Mold is a nasty household problem. Not only is it unsightly, but mold can aggravate allergies and cause respiratory distress in susceptible individuals as well as structural damage to your home.
Yet some of the cleaners on the market for getting rid of mold can also cause an allergic response and other respiratory problems due to their toxic nature. Here are some natural alternatives for fighting mold in your home.
Non Toxic Ways to Deal With Mold
- Grapefruit seed extract
Grapefruit seed extract, or GSE, is an effective anti-fungal product and it’s odorless. Most health food stores carry GSE (you can also get it online here)- just be sure to get the liquid kind that comes in a dropper bottle (not tablets). Mix 20 drops with 2 cups of water to make an anti-fungal spray, and do not rinse after spraying.
- Tea tree oil
Also an anti-fungal, tea tree oil can be added to water in a ratio of one teaspoon per cup of water, then put in a spray bottle. It does have a pungent odor, but it goes away after about a day. Don’t rinse.
Used straight from a spray bottle, vinegar is especially effective against mildew. Yes, it is rather smelly, but the smell goes away in a day or so. Don’t rinse this treatment, either. You can also use vinegar in the washing machine – wash moldy shower curtains and add a bottle of vinegar to the machine. Floors can be mopped with a vinegar and water solution to keep mold at bay.
- Store-bought natural cleaners
Some stores carry natural mold fighters. These are generally quite effective but can be expensive.
Here are some things you can do to keep mold from returning.
Consider investing in a dehumidifier. While it does use electricity, the water collected in its tank can be used to water plants or flushing toilets. Many dehumidifiers have a connection to which you can attach a hose, and the hose can be directed into your garden, providing a continual drip of moisture to the outdoors, where it belongs!
Run your bathroom’s exhaust fan during and after your shower. If you don’t have a fan, open a window. Air conditioning your home also dries the air.
- Keep things dry
Watch the drips from your shower curtain and kitchen sink. Wipe up even small amounts of spilled water and make sure there are no leaks where moisture can get into your home. Keep your home’s gutters clean and make sure water from downspouts is directed away from the foundation.
Thankfully, there are ways to get rid of household mold without resorting to toxic cleaners.