Knowing how to get rid of mold is essential because it can be dangerous to your health and that of your family. Not only is it unsightly and has an unpleasant odor, it can also worsen respiratory diseases and allergies.
Even if you clean it regularly, you can still get mold, and it can quickly get out of hand if not treated properly. “The mold must always be removed, if only for health reasons, but also for cosmetic reasons, because if left unchecked it can cause real and lasting damage to your home ”, Sara Ashdown, cleaning products expert at Brandrated.
There are many chemicals on the market that will do the trick, but they can be harsh and sometimes toxic. This guide will walk you through how to get rid of mold using six different natural methods, so that mold doesn’t come back into your home. If mold is a problem for you, you can also take a look at our guides on how to get rid of mold when cleaning your washing machine and how to safely deal with the dreaded black mold.
Preparation for cleaning mold
Extra care should be taken when it comes to removing mold. Mold can be dangerous to your health when spores are inhaled, according to advice from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Cleaning expert Heather Barrigan explains, “Mold can be toxic and cause several health problems, including eye inflammation and eyeball damage. It has also been shown to kill neurons in the brain, leading to neurological issues that can lead to seizures and tremors. It is essential to wear the right clothes, have the right tools and prepare the area well before tackling mold.
What to wear to remove mold
- Wear a breathing mask to protect yourself from spores, as well as rubber gloves and eye protection.
- Make sure your skin is completely covered from head to toe – disposable coveralls can be a good option here and will ensure that mildew doesn’t transfer to your clothes. If you wear your own clothes, be sure to wash them directly in a hot wash when you’re done.
How to Prepare Areas for Mold Removal
- Turn off your air conditioning or central air system. You don’t want air to circulate while you are doing this work.
- Close the doors to prevent mold spores from moving around while you clean.
- Use a fan near open windows and exterior doors to move the airborne spores outside.
- Check the humidity in the area. If there is none, moisten the mold with water to prevent the spores from spreading into the air.
How to clean mold using six different methods
These DIY solutions use natural ingredients rather than chemical formulas, but it’s important to point out that you should always wear a mask to limit your exposure to mold spores, even if your cleaning solution isn’t toxic.
Mold can be removed from hard surfaces such as bathroom fixtures and tiles, but if porous items, such as wooden bath trays or fabric bath rugs, have become moldy, they will need to be discarded and replaced.
1. Removing mold with vinegar
Vinegar has been used for centuries to remove unwanted spores and is an effective cleaning solution. Also find out how to clean windows and how to clean a shower head with vinegar.
- Pour undiluted white vinegar into a spray bottle with a few drops of lemon juice.
- Spray on the infected area and leave to act for about an hour.
- Wipe the area clean and rub it dry.
- Although many find the smell of vinegar a bit intense, it should wear off within a few hours.
2. Removing mold with hydrogen peroxide
Hydrogen peroxide is a natural antifungal and is perfect for fighting molds thanks to its antiseptic properties.
- Pour a 3% concentration of hydrogen peroxide into a spray bottle.
- Saturate the moldy surface with the solution, let it soak for ten minutes, then scrub vigorously with enough force to remove the mold.
- When you are finished, make sure the area is dry and repeat the treatment as needed.
3. Removing mold with baking soda
Baking soda has a dual purpose. Not only does it kill mold, but it also absorbs moisture, reducing the risk of mold returning. Along with vinegar, baking soda will also help you clean an oven quickly and easily, among other household cleaning tasks.
- To fight mold using baking soda, add a quarter of a tablespoon of baking soda to a spray bottle filled with water, shake the bottle until the baking soda is dissolved, spray and rub until mold is removed.
- Rinse off any baking soda residue and spray the area again to keep mold from coming back.
4. Removing mold with tea tree oil
Tea tree oil is a natural fungicide, and because its traces stay on surfaces longer, it does a great job of keeping mold from coming back.
- To use tea tree oil for mold control, use a ratio of one teaspoon of tea tree oil to one cup of water.
- Pour it into a spray bottle and shake it vigorously, then spray it on the affected area.
- Let the mixture sit for an hour and wipe it off with a dry towel. Be sure to use gloves when handling tea tree oil as it can be irritating to the skin.
5. Removing mold with lemon juice
Lemons are a natural antiseptic, bleach, stain remover, and cleanser. They are also effective in removing mold. The high concentration of acid in lemons breaks down the spores, making them easy to remove and leaving a delicious citrus aroma!
- Take the juice of three to five lemons and apply it on the moldy area.
- Let the lemon juice sit for five minutes and wipe off with a dry cloth.
6. Grapefruit seed extract
Grapefruit seed extract is great to have on hand for a variety of cleaning solutions. What makes it good at fighting mold? Its main compounds are polyphenols, called limonoids, and naringenin, which help kill bacteria by disinfecting and sterilizing.
- To use grapefruit seed extract, mix with water to make a one-to-one solution.
- Spray the mold affected area and pat it dry with a dry towel.
Where is mold likely to grow in the house?
Mold is likely to grow in places exposed to more humidity, as well as in corners and crevices of ceilings where there may be a little dampness.
The most common places to find mold in the house are:
“You’ll find it mostly in showers, bathrooms, window sills, kitchens and basements, but mold can grow on anything from fabric on the floor to metal on your shower head. shower, ”Ashdown told us. “It is a fungus that thrives in humid environments, especially those that change from hot to cold in a short period of time.”
Prevent mold growth and return
After you’ve gone through a full mold removal process, the last thing you want is for it to come back. Once you have a mold problem, it can be difficult to fix it for good. But with a few preventative measures, mold can be kept at bay.
- Improve air circulation– Restricted air circulation is often the cause of mold growth, so you can check out our guides on the best air purifiers to make air circulation easier in your home. “Buying an air purifier is a great way to reduce the chances of mold growth because it reduces the humidity in the air,” says Ashdown. If you already own an air purifier, cleaning it will improve its efficiency. Take a look at our guide on how to clean your air purifier if you need any advice.
- Let in the fresh air—Open doors and windows when possible to prevent carbon dioxide build-up. Try to open windows for at least 15 minutes a day for natural ventilation.
- Dry damp areas after use– again, moisture is often the root cause of mold, so drying your tub, shower, or bathroom floor, as well as kitchen and sink surfaces should help keep mold at bay. Any damp areas, such as the corners of the bathroom or a damp basement, should be dealt with promptly.
- Invest in houseplants– houseplants are not only attractive, but can help improve indoor air quality (IAQ).
w & h thanks Sara Ashdown, cleaning products expert at Mark, and cleaning expert Heather Barrigan for their insight and expertise.