Make black mold a problem of the past with these home remedies.
By Cate Geiger,
If you’re a neat freak, you’ve likely got all your natural cleaning solutions at the ready. You have your method for cleaning a cloth face mask down pat. You know how to clean a dishwasher in your sleep, you can clean your oven at the drop of a hat, and you regularly clean your washing machine. Basically, your housekeeping skills are the talk of the town. Even so, black mold can still make an appearance in even the cleanest bathrooms or basements, pop up in HVACs or attics, or really any parts of the home where water accumulates and dampness exists.
Black mold can be dangerous to your health, mainly causing respiratory issues. But in severe cases and for people with pre-existing health conditions, black mold can lead to pneumonia. When you suspect a mold invasion, you might want to invest in a mold testing kit to see what type of mold spores you’re working with, and call in an expert to help with removal. But in the short-term, here are some natural home remedies (made with things you likely already have on-hand) that will help eradicate mold.
The Tea Tree Oil Solution
Tea tree oil is often used to keep spiders away, but it’s also one of the safer options for getting rid of black mold. It’s a natural fungicide that can work as a cleaning product, and it has the strength to prevent mold spores from coming back.
Combine 1 teaspoon of tea tree oil to 1 cup of water and increase the quantity ratio from there. Shake it up and pour it into a spray bottle to maximize coverage. (You can also use a dampened towel if you don’t have a spray bottle.) Once applied to the moldy area, leave it to dry for an hour, and then wipe away with a microfiber cloth or dry towel. Make sure to wear protective gloves, as even though it is a natural solution, it can still irritate your skin.
Grapefruit Seed Extract
Grapefruit seed extract is great to have on hand for various healthcare remedies and also cleaning solutions and potions. What makes it good at battling black mold? Its main compounds are polyphenols, known as limonoids, and naringenin, which help when killing bacteria in laundry, cleaning carpet spills (that could lead to mold growth!), and for disinfecting and sterilizing spaces. When the extract is used to fight black mold, the acids continue penetrating growth and prevent mold spores from returning.
Mix about 10 drops of grapefruit seed extract oil to every 1 cup of water you use. Once again, the best way to saturate the affected area is to use a spray bottle. Let the solution sit for as short as 10 minutes or as long as an hour, depending on how bad the situation is, and then wipe away any remaining residue.
Baking soda is one of the greats. It’s a safe substance to have around your kids and pets, and it’s also effective at preventing mold and absorbing mildew odors.
Stir together a mixture of 50/50 baking soda and water until it forms a paste. This concoction is best used to remove lighter mold stains and prevent future growth. After applying it to the problem area, use a small brush to scrape away any mold-stained spots. (You know the spray bottle is coming, so you might as well buy one if you don’t already have it.) Next, combine 2 tablespoons baking soda with 2 cups of water, mix it up, and pour it into that trusty spray bottle. Give it one more shake before spraying it over the area you just cleaned. Let it dry into a protective layer to prevent future mold growth.
White distilled vinegar is an affordable, natural solution to removing black mold. Its antibacterial acidic characteristics are exactly what you need to get the job done.
Pour the undiluted vinegar into a spray bottle to apply to the area, or just go for it and pour that vinegar right onto the mold stains. Use a disposable towel and wipe away the mold from the area. If that doesn’t work, grab an old toothbrush and go to town on the problem zone. Allow time for this to dry, and then use a damp towel to wipe the area clean one more time.
Hydrogen peroxide is a natural and safe way to stop black mold growth. It’s a 3-in-1 antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal remedy; it’s safe to use; and it’s easy on the environment. Use it to remove mold from porous materials, like woven furniture.
Mix one part 3% hydrogen peroxide with 2 parts water and in a spray bottle. If you really want to avoid purchasing a spray bottle (although seriously, get the bottle!), you can also soak a towel in this solution and wipe it directly over mold growth. Let the solution sit for up to 10 minutes, and then scrub the area with a small brush or toothbrush. Wipe any remaining mold away with a towel and let the area dry.
Although this might not be the strongest weapon against black mold, it’s probably something you have in the kitchen. It’s also totally natural, and who doesn’t like the smell of freshly squeezed lemons? It will definitely smell better than the mildew/mold growing in your shower—but then again, what doesn’t?
Juice three to five lemons and pour over affected area. Let it sit for five minutes, and then wipe it away with a damp towel. As with some of the above methods, you can use a toothbrush to scrub at the problem zone if you feel like the towel isn’t working well enough. For optimal cleaning, mix lemon juice with any dish or hand soap you have in your home plus a little water. The soap will add a little extra heft to the mold-removal process.