Mold is a nasty fungus that thrives in warm and moist areas like bathrooms. Removing mold has to be done frequently because it grows and spreads quickly. Unfortunately, regular upkeep can be just as dangerous for your health because many commercial household cleaners are toxic. Bleach, for example, is known to trigger asthma, compromise reproductive health and damage organs.
Some household cleaners also contain the environmental toxin, sodium polyacrylate, and acrylic acid impurities that can irritate the lungs and skin. To avoid contact with these toxins, it isn't enough to just scrutinize a product's ingredients — you have to make your own mold cleaner yourself. (h/t to NewLifeOnAHomestead.com)
5 Non-toxic DIY mold cleaner recipes
As it turns out, making your own cleaning solution is not difficult at all. What's more, it doesn't require expensive, hard-to-find ingredients. Each of the five recipes below requires only the following household items:
Distilled white vinegar — Vinegar is a natural antimicrobial that can kill more than 80 percent of mold types.
Tea tree oil — This essential oil boasts potent antimicrobial and antifungal properties.
Baking soda — Besides killing most types of mold, baking soda also helps prevent mold from growing back by absorbing moisture.
Hydrogen peroxide — This cleaning solution is used commonly for treating wounds but can also get rid of mold.
Borax — Borax is a powdery white mineral used commonly as a cleaning agent. Unless ingested, borax is not harmful and does not emit toxic fumes.
Check out the following non-toxic DIY mold cleaner recipes:
Distilled white vinegar mold cleaner
Mix 2 parts of distilled white vinegar with 5 drops of tea tree oil in a spray bottle.
Spray the mold-covered area and do not scrub.
Allow the solution to settle for half an hour before wiping it away.
Baking soda mold cleaner
Mix equal parts baking soda and warm water in a bowl or pitcher with a spout. This mixture will be too thick to put inside a spray bottle.
Apply the mixture to the area and allow it to sit for an hour.
Scoop the mold-infused solution and dispose of it safely.
If you're dealing with a particularly bad mold infestation, follow up this treatment by combining half a teaspoon of baking soda with two cups of water in a spray bottle. Spray the area with the mixture and then scrub away any residue with an old toothbrush. (Related: Homesteading hacks: Non-toxic DIY glass and window cleaner.)
Hydrogen peroxide mold disinfectant
Pour a 3 percent concentration of hydrogen peroxide into a spray bottle and spray onto the area.
Wait at least 15 minutes before wiping away the mixture.
If you're dealing with a thick mold infestation, scrub away any residue as noted above.
Non-toxic deep mold cleaner
Combine 1 cup of distilled white vinegar and 1 tablespoon of tea tree oil in a large spray bottle that can hold at least 3 cups of fluid.
Pour 1 cup of warm water.
Add 2 tablespoons of baking soda and shake vigorously.
Pour 1 cup of 3 percent hydrogen peroxide, then shake vigorously once again.
Spray onto the mold and let the solution sit for 30 minutes to one hour.
Scrub away the liquid or use a shop vacuum.
To remove mold residue, spray small amounts onto the area and scrub with a toothbrush.
Natural fabric mold cleaner
Combine 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar, 2 teaspoons of tea tree oil, 1/2 cup of borax and 2 cups of warm water in a pitcher. This mixture will be too thick to spray through a squirt bottle, though it might be thin enough to flow through an agriculture sprayer.
Shake the mixture vigorously and be sure that the borax has dissolved completely.
Spray onto the area and then scrub with a toothbrush or larger scrub brush.
Keeping your homestead clean requires regular upkeep. But don't settle for commercial mold cleaners that are just as bad for your health as mold itself. Make use of common household items to come up with your own mold cleaner.