With the rains come a whole new set of problems that can affect the overall appearance of your home; yes, the slimy sticky and ugly mold and mildew, every homemaker’s nightmare! From brown to dirty green, mold and mildew come in almost every shade of color and are usually found in the corners or moist areas. A result of excess fungal or bacterial growth, mildew is commonly found in humid and moist corners of the house. Getting rid of mold is no easy feat, don’t worry though, mentioned below are some simple and effective home remedies for getting rid of mold and mildew in the house-
What causes mold and mildew growth
Mold usually grows on cold damp places where there is little or no sunshine, i.e. areas like the kitchen corners, bathroom, garden shed etc. Listed below are some main reasons behind mold growth:
- Bacterial or fungal growth
- Moist and humid climate, especially the rainy seasons
- Leaking roofs and damp walls
- Poor ventilation, no access to sunlight
- Unhygienic lifestyle and unclean homes
Look out for these symptoms
You must be familiar with the damp, rusty smell and dirty green and black patches usually associated with fungal growth. Not only is this mold ugly and pesky to look at, it poses serious health threats as well. Mentioned below are some signs to know whether your house is infected by mold and mildew:
- A damp musty smell would be present all over the house
- Brown, green or black patches of fungi in the corners, walls etc.
- White and mouldy fungi accumulation on books, clothes, cardboard, and wooden furniture
- It even causes allergies, sneezing and irritation
15 home remedies to get rid of mold and mildew
Get rid of stubborn and smelly mold spots naturally. Browse through the list of top 15 home remedies for getting rid of mold and mildew, cleaning mold has never been easier!
1. Baking soda
A mild but powerful disinfectant, baking soda fights the bacterial growth and prevents moulds on walls and other areas. It absorbs the moisture and curbs the mildew accumulation. Add ¼ tablespoon of baking soda to lukewarm water and shake it well. Spray the mouldy areas with this solution and then scrub the area thoroughly. Natural, effective and non-toxic it is one of the best home remedies for getting rid of molds and mildew
Vinegar is a pretty common item always present in the kitchen. This liquid is not only useful for enhancing the taste of your dishes but also remove stubborn stains and cleans mold in house. Mild and non-toxic, vinegar is an acidic solution used to destroy about 82% of mold species. Use pure undiluted white vinegar and spray it on the affected areas to kill the mold naturally. For best results leave the mixture for about an hour and wipe it clean with a cloth. You can add some lemon and baking soda to the mixture as well.
3. Alcohol sprays
Vodka and other alcoholic beverages are so much more than just drinks you can enjoy at a party; they offer instant solution for mold growth as well. The acidic consistency of vodka is ideal for killing the fungal growth. Spray some vodka directly on the affected areas and see the magic for yourself! It gets frizzy within seconds; now all you have to do it wipe the dead mold with a wet cloth or sponge. Also it is pretty useful for removing sticky fungal mold on clothes. Quick, effective and easily accessible, alcohol is among the best known home remedies for removing mildew and mold.
4. Hydrogen peroxide
Hydrogen peroxide is a non-toxic, safe but effective solution for curing mold and mildew in the house. Tough on the fungal colonies but soft on your hands, this anti-fungal and anti-bacterial chemical can be used of a variety of surfaces, from walls to kitchen floors, to moldy window sills, it can be sprayed anywhere. Spray just a bit of concentrated hydrogen peroxide on the moldy surface and leave it for some time, then thoroughly scrub the area to remove the mold growth and stains. Be careful about using it on some delicate surface such as clothes as this chemical can even act as a bleaching agent.
5. Tea tree oil
Among the best and most effective of home remedies for cleanup mildew, tea tree oil is 100% natural and rich in anti-bacterial properties. This herbal oil not only eradicates the mold but also prevent it from recurring. Add 100 ml tea tree oil and vinegar to 50 ml water, spray this solution on the affected areas. Scrub the walls clean of the mould before you apply the spray. Tea tree oil even fights the mold smell and is a smart and practical solution for mold removal in bathroom and other moist areas.
6. Grapefruit extract:
Although a bit expensive, the grapefruit extract is known for giving effective and long lasting results. Absolutely safe and non-toxic, this fungicide is among the best home remedies for eliminate the mold growth. Also grapefruit extract works well on all kinds of surfaces and can kill all mold species without the corrosive smell or any side-effects. It even prevents regrowth and is ideally suited to be used around children.
7. Distilled ethanol:
Easily available in any stationery store, this pest control product can tackle the toughest of mold and mildew very efficiently. Distilled ethanol is especially useful to get rid of black mold often found on the bathroom floor. All you have to do it spray some of it on the moldy areas. It even wards off the rusty mold smell and protects your family from the various mold allergies that can pose serious health problems. Cover your nose and hands properly before you begin.
8. Soap water:
Soap water is generally used in the cleaning process and is a very simple and convenient home remedy. Soapy water works wonders on mouldy surfaces! Scrub the affected area clean with sandpaper or a scrubber then wash the surface with soap water. You can use any soap or detergent for this purpose. Repeat this process every day to prevent any regrowth.
Varnish is another useful home remedy to get rid of the mold; it contains anti-fungal properties and works well in wooden surfaces. Often used in pest control, varnishes effectively kill the fungal growth and also protect the wooden furniture from termite infestation. Scrub the area clean and apply a coat of varnish to the affected area for long lasting results. Ensure that there are no kids nearby and wear gloves and mask before you begin cleaning.
10. Chlorine bleach:
Among the cheapest and most effect of home remedies for getting rid of mold, chlorine bleach can remove the fungal colonies completely and leave the surface as good as new! Sprinkle some chlorine bleach on the affected areas and leave it for some time to take effect. Then scrub it clean with a cloth and wash the entire surface with soap water to get rid of the mold. Tough and long lasting, chlorine bleach also fight the damp mold smell and is perfect for mold removal in bathrooms.
What you can do:
11. Scrub it off:
One of the best and perhaps most obvious methods to get rid of mold and mildew is to thoroughly scrub it off. You can use soap water, baking soda, vinegar or any other bleaching agent to soften up the fungal growth first. Also it is always recommended that you scrub or wipe the affected area clean with a sponge or a wet cloth before you apply any herbal oil or disinfectant chemical spray. Scrubbing the mouldy surface effectively removes the fungal growth and it is easier to clean the stains.
12. Controlling the moisture levels:
A simple and obvious solution for curbing the mold and mildew growth in the corners is to control the moisture levels of the house. Fungi usually thrive in wet and humid environment, this means bathrooms, kitchen areas and garden shed are more prone to fungal growth. Install exhaust fans and ensure that there are no leakages and damp ceiling in the house. Ensure that there are no damp spots, wet rugs or clothes lying about the house. Keep your house as dry as possible.
13. Proper ventilation and sunlight:
Open all the doors and windows to allow proper air circulation and sunlight to stream in. Sunlight is perhaps one of the best home remedy for getting rid of molds and mildews, it not only destroys molds but even prevents further fungal growth. Also fix the ventilation of the house, build ventilators in every room and get exhaust fans installed to protect your house from molds. Also install air filter and mold and mildew spore catching filters in your air conditioner to clean the air of any fungi or bacteria.
14. Installing dehumidifiers:
As fungi usually grow in damp and humid temperatures, installing dehumidifiers is a practical solution for preventing molds and mildew growth in the house. And although dehumidifiers are quite an investment, they offer long term protection against any fungal growth, and even balance the house temperature. By installing a dehumidifier in the central air conditioning system of the house you can easily regulate the temperature and prevent fungal growth effectively.
15. Tile and grout sealing:
Cleaning the tiles and sealing up the grout for good is another effective solution to prevent any fungal infestation. Unfinished kitchen ties and broken bathroom floors often becomes a breeding ground for the fungi colonies and can lead to massive mold and mildew growths. Oftentimes you must have noticed brown or yellow stains on the floor this is due to the fungal growth, clean the tiles regularly and seal them properly for extra protection. You can get some professional help or use natural home remedies such as beeswax or herbal oils to seal the tiles and grout for good.
Some precautionary measures to prevent mold growth
Mold and mildew is found both indoors and outdoors, from the doors, walls, ceiling, cupboards, to the backyard and garden shed…it is everywhere! You can adopt these preventive measures to reduce mold growth:
- Open the doors and windows, let the sunlight stream in
- Cover your nose and mouth properly before you begin the cleaning spree.
- Fix the leaking roofs, windows and pipes to prevent mold on walls
- Fix the ventilation issues, add exhaust fans and ventilators in bathroom and kitchen
- Clean the corners thoroughly, especially after floods
- Take steps to control the humidity levels, keep the house warm and dry,
The bottom line:
Other than the chemicals and disinfectants available at supermarkets, you can even apply these above mentioned home remedies for getting rid of mold and mildew accumulation. Very convenient and effective, these home based methods take effect almost immediately.