Mold and mildew are natural byproducts of a humid environment, but that doesn’t mean you want to share your home with the spores. Rather than turning to harsh chemicals like bleach or borax to banish mold, there are natural ways to kill mold in the home that won’t hurt your family, pets. or the environment.
Although you can dilute it with water to reduce the pungent odor, vinegar works best as a mold repellant when sprayed directly from a bottle onto the offending area. Leave it on for a few hours, then scrub the mold with a brush. If the smell of vinegar bothers you, add a few drops of essential oil, but if not, know that the powerful smell will be gone when you come back from running errands or going to work. Studies have shown that white vinegar kills 82 percent of mold spores, as well as viruses and bacteria. Vinegar can also prevent mildew if you spray it on surfaces and let it dry.
2. Tea tree oil solution
Tea tree oil, while effective as a natural anti-mold agent, is more expensive than some other eco-friendly remedies, but only two teaspoons of tea tree oil mixed with two cups of water. can last a while. Spray the solution on the mold spores but do not rinse. Tea tree oil also has a strong odor, which will wear off within a few days.
3. Citrus seed extract and water
Unlike vinegar and tea tree oil, citrus seed extract (like grapefruit) has no odor. Dilute about 20 drops of extract with 2 cups of water, mix in a spray bottle and spray on the mold. As with the other solutions, do not rinse.
4. Hydrogen peroxide
Spray three percent hydrogen peroxide from a bottle on the moldy surface and let sit for about 10 minutes. Scrub, then wipe with a damp cloth to remove residual mold spores. You can also use hydrogen peroxide and vinegar together, then store the bottle in a dark place (as light breaks down the potency of hydrogen peroxide).
5. Baking soda
Used with vinegar and water or alone with water, baking soda is effective in naturally removing mold. Dissolve the baking soda in water or a solution of water and vinegar and spray on the surface. Let sit, then rub and wipe with a damp cloth. Baking soda is a natural and very gentle disinfectant, so this solution will clean away mold without leaving an odor.
How to prevent mold naturally? Frequently wipe wet surfaces, run a dehumidifier (or try these DIY approaches), spray vinegar on damp surfaces like showers when you’re done, and most importantly, be on the lookout for leaks. Mold is natural, but not so much in the house.