover: Wet & Forget: Mould, Lichen and Algae Remover

If you’re struggling with mould lichen and algae outside on paths and patios, then give Wet & Forget a try. You can dilute it so that it goes a really long way – one part Wet & Forget with five parts water. It means that this one bottle, which contains five litres of product will make 30 litres – enough for up to 300m2.

You don’t even need to scrub. Just do exactly what it says on the container – wet the area then forget. If it rains, even better, as the rain helps to reactivate the product.
It’s also non-acidic, non-caustic and contains no bleach so it’s safe if you have pets and/or children.

Some users have reported being initially disappointed, but this is a product that takes time to work – weeks rather than hours. So give it a chance to effect and you could have a mould-free patio or path.

Pros

  • Covers a large area
  • Easy to apply

Cons

  • Pricey
  • Takes time to work

Is it safe to clean black mould yourself?

Black mould often forms when your room isn’t well ventilated (think bathrooms without windows). If left untreated, it might cause problems like asthma attacks and allergic reactions.

But watch out, as many of the products on the market can be quite harsh. They usually contain bleach, which can stain, and chemicals to break down the mould too. Use biocides safely. Always read the label and product information before use. As long as you follow the manufacturer’s instructions – which will usually advise that you use the product in a well-ventilated area, and wear gloves and a mask – it’s safe to clean black mould yourself.

How do I get rid of mould permanently?/How do I stop black mould from coming back?

Watch out for products that only contain bleach. While you might think the mould has gone, many just take the colour out. This means that the mould is still there, but just disguised. You need a specialist product to not only clean the area, but to get rid of the mould spores too.

Like many things in life, prevention is better than cure. Dry washing outside wherever possible, open a window after cooking or having a shower or bath if you can, and dehumidifiers can help too.

If you do see mould spores reappearing, use a product as soon as possible.

What’s the best product for removing mould?

When asked for the best mould remover, time and again Mumsnet users recommend HG Mould Spray. It’s easy to use, quick to effect and really works.

For children’s toys, particularly bath toys, Milton Sterilising Liquid is a clear favourite.

How we chose our recommendations

All of our recommendations for mould and mildew removers came from Mumsnet users themselves. We searched the Mumsnet forums for posts about which mould and mildew removing sprays, foams and liquids that users rated. We also looked at other reviews to see which mould removing sprays performed well across the board.

Why you should trust us

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