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There is almost not a single house that didn’t have a moisture issue. Unfortunately, the moisture doesn’t just come and go – it leaves mold behind. Exposure to mold can cause many health issues, including breathing difficulties, headaches and skin and eye irritation. As a conscious consumer, you probably won’t want to worsen these symptoms with heavy chemicals contained in most commercial mold treatments. Luckily, there are healthier ways to deal with this problem. Here are some organic remedies for this unsightly and hazardous threat.
A wet environment is the empire of mold and mildew—they grow and thrive in it. You can help cut this problem off at its root by removing the moisture from the space. Invest in a dehumidifier, which should keep humidity levels below 50 percent (the threshold for mold growth), and you won’t have to use chemicals or toxins to get rid of this menace. Also, dry the space as much as you can by opening the windows regularly, using ventilation fans, and checking for leaky plumbing.
Another neat machine that can contribute to your cause is an air-purifier. It will help eliminate persistent mold and mildew spores, and keep health risks at a minimum.
Unfinished tiles and unsealed grout in the bathroom and the kitchen leave the door open for mold and mildew growth. You’ll notice such issues if the grout is holding water for longer than it should, or if it’s staining. Luckily (for clay tiles, at least) there’s a natural way to reseal them with boiled linseed oil and melted beeswax.
If you are a natural cleaning devotee, then you surely know that plain white vinegar is one of the best natural cleaners you can find. Since it’s naturally antibacterial, you don’t have to mix it with any other ingredient. Just pour the vinegar into a spray bottle and apply directly on the mold and mildew “colonies.” Let it sit for a couple of minutes and then wipe it away with a sponge or a cloth.
Tea tree oil is an all-natural fungicide. To use it for cleaning mold, you’ll need to mix it with water (around ten drops of oil in a spray bottle of water). Spray it onto surfaces affected with mold and mildew and leave it to do its work. Afterwards, scrub the surface a bit, and apply again if necessary.
Tea tree oil is great, but it can leave a strong scent behind. Enter grapefruit seed extract, which is its odorless alternative. Just as with tea tree, you’ll need to mix the extract (20 drops) with water (spray bottle) and then apply it directly to the mold.
Use this just as you would vinegar, clean and undiluted. If you don’t have ethanol handy, it’s easy to find at most stores.
As you see, killing mold without killing the environment is quite possible, and even affordable, since most of the ingredients you need, you already have. Just remember, fighting the cause is just as important, if not more, as fighting the consequences, so get rid of the humidity in the house too.
Zoe Clark is an environmentalist, home decorator and DIY enthusiast. She is a visual storyteller and aesthetician by heart who often writes about decorating and DIY ideas. She loves sparking creativity in people and giving them ideas for their own spaces.
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