Do you have a problem with mold and mildew in your home? What can clean up mold and mildew without using harsh chemicals? Some natural household items can be used to clean up the moldy mess, but first determine what is causing the problem. Check for plumbing leaks around water pipes, waste lines, ice-maker lines or spigots. Remember that water can run in any direction. You may need to extend your search to exterior building leaks. Look for leaks in the wall or roof, vents, window wells or for downspouts emptying near the foundation. Even badly sealed ductwork could be the problem. Warm, moist air condenses and forms water on ducts carrying cold air. The condensation is a sign the that the duct is not insulated or is missing a vapor barrier. Moisture forms anywhere warm air escapes. Eventually the water saturates insulation and drywall and mold spores, which are everywhere, begin to grow. Once you’ve located and repaired the water problem, it’s time to clean up the mess.1
The following common household ingredients can be used to get rid of mold and mildew.
- Use Baking Soda to remove odors from closets, bathrooms and refrigerators.
Recipe: Mix baking soda and water to form a paste in a ratio of 1:1. Apply the paste to the affected area and let it dry. Scrub with a small brush and wipe away any cleaning paste remaining.2 To remove mildew from your plastic shower curtain or liner, put it in your washing machine with two bath towels on the gentle setting. Add 1/2 cup baking soda to your detergent during the wash cycle and 1/2 cup vinegar during the rinse cycle. Let it air dry.
- Use White Vinegar undiluted.
Spray distilled vinegar on the mold satins using a spray bottle. If the stain persists mix a little baking soda and a little elbow grease. Leave the surface to dry.
- Use Tea Tree Oil
Recipe: Add one teaspoon of tea tree oil to one cup of water. Mix well and pour into a spray bottle. Mist the mixture onto the surfaces that have been tarnished by mold and wipe the surface clean.
- Use Grapefruit seed extract
Recipe: Add 10 drops of grapefruit seed extract to a cup of water. Mix well and using a spray bottle, mist the affected area. Wipe and allow to dry.
- Use Lemon Juice
To get rid of mildew on clothes, make a paste of lemon juice and salt; rub into the affected area, then dry the clothes in sunlight. This works well on rust stains, too.3
Restoration contractor and Do It Yourself television personality Mike Holmes says, “It’s about healthy homes. We know mold can reduce indoor air quality, and poor air quality affects our health.”4 He recommends a product called Concrobium Mold Control. Have you tried it?
Billie Nicholson, editor
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