Five Green & Natural Ways To Remove Mold

by Joe on April 17, 2009

When mold rears its ugly head in our bathrooms, our first impulse is to grab the most powerful cleaner we can get our hands on to kill it. But hold the horses–those caustic mold removal chemicals also wreak havoc on the environment after they’ve washed away. They’re also not great for your health–they can leave you gasping for air and some brands are so corrosive they can actually dissolve skin. How about a green cleaning solution?

You may have no choice but to use these chemicals if your mold problem is severe, but if it’s less so you could consider more environmentally ways of attacking mold. Here are five ways of killing mold without wreaking harm on yourself or the environment:

1) Borax and Dishwashing Detergent. In a quart of warm water, add a gentle, environmentally friendly dish washing liquid (like Seventh Generation’s) plus one teaspoon of borax. Soak moldy areas with the mixture, rinse off and allow to air dry. Just don’t overdo it with borax, as it still has some health effects in large doses.

2) Grapefruit Seed Extract. Add twenty drops of grapefruit seed extract (or other citrus seed extract) to two cups of water.  Spray and allow to dry.

3) Tea Tree Oil. Tea tree oil is a great oil for attacking mold, and is also a great natural antimicrobial.  Mix a teaspoon of it with two cups of water, then spray on and let dry. Warning: the scent is strong, but will dissipate in a day or two.

4) Vinegar and Baking Soda. Vinegar and baking soda are two of the best natural cleaning liquids you can have in the house. Mix two parts baking soda with a one to one solution of vinegar and water to create a thick paste.  Let this dry on the surface, then scrub off.  This process can be repeated for really stubborn mold.

5) Hydrogen Peroxide. Dilute 1/2 cup of hydrogen peroxide in 1 cup of warm water and apply.

The best cure is, of course, prevention. It’s easier to eliminate mold by cleaning more frequently, instead of letting problems build up.  If you’re in a mold removal situation so severe that none of these solutions help, you may have no choice but to go with the harsh traditional cleaners. In that case, be sure to keep the area well ventilated, use the cleaner as sparingly as possible, and allow as little as you can to go down the drain. Mopping up extra cleaner with a cloth and letting it dry in a safe place will also render some of the chemicals inert, making the cloth safer to wash later.

Know other ways to remove mold? Post them below.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Nikki May 27, 2009 at 1:25 am

Hello. I do not have any additional suggestions, but I just wanted to thank the poster for these suggestions. I just finished removing some mold from my bathroom and I currently use a Mold and Mildew remover by Tilex. It is by far the best mold remover I have ever used. HOWEVER, I literally have to leave the bathroom for around 40 minutes after I initially spray all of the tiles. I will keep these suggestions handy and try them all out until I find one that works.

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Joe Barrios May 27, 2009 at 10:03 am

Thanks for the comment…I hope these suggestions work out for you!

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Alea Scarff March 18, 2011 at 6:46 pm

I have a question… what is the best eco friendly way to clean mold off of glass?

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Juli November 8, 2013 at 8:54 am

For all of my window needs I personally use 1 part ammonia, 1 part vinegar and 1/2 part water. Pour into a spray bottle, spray on glass or other surface and clean with newspaper. This also works great on the following, auto glass with tobacco residue, bathroom mirrors with hairspray or other products stuck on and glasses with spots of hair spray too.

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