TikToker praised for genius mould prevention hack: 'Love this'

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With a record number of rainy days on Australia's east coast and more to come, tackling mould is not just for older or poorly ventilated homes.

Most coastal families are in a constant battle against household fungi, not just to save their possessions, but for their health.

An image of the corner of a white ceiling with black mould growing.
Incessant rain makes mould a real problem for many people, but read on to chalk up this simple trick. Photo: Getty Images

Luckily, home organiser and decluttering expert Anita Birges has some savvy advice if you're struggling with ever-increasing spores in your drawers or bedroom.

"I have the best mould prevention hack," Anita assured TikTok viewers.

"It's all about absorbing moisture, especially if you can't get hold of one of those damp rid kits."

Two images of professional organising specialist Anita Birges sharing hack for dealing with mould in the home on TikTok. She has long dark hair worn loose and demonstrates using chalk to absorb moisture.
Professional organising specialist Anita Birges shares her hack for dealing with mould in the home. Photo: TikTok/@miseenplace_au

On Instagram, Anita described her tip as: "The Little Chalk Hack To Keep Mould Away That Every Person Should Know‼"

"Put a few drops of pure clove oil on jumbo sticks of blackboard chalk, then place or hang them in cupboards and drawers around the house and allow the scent to waft around, killing mould spores," she said.

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"Add a few more drops of oil every month or so, once the scent has disappeared. This avoids spraying any more moisture in an already moist house."

Smells good to fans

"Love this! And clove oil smells lovely!" one person commented.

Anita's hack works by using the chalk to absorb the moisture and clove oil to prevent the mould from coming back.

But why is your house under constant attack in wet weather?

What the experts say

"Mould is a fungal growth that thrives on moisture; mould spores are always present in the air, but they only germinate when they encounter moisture and organic material," scientist Anthony Wright explained on the CSIRO blog.

"It can grow on carpets, curtains, walls, ceiling tiles, insulation material, behind furniture and in cluttered storage areas.

"Mould can damage building materials, costing you money in maintenance.

"It can also cause health problems: mould releases toxic chemicals, called mycotoxins, which can cause allergic reactions for some people."

The best advice is to treat mould as soon as you see it, ventilate well and use dehumidifiers to remove moisture from the air.

Best dehumidifiers on the market

Hyundai Dehumidifier and 4.1kW Smart Portable Air Conditioner, $529

This three-in-one dehumidifier, air-conditioner and fan can be controlled via your smartphone. It's ideal for small rooms and has easy glide wheels so you can move the unit around easily. It collects up to 1.5litres of water in an hour and is a refrigerant humidifier.

Hyundai Dehumidifier and 4.1kW Smart Portable Air Conditioner, $529
Hyundai Dehumidifier and 4.1kW Smart Portable Air Conditioner, $529

Ausclimate NWT Large 35L, $599

This refrigerant dehumidifier is CHOICE recommended. It can extract up to 35L of moisture in a day and has full electronic controls with LCD display. There's a continuous draining feature, and it can also act as a clothes dryer.

Ausclimate NWT Large 35L, $599
Ausclimate NWT Large 35L, $599

Laover Dehumidifier for Home, $100.94

This small dehumidifier works sightly differently from conventional machines; it features thermo-electric technology which can pull up to 450ml of water from the air every day. It has two modes; a powerful strength to reduce humidity quickly, and a sleep mode where it runs quietly and it gently removes moisture from the air. It's small, which means it fits well in cupboards or bathrooms, and it has seven different LED lights so you can make a feature of it.

Laover Dehumidifier for Home, $100.94
Laover Dehumidifier for Home, $100.94

Russell Hobbs 2 Litre Dehumidifier, $271.62

This refrigerant dehumidifier can remove up to 10litres of water in 24 hours, and is great in medium-sized spaces such as bedrooms and utility rooms. It has an LED display, electronic controls, a continuous drain function and an integrated handle, so it's easy to move from room to room.

Russell Hobbs 2 Litre Dehumidifier, $271.62
Russell Hobbs 2 Litre Dehumidifier, $271.62

Breville Smart Dry Dehumidifier, $348

This compact machine is suitable for small rooms and can extract up to 10L a day of moisture. It has a special laundry mode to dry clothes, and you can put it on a timer that can be controlled with your phone. It also comes with a 2-stage air filtration which filters for dust and pet dander, and odours and smoke.

Breville Smart Dry Dehumidifier
Breville Smart Dry Dehumidifier, $348

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