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Safe and Ecofriendly Ways to Remove Mold

This article was written as a response to the question:
Several safe and green ways to remove mold from your home.

Mold, a microscopic fungi, is abundant in our world. It is a necessary piece of the decomposition cycle. In cultured form, it is used in the production of many food products – cheese, bread, and soy sauce to name a few. In health related applications, the mold type Penicillium chrysogenum is used to create the antibiotic penicillin.

Health and home

Unfortunately, the bad side to mold becomes apparent when it is introduced into our homes. Even a small amount within a living space can cause allergic reactions such as watery eyes, nasal congestion, and fatigue. If mold is left unchecked, it will reproduce, eat away at the structure of the infested home, and can make the home inhabitants gravely ill from prolonged exposure.

Most common household mold

The most commonly found mold inside of homes is Stachybotrys or “black mold”. This mold type thrives on water damaged material such as sheet rock, paper, ceiling tiles and even wallpaper. It is black and slimy in appearance. Bathrooms, kitchens, laundry rooms and basements are the most common places to find mold.

Safe and green remedies

If you do find an instance or instances of mold in your home, you can safely remove the mold yourself using one of several green remedies:

  • For mild occurrences of mold, equal parts of water and mild dish washing liquid can easily remove mold. Spray the solution onto the mold and scrub it away.
  • Citric acid is one of the safest and most natural mold remedies. Natural oils such as grapefruit seed extract or lemon peel diluted with water can be sprayed onto the moldy area. Let the liquid sit a bit and then wipe the surface clean. Regular spritzing with this same solution can keep mold at bay.
  • The acidic properties found in vinegar can quickly kill off a mold infestation. Vinegar can be applied directly onto the affected area and then wiped away. If the mold is exceedingly acrid, a paste of one part vinegar to two parts baking soda can be directly applied. This paste does create a mild odor and should not be used around small children.
  • Tea tree oil is another excellent mold cleaner. A teaspoon of the oil mixed with a cup of water creates a solution that can be sprayed onto mold and wiped away. Be aware that tea tree oil is rather pungent and will linger longer than citric or vinegar remedies.

Constant vigilence

Once mold has been found in your home, it is a safe bet that it will have a tendency to return.  Occasionally (as in the case of mold infested drywall), you may not always see the mold.  Local home and hardware stores carry mold detection kits that can easily detect and let you know if there is mold present in your home.  Constantly monitoring and cleaning mold-proned areas and rooms will ensure that the issue does not get out of hand and have a larger impact on you, your family and your home.

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