Mold (downy mildew) is a type of fungus that thrives in humid environments. It typically grows in damp areas of your home, such as the basement and around leaks.
There are a number of household products that can be used to remove mold in your home. You may already have one of these products, hydrogen peroxide, in your medicine cabinet.
Keep reading to find out when to use hydrogen peroxide for mold removal and when it may be best to seek professional help.
Hydrogen peroxide is commonly used to disinfect open wounds because it has antimicrobial properties.
When applied to these microorganisms, hydrogen peroxide kills them by breaking down their essential components like their
In 2013 study, the researchers tested the potential of hydrogen peroxide to inhibit the growth of six common types of household fungi.
The researchers concluded that hydrogen peroxide (along with bleach, 70% isopropyl alcohol and two commercial products) has the potential to inhibit fungal growth on solid surfaces, but is unlikely to be effective in killing mold on porous surfaces.
When mold penetrates porous surfaces like wood, ceiling tiles and fabrics, the surface should be replaced.
Hydrogen peroxide can be used safely on many solid surfaces, such as:
- table set
- a glass
- around your shower
As we mentioned, hydrogen peroxide is unlikely to inhibit mold growth on porous surfaces like fabrics and wood. If you notice mold growing on bath rugs, wooden walls, or other porous surfaces, the object or surface should be disposed of safely in accordance with your local disposal rules.
Hydrogen peroxide has the potential to bleach certain types of natural fabrics like wool.
Hydrogen peroxide is generally safe on solid surfaces and even on most synthetic fabrics. To avoid accidental bleaching, be sure to wash off all of the hydrogen peroxide after you are done cleaning the mold.
When cleaning up mold in your home, it’s a good idea to wear protective gloves, goggles, and a mask to avoid coming into contact with mold spores.
Here’s how you can clean mildew from solid surfaces using hydrogen peroxide:
- Pour 3% hydrogen peroxide (the standard percentage sold in pharmacies) in a spray bottle. Spray it on the moldy surface until the area is completely covered.
- Let sit for about 10 minutes or until the hydrogen peroxide stops bubbling.
- Scrub the mold and hydrogen peroxide with a rag or soft brush. Start by rubbing gently to avoid damaging the surface under the mold and slowly rub harder as needed.
- When finished, wipe down the surface with a clean rag or rag.
- Repeat if necessary.
Hydrogen peroxide is just one of the many household ingredients you can use to clean up mold. Using vinegar is another effective way to clean mold in your home.
However, it is important not to mix hydrogen peroxide and vinegar together.
Hydrogen peroxide is known to react with vinegar to create
peracetic acid, which is a poisonous substance that can irritate the eyes, skin or lungs.
Many people use bleach to get rid of mold and mildew in their home. Even though bleach can be effective in cleaning up mold
In addition to hydrogen peroxide, the following household ingredients can also help you get rid of mold.
Tea tree oil
Tea tree oil is an extract from a small tree called Melaleuca alternifolia. The oil contains an antimicrobial chemical called terpinene-4-ol which can inhibit the growth of fungi.
To use tea tree oil, try mixing a teaspoon of the oil with about a cup of water or a cup of vinegar. Spray it directly on the mold and let it sit for an hour before rubbing.
Household vinegar typically contains around 5-8% acetic acid, which has the potential to kill certain types of mold by disrupting the pH balance of the mold.
To use vinegar to kill mold, you can spray undiluted white vinegar on the moldy area and let sit for about 1 hour before cleaning.
Again, it is important to avoid mixing vinegar with hydrogen peroxide.
Baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) is known to have antimicrobial properties and has the potential to kill bacteria, fungi, and other small organisms. A 2017 study found that baking soda was able to inhibit mold growth on hazelnuts.
Try combining a tablespoon of baking soda with a cup of water and spraying it on an area of ââmold in your home. Let the mixture sit for at least 10 minutes.
Grapefruit seed extract
Grapefruit seed oil contains a number of compounds, including citric acid and flavonoids, which can kill household molds.
Try putting 10 drops of the extract in a cup of water and shaking vigorously. Spray it on the moldy area and let it sit for about 10 to 15 minutes.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends hiring a professional to clean up mold in your home if the moldy area is larger than 10 square feet.
You should also hire a professional cleaner if you have mold in your air conditioning, heating, or ventilation systems.
If you have a known mold allergy or have a medical condition that could be made worse by inhaling mold, you should avoid doing the cleanup yourself.
Taking steps to reduce humidity in your home can help prevent mold growth before it starts. According to
- Keep the humidity in your home below 50 percent.
- Repair leaks in your windows, pipes and roof.
- Use exhaust fans in the kitchen and bathroom.
- Dry your home completely within 24 to 48 hours of a flood.
- Use anti-mold products when cleaning your bathroom.
- Immediately dry or replace rugs and upholstery that have been soaked.
- Add mold inhibitors to your paints.
You can use hydrogen peroxide to clean mildew from solid surfaces in your home. However, if you’re dealing with an area of ââmold that’s larger than about 10 square feet, the EPA recommends bringing in a professional cleaner.
If you have a mold allergy, respiratory problem, or health problem that could be made worse by mold exposure, you should avoid doing the cleanup yourself.