Molds naturally occur as a result of humid environments. The most common places for molds to grow and spread are your basement, kitchen, and bathroom because they are always exposed to moisture.
However, that doesn’t mean that you have to share your house with them. Rather than using toxic chemicals, such as borax or bleach to get rid of mold, there are natural ways to banish mold that’ll not cause harm to your family, pets, or the environment.
Leaving mold untreated can cause dangerous respiratory illnesses and can make asthma and allergies worsen. The ability of molds to grow quickly and their negative effect on health is why you should keep an eye out and stop its growth before it spreads.
There are several misconceptions on the ways to get rid of mold in the household. Some of these include the use of bleach and other chemicals which can be toxic to humans. Since molds are already harmful themselves, it is advisable to avoid cleaning them with items that may cause even more harm.
In this article, you will find some of the best natural ways to get rid of molds including the use of common items like hydrogen peroxide, vinegar and natural fruits. These methods are highly effective and have no adverse health effects on individuals.
Natural ways to get rid of mold
Here is a list of ten natural ways to get rid of molds within your house or office. Most of the items on the list are common household items that we use daily and are easily accessible.
Vinegar is an affordable, natural solution to getting rid of mold. Its acidic antibacterial characteristics are what you need to get the job done.
Although it can be diluted with water to lower the harsh scent, vinegar works best as a mold-killer when sprayed straight from a bottle to the affected area. After spraying:
- Allow it for some minutes before wiping it with a disposable towel.
- If that doesn’t work, make use of a brush to scrub the area.
- Give it some time to dry, and then use a damp towel to wipe the area one more time.
If you get offended by the smell of the vinegar, add some essential oil. However, the pungent odor will be gone after a while. According to research, white vinegar gets rid of 82 percent of mold spores, viruses, and bacteria. Vinegar can also prevent mold growth if sprayed on surfaces and allowed to dry.
2. Baking soda
Baking soda has multiple uses around the house – from absorbing odors in the refrigerator to relieving heartburn. One such benefit is to remove mold. Baking soda is safe for your pets and family members, and it not only naturally kills mold and absorbs moisture that makes it conducive for mold growth.
All you need is a quarter of a teaspoon in a spray bottle with water, and you’re good to go! Just spray the walls and then use a sponge to clean the mold off before rinsing the surface with clean water. Then respray it and allow the surface to dry.
You probably have some baking soda in your kitchen cupboard, so it is easy to use if you want to reduce the risk of mold toxicity – once you know the symptoms, you can get to work.
Baking soda is a safe substance to have around your home. It is also effective at preventing mold and absorbing mildew smells. Stir a mixture of baking soda and water until it makes a paste.
This mixture is best used to get rid of lighter mold stains and prevent future mold growth. After applying it to the affected area, use a small brush to scrape away any mold-stained areas.
3. Tea tree oil
Usually, tea tree oil is used to keep spiders away, but it can be a safe remedy for removing mold. This natural fungicide can work as a cleaning product, and it has the strength to prevent mold spores from coming back. To use tea tree oil:
- Mix one teaspoon of tea tree oil in a cup of water and increase the quantity ratio from there.
- Mix it properly before pouring it into a spray bottle to ensure it covers more area. If you don’t have a spray bottle, consider using a dampened towel.
- After application to the moldy area, allow it to dry for some time, and then use a dry towel to wipe the area away.
Ensure you wear protective gloves because it can still irritate the skin even though it is a natural mold removal solution. Tea tree oil also has a strong scent, which will go away after a few days.
4. Grapefruit seed extract
It is excellent to have grapefruit seed extract for different healthcare remedies. It is also an effective natural cleaning solution. It is efficient in battling mold because of its main compounds: polyphenols, called limonoids, and naringenin. When you use the extract to fight mold, the acids prevent mold spores from forming.
Mix about ten drops of the oil to each cup of water you use. The best way to treat the affected area is to use a spray bottle to apply the mixture. Allow the solution to sit from 10 minutes to an hour, depending on how severe the situation is, and then wipe away the remaining residue with a dry towel.
5. Hydrogen peroxide
Hydrogen peroxide is another natural, odorless option that can be used to get rid of mold. Besides being an active cleaning agent, it also has great antifungal and antibacterial properties that are effective in removing mold and preventing regrowth.
- Add a 3 percent concentration of hydrogen peroxide into a container (preferably a spray container) and apply it to the moldy areas.
- Allow it to rest for at least 10 minutes before properly scrubbing the area.
- When you’re done scrubbing, wipe the area with hydrogen peroxide.
Before using hydrogen peroxide on a large colored surface, you should try it first on a small patch to see if it does not result in discoloration.
If you’re satisfied with the result, then you can go ahead and use it as you wish.
6. Sliced orange and vinegar
Orange isn’t just great for supplying our body with the much-needed vitamin C. It is also great for cleaning and getting rid of unsightly molds in the house. There are two ways in which you can use sliced orange and vinegar to clean mold.
One way is to create a cleaning liquid by soaking orange peels in vinegar and then spraying the mixture on the moldy area. Leave this for a few minutes and wipe off with a damp cloth.
You can also try slicing an orange in two. Then use the face of the cut orange to scrub the moldy area. Leave the area for about five minutes so the acid in the orange can work on the molds. When this is done, use a spray bottle to apply vinegar on the mold and then wipe immediately with a dry cloth.
7. Citrus seed extract and water mixture
The citrus seed extract is much preferred for cleaning molds because of its sweet smell.
Citrus fruits are natural deodorizers and great for giving the home an appealing fragrance. So besides helping you to get rid of tough olds, citrus seed will also lavish your space with amazing scents.
To get rid of molds with citrus seed extract, combine about 20 drops of citrus seed extract and 2 cups of water in a spray bottle and mix thoroughly.
Then spray directly on the moldy area. Unlike cleaning molds with hydrogen peroxide or baking soda, leave the citrus solution on the mold without rinsing. You can repeat the process as many times as you like until the area is free from molds and stains.
8. Baking soda, vinegar, and lemon juice mixture
Combining baking soda with vinegar and lemon juice mixture to clean molds has multiple benefits attached to it.
The baking soda works as a foaming agent to ease cleaning. The vinegar adds more effectiveness and the lemon juice helps eliminate the moldy smell during and after cleaning.
Prepare equal part lemon juice and vinegar and a lesser quantity of baking soda. Mix all the ingredients to form a thick paste. Then with the aid of cloth or brush, apply on the moldy areas and scrub. Leave the paste on the mold for about five minutes before washing with clean water.
There are more things we can clean with toothpaste than just our teeth. One of them is mold. Toothpaste comes very handy when there is a need to get rid of tough moldy growth anywhere in the house but most especially in bathrooms ceilings, sink and near the showers.
Solid white toothpaste is more efficient in cleaning mold and will not leave a stain like gel toothpaste.
Wet an old toothbrush lightly and apply some paste on it like you would do when you want to brush your teeth. Then gently scrub on the moldy area until the stain comes off completely.
For soft surfaces, you may apply the toothpaste on a piece of cloth rather than a brush. Once done, use a clean, dry cloth to wipe the surface.
10. Lemon Juice
For a long time, lemon juice has been used in homes as a cleaning agent (dishes, floors, laundry, etc.) and it is much preferred for its natural fruity scent.
Cleaning moldy areas with lemon juice help remove the molds and leaves behind a sweet-smelling fragrance replacing the musty smell of mold and mildew. Its 5% acidic content is a natural bleaching effect and is tough on mold stains.
To get rid of molds, first, clean the area with soap and water, then drizzle a fair dose of lemon juice directly on the part where the molds appear. Leave for a few seconds and brush with a sponge.
If you’re not satisfied with the results, you can repeat the process until you get the desired result. You can use naturally squeezed lemon juice or lemon juice concentrate from the grocery for the mold cleaning process.
Mold prevention tips
After getting rid of mold growth, you need to prevent future infestation; otherwise, the mold will keep returning. The best way to do this is to control moisture. If your house has a water leak, address the source of the leakage.
Below are some tips:
- Buy a dehumidifier to install in your bathroom to keep humidity levels below 50 percent. When taking a shower, ensure you always turn your vent fan.
- Completely fix any water leaks or any HVAC issues, and make sure you have proper ventilation if you live in an area that has high humidity.
- Regularly clean your house, particularly damp areas that are prone to moisture, such as the basement, kitchen, and bathroom, with natural anti-mold products.
- Discard all materials if they become moldy, particularly if they are very porous, such as carpet and ceiling tiles.
Mold can cause severe symptoms in kids and adults and also extensive damage to a house. These natural mold removal remedies are great non-toxic alternatives to toxic chemical-based mold removers. They are safe for your family, pets, and the environment at large. Also, they are mostly cheaper than commercial products.
This article was originally published in Dec-2020 and was last updated in Feb-2021.