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After finding some mold on the window sills, I decided to research how to get rid of mold naturally and try out all the natural methods to see what worked.
This past week I was helping my brother clean an apartment he just moved into and when I was moving furniture, I noticed that one of the window sills in a bedroom had some discoloration on it. At first, I wasn’t sure what it was and began to just wipe it with a cloth. But, then I realized it wasn’t coming off, so I shined a bright light on it and realized it was mold! Yuck! Mold can be toxic, something that you don’t want to be near, touch or breath in!
Dangers of Mold
Health problems from mold exposure are becoming more well known. One problem with being exposed to mold is that many people suffer with symptoms and they never find out that it’s due to the mold. Often times many are unaware of the health implications surrounding mold exposure. Symptoms can range from runny nose, headaches, rashes, fatigue, depression and memory problems to more serious health problems such as respiratory or neurological conditions. Mold exposure has been found to be associated with pulmonary fibrosis, which is scaring of the lungs. Exposure to mold is also particularly harmful for those with lung cancer as it can exacerbate respiratory function. This why it is important to remove mold in your home as soon as possible when you find it. When I first came across mold in my home, I decided to try some of these suggestions for how to get rid of mold naturally before using chemicals.
Non-toxic Solutions to Get Rid of Mold Naturally
I wanted to find out how to get rid of mold naturally and I didn’t want to use anything toxic that I may breathe or get on my skin, so I started looking up some natural options for removing mold. I found three main options that sounded good. One was using essential oils such as tea tree oil and the other ones were using vinegar or hydrogen peroxide. I like using all of these options because not only are they very effective in getting rid of mold, but they are natural ingredients I am comfortable with using. Of course there is the option of using bleach and many people say they have good results with it. That is definitely a good option to consider if needed. However, I was hoping that I wouldn’t have to use bleach and one of these natural methods might work.
3 Methods for How to Get Rid of Mold Naturally:
1. Tea Tree Oil Mixture
Mix about 10 drops tea tree essential oil or a teaspoon with a cup of water. Put the mixture in a spray bottle (I use this small glass one). Spray the tea tree oil mixture on to mold or dampen mold with a cloth if no spray bottle is available. Leave on for a few hours or overnight to kill mold. Once this is done, scrub area with solution to remove any mold and spray again. Leave on surface to prevent mold from coming back. Optional: Finish by wiping area with baking soda.
How does this work?
Tea tree oil has been found to be a very effective mold killer, it is anti-fungal, anti-microbial and anti-bacterial. It’s powerful anti-fungal and antimicrobial properties help kill the mold.
Use vinegar straight from bottle, spray on and scrub or apply with cloth. Use the baking soda mixture (below) to finish the job. This helps make sure you get all the mold. It also prevents mold from returning.
How does this work?
The pH of vinegar is around 2.5 and because it is acidic, it breaks up the structure of the mold.
3. Hydrogen Peroxide Mixture
Mix one teaspoon of hydrogen peroxide with one cup of water, put in a spray bottle or wet cloth with it and wipe on mold. Let the hydrogen peroxide stay on the surface for ten minutes or so. Wipe off with more hydrogen peroxide then use baking soda mixture to kill any remaining mold and help prevent more from returning.
How does this work?
The hydrogen peroxide releases oxygen, which breaks up the mold by oxidizing it’s surface. Hydrogen peroxide also has anti-fungal properties, which help eliminate the mold. Several studies have found it effective for killing fungi.
Bonus Baking Soda Finish:
When you’re done using any of these solutions for how to remove mold naturally, you may want to finish up with baking soda, a natural disinfectant. Spray the area with a mixture of 1/2 tsp baking soda and a cup of water. Scrub the area clean and rinse with water. If you use vinegar or hydrogen peroxide then finish with baking soda you’ll be sure to get all the mold with this double attack on it!
*To prevent mold from returning use a dehumidifier or try to reduce dampness in your room. I’ve been trying to prevent mold in my basement during the summertime when it is really humid and using a powerful dehumidifier has really helped. Dehumidifiers are really effective for preventing mold from forming.
Do These Natural Solutions Really Work? – My Results with Each
Tea Tree Oil
- I tried the tea tree essential oil first and I was very happy with it as this killed the mold right away. The only drawback to using this is it can be a little expensive although a few drops does quite a good area. Tea tree oil does have a strong smell that you have to get used to, but the smell will go away in an hour or so.
- I found that vinegar is also good and it is less expensive. It is antimicrobial and will kill mold. If you’re not a fan of the smell you can add some essential oils to it to leave a more pleasing scent. Studies have found that vinegar (straight 5%) kills 82 percent of mold. So, this is my favorite solution for how to remove mold naturally! When you finish with baking soda this is a great way to make sure you’ll get all the mold.
- This is a good option and it is a common household item that you may already have in your bathroom cabinet. It is anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, and anti-viral. I like to use the baking soda scrub after using all these methods as it will be sure to get any leftover mold.
I’m just curious if anyone has pulled air samples after the natural remedy to see what’s in the air that you can’t see? Removing surface discoloration is great, but has anyone used a lab to confirm?
Great question! I have been researching this as well. I tested the air in our basement and it came back within the normal range. I’m not sure how accurate the tests are. I’ve been trying to find information on the accuracy of these types of tests.
Do you recommend a specific mask while cleaning mold? I did a small portion of a beam in basement area and the mold did float some, even with spraying on cloth then applying. Since there is a fairly large area, I think a mask would be a helpful or maybe another form of respiratory protection. I am choosing to use the Tea Tree Oil to also help with the air quality. Thanks in advance! Carrie
Hi Carrie, it is very important to be careful when cleaning mold. I never clean it without a mask with a respirator. I think the brand I use is 3M.
Hi Julie, I love your suggestions of vinegar and peroxide and I was using them myself until I learned that it doesn’t neutralize mycotoxins and they actually get released into the air. Mycotoxins settle into porous items like paper (think drywall), books, upholstery, clothing, our skin, eyes and hair, that 3000 couch, you get it. Mycotoxins are what make us sick. Ammonia, carbon filters with a hepa filter and ozone are known to neutralize some mycotoxins.
Thank you for all this very helpful information. Just one caution I want to add: Tea Tree, and several other Essential oils can be TOXIC to cats and dogs. If inhaled they can effect your animal’s nervous system. If you have pets, be sure to look up information about this before using essential oils in your home.
Thank you for that tip! That’s a great reminder.
Can I mix tea tree oil with vinegar or hydrogen peroxide? Would they work better together rather than separately? Thank you
Yes, you can mix oils with either one. I use vinegar unless i discover mold then i go for peroxide. Other oils that help fight mold are oregano, thyme, clove and thieves by Young Living(nature shield by Now) i personally rotate my choice of oils since i am now a little paranoid about mold. You don’t need a lot of oil; i do 3-4 drops but my spray bottle is quite small. Since oils can be really potent, maybe google how much to mix as i am still learning myself.
Yes, you can mix them together.
Lisa, I have a lot of medical problems that I believe are associated with mold growing but I cannot find the source. My air and heat units are broken and I think it may be in the air ducts or maybe even coming in the vinyl siding. Please tell me your symptoms. I am 59 and I had mold in my previous home and didn’t know it. It was behind a piece of furniture growing on the wall in my bedroom. I developed severe headaches and asthma. Now I have symptoms of multiple sclerosis with brain matter changes.
Teresa Greer, my symptoms: headache, dizziness, memory loss, confusion(forgetting where i parked the car) sore throat, difficulty swallowing, ringing in ears, feeling exhausted all the time, blurry vision, nosebleeds, short of breath, feeling like i couldn’t get enough oxygen, getting shocks from toughing things especially metal, night sweats, no temp regulation-either freezing or sweating, weakness-near the end i was on a walker, numbness & tingling in various parts of body, coughing-sometimes coughing up blood- i also had brain matter changes. i could not afford to follow the Shoemaker protocol so i took Living Clay-mixed a large batch and started with 1/2 oz at bedtime and gradually increased the dose, eliminated sugar & grains(white rice in moderation) tons of leafy greens & veggies. was clothing in hot water with Borax or Epsom salts. Clean with drugstore peroxide for mold, or vinegar for regular cleaning. if you can afford it google EC3 candles they really help me. I am not a Dr. and cannot guarantee anything but when you research it can be overwhelming. these are things that have been working for me but everybody’s different. I hope this will help you
People please be careful dealing with mold. there are some types that produce secondary metabolites called mycotoxins that can destroy your health. if mold covers a large area invest in an air quality test; we thought we couldn’t afford one but what a mistake! We lost our home and all belongings and insurance did not cover anything. I almost died and am still struggling with lots of health problems, though binders & supplements are slowly helping. For those of you naive enough to believe the medical community that says mold will not make you sick – check out Dr. Ritchie Shoemaker’s research. He is a licensed medical doctor. I never believed mold could kill you either until i got sick. 2 years of medical testing with no answers until i started a mold protocol. Thank God i finally have an MD who believes mold is a problem
Yes, mold is really harmful! So glad you found out that was the cause!
I smell musty smell when I go dienstairs into my daughters new home … finished carpeted basement. She insists it’s fine as they had the carpets cleaned before they moved in.
My grandbabies, and my granddoggie, are playing down there… almost daily… and it makes me a nervous wreck. We have mother/daughter issues with her trying to prove her independence as a new mom., so no matter how gently I comment, ‘no, mom. There’s no musty smell down here. It’s fine’
Is there a test kit or machine? I can inexprnsively use to show the presence of molds/mildew, likely , at least, in The carpets? Or behind the paneled wall?
Any help would be great! I hate going down there for myself… but it just crazes me that my baby loves are down there exposed…. all the time. Yikes!!!!!
Hi there, yes mold can be very harmful to breathe. Is there any visible mold on surfaces that you could point out to her? If there is a smell, there is mold there (as I’m sure you know). No amount of cleaning of carpets will remove mold. It needs to be specially treated – or best – just taken out. They have mold kits you can buy or specialists that can come and do a test too. Good luck!
Great thread. I worked on pink mold from a newspaper article. Started with a paste 4:1 ratio of baking soda to dish detergent, creating a paste. I scrubbed the tile grout with this using scrubber and toothbrush. it physically removed much of the pink mold and black mold. Then I rinse and follow-up with half and half mix of vinegar to water, which I spray on. Not all the black goes away. But I cannot think of anything else to do. I spray the shower periodically with the vinegar formula but the mold keeps coming back. Yes, I also keep shower door open and fan on. Would love ideas!
Would a dehumidifier help? It’s tough to keep mold out of bathrooms. I’ve been diligent in our bathroom with wiping everything down to remove moisture and using a dehumidifier.