The sooner you deal with small amounts of mold—like mold growing in your washing machine, refrigerator, or dishwasher—the better your chances of preventing it from spreading to other parts of your house. But if you have children or pets at home, you want to get rid of mold in the safest, most natural way possible.
Harsh chemicals are not the only way to deal with mold and mildew. There are several natural remedies for cleaning indoor mold and preventing it from growing back.
However, take caution! If there is a lot of mold, you may need professional assistance. The EPA recommends that you seek mold remediation if the affected area is larger than 10 square feet.
Here’s how to fight mold naturally and safely, without putting your family’s health at further risk.
Five Home Remedies for Mold
1: Distilled White Vinegar
The high acidity of vinegar will destroy mold spores. It’s a safe alternative to harsher products like bleach that can damage your furniture or fabrics. It can, however, leave a lingering odor. To improve the scent, you can add a few drops of an anti-fungal essential oil like clove oil or tea tree oil (see below).
2: Tea Tree Oil
Also known as melaleuca oil, this naturally anti-fungal essential oil is named after the Australian tea tree it comes from. The terpenoids in tea tree oil are both antiseptic and antifungal, so it’s often an ingredient in natural cleaners like yoga mat spray. Some people are sensitive to tea tree oil, however, so use with caution—adding one tablespoon to a spray bottle full of water should do the trick.
3: Baking Soda
Adding baking soda to a vinegar solution will help make it more potent. Making a paste with vinegar and baking soda is a great way to get rid of stubborn mold (like the mildew in the grout between your shower tiles). Use eight tablespoons of baking soda and 4 tablespoons of white vinegar to make a paste, spread it on the affected area, let it dry, then simply brush away.
4: Hydrogen Peroxide
You may have used hydrogen peroxide to disinfect a wound, but did you know that it’s useful for killing mold as well? Hydrogen peroxide kills microorganisms like bacteria and mold by breaking down their proteins and DNA. It’s typically sold in a 3% solution—just add it to a spray bottle and get to work.
5: Air-Purifying Houseplants
In rooms with high moisture and poor ventilation, certain houseplants can help reduce the number of airborne mold spores. Spider plants, Boston ferns, and English ivy can all help improve your indoor air quality. They might enjoy all that extra steam in your bathroom! Just make sure to check that their soil is dry before you give them a drink, to prevent over-watering.
Here’s how to clean mold safely:
- Wear old clothing and protective gear like an N-95 face mask, goggles, and rubber gloves.
- Open the windows or turn on a fan to improve ventilation.
- Prepare your preferred cleaning solution in a spray bottle.
- Spray the affected surface and allow it to air dry completely.
- Wash down the area with hot, soapy water.
Never try to wipe mold away—this will only release more spores into the air. Spray the area to kill the mold, and wait to clean up any discoloration until after the surface is completely dry.
Professional Mold Removal and Remediation in Spokane
Remember, natural remedies are for small jobs only. If the amount of mold on the area you’re cleaning exceeds ten square feet, it’s time to call in the professionals. But don’t worry—there are professional-strength mold remediation practices that don’t use harsh chemicals.
My Pure Environment uses a dry fog mold remediation method that is 100% safe, natural, and environmentally friendly. It won’t harm you, your kids, your pets, your furniture, or even your electronics. To learn more or to schedule a free inspection in Spokane or Coeur d’Alene, give us a call at 509-213-1915 today.