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How to Get Rid of Mold in
a House Naturally: 5 Non-Toxic Ways

January 2, 2018

Mold may be growing in your home, and you don’t even know it. That’s because mold loves dark, warm, humid places that are often out of sight. Once it begins to spread, getting rid of mold can be challenging.

When the conditions are right, mold can grow quickly — sometimes within 24-48 hours. Leaving mold untreated can lead to worsening respiratory illnesses and aggravate asthma and allergies. Mold’s ability to grow quickly and its negative effect on your family’s health is why you should learn how to get rid of mold in your house naturally.

Your basement, kitchen, and bathroom are at the most significant risk for mold and bacteria growth because they are typically areas with moisture. The best way to prevent mold is by cleaning the house regularly and minimizing moisture. Squeegeeing shower doors after use, repairing leaks, and keeping tile grout clean are effective methods for keeping mold at bay. But even if you’re frequently cleaning and disinfecting, mold can sneak in and make itself at home.

What Are the Health Risks of Household Molds?

Not all mold is dangerous, but it’s not a good idea to let any mold grow and spread indoors. Here are common indoor mold types and why you should remove them with non-toxic mold removers.

Black Mold

Stachybotrys chartarum is the most common black mold, and it produces a dangerous compound called mycotoxin. This fungal by-product can become airborne and inhaled by humans and other animals. Mycotoxins from black mold can cause respiratory issues, headaches, and life-threatening blood poisoning.

Green Mold

If you spot green mold in your home, there’s a good chance it’s Aspergillus or Penicillium. Breathing Aspergillus mold spores isn’t harmful to humans with healthy immune systems, but it could cause infection in those with compromised health. Penicillium, known for its pharmaceutical uses, is mostly harmless, but some species can produce dangerous mycotoxins.

Pink Mold

Pink mold isn’t technically a mold but typically appears on showers and shower curtains. Serratia marcesans is a pink bacterium that grows on surfaces with soap residue and can cause respiratory issues and urinary tract infections. Chances are slim you would get infected, but skip the risk and keep your bathroom clean and disinfected.

One of the most common types of mold found in bathrooms and kitchens is black mold. Green, blue, and even pink mold is not uncommon, but it’s important to note that many types of mold change colors depending on the conditions.

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How Do You Get Rid of Mold?

There are plenty of commercial products that are effective for mold removal, but many of them contain harsh chemicals that may be as harmful as the mold itself. Learning how to get rid of mold in your house naturally lets you create a healthier home without resorting to toxic chemicals.

Because airborne mold spores can spread, it’s essential to wear protective gear when cleaning mold. Elbow-length rubber gloves, a mask, and safety glasses will help protect you from exposure to mold. If available, always open a window in the area you’re cleaning to improve ventilation.

Here are 5 ways to treat black mold using green household cleaners:

How to Treat Mold With Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is an antifungal, antiviral, and anti-bacterial solution found in most medicine cabinets, and it’s a natural mold remover. You can use it safely on many surfaces, such as kitchen appliances and counters, bathroom fixtures and tubs, hard flooring, and even certain wall surfaces.

Try this method:

  1. Pour a 3% concentration of hydrogen peroxide into a spray bottle.
  2. Test an inconspicuous area of surfaces first to prevent discoloration or damage.
  3. Saturate the moldy surface and leave it for 10 minutes.
  4. Scrub the area with only enough force to remove black mold and mold stains.
  5. Wipe dry once the surface is free of residual mold and stains.

Black Mold Removal Using Vinegar

White vinegar is a mildly acidic product that cleans, deodorizes, and disinfects. It can also kill 82% of mold species on porous and non-porous surfaces, including black mold. You can use it safely on most surfaces, and its offensive odor disappears quickly.

  1. Pour undiluted white vinegar into a spray bottle. Because white vinegar contains only about 20% acetic acid, adding water makes it less effective.
  2. Spray the vinegar onto the moldy surface and leave for an hour.
  3. Finally, wipe the area clean with water and allow the surface to dry. Any smell from the vinegar should clear within a few hours.

Getting Rid of Mold With Baking Soda

From absorbing odors in the fridge to relieving heartburn, baking soda has a multitude of uses around the house — including black mold removal. It’s safe for your family and pets, and it not only kills mold naturally but it also absorbs moisture that attracts mold.

  1. Add 1/4 of a tablespoon of baking soda to a spray bottle of water and shake until it has dissolved.
  2. Spray the moldy area with the baking soda and water solution, then use a scrub brush to remove mold from the surface.
  3. Next, rinse the surface with water to remove any residue and baking soda.
  4. Finally, spray the area again and let the surface dry without wiping. This will kill any leftover mold and help prevent the mold from returning.

For really tough black mold removal, try the following:

  1. Mix 2 parts baking soda with 1 part white vinegar and 1 part water.
  2. Stir the mixture until it becomes a thick paste.
  3. Spread your mixture liberally onto the surface and let it dry.
  4. Scrub away the black mold and stains, and wipe down with water.

Black Mold Removal Using Essential Oils

Essential oils have made aromatherapy a household word, but these natural mold-removal compounds can do so much more. Tea tree oil is an insect repellant, antiseptic, and deodorizer — and it’s one of the safest methods to eliminate black mold. Tea tree oil is a natural way to kill mold, and it helps prevent mold spores from coming back.

Try this method to stop black mold ASAP:

  1. Combine 1 teaspoon of tea tree oil with 1 cup of water in a spray bottle and shake vigorously to blend the water and oil.
  2. Spray the moldy area, leave it to dry for an hour, and then wipe it away with a microfiber cloth or dry towel.
  3. Make sure to wear protective gloves because some people find that essential oils can irritate their skin.

How to Treat Mold With Lemons

Lemons are a natural deodorizer, antiseptic, bleach, stain remover, and cleaner — and they can also remove black mold. The high concentration of acid in lemons breaks down mold, making it easy to remove, and leaves behind a disinfected surface. And don’t forget that wonderful citrus aroma!

Grab some lemons and try the following method:

  1. Juice 3-5 lemons into a cup and pour over the moldy area.
  2. Let it sit for 5 minutes, then wipe the surface with a damp towel.
  3. Rapply and scrub the surface to remove tough mold stains as needed.

These natural mold killer remedies are great non-toxic alternatives to chemical-based black mold removers, and many are effective against mildew. They are safe for your family and safe for the environment and are frequently less expensive than commercial brands. To learn more about the basics of mold removal, check out this guide from EPA.gov.

Tips to Avoid Mold Growth

Not with mold removal and treatment alone, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The EPA’s stance on mold elimination is that only moisture control can prevent mold growth. Repairing leaks and sealing moisture-prone walls is your first defense, but there are other remedies you can use to bring moisture levels down. When you keep the humidity levels in your home below 50 percent, you remove the all-important moisture mold requires to thrive. Here are a few things you can do to reduce the humidity.

  1. Run a dehumidifier in parts of your home that have excess humidity.
  2. Ensure your dryer vent is secure and expelling moist air outside.
  3. Use the bathroom fan and open the window when bathing.
  4. Leave the shower curtain or doors open after showering.
  5. Waterproof the walls in your bathroom by resealing tile grout lines.
  6. Only store items in the basement or attic in air-tight containers.
  7. Update your home’s insulation to prevent condensation.
  8. Keep your windows open and ceiling fans running in warm weather for extra ventilation and less humidity.

You can get rid of mold with natural mold killers and proven methods, but it will return unless you control the moisture. Remember the mantra, “No moisture, no mold,” and make your home a healthier place to live.

From natural mold removal to weekly housekeeping, The Maids® can help you tackle dirt, grime, and germs with our full range of cleaning services. When you want to experience a clean so thorough you can feel it, only a healthy cleaning approach will do. See what cleaning for health can mean in your home when you get your free customized cleaning quote today.

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