It is not uncommon to find mold and mildew growth in various parts of the home. Moisture, humidity and dark places are breeding grounds for mold and mildew. It is important to kill mold and mildew to prevent any adverse health effects from these organisms. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention note that mold exposure can cause nasal stuffiness, wheezing, skin irritation, as well as a variety of other health conditions. Although most people think of bleach as the go-to product to kill mold and mildew, several other products can be used that are non-toxic and environmentally friendly.
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Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is a natural oil that is quite effective at killing mold and mildew. You can purchase tea tree oil from most health food stores. Tea tree oil has a very strong aroma and is a bit pricey, but it will be well worth it to kill the mold and mildew naturally.
Mix 2 cups of water with 2 teaspoons of tea tree oil in an empty spray bottle. Shake the bottle well to combine the ingredients, and spray it directly onto moldy areas in the home. Leave the mixture on without rinsing. The mold and mildew will be gone in a few days.
Grapefruit Seed Extract
Grapefruit seed extract, like tea tree oil, is a natural ingredient that can be purchased at most health food stores. It is odorless and also quite effective at killing mold and mildew. Grapefruit seed extract is sold in a small bottle with a medicine dropper for dispensing.
Combine about 20 drops of the extract and 2 cups of water in an empty spray bottle. Shake well, and spray onto the mold and mildew without rinsing.
Distilled white vinegar is inexpensive and can be used for a variety of other cleaning projects around the home. Pour straight vinegar into an empty spray bottle and spray onto the mold and mildew. Allow it to penetrate the area without rinsing. The vinegar, along with the mold and mildew, will dissipate within a few hours. Although the strong odor of vinegar may be less than pleasant, you will be quite pleased with its effectiveness at killing the mold and mildew.
Hydrogen peroxide is another natural option for mold and mildew removal, as it cleans and disinfects at the same time. The peroxide should be a concentration of 3 percent or higher to effectively kill mold and mildew spores.
Fill an empty spray bottle with one part peroxide and three parts water. Spray the solution directly onto the moldy areas of the home. Allow it to penetrate the area until it dries. When the first coating of peroxide has dried, reapply the solution to the same area. Allow it to sit for about 15 minutes, then scrub with a stiff brush. Reapply the solution as necessary.