Natural Ways to Kill Mildew

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Mildew and mold are a common cleaning problem in many areas of your house and your laundry. Mildew can grow anywhere that's left dark and damp. In addition to causing ugly stains, mildew releases spores that can trigger allergies and cause breathing problems. It's important to kill mildew as quickly as possible to prevent it spreading.

Sunlight and Air

  • The easiest, most natural way to kill mildew is with direct sunlight. Mildew needs darkness and moisture to survive. You can prevent mildew from growing by cleaning up spills quickly, fixing leaks in your house and keeping areas like your basement and bathroom dry.

    If your mildew problem is on something that can be moved, such as fabric, or in a room with plenty of windows, start your treatment by simply exposing the mildew to as much sunlight and air as possible. While wearing a face mask so you won't breath in spores, brush the mildew with an old toothbrush or a rag to try to remove spores and loosen mildew as much as possible. Dry the area completely. Then leave it in sunlight for at least a day.

Natural Cleaning Products

  • If airing out doesn't get rid of your mildew problem, that doesn't mean you have to resort to Clorox bleach; there are many natural cleaning products that can kill mildew. Simple hydrogen peroxide will kill mildew and even help remove mildew stains. Apply peroxide directly to the mildew. You can use pure hydrogen peroxide or a blend of half hydrogen peroxide and half water. Vinegar can also kill mildew; mix half vinegar and half water and spray it directly on the mildew. With both of these solutions, you should let the fabric sit for several hours or overnight. Salt can also kill mildew; try mixing salt with lemon juice to make a paste and applying the paste to the mildew. Plain saltwater can also be effective in killing mold.

    Finally, if none of these solutions works, there are some essential oils that will kill molds and mildews. Try putting 20 drops of tea tree oil or grapefruit seed extract in water and spraying this solution on the mold. Although these products are more expensive, you only need a little bit, and tea tree oil especially is very effective in killing all types of mildew and mold.

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