Tuesday, March 6, 2012

A Plea for Help: Mold

Oh no! Not bleach!

Eco-novice wants your advice

Mold: the bane of the green cleaner's existence.  The list of possible DIY solutions is long:
  • vinegar
  • tea tree oil
  • hydrogen peroxide
  • baking soda
  • borax
But do they work? And what about the many green cleaners that claim to combat mold? With equal parts relief and despair, I read that Crunchy Chicken (aka Deanna Duke) found bleach to be the least toxic solution that actually worked against mold. Relief, because I haven't found anything non-toxic that works either (and I don't even live in a particularly humid place), and despair, because I'd really rather not have to keep a bottle of bleach in my garage.

Crunchy Chicken does have good ideas for preventing mold. As with so many things, prevention is really the least toxic solution. In The Non-Toxic Avenger, Deanna suggests spider plants and a dehumidifier (particularly if you don't have a bathroom window) to prevent mold from getting a foothold in the first place.

So my question to you, Readers of Green Phone Booth, is what has worked for you? 
How do you prevent mold? And how to you get rid of mold you neglected to prevent?
DIY cleaners, green store-bought cleaners, magic spells?
Please share!


From a plant... said...

You might like this recent blog post: http://down---to---earth.blogspot.co.nz/2012/03/cleaning-mould-from-walls-and-fabrics.html

Rosa said...

it's really dry here, so we don't get a lot of mold.

The *one* place I have a problem is the part of the shower curtain that hangs inside the clawfoot tub. And, I bought a recycled-plastic shower curtain that can't be bleached! So for right now, I kill the mildew every month or so with oxyclean/peroxide powder, but have to live with the ugly spots it leaves behind :(

OneHealthyGirl.com said...

Young Living Thieves essential oil has been proven to kill black mold. Here are all the details: http://www.moldrx4u.com/

Helena said...

Rhonda Jean over at Down to Earth just posted on this the other day--she mentioned that bleach doesn't always kill the mold, sometimes it just removes the color so you just think it's gone.

Lisa Nelsen-Woods said...

I replace out my bathroom exhaust fan with a larger exhaust fan. The original met code but was too small to do the job. Installing a larger fan cut my mold and mildew issues considerably! Now straight up vinegar does the job nicely.

Lisa Sharp said...

Tea tree oil killed mold in my house, even toxic mold. We tested and found toxic mold, used tea tree oil, retested, it was gone. Now it doesn't get rid of the stains, for that it depends on the surface for what you should use.

Jen said...

I didn't know about the powers of tea tree oil so that is awesome to read!

We use this http://jenandjoeygogreen.blogspot.com/2011/07/green-cleaner-review-concrobium-mold.html

Eco Yogini said...

Living in the maritime provinces means a LOT Of humid air and a LOT of mold. I grew up with the reality that you replaced the caulking around the tub every year... that was just life.

Now- I haven't really found a way short of removing the caulking to prevent mold. Our shower curtain is hemp- so it naturally deters mold, but isn't resistent. We wash it every two weeks, but little discolorations are there.

I've tea tree oil does the trick, but I'm allergic so it makes me a bit nervous to have my hands near it....

let us know what works!


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