Health-friendly Ways to Deal with Mold in Your Home

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Attacking Mold

Did you know there’s a more ecologically and health-friendly way to deal with mold in your home?  Most of us run right to the chemicals to get rid of mold before it spreads.  However, these chemicals are bad for us, and they’re bad for the world around us.  You may find that after you’ve used a heavy dose of mold killers, you feel sick or “off” for a few hours to a few days.

Commercial mold killers contain sodium hydroxide – lye, and sodium hypochlorite – bleach.  These are chemicals that can be very useful and not terribly environmentally damaging in small amounts and when used correctly, and extremely damaging in large amount or when used wrongly.

They’re both highly corrosive, and can actually dissolve skin.  That’s why it’s a good idea to use cleaners of this strength only when you have to.  Mold killing in the bathroom really isn’t a time when you need them.  Let’s take a look at some of the other options you can use to kill mold.

Borax and Dishwashing Detergent

Use a gentle, environmentally friendly dishwashing liquid – one teaspoon mixed with one teaspoon of borax and a quart of warm water can be used to soak moldy areas.  Rinse them off and air dry.  Just don’t overdo it with borax, as it still has some health effects in large doses.

Eucalyptus

Combine a tablespoon of methylated spirits, a tablespoon of eucalyptus oil and two cups of water.  Spray the problem area, then allow the surface to dry.

Grapefruit Seed Extract

Twenty drops of grapefruit seed extract or other citrus seed extract can also be mixed with two cups of water.  Spray and allow to dry, just like eucalyptus.

Tea Tree Oil

Another great oil for attacking mold is tea tree oil – a great natural antimicrobial.  Mix a teaspoon of it with two cups of water, then spray on and let dry.

Vinegar

Once again, vinegar is the king of household cleaning liquids.  Mix it one part vinegar to four parts water, spray, and allow to dry to rid yourself of many molds.

Baking Soda

Baking soda works well, too.  Mix two parts baking soda with a one to one solution of vinegar and water to create a thick paste.  Let this dry on the surface, then scrub off.  This process can be repeated for really stubborn mold.

Of course, there are times when these substances won’t work.  You can reduce the chances of that happening by cleaning more frequently, instead of letting problems build up.  If you’re in a situation where even tea tree oil won’t fix things, there are some things you can do to make using commercial cleaners a lot safer.

Try damming off the affected area with cloths or towels to keep cleaners from running down the drain, and use them sparingly.  Wipe off runs, then treat with tea tree oil after the area has been cleaned.  Allow cleaner saturated fabric to sit for a while and dry in a well ventilated area before washing – that will encourage some of the problem materials to become inert.

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