By Billie and Robert Nicholson
We thought we would be saving money on our electric bill while we were traveling out of town by raising the thermostat on our air conditioning system. Little did we know, until we returned home, that this was a big mistake. With all the rain and high humidity, we had grown an unwelcome guest, mold. On further examination, we discovered that all our bedroom furniture had a white, patchy film over it. Guess what – it was mold! So much for going through the mail. Our first project was to begin a room by room mold eradication process. We used gloves and masks during the cleaning process.
There are several products you can use to kill and remove mold. Some of the most effective products include:
- Bleach – will kill virtually every species of indoor mold that it comes in contact with along with its spores, leaving a surface sanitized and resistant to mold growth. Unfortunately, it is only effective on non-porous materials. Bleach cannot penetrate materials like wood and drywall to kill the organism within. The mold will soon return if the environment remains the same and bleach has a harsh corrosive nature.
- Borax – is a natural cleaning product, and although it is toxic if you swallow it, borax does not emit chemicals or dangerous fumes. You can buy borax in supermarkets for a few dollars in the laundry section. To kill mold with borax, mix 1 cup borax per gallon of water. Vacuum up any loose mold with a HEPA filtered vacuum cleaner to lessen the number of spores that can be stirred into the air during the cleaning process. Use a scrubbing brush with the borax-water solution and wipe up any extra moisture and excess mold particles. No rinsing requires. Allow surfaces to dry completely.
- Vinegar – is a mild acid can kill 82% of mold species is also natural and non-toxic.
To kill mold with vinegar, use white distilled vinegar also available in the supermarket.
- Ammonia – is another harsh chemical that can kill mold on non-porous surfaces, but it will not penetrate wood or drywall. Never mix it with bleach because together they create a toxic gas.
To kill mold with ammonia, create a 50% clear ammonia and 50% water solution in a spray bottle. Spray on the moldy area and leave it for a few hours before wiping and rinsing.
- Hydrogen Peroxide – kills molds, viruses and bacteria. It is a good alternative and doesn’t damage the environment. To kill mold with hydrogen peroxide, pour the 3% solution into a spray bottle and wet the moldy surface completely.
- Baking Soda – is well known as a natural and area household cleaner. You can use it to kill mold and it is harmless toy your family and pets.
- Tea Tree Oil – is probably the most effective of all the natural mold killing solutions. Although it is expensive, a little goes a long way.
- Grapefruit Seed Extract – is another expensive but very effective natural mold killer. It has almost no odor, an advantage over tea tree oil.
- Spray 9 – a heavy-duty cleaner tackles the toughest cleaning challenges, including viruses, bacteria and mold and mildew. This product has been around for over 60 years and does not use bleach or corrosive chemicals.
Billie and Robert welcome your questions and comments at BillieandRobert@gmail.com.