Keep Mold & Mildew at Bay with These Green Cleaning Secrets
If you’ve ever had mold or mildew you know how unsightly it is. But, did you know it also has detrimental effects on your health? People with compromised immune systems, the elderly and infants are especially susceptible.
Left untreated, growing mold can cause a variety of health problems:
- Allergic type reactions (such as nasal stuffiness, scratchy throat, coughing, sneezing)
- Mental fog
- Chronic fatigue
- Itchy and irritated skin conditions (if you come in contact with it)
- Aggravate and worsen asthma conditions
- Respiratory infections
- Lung damage
Mold and mildew may be in your home without you even realizing it. It tends to grow in damp, humid places, like the bathroom, or around leaky pipes or windows. Mold looks like green or black dots, and sometimes grows in a circular pattern.
You might not see the mold if it’s growing under the sink or in the basement but if it has been growing in an enclosed space you will definitely be able to smell it. Mold and mildew have a strong musty odor.
Since mold is hazardous to your health it’s advisable to protect yourself when cleaning it by wearing gloves, a mask or respirator and eye protection. In fact, mold can be so dangerous that if the area of your mold problem is more than 3 square feet you should consider hiring a professional.
If you choose to do the cleanup yourself, you have a few “green” options. You probably have some of these products in your cupboards already.
Vinegar & Baking Soda Paste
Items you will need:
- ½ cup white distilled vinegar
- 1 cup baking soda
- A toothbrush, applicator or cheap paint brush you can throw away afterwards
- 1 gallon hot water
- 2 Tbsp. liquid castile soap
Combine baking soda and vinegar in a bowl. Be careful because vinegar and baking soda will fizz and overflow if you do not add it slowly. Once you have a thick paste you can take your applicator and apply generously over the mold spots. Allow it to dry overnight.
Then, add hot water and liquid castile soap to your bucket and use your cloth to remove the dried paste.
Tea Tree Oil Spray
Items you will need:
- 16 oz. spray bottle
- 2 tsp. tea tree oil
- Warm water
Add water and tea tree oil to your spray bottle and liberally spray on effected area. Leave on for 30 minutes and wipe with damp cloth. Tea tree oil has a very strong scent but it will dissipate in a few hours.
** Don’t forget your protective gear.
This should remove the mold and mildew. But once you have a mold or mildew occurrence it is likely it will return without regular care. Regular care can mean cleaning up to once a month or more depending on the level of humidity. It’s much easier to keep up with the regular cleanings than having to deal with the mold problems.