We’ve all had our favorite shirts, backpacks, or our favorite electronics destroyed by mold in Hawai’i. One of the many challenges of living in Hawai’i is finding ways to deal with the moisture, which ultimately leads to mold! To help save your stuff and keep you in good health, here are five tips and tricks we have learned to deal with mold in Hawai’i:
#1 Dealing with Mold in Hawaii: Ventilation
The first step to combatting mold is taking preventative measures from the start—and storing your clothes in wooden drawers and keeping your keepsakes in closets might be the worst thing for them. Try this instead: keep your most-used clothes hung where there is lots of ventilation can put off mold producing and spreading. If you do have keepsakes that you want to store, pack them up in plastic boxes with tight lids and throw in a couple of silica packets for good measure.
Before we go any further, we thought we’d break the news: living in Hawai’i means saying goodbye to anything leather. Leather molds quickly and breaks down faster here due to all the moisture and humidity in the air. But who needs leather shoes when you can wear slippahs all year round?
#2 Dealing with Mold in Hawaii: DampRid
DampRids are your number one friend, especially if you live near the ocean or in an area that gets a lot of precipitation and humidity. You can purchase lifesavers these at Longs, Target, Home Depot, Walmart, or anywhere online. DampRid’s official website suggests, “think of DampRid as a dehumidifier that doesn’t need electricity. It’s the convenient, all-natural way to absorb excess moisture in the air that can cause stale, musty odors, while preventing damage to your valuable possessions.” We like to store these in closets, bathrooms, and any areas that tend to get excess moisture due to lack of ventilation.
#3 Dealing with Mold in Hawaii: Pelican Cases
If you own a lot of electronics and/or photography equipment, you want to make sure your prized possessions stay clear of mold and rust. We’ve found that storing electronics in Pelican cases with silica packets do the trick in keeping electronics safe from moisture. The Pelican cases keep the equipment stored airtight and the silica packets keep the inside of the case nice and dry. In our opinion, it’s totally worth the investment to protect the equipment you might not use every day.
#4 Dealing with Mold in Hawaii: Use a Dehumidifier
If your home or apartment in Hawai’i has a major problem with moisture, and subsequently mold, we recommend investing in a dehumidifier. It can eliminate water from the air quickly and is also an efficient piece of equipment to have running if you leave your home for long periods of time.
#5 Dealing with Mold in Hawaii: Kill Mold Spores
If the mold has already made its way into your home, here is one of the more effective ways to kill off the infestations. According to the EPA, FamilyHandyMan.com, and the New York Times, bleach may not be the best way to say “be gone!” to those pesky mold spores because of the toxic effects they can have on living organisms. Bleach might be a great short-term solution for getting rid of mold (a living organism), but remember that we are living organisms, too. So, what’s a good compromise? These sources concluded that more natural solutions may be the answer. What do we recommend? Vinegar. Because, let’s face it, mold season is year-round in Hawai’i. The vinegar doesn’t need to be diluted, so that’s one less step towards a mold-free house. All you need to do is:
- Add vinegar to spray bottle and spray directly on mold
- Let sit for 5 to 10 minutes
- Scrub and wipe clean
- Repeat if necessary
The same steps can be taken with bleach (a 50:50 water-to-bleach solution) for non-porous surfaces only (plastic, metal, glass, etc.)
What are some of your tips and tricks to deal with mold in Hawai’i?