The ultimate guide to combatting the mould we know you all have in your Bristol student houses

Opening your windows while it’s 2 degrees outside is not the only way

Bizarrely, it seems to be a shock to first year students looking for second year housing that the vast majority of houses will have some form of a mould problem. You’re not in Hiatt Baker anymore, everyone has to deal with it unfortunately. 

This is a definitive guide on how to deal with mould. Written by students for students and approved by students’ dads. It will tell you all you need to know about combatting the number one enemy this winter.

1. Catch it and kill it ASAP

As soon as you catch even a glimpse of mould, you need to be checking the rest of your house for any other lurking mildew.

Common areas affected by mould include: windowsills, ceiling corners, shower curtains, behind wardrobes and furniture, curtains, areas near your sink and your drawers. Check every obscure place you can think of so you don’t end up like the student who found mould in their kitchen utensil drawer. Your bathroom will be the main affected area so you need to get on top of preventing this issue. 

Once the mould is found, eliminate the problem to prevent it spreading. 

2. Keep everything dry, warm and ventilated 

Yes, we are in a cost of living crisis but the hard truth is that where there’s cold and damp, there is soon to be mould so keeping your belongs at the very least dry is a priority. 

Heat will help, though the cost of heating is extortionate. Consider investing in a small space heater or even a heated clothes horse if your housemates refuse to turn on the heating. 

You need to keep your house ventilated. Get that extractor fan on in your bathroom and kitchen during your shower and cooking. It’s freezing but open those windows as well when you can or when you’re not in a room. This applies especially if you’re drying clothes, you need some sort of ventilation to get rid of the excess moisture produced. 

In the matter of drying clothes, you need to get them dry ASAP otherwise your beloved garms will be stinking of mildew instead of Lynx body spray. Consider taking them to a laundromat if you can, or begging your housemates to use the tumble dryer (if you’re fortunate enough to have one). 

Some landlords have been kind enough, and by kind enough we mean have been hassled enough, to provide a heater for extreme cases of damp. So don’t be shy with pestering them. 

3. Mould spray is your best friend

Run down to your local big supermarket or homeware shop and you’ll be sure to find all kinds of mould spray. We recommend the cheeky £1.50 bargain from Wilko. 

Can’t find any mould spray? One housing agent suggested to a student upon the discovery of mould in their cupboards to use straight bleach, even the toilet cleaning kind, as your main goal is to eliminate the mould and prevent it from spreading. Just spritz a cloth with it and get to wiping at the mould, though be cautious as it can damage certain surfaces such as textile and paintwork. 

Our favourite technique for hard to reach mould is the old cloth drowned in mould spray attached to a broom technique, as demonstrated above. 

Your house will stink of bleach after but it’s better than mildew.  

4. Dehumidifier 

Another purchase that will be cheaper than turning on the heater. This will take the excess moisture out of the air without the need for opening a window in these practically arctic conditions we have. 

In the case of this student, they were lucky enough to have a land lord that provided a dehumidifier to deal with the damp once the issue was raised.

Also consider damp traps, though these are somewhat hard to come by in store these days. They can also be found on Amazon.


Damp is a structural issue that needs to be raised to your landlord or housing agent. Yes, at times this will take some haggling and a whole lot of emails but you need to resolve the issue of damp before it turns into mould. With hope, the landlord or housing agent will be able to provide a solution, as seen with the reimbursed laundry, heater and dehumidifier. 

All in all, dealing with mould is not something you should be leaving until your spring clean, it’s dangerous to both your health and your end of year deposit return so keep on top of it this winter. 

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