5 Natural Methods For Mold Removal at Home
Molds and mildew are natural byproducts of humid environments, but that doesn’t mean you have to share your home with them. Here are some natural ways to banish them that won’t harm your family or the environment.
A quarter teaspoon of baking soda mixed with water can scrub surface mold from non-porous surfaces. It’s also cheap, safe to use and has a pleasant smell that goes away quickly.
1. Hydrogen Peroxide
Hydrogen Peroxide is a powerful mold remediator. It is safe, inexpensive and environmentally friendly. It kills viruses, bacteria and mold spores. It also penetrates surfaces better than bleach and doesn’t leave fumes.
Add a small amount of 3% hydrogen peroxide to a spray bottle. Spray the area and let sit for 10 minutes or longer (depending on how soiled it is). Scrub with a brush or rag and wipe dry. Repeat as needed. It is important to note that it can lighten colors on fabric, so test a small patch before using on larger areas.
While this method works well for removing surface mold on non-porous surfaces, it won’t prevent regrowth as it only removes the outer layer of spores. It’s best to follow up with a thorough cleaning with a detergent and water or an air purifier in order to truly get rid of the spores for good. In addition, if you notice the spores grow back quickly, you may have a larger issue that needs professional attention.
2. White Vinegar
A simple household item, white vinegar can be used to kill molds and mildew spores in a safe way. It can be applied to most surfaces including certain wall materials, hard flooring and metals.
To use white vinegar to kill molds, mix equal parts of water and distilled white vinegar in a spray bottle and apply directly onto the area that needs cleaning. For porous surfaces like walls, let the mixture soak in for an hour before scrubbing the surface using a stiff-bristled brush. Rinse the surface with clean warm water and wipe dry.
Unlike bleach, which is caustic and can cause eye, skin and respiratory irritation, diluted vinegar is less likely to damage surfaces and will not leave behind an unpleasant odor. It has the potential to penetrate porous surfaces and remove underlying mold membranes as well as the visible mold growth on top of the surface. It is also reported to kill 82% of known mold species.
3. Dish Soap
A common cleaning product found in most homes, dish soap has the ability to clean away mold and mildew. However, unlike hydrogen peroxide and white vinegar, it doesn’t have the capability to kill mold spores. It can be combined with these cleaners to boost their cleaning power.
Dish soap is also effective at washing away mildewed fabrics. Washing mildewed clothes in hot water with detergent is enough to remove mold spores and eliminate the odor, according to the National Institute of Allergy and Infection Diseases.
When you’re cleaning up a serious mold problem, it’s important to put on a face mask and gloves before beginning the cleanup process. It’s also a good idea to set up a non-cleaning area where you can keep your phone, snack and drink so that spores don’t spread throughout the rest of your home. Once you’re finished, be sure to dispose of all items that come into contact with mold residue, including sponges, rags and disposable clothing.
4. Tea Tree Oil
Unlike bleach and other chemicals that are harmful to people, Tea Tree Oil is safe to use for mold removal. It is also a natural cleaner that kills mold and prevents its regrowth on surfaces. This method is especially effective for eliminating black mold which cannot be eliminated by household cleaning products.
You can make a solution of one teaspoon of Tea Tree Oil and water. Pour the mixture into a spray bottle and spray it on the affected area. Leave it to sit for about an hour. Then wipe it with clean towels. You can repeat the process until the surface is clean.
Vinegar is another natural way to kill mold and prevent its recurrence. It contains antifungal properties that penetrate deep into porous materials and kill mold spores at the root. You can also mix it with water to make a spray and use it on surfaces that are susceptible to mold as a preemptive measure.