Mold is a gross and frustrating household problem. It can be hazardous to your health and cause damage to your home. When you head to the store, there’s a barrage of products offering you a solution. Unfortunately, that “solution” often contains chemicals that are harsh, toxic, and even carcinogenic. Instead, try these step-by-step guide to being green while cleaning mold!
Step 1: Prevention is the best method.
Fix leaks. Wipe up spills when they happen. Damp basement, carpet, or bathroom? Dry it out! Use a dehumidifier if necessary. Provide proper ventilation where needed. The work you put in now will save you a headache later. Of course, sometimes you don’t even know you have a problem until it’s too late. In that case, move on to the next step.
Step 2: Wash with vinegar.
Unlike chemical-based cleaners, white distilled vinegar is natural, green, inexpensive, won’t irritate your lungs, and kills over 80% of all mold! However, it still doesn’t smell great, and the acid in the vinegar can irritate your skin. So throw on some gloves and get to work! Spray on the mixture and scrub it with a brush. Keep at it until it’s all cleaned up.
Step 3: Use citrus seed extract.
Mix 20 drops of citrus seed extract to two cups of water in a spray bottle and shake to mix it. Then spray it onto the area where you had the problem to prevent a recurrence.
Step 4: Step it up with tea tree oil.
Didn’t work? Try a mixture of two teaspoons of tea tree oil to two cups of water. This oil is more expensive but is also very potent. It kills a wide range of mold types. Again, mix and spray – but don’t rinse. There’s a strong smell, but wait it out! In a few days, the smell will fade along with your mold issue. Be sure to label the mixture and save it for the next time you have a mold problem.
Step 5: Call a professional.
The above three steps will handle most mold problems, but in an extreme case like toxic black mold, you’ll want to call in backup for help. They can guide you to the right solution for your problem. If the situation was extreme to begin with, you may want to call someone for a mold inspection even if you can’t see any problems on the surface.
Photo Credit - Angelina Sulistyo