Mold is a pesky problem that has to be dealt with right away! Unfortunately, the most commonly used solutions are sometimes just as bothersome as the problem itself! Fumigators, bleach and other specific products are bad for your health, heavy on the environment and risky for cute little nosy pets!
Thankfully, natural and DIY sprays can be just as effective in ridding your home from the mold and mildew Summer left behind.
Sometimes, the oldest trick in the book does turn out to be one of the most effective! Vinegar alone is known to kill up to 82 percent of mold, if sprayed on the area and left to settle. White distilled vinegar can also be mixed with a few drops of essential oils—for both effectiveness and a less disturbing smell.
For a quick, effortless clean, generously pour vinegar on a disposable towel and wipe the mold off. After a couple of hours, wipe the area again, this time using a damp towel. Remember to allow the area to air dry properly and make sure you have proper ventilation, as mold thrives on humidity.
You can also opt for a vinegar and baking soda-based concoction, made out of one part vinegar mixed with one part water, adding another two parts baking soda and one part vinegar. This will result in a thick paste that can be spread over the infested area and left there until it dries. Once dry, simply scrub it off and reapply if needed.
Pros: Vinegar-based mold removal solutions are eco-friendly, non-toxic, and easy to make. Not to mention that they call for using ingredients that you already have lying around in your kitchen, so no need to spend money.
Cons: The smell can, at times, be quite disturbing, especially if vinegar needs to be sprayed on large portions. The vinegar and baking soda option can also require a lot of effort when applied on large areas.
An easy — and more pleasant — method of ridding your house of mold is by using essential oils. Tea tree oil is an effective anti-microbial, and one teaspoon combined with two cups water can do wonders in cleaning your infested area.
The same goes for grapefruit seed extract, a well-known antifungal and antibacterial agent that can be found at any health food store. Mix ten drops of grapefruit seed per cup of water and pour into a spray bottle; shake well and spray onto the surface where the mold is growing. No need to rinse it off; in fact, the longer it stays on the surface, the more powerful the effect!
Pros: Despite being as eco-friendly as they get, essential oils are completely harmless to both people and pets. So if you have puppies, cats or any other pets, essential oils are probably the best course of action.
Cons: Whichever essential oil you might choose, it can get really expensive, especially if your mold has begun to spread.
Dry Ice Blasting
Dry ice (and its ever increasing number of uses) has also made its way to our list of effective, environmentally friendly mold removals. Dry ice blasting removes mold naturally, the low temperature of the ice coupled with its high impact killing virtually every existing mold spore on the surface it is applied to.
Pros: Non-toxic, requires no scrubbing or extra effort, and is highly effective.
Cons: It can turn out to be quite expensive for small areas, and it must be handled with extra care.
By spraying three percent hydrogen peroxide to a mold-infested surface, leaving it to sit for ten minutes, then scrubbing it carefully, you will be mold-free in no time! Adding vinegar to the mix can help increase its effectiveness even more.
Pros: Pretty effective, no hassle, and you can then store the hydrogen peroxide in a dark place until the next time you have use for it.
Cons: Although commonly used in many medical and household products, if not scrubbed off properly, hydrogen peroxide may be harmful for your pets.
Another handy mold removal is baking soda, dissolved in either water or vinegar and sprayed onto the surface. Take 2 to 3 tablespoons baking soda, mix them in 2 cups warm water (mix well, or else the baking soda might clog your spray nozzle), then slowly add a cup of white distilled vinegar. Shake well, apply to the surface, let it sit about 15 minutes, then scrub it off using a heavy duty sponge.
For lighter mold stains, mix baking soda with water alone to form a thick paste; apply it and let dry, then scrub off thoroughly. The baking soda removes all unwanted smells, while also bleaching the moldy areas. Half a cup of baking soda poured into your kitchen sink drain along with a cup of vinegar can also rid you of unwanted sink drain mold.
Pros: Very cheap and you can usually find it lying around the house.
Cons: Works solely on small mold infested areas, less effective on larger areas. Also, its role is mostly that of cleaning the mold from your walls, rather than killing the mold spores altogether.
All the methods described above can prove to be extremely useful when dealing with growing mold and small infested areas around the house; however, if you find yourself dealing with extensive mold damage, don’t try to tackle it yourself and turn to a mold removal specialist before it spreads even further!
Naudine Bennett works and writes for Above & Beyond Unlimited Cleaning – a mold remediation company located in central New Jersey. You can follow Naudine on Twitter and like on Facebook.
This post was generously sponsored by Above & Beyond Unlimited Cleaning.
Image credit: Matti Mattila via photopin cc
Awesome list. I’ve always used baking soda, myself. I can’t say I’ve ever heard of dry ice blasting, but it sounds cool (pun intended)! Also sounds like I’d need to be super careful if trying it out.
Dry ice seems to be emerging as a more popular mold remediation treatment. I hadn’t even heard of this process until recently. (Isn’t dry ice for halloween?!). It is comforting to know that there are some in-home treatments, however it seems like no matter what your plan of attack, you’ll be spending quite a bit of money to remediate the problem.
Great list. Thanks for posting. You have gained a subscriber for life. Dry ice seems to be emerging as a new remedy as of late.