Not only is mould unsightly – destroying grout and staining porous surfaces – it can also be detrimental to your health. Mould spores are known causes of allergies, sinus infections, and skin irritation, to name a few. Keep your home free of unwanted fungus using these all-natural tips and cleaning methods.
1. Dry up the environment: Wet environments are a thriving ground for mould. Fix any leaky plumbing as soon as possible to prevent mould from growing in hard-to-reach areas like behind walls and under cabinets. Make it a habit to air out your home regularly by opening windows and doors. Keep shower curtains closed when not in use so they can dry. Avoid leaving items like damp rugs, moist towels, or wet clothes laying around as these are the perfect medium for mould and mildew to grow in.
2. Vinegar is magic mould cleaner: Vinegar is naturally antimicrobial, so there’s no need to mix it with anything. Simple pour vinegar (white or any other kind) into a spray bottle and apply anywhere mould is growing. Let it sit for a few minutes to kill and dissolve the fungus, then wipe away with a cloth or sponge.
3. Other alcohol substitutes work too: If you don’t like the smell of vinegar, other fermented liquids can also be used. Distilled grain alcohols like vodka will kill mould and mildew just as quickly. Using the cheap, “bottom shelf” spirits is better, as they tend to be filtered less and distilled fewer times. This means they contain acetaldehyde which is exponentially more toxic (about thirty times more so) to unwanted fungus than ethanol.
4. Seal grout and tiles: Once you’ve cleaned your grout and tiles of mould, you may want to seal them to prevent future growth. Unsealed grout and unfinished tiles in the kitchen and bathrooms are an invitation for mould to grow. If you notice your grout is staining or holding water for longer than it should (grout darkens when it absorbs water), you may need to reseal it.
5. Grapefruit seed extract: Tea tree oil is usually a great way to fight mould, but is sometimes expensive. A great alternative is using grapefruit seed extract, which has the added advantage of being odourless. Combine 20 drops grapefruit seed extract in 2 cups water in a spray bottle, shake to blend, and spray on problem areas. Do not rinse. Makes about 2 cups, lasts indefinitely.