Fight household mould in 5 easy (and natural) steps!

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Mould and mildew is undoubtedly the dreaded scourge of any house or apartment, the blight and bane of a clean dwelling, and something that most individuals will have to deal with at some point in their lives. Mould is prevalent in damp conditions, so bathrooms, basements, and kitchens are usually most at risk. Often removing mould is at the lowest point on a house ‘to-do’ list. It is a fungus that smells, fells like slime, and omits a foul and musty odour. As mould is a living thing, it will continue to grow throughout your home, until it is removed. Therefore, the best way to preserve your indoor spaces is to clean it away as soon as possible.  

But how does one remove such a slimy heap of living goo? Here at homify we have done a little research and present to you today five each steps that are sure to refresh your home, and banish any sneaky residual mould spores. Check out the handy tips below, and start your spring clean early this year. Wage war on those slimy spores, and battle the mould, mildew and muck with natural and eco-friendly solutions.

Mould damage

Firstly, it is good to understand what you are dealing with. Mould and mildew are both different types of fungi, each needing different conditions to grow and thrive. Mould is black, green, orange, or any range of colours in between. It has a fuzzy appearance, and grows on food, or where bacteria are present. Mildew is grey or white turning yellow, brown and black, powdery, and tends to prefer wet surfaces such as bathroom walls, basements, and fabric.

What are the causes of mould?

Mould is caused by warm humid conditions such as bathroom showers, bathtubs, utility rooms and toilets. Mould and mildew both require certain temperatures to grow, and commonly develop in closed houses as they are stable and often damp places.

Within your house there will be many different factors that cause the mould and mildew to grow. As each location and situation is slightly different, it is important to seek professional help in order to ascertain the root cause of your mould/mildew problem.

The first signs of mould

country Kitchen by Cottage Style / コテージスタイル
Cottage Style / コテージスタイル

オリジナルキッチンと薪ストーブを中心にした使いやすいキッチン

Cottage Style / コテージスタイル

The first signs of mould are almost impossible to spot. As there may be a combination of first signs of mould in your home, it is important to use all of your senses to determine if you have a problem. Firstly, allergies in you, or other household members could be a sign of mould. Children are especially vulnerable to mould spores in the air, and if your child is experiencing allergies or reactions, it could be a sign of mould. Secondly, you may smell the mould. Musty, mouldy, and generally unclean odours could be the first signs of a serious mould problem in your house. If you can smell mould without seeing it, chances are it is hiding somewhere. Finally, if you see mould in your home, there is a good chance it is well developed and needs to be removed. It may sound obvious, but many individuals miss the first stages of mould developing in the house, and often assume it is just dirt. If you see anything that could be mould, don’t waste time, clean it!

There are also a few things that might signal a house or apartment is more susceptible to mould infestation. Water leaks, a previously flooded interior space, or condensation is a good indicator that the environment is ripe for mould growth. Get cleaning, scrubbing, and polishing to prevent any potential outbreaks!

1. Antiseptic primer

First things first, it is good to use an antiseptic primer, this will eliminate mould reside on the walls and prevent you from painting over mould (which will not kill it). This primer will help prepare the walls before any final renovation to your walls. If there has been damage to your walls due to mould, it is important to eliminate all bacteria prior to repainting or renovating.

2. Tee tree oil

Tee tree oil is a natural fungicide and can help to clean mould and mildew from your home. Not quite as strong as hydrogen peroxide, tee tree oil will still offer a good cleaning solution. As an added benefit it definitely smells better than many other natural alternatives, ensuring you don’t recoil or cringe while cleaning. Spray the mouldy area, wait 15-20 minutes and wipe off.

Buy: Available from health food stores, online, pharmacies, or the supermarket 

Use: Add a tablespoon of oil to a spray bottle and fill with water

3. Vinegar

Probably one of the cheapest ways to get rid of mould, vinegar is an all-round solution to a range of household maladies. Naturally anti-microbial, vinegar is sure to solve your mould and mildew issues. Simply pour directly onto the mould, let sit for 10-15 minutes, then wipe/scrub with a sponge.  

Buy: Plain white vinegar from the supermarket or online

Use: Undiluted

4. Hydrogen peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is a great solution to removing mould due to its effervescent nature. It is more effective than chlorine, inexpensive, and has less toxic fumes than bleach. Leave directly on mould for 15-20 minutes and wipe dry.

Buy: Readily available at the supermarket, grocery stores, or even online

Use: 3% hydrogen peroxide directly onto mould. Always wear gloves, this substance can burn

5. Baking soda

Safe enough to eat, baking soda is the ultimate in natural mould-killing remedies. Safe for children, pets, and the whole family, baking soda is a great inclusion within your cleaning cupboard. This fabulous substance also destroys the smell left behind by mould, and absorbs moisture too. Grab your spray bottle, fill with baking soda, and water, mix, and douse mould. Scrub mould from the surface and voila! Baking soda can also be sprayed to the surface once clean to ensure mould does not return.

Buy: Supermarket and online

Use: Add ¼ of a tablespoon to a container of water

Did this inspire you to give your home a good spring clean this season? If you need a little more motivation, check out Taking care of wood and keep reading!

Do you have any more eco-friendly alternatives for our readers to clean their homes? We'd love to hear from you in the comments below!
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