Using alternative methods to kill mold might take longer than the chemical-filled methods, but might still prove to be effective. First, it is important to wear gloves as protection and leave the fans off to prevent the mold spores from spreading.
A few products used to naturally remove mold are:
- tea tree oil ($2)
- Can be found at Whole Foods, Sprouts, Central Market, Trader Joe’s, Wal-Mart
- Pros: all natural, non-toxic essential oil, kid-safe, inexpensive, may work to eliminate mold spores that are airborne (studies on this are minimal and not definitive)
- Cons: mold has to be visible to work,
- Evidence: There is no conclusive evidence that this kills mycotoxins. Mycotoxins can survive even after mold is killed. JM Concha, LS Moore, and WJ Holloway did a study to determine the activity of tea-tree oil against 58 clinical isolates, the important ones to note here are Aspergillus niger, Penicillium species, Epidermophyton floccosum, and Microsporum gypsum. Tea-tree oil showed to hinder the process of activity against all isolates tested except one strain of E floccosum. These results suggest that tea-tree oil may be useful in the treatment of yeast, fungus, and bacteria.
- Vinegar ($4)
- Pros: inexpensive, natural, non-toxic, biodegradable, safe to mix with other mold-killing methods, kills and aids in prevention
- Cons: strong smell, mold must be visible
- Evidence: Vinegar, also known as acetic acid is reported to have an antimicrobial effect on fungi in various applications. In one example, vinegar vapour application was demonstrated on fruits to prevent the germination of conidia of fruit decay fungi. It showed to prevent against penicillium specifically in strawberries, apples, and stone fruit (Senthaamarai Rogawansamy, 2015). This study helps to conclude that vinegar is a natural way to kill mold
- hydrogen peroxide ($1.30)
- Pros: inexpensive, non-toxic, removes mold stains and odors,
- Cons: doesn’t reach below the surface
- Evidence: Theresa Schreier, Jeff Rach nd George Howe conducted aa study to see the efficacy of hydrogen peroxide and sodium chloride on fungal infected rainbow trout eggs. Hydrogen peroxide proved to be most effective in reducing the mold and allowing the eggs to still hatch.
Preventing mold is another aspect of protecting yourself from the harmful components of mold. Here are some ways to prevent and minimize exposure to mold
- Air purifiers ($200)
- Pros: cleanses the air
- Cons: only cleanses small areas so it can be costly
- Bamboo activated charcoal moisture absorbers ($28.80)
- Pros: inexpensive, removes smell of mold, effectively absorbs moisture in the air
- Cons: only works in small area, doesn’t remove mold
If you would like to read more in depth about mold and the effects it has on your health, click the link below!
Concha, J., Moore, L., & Holloway, W. (1998). Antifungal activity of Melaleuca alternifolia (tea-tree) oil against various pathogenic organisms. Retrieved July 10, 2018, from http://www.japmaonline.org/doi/abs/10.7547/87507315-88-10-489?code=pmas-site