In terms of health, the good news is that most people are not affected by mold at all. But for those who are mold-sensitive, certain types of mold have the potential to cause some severe and mysterious symptoms. Routine exposure in the home or workplace can cause eye and skin irritation or breathing difficulties in people with pre-existing conditions like asthma or eczema. And for those with serious mold allergies, reactions can be much more severe. The Institute of Medicine and the World Health Organization has even found that exposure to mold causes respiratory problems in otherwise healthy children. For those with chronic lung illnesses, mold infections are a serious danger. Generally speaking, children and the elderly carry are at a higher risk.
Mold and mildew are natural byproducts of summer. That doesn’t mean that you want to share your house with the spores, however. Rather than turning to harsh chemicals, such as bleach or borax, to banish mold, there are eco-friendly, natural ways to kill mold at home that won’t hurt your family, pets or the environment.
Black mold is most likely to rear its ugly head in areas of the home that are warm, humid and damp. In addition to showers, basements and crawlspaces that may have leaks, or some other sources of moisture, are commonly susceptible to the growth of toxic black mold.
Thoroughly shake the spray bottle of mold-mitigating solution, then spray the affected area so it’s well-saturated. (Continue to shake the bottle repeatedly during this process in order to ensure the solution stays well mixed.) Allow the liquid to sit on the mold for 5 to 10 minutes so the antibacterial properties have time to work through the grime. Never scrape dried mold, or else the toxic spores could spread into air and cause negative health effects.
Toxic burden is determined by two factors: the levels of toxic chemicals and microorganisms that we’re exposed to, and the function of our innate detoxification system. If our exposure to toxins is high and our detoxification system is compromised—due to genetic predisposition, environmental factors, or both—then our toxic burden will be high.
You are exposed to biotoxic mold and your immune system does not respond appropriately to remove the foreign invader. Why you do not respond probably has a genetic cause. Get an HLA DR DQ test to determine if you are genetically susceptible to toxic mold.
I visited your site and noticed you provide a lot of good tips for cleaning the bathroom, toilet, etc. HOwever, I stumbled upon a toilet bowl cleaner called NEVERSCRUB and thought it would be great for you to share with your readers! It removed all my hardwater and grime stains. I dont work for the company,. I am a housewife that swears by this product and figured you should share this too. I love your blogs!
Take a nylon bristle brush and scrub the surface area to lift and unsettle the dampened mold. Move the brush in careful strong strokes so you aren’t splashing the mold on the surrounding areas—even dead mold spores can be an allergenic health issue. After scrubbing thoroughly with the brush, wipe the area clean with old rags or paper towels.
Mold is a non-scientific term for many types of unwanted fungi found both indoors and outdoors. Active mold growth requires moisture. Actively-growing mold damages the material it lives on, thereby impairing structural integrity. In addition, mold is associated with some untoward health effects in humans, including allergies and infections.
Hey Wes, thanks for the very informative article. I am in the mold industry and have never heard of the Grape Seed Extract for removal. Is that something you came up with or where did you hear about it? Just curious
As alarming as these numbers are, they don’t tell the whole story. Although water damage is probably the biggest concern, mold and other biotoxins can also develop in buildings that are not water-damaged but have indoor humidity levels above 50 to 60 percent. In fact, many experts recommend maintaining indoor humidity levels between 30 and 50 percent for preventing the growth of mold and other biotoxins.
Proper safety gear should be worn when dealing with mold. A high quality, high filtration face mask is a must, as are vinyl or neoprene gloves. A full protective suit is recommended when using harsh chemicals and for larger mold remediation projects.
Molds are fungi. Homes and structures often provide many opportunities for mold spores to grow, even in the absence of frank water leaks: seepage through foundation walls and cellar floors, dehumidifiers and air conditioners, window condensation, defective plumbing, damp bathrooms, air filters, and potted plants.4 Different types of mold spores thrive on different surfaces; for example, the “yellow slime” found on hardwood mulch won’t be found growing in a tiled bath enclosure.
When toxic black mold does grow in the home it’s usually in a place out of sight. Toxic black mold needs a lot of moisture for a long time before it can begin to grow. This is why it often grows where there has been a water leak hidden from view. Leaks inside walls, above ceilings or under floors are common causes of toxic black mold.
Hi – we recently (in the past six months) removed/replaced the silicone coating along the grout line where the tub meets the tile wall, and now I think mould is behind the silicone….I think I know the answer here, but do you think we should remove the silicone, deal with the mould and re-seal, or forget about silicone sealant altogether and just keep the grout accessible to cleaning?
Step 7: Allow the paper towels to thoroughly dry out to the point where they start falling off the walls. Peel them off, using your gloves if there is any dampness in the towels. You are done! Try taking some before and after pictures to remind yourself how effective this procedure is. You can use chlorine bleach instead of peroxide, it just smells way worse for a long time. Note- the strong peroxide puts out a lot of oxygen and ozone in the air. Use plenty of ventilation as the ozone can sting your eyes.
Borax – This water-soluble mineral is also a natural mould-killer, which you can buy as a detergent or in powder form. If you get it as a powder, mix half a cup of borax thoroughly with hot water according to instructions. Then add the solution directly into the drum of your washing machine, and launder the clothes as normal.
Thanks for the input I worked for Melaleuca so I have a bottle of green tea oil and I will be using vinger to clean my bathroom floor. I have two small children so I didn’t want to use anything to harm them. This is great. I love that I can use house hold items to get rid of my mold problem.
Press Board and other fake sheets of wood are the reason why there are rules in the USA (and the USA is the worst of all 1st world nations on taking environmental issue seriously) concerning prefab homes and mobile homes. They are basically BUILT with press board, oriented strand board and plywood (fake wood). When they started making prefabs REAL houses were not made with any of that except for some plywood. The rules in the USA state that *ALL* the air in a prefab (or equivalent) home must be fully vented (completely exchanged) every few minutes by a special system built into the house.
SOLAR TRACKER: Alpine buttercups (Ranunculus adoneus) are known for their solar tracking abilities – their small yellow flowers follow the sun’s daily journey from east to west. Researchers think that the behavior helps keep the flowers warm, which boosts chances of pollination by heat-seeking insects. Scientists have shown that the buttercup responds specifically to the blue wavelengths of sunlight: artificial blue light, but not red, gains the flower’s loyalty. Sherel Goodrich, USDA Forest Service
Too many preventable accidents have happened when combining 2 or more cleaning agents together. Often enough, this occurred because the user (although well intentioned) did so to create a stronger cleaning agent for the job at hand.
The meds I need are not affordable such as daily caspofungin injections or pozacanazole tabs and daily injections of gamma globulin. Each combination plus weekly irrigation costs between $100,000 to $118,000 per year. I cannot afford them and I have no health insurance. I need a miracle. My health just keeps declining and I have been bedridden for almost 2 years.
Toxic black mold can be expensive to remove and even cause a range of health problems — so testing for black mold is an important first step if you think your home might have a black mold infestation.
In the early ‘90s, a New Zealand man named Neil Fleming decided to sort through something that had puzzled him during his time monitoring classrooms as a school inspector. In the course of watching 9,000 different classes, he noticed that only some teachers were able to reach each and every one of their students. What were they doing differently?
Be sure to discuss any health problem with a health care professional prior to attempting to remove and clean mold if you have an allergy or are sensitive to molds. When washing with soap and water, rubber gloves are recommended, but for bleach and harsher cleaning agents, nonporous gloves (for example, natural rubber, neoprene, nitrile, polyurethane, or PVC) should be worn along with protective eyewear. Wearing an N-95 respirator (available at many hardware stores) can further limit exposure to airborne mold or spores when cleaning. Avoid touching moldy surfaces with bare hands.
Black mold is a type of fungus that can grow indoors. Like all molds, black mold loves moist environments, so areas that are often damp, such as wet basements, showers, bathrooms, and areas where there’s a leak, are prone to mold growth. Because some kinds of black mold can cause allergic reactions, asthma attacks, and respiratory issues, it’s important to remove it when you do find it in your house. The trick to killing black mold is penetrating the mold and killing the roots as well as the surface mold, and taking steps to ensure it doesn’t return.
Had a Miele for years – could leave wet wash in it for days and never had a problem. The GE that came with my condo began to stink after a month. I am ready to scrap it and suffer the considerable outlay required to have a Miele again. Cleaning it now, but not hopeful.
Sometimes it is necessary to have your HVAC air ducts professionally cleaned since air ducts can collect dust and mold spores. For more information about duct cleaning, please refer to the EPA Publication ”Should You Have The Air Ducts In Your Home Cleaned?”
You can easily spot the most visible type of mold, called mildew, which begins as tiny, usually black spots but often grows into larger colonies. It’s the black stuff you see in the grout lines in your shower, on damp walls, and outdoors on the surfaces of deck boards and painted siding, especially in damp and shady areas. A mildewed surface is often difficult to distinguish from a dirty one. To test for mildew, simply dab a few drops of household bleach on the blackened area. If it lightens after one to two minutes, you have mildew. If the area remains dark, you probably have dirt.
If there is mold growth in your home, you must clean up the mold and fix the water problem. If you clean up the mold, but don’t fix the water problem, then, most likely, the mold problem will come back.
I saw a pin on Pinterest some time back that also recommended using tea tree oil on mold/mildew, but it didn’t have as detailed instructions as you’ve provided. This is probably why I haven’t had any luck in my bathroom (lol!). You mentioned you like to use all 3 options. Do you mean on the same area? If so, how do you space each treatment apart?
Remember, mold doesn’t have any tricks up its sleeve. It needs very specific things to grow and its movements are predictable. So until mold develops a genetic resistance to bleach, you’re in charge here.
I saw some mold and tried to wipe it off. But when I pulled the lip back, WOW!! Gross! There was slimy mold that had to have been there for quite a while. Even if I wipe it off, the rubber is stained black. I can’t keep up with cleaning it. I leave the washer door open when not in use, hoping it would dry out. I have tried to clean with bleach, but cant get into the creases well. So there is always some mold. I asked my repair man if using bleach was ok. He said, “Yes,” so we put bleach in the washer.
Keep indoor humidity between 30 and 50 percent. Relative humidity can be measured with a moisture or humidity meter, a small, inexpensive ($10 to $50) instrument available at many hardware stores. Venting bathrooms, dryers, and other moisture-generating sources to the outside; using air conditioners and de-humidifiers; increasing ventilation; and using exhaust fans when cooking, dishwashing, and cleaning can all help to reduce indoor humidity.
Mike was really responsive. He came out right away, gave me an estimate soon after, then came out and did the job the next day once I gave him approval. He did a great job too. I’ve already recommended him to other real estate agents that I work with and passed out his business cards to many people.