Asked on Nov 01, 2015

How do I remove mold from window sashes and frames?

by Franne
My renters just moved out and a walk-thru revealed mold on the window sills/sashes/frames. They had heavy, rubber lined, curtains on all the bedroom and living room windows. I don't believe these curtains were ever opened and resulted in condensation that they never wiped off. Any ideas on how to fix this short of refinishing/replacing the windows? I'm just sick about it. These windows were in excellent condition when they moved in.
Note the mold on the sill
Same here...different room.
  39 answers
  • Janet Pizaro Janet Pizaro on Nov 01, 2015
    I would try a bleach mixture with water and a heavy scrub brush to kill the mold then follow up with a heavy duty cleaner like simple green.
  • on Nov 01, 2015
    we had a water leak under our kitchen and as a result had mold literally climbing the walls...the people at ServePro said you have to starve it of water and my bleach/water combo was bad...they said to use straight Dawn brand dish soap (other soaps are water based) and rub it directly on. It will harden and starve the mold of moisture...killing it. Never spray anything on mold cause it will scatter the spore. After a week or so go back and wipe it. That's all I know.
  • SG SG on Nov 01, 2015
    Bleach is the answer. Some say to scrub with soap first but I go straight to the bleach. I used a scrub brush and/or a nail brush. It can be hard to get in the cracks. Watch (or have your tenants watch) the affected areas. The winter may bring condensation if the humidity is too high. It is easier to remove a little than a lot. Good luck.
  • Z Z on Nov 01, 2015
    I decided to look further into Dawn Dish Detergent idea. Here's what I found at the link below. You can bet I'll be changing how to tackle mold and mildew from now on.
  • Francisco37388 Francisco37388 on Nov 01, 2015
    Hello Franne in Mequon, WI! This is Franne in Estill Springs, TN! I don't have much to add to what's already been shared. I know that straight regular white vinegar will sanitize as well as bleach and will also kill the mold. But the bleach will kill it and lighten the stain as well. There may always be some 'hint' of the stain left. Brushing the mixture in with a small brush would help as well. Good luck! franne
  • Arlis Arlis on Nov 02, 2015
    dampen a rag, sprinkle with salt and scrub away mold...then wash down the area with strong salt water (not soak) to discourage mold from growing again. Baking soda kills mold also--I use it to kill toad stools in my yard...those are the same as mold
  • Jud1016678 Jud1016678 on Nov 02, 2015
    Use bleach and a tad of Dawn! Be sure and wear gloves! Sometimes vinegar works also!
  • Jean DeSavage Jean DeSavage on Nov 02, 2015
    Be sure to wear a mask as well as gloves! You definitely don't want to breathe in the mold spores,it could cause lung problems! No matter how you work to clean it up, when wet the spores will be spread as you scrub, especially if you use a brush.
  • Jeanette S Jeanette S on Nov 02, 2015
    Wear a mask and gloves and use rags and a small brush you can throw away (Even an old toothbrush will work here)! Dip the small brush in mixture of half water and half bleach mixture and scrub it off...then wipe dry. Sadly, mold can leave a dark stain even though you have cleaned it. Let this dry and repeat if desired. You may have to repaint. Clean rags and brush with bleach and discard! Look to see if you can find mold retardant paint...I haven't painted in so long I don't know if there is such a product, but it would be worth it to investigate. I have heard you can put a small amount of bleach in your paint to impede mold, but I would consult a professional on that!
  • Wvl2825680 Wvl2825680 on Nov 02, 2015
    Use hydrogen peroxide full strength.
  • Nana moving on Nana moving on on Nov 02, 2015
    Pick up some "Awsome" at the dollar store. I've found it removes mold, mildew, cigarette smoke and film, everything! And is 1.00 a spray bottle. Refill is larger bottle without the sprayer also for 1.00.
  • Pat Nugent Pat Nugent on Nov 02, 2015
    Hydrogen peroxide in a spray bottle. Spray area and let sit til peroxide no longer bubbles. Scrub with toothbrush or any type brush with similar bristles. You can whiten up with Mr. Clean scrubbing pads. I've done this method myself with much success.
  • Patty Patty on Nov 02, 2015
    I just cleaned my with bleach in a spray bottle and an old toothbrush then sprayed with Lysol to prevent more mold
  • DORLIS DORLIS on Nov 02, 2015
    I assume that this will work on walls also.
  • Carrol Aizenman Carrol Aizenman on Nov 02, 2015
    I clean mine with clorox (or any bleach) wipe. It's quick & easy, but I also do it often. Also, wiping it with white vinegar can help delay its reappearance.
  • Toni Allinder Toni Allinder on Nov 02, 2015
    I use bleach and water and a brush. As I was looking at the windows I was wondering where the chalking was. They also make a mold resistant paint that you can use after cleaning up the windows.
  • Carol Potts Carol Potts on Nov 02, 2015
    Jomax or Simple Green sold at Lowe's works on taking mold/mildew off anything.
  • Patricia Peterson Patricia Peterson on Nov 02, 2015
    Ableach will work. But the mold is caused by moisture. The mold will come back unles you fix whatever is causing moisture on the inside
  • Patricia Peterson Patricia Peterson on Nov 02, 2015
    Bleach will work. But the mold is caused by moisture being trapped there. The mold will come back, unless you fix the moisture problem
  • Bjarne Frost Bjarne Frost on Nov 02, 2015
    What you have in your window, is mold. You need pure Rodalon, take it on the windowsill, let it sit for about 20-30 minutes. It will kill the roots of mold, wipe with a sponge, and you will not get mold anymore.
  • Pis2225486 Pis2225486 on Nov 02, 2015
    I live in the woods in NC where the mold creeps in any place it can so we have a lot of experience getting rid of it. Bleach will not kill all the mold & spores, only some and the rest masked. Apple Cider Vinegar (Bragg's is the best). You may need several treatments. I'm so sorry to hear that. As renter's it makes me so mad when people disrespect the spaces they live in. They give the rest of us such a bad name!
  • on Nov 02, 2015
    Bleach will get the job done. Afterward you may want to seal the wood so it doesn't happen again:
  • Marci N Marci N on Nov 02, 2015
    I just read something on line about mold.bleach works but it can harm. The hack was to use dish soap, hydrogen peroxide, and water in a spray bottle. Spray it on let it set and wipe it off. Hydrogen peroxide has many uses. I will see if I can find it for you.
  • Marci N Marci N on Nov 02, 2015 I found this, I do know that you don't mix vinegar and baking soda in a bottle. It foams and can burst the bottle. Other than that these work good. Though if the mold is in between two panes of glass you can't reach it and the window will probably need replacing as the seal is broken.
    • Jessica Dawn Jessica Dawn on Jun 20, 2019

      I heard mixing vinegar and peroxide is effective with killing mold, but what about on metal?

  • Martha Martha on Nov 02, 2015
    Currently researching the topic myself. Bleach will NOT kill the deep root of the mold and will create moisture deep in the wood which in turn creates perfect conditions for mold to return. A cheap solution is white vinegar. Spray generously and let dry. You can mop up over saturation. White vinegar will penetrate and get to the root of the mold. You can also purchase a product at Lowe's or Home Depot called Concrobium Mold Control. Nothing have used so far actually removes the staining. But maybe after wiping down you can repaint
  • Lisa Perez Lisa Perez on Nov 02, 2015
    Hi. I bought a house that had mold. Bleach does kill the surface mold. However, it is harmful and toxic. I used tea tree oil. It's natural and non toxic. It truly works on surface areas. Tea tree oil also prevents mold. Now the problem you may be facing is how long has the mold been there and how far it has spread. Did it get into the wall surrounding the Windows? Only one way to find out. You have to take out a piece of wall big enough (baseball size) to see inside. Mold inside the wall will be black and webbish looking. In my opinion and previous experience going through a horrible mold situation, you really must replace the wood and check to see if the mold had grown in the dark damp space between the walls. Anything that the mold has settled and grown on will have to be replaced. Once you are done getting rid of the mold, before putting your walls, wood, framing, etc., spray a mix of tea tree oil and water solution all over the inside of the area. Let this dry thoroughly and then replace whatever has been damaged. This will help in the future to stop mold damage. I'm no professional. Speaking purely from my own experience in ehich I researched countless hours before taking on the very costly repairs from mold damage. Good luck to you!! Hope this helps.
  • Shannon Shannon on Nov 02, 2015
    I work for a window company we tell our customers to wash their windows down with a bleach & water mixture and then sand down, refinish and seal them with a coat of poly.
  • Liliana Wells Liliana Wells on Nov 06, 2015
    I have removed surface mold with the hydrogen peroxide method. I sprayed it and let it rest for a few minutes; then wiped it off. It removed it. If the mold has turned to black mold as described by Lisa Perez, that's another story altogether and much more involved. Also, if you have a dehumidifier, it will help in the future to prevent mold from growing again. We use one in our basement; even though we have no leaks, we still have a lot of moisture.
  • Eileen Graybill Eileen Graybill on Nov 07, 2015
    I used hydrogen peroxide
  • Penny Krueger Penny Krueger on Nov 07, 2015
    I use peroxide and it kills the mold and then seal with polyurethane
  • Faye Campbell Faye Campbell on Nov 13, 2015
    We've been told by the mold experts that bleach does not kill mold but washing it with Palmolive dish soap does. Bleach does not kill organic substances,which mold is.
    • See 1 previous
    • Faye Campbell Faye Campbell on Sep 22, 2016
      Thanks for clarifying this issue for me Brenda.
  • Jane R. Jane R. on Jul 28, 2017

    There are many cleaners to get rid of surface mold. I just want to say you can't blame the renters. Moisture and humidity are the cause. If the windows sweat the sills will get moldy from water running down onto them. I had this problem and fixed it by putting double pane windows in my house. I literally had to keep towels on the window sills and wipe down the windows twice a day. It wasn't like that when we first bought this house. It started years later. Good luck.

  • Martha Martha on Jan 12, 2018

    Bleach is good on non-porous surfaces but to penetrate wood or porous materials, white vinegar is the cheapest route. The area should be saturated and left to dry. Sometimes you cannot rid the stain so you may have to paint or refinish the surface after everything is good and dry. Make sure the problem is not a recurring issue or you will have mold back regardless of what you do. There is also a product that you can get at Lowe's and Home Depo called Mold Control Concrobium. Can get it in gallon size.

  • Nikki Warner Nikki Warner on Jan 13, 2019

    Your renters did not cause the mold you have bad seals around your windows and it causes condensation to build up. Not because they used heavy curtains. Replace the windows.

  • Em Em on Jul 19, 2021

    Vinegar. Vinegar is a mild acid that's effective for killing mold and can actually help prevent future mold growth.

  • Dmholt4391 Dmholt4391 on Dec 31, 2021

    Bleach water w/ a little soap.

  • EdaMund EdaMund on May 27, 2024

    It's a bummer that your renters didn't keep up with wiping off the condensation, but hey, accidents happen, right? Since the windows were in excellent condition before, it's worth trying to salvage them without resorting to a full-blown refinish or replacement. You could start by giving them a thorough clean with a mold remover solution (just be sure to ventilate the area well!). After that, keeping the area well-ventilated and using a dehumidifier could help prevent mold from coming back. Maybe reaching out to a local mold remediation service, like mold remediation san diego, could provide some professional advice tailored to your specific situation. They might have some tips or tricks that could save you from having to replace the windows altogether.