Mold inside the home can be a very dangerous thing, but cleaning it doesn’t have to be. If you are dealing with any mold infestation, or want to avoid one, bleach is probably what the internet is suggesting you use.
Sure, bleach works on mold, but it can also be toxic to both humans, animals, aquatic life, and nature at large.
DIY natural cleaners can work as effectively as bleach – without all of the nasty potential side effects. Sodium Hypochlorite, a.k.a. bleach, is regarded as an asthmagen that can cause reproductive toxicity, organ damage – or possibly even cancer, the Environmental Working Groups Guide To Healthy Cleaning reports.
Not all products that contain bleach actually advertise it on the label. At least one popular brand contains Sodium Polyacrylate. This environmental toxin contains acrylic acid impurities which could prompt respiratory irritation, and possibly cause skin erosion.
When the environmental conditions are right, mold can double and then quadruple in dimension in as little as 24 to 48 hours.
Table of Contents:
Types of Household Mold
Before we delve into several potent DIY natural mold cleaner recipes, we must first determine what type of mold is potentially growing in our homes.
Mold is classified into three categories:
- Allergenic. This type mold typically causes both asthma attacks and allergic reactions that are similar to seasonal allergies.
- Pathogenic. Mold of this type can exacerbate existing health, breathing, and allergy problems in folks who are already suffering from either chronic or acute illness.
- Toxigenic. Mold of this type, black mold in particular, cause potentially deadly conditions to develop – or worsen existing health issues. Toxigenic mold varieties are often referred to as “toxic mold.”
This is the worst type of mold to come across. Homes have been condemned over black mold infestations. Black mold (or Stachybotrys chartarum or Stachybotrys atra, as it is more technically known) is a variety of fungus.
It generally thrives in environments that are both moist and warm, which is why it is often found in bathrooms.
Black mold typically grows on wood, gypsum board, paper, dust, fiberboard, lint – or other common high cellulose matter. Even though this potentially dangerous type of mold has been dubbed black mold, it can also grow in a shade of gray or dark green. Regardless of the color, black mold stinks, and it smells musty.
Exposure to black mold can cause eye irritation, coughing, sinus problems, headaches, fever, and chronic fatigue. More serious reactions to this toxic mold can occur over time if the area is not cleaned and exposure is prolonged.
Potential black mold health risks include stroke, lung disease, respiratory problems, and immune system disorders.
Other Common Mold Types
Aspergillus mold spores create thick walls or layers of mold that eventually morph into mold chains. The long flask shaped spores come in a vast array of colors in the 185 species of mold in this classification.
Aspergillus mold varieties contain aflatoxins – deadly carcinogens. Exposure to mold can cause respiratory infections, and asthma attacks. It is one of the most commonly found varieties of mold found inside of homes in the United States.
Alternaria is perhaps the most common type of allergenic mold found around the globe. It is a dark green shade of mol. Alternaria mold boasts a velvety texture that includes growth of fine brown hairs.
It is sometimes mistaken for black mold, and often found under leaking sinks, in showers, and bathtubs. If there is water damage in the home, it is likely alternaria mold will develop.
Upper respiratory tract, mouth, and nose asthma like conditions can develop when someone is exposed to this rapidly spreading mold.
Chaetomium mold thrives in chronically damp areas. It has a cotton type texture, and ranges in color from white to gray to brown – but can turn black over time. Chaetomium can cause both skin and nail infections.
This mold produces mycotoxins that are particularly dangerous to folks who suffer from compromised immune systems.
Aureobasidium molds are typically found beneath painted surfaces or growing behind wallpaper. This type of mold is usually black, brown, or pink in color – turning a dark brown once it ages.
Aureobasidium mold has been known to cause skin, eye, and nail infections that could cause overall body rashes.
Cladosporium is another type of allergenic mold. Unlike almost all other mold types, cladosporium can grow in both war and cold environments. It is typically found on upholstery, curtains, carpet, and other household fabric – as well as inside cabinets and under floorboards.
Cladosporium mold is usually brown or an olive green shade and has a suede style texture. This type of mold causes allergic-like reactions on the skin, nose, throat, and eyes. It can also provoke lung infection, severe skin rash and lesions, sinusitis, and asthma attacks.
Acremonium is a species of mold that is most commonly found growing on humidifiers, cooling coils, in windowsills, and drain pans. It is not uncommon to find this type of mold growing on, under, or around, black mold. It is a toxic mold.
In its early stages of growing, acremonium mold is a moist compound, but as it matures it takes on a powder texture. The mold ranges in color from white to pink to orange.
Exposure to this toxic mold could provoke bone marrow disease, immune system problems, organ damage and even brain function problems because it is also a carcinogen.
Mucor is yet another variety of allergenic mold type that is common in North America. The shading of this type of mold is most typically either gray or white. Mucor mold grows in thick patches in environments that are prone to condensation like HVAC systems, air conditioners, and damp carpeting.
Exposure to this mold can cause asthma, prompt asthma attacks in current sufferers, fever – and other flu-like symptoms. If the exposure to mucor mold is prolonged, it could lead to mucormycosis. This type of fungal infection can damage the lungs, sinuses, and brain.
Fusarium mold can spread quickly in cold environments. It is both an allergenic and toxic old type.
Fusarium mold is commonly found in homes or areas of homes that have suffered water damage – especially in carpets, on fabric items, and behind wallpaper. It is typically white, pink or a light red in color. It naturally grows in compost piles and on food products.
Fusarium mold can cause common outdoor allergy symptoms along with dermatitis. When prolonged exposure happens, it could lead to potentially deadly brain abscesses, bone infections, as well as nervous system problems that can lead to internal bleeding and hemorrhages.
DIY Natural Black Mold Cleaner Components
• Distilled White Vinegar – The vinegar is a natural anti-microbial acidic liquid. It can get rid of 82% of mold types.
- Tea Tree Oil – This essential oil also boasts antimicrobial and antifungal properties.
- Baking Soda – The baking soda will not only get rid of most types of mold, it also absorbs moisture from the area where it was found to help prevent it from growing again.
- Hydrogen Peroxide – This all purpose first aid staple boasts antifungal, anti-microbial, and antibacterial properties.
- Borax – Unless ingested, borax is not harmful, nor will it emit any dangerous or toxic fumes. Borax and boric acid are NOT the same thing. Borax has disinfecting properties that make it an excellent choice for deep cleaning on most surfaces.
Distilled White Vinegar Mold Cleaning Recipe
- Combine 2 parts distilled white vinegar with 5 drops of tea tree oil in a squirt bottle.
- Spray the area where mold is present and do not scrub.
- Allow the mixture to sit on the mold area for a half an hour before wiping it away.
Baking Soda Mold Cleaner Recipe
- Combine 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.
- Cover the mold with the baking soda and water mixture.
- Allow the mixture to sit upon the mold for 60 minutes.
- Scoop of the now mold-infused solution and dispose of it safely.
If this is a particularly bad mold infestation, follow up this treatment by combine ½ a teaspoon of baking soda with 16 ounces of water in a squirt bottle. Spray the area with the mixture and then scrub away any residue with an old toothbrush you don’t mind pitching after the chore is done.
Hydrogen Peroxide Mold Disinfecting Recipe
- Pour a 3 percent concentration of hydrogen peroxide into a squirt bottle and spray the moldy area.
- Wait at least 15 minutes before you wipe away the mixture.
- If battling a thick mold infestation, you may need to scrub away any residue as noted above.
Natural Toxic Mold Deep Cleaning Recipe
- Combine 1 cup of distilled white vinegar and 1 tablespoon of tea tree essential oil in a large squirt bottle that can hold at least 3 cups of fluid.
- Pour in 1 cup of warm water.
- Add in 2 tablespoons of baking soda and shake vigorously.
- Pour in 1 cup of 3 percent concentrate hydrogen peroxide – and shake vigorously once again.
- Squirt the mold and allow the solution to settle on it for 30 minutes to one hour.
- Scrub away the liquid – or use a shop vacuum.
- A second light spraying followed by scrubbing with a toothbrush, might be necessary to remove all of the mold residue.
DIY Natural Fabric Mold Removal Recipe
- Combine 2 teaspoons of tea tree oil, ½ of a cup of borax, and ½ of a cup of distilled white vinegar in a pitcher of 2 cups of warm water. This mixture will be too thick to spray through a squirt bottle but might be thin enough to flow through a clean agriculture sprayer.
- Shake the mixture vigorously and make certain the borax has dissolved completely.
- Spray the mold covered areas and then scrub them with a toothbrush or larger still scrub brush.
Borax Mold Killer Recipe
An effective and inexpensive mold killer can be made with just two regular household items: borax and water. The solution works by killing the spores of existing mold while preventing any new growth.
- Mix one cup of borax into one gallon of hot water, stirring until completely dissolved.
- Once cooled, dampen a cloth or sponge with the mixture and scrub the affected areas until all traces of mold are gone.
- Leave the solution on for several minutes to ensure complete eradication, then rinse thoroughly with plain water to remove any residue.
The combination of borax’s antifungal properties and its low pH level make it an ideal choice for mildew control, while the concentration ratio ensures that you don’t spend more money than necessary on this frugal cleaning remedy.
Ammonia Mold Killer
Ammonia is a powerful cleaning agent and can be used as a mold killer when diluted with water. To create this mixture:
- Combine 1/2 cup of ammonia with 1/2 gallon of water in a spray bottle or bucket.
- Spray or pour this solution on the affected areas and let sit for 20 minutes before wiping away any residue with a damp cloth.
It’s important to note that ammonia should never be mixed with bleach as the combination creates toxic fumes.
Killing Mold With Fresh Lemons
Lemons have natural bleaching properties that make them an effective way to kill mold in your home. To use lemons as a natural mold killer:
- Cut one lemon into slices.
- Rub them directly onto the affected area until it is saturated with juice from the lemon slices. Let sit for up to 30 minutes before rinsing off with warm water and wiping away any remaining residue with a cloth or sponge.
This method works best on non-porous surfaces like tile, porcelain, glass, or metal.
Bleach+Borax – a One-Two Punch Against Mold
This is one of the most effective methods for killing mold naturally.
- Combine one cup of bleach (regular strength) with 1/4 cup Borax in one gallon of hot water and stir until dissolved completely.
- Pour this solution into a spray bottle and apply liberally onto the affected area(s).
- Let sit for 15-20 minutes before scrubbing off any remaining residue with a brush or sponge then rinse off thoroughly with warm water once done scrubbing.
This method works best on hard surfaces such as tile floors or countertops but should not be used on fabrics or other porous materials as it could cause discoloration or damage due to the bleach in the mixture.
Grapefruit Seed Extract to Kill Mold
Grapefruit seed extract has been found to be an effective natural remedy for killing mold spores quickly and effectively without the use of harsh chemicals or toxins.
All you need is 100% pure grapefruit seed extract oil (one teaspoon per quart of water).
- Mix the ingredients together in a spray bottle along with one quart of lukewarm water.
- Shake well before spraying onto affected areas liberally until saturated.
- Then let sit for 10 minutes before wiping away any excess liquid/residue using a damp cloth or sponge (rinse afterwards if needed).
For tougher stains, increase concentration by adding two teaspoons per quart instead of just one teaspoon per quart before spraying onto surface(s).
All of these recipes are effective alternatives to using bleach or other harsh chemical ingredients to get rid of mold. All of the ingredients used in the various mold cleaner recipes are safe for both your home and the environment.
When using a natural mold cleaner recipe that contains borax, keep pets and livestock clear of the area until it dries to ensure the wet liquid mixture is not licked and ingested.
Take proper precautions before cleaning any type of mold – but particularly toxic varieties like black mold. Always wear thick cleaning gloves and a mask over your nose and mouth. When dealing with toxic mold or in an area where ventilation is at a minimum, donning protective eyewear is also highly recommended.
In addition to cleaning the mold, you will also need to remove any contaminated materials that are too damaged, absorbent, or porous to be saved – such as drywall, carpeting, particle board – fiberboard, and ceiling tiles.
Once the cleaning and debris are chores are completed, the mold removal job is still not complete. Examine the area where the mold grew and determine how you can help deter regrowth.
Running an exhaust fan or ceiling fan in the bathroom can be an inexpensive and consistent way to keep mold growth in check. Sometimes fixing a water leak or running a dehumidifier is all that it will take.
It is best to keep the humidity levels inside the home below 50% to thwart the growth of mold. Diligently monitor damp areas inside the house, storage buildings, and barns on the homestead for signs of mold growth, especially during times of intense rain.
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What is the best homemade mold remover? ›
Mix one teaspoon of baking soda along with two cups of water and shake in a spray bottle. When thoroughly dissolved spray the solution onto the mold and scrub with a brush. Repeat if necessary. Once cleaned, wipe the area with a wet, clean cloth to remove the solution.What is a homemade recipe for mold removal? ›
For really tough black mold removal, mix two parts baking soda with one part white vinegar and one part water. Stir the mixture until it becomes a thick paste. Spread your mixture liberally onto the surface and let it dry. Scrub away the black mold and stains, and wipe down with water.What kills black mold naturally? ›
For a natural solution for getting rid of black mold, combine one part baking soda with five parts distilled white vinegar and five parts water in a spray bottle. Alternatively, you can use a chemical-based mold and mildew remover, all-purpose cleaners, bleach or dish soap.What removes mold permanently? ›
Simply mix one part bleach to four parts water. Using a damp cloth gently scrub and wipe the mould until the mould is gone. Once finished, dry the area well with a soft cloth.What kills mold better than vinegar? ›
Yes, ammonia is a strong mold killer. In fact, many commercial mold cleaning products contain ammonia. It's stronger than vinegar and is similar to bleach in terms of potency, although make sure to never mix two together — ammonia and bleach react to produce toxic fumes.What kills and stops mold from growing? ›
If mold is growing in your home, you need to clean up the mold and fix the moisture problem. Mold can be removed from hard surfaces with household products, soap and water, or a bleach solution of no more than 1 cup of household laundry bleach in 1 gallon of water.What kills mold the fastest? ›
Use undiluted white vinegar on hard surfaces in kitchens and baths. A bleach solution also works to kill mold. Mix one cup of bleach in a gallon of water, apply to the surface and don't rinse. Mix a 50/50 solution of ammonia and water.What natural oil kills mold? ›
5 Essential Oils That Kill Mold:
Tea Tree Oil. Eucalyptus Oil. Lavender Oil. Citrus Oil.
- Step 1: Stabilize the Immune System. ...
- Step 2: Support Natural Drainage. ...
- Step 3: Lay the Foundations (Gut, Brain & Mitochondria) ...
- Step 4: Add in Binders (Plus Liver & Gallbladder Support) ...
- Step 5: Start Anti-fungals & Antimicrobials. ...
- Step 6: Make Peace with Food. ...
- Step 7: Rebuild the Gut. ...
- Step 8: Detox Daily.
Besides killing mold, baking soda also deodorizes, so it can also get rid of the smell mold leaves in your home. Baking soda also absorbs moisture to help keep mold away. Vinegar is sometimes used along with baking soda when cleaning up a mold problem since vinegar kills different species of mold than baking soda.
How can I make my home mold free? ›
- How to prevent mold growth in your home.
- Control moisture. ...
- Keep all mold “food” out of in your basement. ...
- Limit moisture in kitchens and bathrooms. ...
- Avoid attracting mold with your basement flooring. ...
- Thoroughly clean and inspect your air-conditioning system yearly. ...
- Clean up all major leaks or floods immediately.
- Use a non-ammonia soap or detergent in warm water and scrub the entire area affected by the mold. Use a stiff brush or cleaning pad on block walls or uneven surfaces.
- Rinse clean with water.
- Dry completely.
Hydrogen peroxide is just one of many household ingredients you can use to clean mold. Using vinegar is another effective way to clean mold in your home. However, it's important not to mix hydrogen peroxide and vinegar together.Can I leave vinegar on mold overnight? ›
Spray vinegar onto the moldy surface and leave it for an hour. Then wipe the area clean with water and allow the surface to dry. Any smell should clear within a few hours. While it's safe to use on most surfaces, vinegar is unlikely to be effective at cleaning mold off of soft surfaces.What kills the root of mold? ›
To kill mold spores and their roots, pour straight 3 percent peroxide, undiluted, into a spray bottle and saturate the blocks with it. Let the peroxide do its work for 10 to 15 minutes, and scrub the walls to remove all dead mold. You can add vinegar to the peroxide in the spray bottle to make the solution stronger.”Can you get rid of mold forever? ›
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), “There is no practical way to eliminate all mold and mold spores in the indoor environment; the way to control indoor mold growth is to control moisture.” Even if you clean the mold, it will still come back if the room is humid and poorly ventilated or there is ...Is hydrogen peroxide effective against mold? ›
Hydrogen peroxide will remove mould but it won't kill it. So unless you take steps to prevent it from returning it will almost certainly reappear.What kills mold better vinegar or Clorox? ›
Is Vinegar More Effective Than Bleach? Vinegar truly is better than cleaning with bleach when it comes to killing mold. The EPA does not recommend using bleach to kill or remove mold, except in special circumstances. In most cases, “a background level of mold spores will remain” after the application of bleach.How long before vinegar kills mold? ›
Let the vinegar sit for at least an hour. Using a brush with soft bristles, scrub the moldy surface until the mold comes off. If you're scrubbing a rougher surface you might need a thicker brush. Dry the area completely with a clean rag and throw away the used rag and brush.How do you fight mold in your body? ›
- Nasal corticosteroids. These nasal sprays help prevent and treat the inflammation caused by an upper respiratory mold allergy. ...
- Antihistamines. These medications can help with itching, sneezing and runny nose. ...
- Oral decongestants. ...
- Decongestant nasal sprays. ...
What are the symptoms of mold in your body? ›
Some people are sensitive to molds. For these people, exposure to molds can lead to symptoms such as stuffy nose, wheezing, and red or itchy eyes, or skin. Some people, such as those with allergies to molds or with asthma, may have more intense reactions.Does apple cider vinegar stop mold? ›
Natural Ways To Get Rid of Mold and Mildew
Vinegar: Spray undiluted white or apple cider vinegar on the mold and let it sit for an hour. Afterwards, wipe the mold. There is not reason to wash it off, as this will create more moisture.
Why vinegar and baking soda: Vinegar is a super powerful tool! It kills around 82% of mold species because it has acetic acid. On the other hand, baking soda is great because it absorbs moisture.Does baking soda and hydrogen peroxide clean mold? ›
Molds are fungi and they can, and will, grow back after bleaching. There are 4 simple ingredients you can safely use to clean away mold in your home: white vinegar, baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, and detergent or soap.What material is natural mold resistant? ›
Fiberglass insulation helps resist any water damage and mold growth. Fiberglass is resistant to mold by its nature, and some companies produce an added layer of protection by treating their products with an EPA-approved fungicide.Does mold go away naturally? ›
The problem of mold and mildew won't go away on its own. Use these simple cleaning tips to remove and prevent mold and mildew in your home.Which is better hydrogen peroxide or vinegar? ›
Vinegar and peroxide work well in tandem because they both kill germs but in different ways. They make a good one-two punch because vinegar is good at killing some germs and hydrogen peroxide is better at killing others.Why is vinegar better than bleach for mold? ›
It's a great alternative to harsh chemicals, like bleach, which does not actually kill mold, and can damage surfaces. White vinegar is an effective mold killer because of its high acidity. Microbes, and mold spores cannot survive highly acidic environments.How do you get rid of mold spores in the air? ›
Unfortunately, it is impossible to get rid of all mold spores in the air so you need to replace the air filter in your ac unit regularly. In addition, use an air purifier that contains a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter. These air filters are known to remove up to 99.7% of all mold spores from your air.What kind of vinegar kills mold? ›
Pour enough undiluted white vinegar into the empty spray bottle to cover the area of mold growth. Spray the mold directly, fully saturating it with the vinegar, and allow the vinegar to sit for at least an hour. Don't be tempted to scrub or rinse; the mold needs time to completely absorb the vinegar.
Can mold survive vinegar? ›
But when it comes to mold removal, one of the stickiest of myths is that bleach and vinegar can be used to safely and thoroughly remove mold. Unfortunately, bleach and vinegar don't remove mold effectively enough for positive long term outcomes.What kills mold and mildew instantly? ›
Use undiluted white vinegar on hard surfaces in kitchens and baths. A bleach solution also works to kill mold. Mix one cup of bleach in a gallon of water, apply to the surface and don't rinse.Does dawn and vinegar remove mold? ›
There are 4 simple ingredients you can safely use to clean away mold in your home: white vinegar, baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, and detergent or soap.Is baking soda or vinegar better for cleaning mold? ›
Vinegar is sometimes used along with baking soda when cleaning up a mold problem since vinegar kills different species of mold than baking soda. To kill mold, add 1/4 tablespoon of baking soda to a spray bottle containing water.What is the best mold remover for outside of house? ›
Our top pick is the RMR-86 Instant Mold and Mildew Stain Remover for its versatility and effectiveness on nearly every surface. For those looking for an eco-friendly mold remover with natural ingredients, we recommend CLR Mold and Mildew Clear.How do you use hydrogen peroxide to remove mold? ›
Put 3% hydrogen peroxide into a spray bottle and spray it directly onto the mold growing on the hard surface. Allow the hydrogen peroxide to sit for 10 minutes or until it stops bubbling. Use a soft brush or rag to gently scrub and loosen the mold. Use a firmer scrub if needed, but be careful not to damage the surface.Does Dawn get rid of mold? ›
According to the CDC, soap, and water can effectively remove mold from household surfaces. This application works well specifically with non-porous surfaces, like shower tiles and kitchen sinks. But soap alone can only do so much.How long to leave vinegar on mold? ›
Pour the undiluted vinegar into a spray bottle. Spray it directly onto the moldy surface. Let the vinegar sit for at least an hour. Using a brush with soft bristles, scrub the moldy surface until the mold comes off.