Controlling Mold Without Toxic Chemicals


We are sometimes asked about controlling mold without using products containing toxic chemicals. Many homeowners are becoming more and more health-conscious. There are times when they want to remove household mold in order to prevent potentially serious health problems and at the same time are also concerned about the potential health risks that may be caused by adding toxic chemicals to their indoor environment. They want to know about eco-friendly, or green, mold removal techniques.

Preventing Mold In the First Place

The first step to controlling mold without toxic chemicals is actually prevention. Preventing mold from developing is usually easier then cleaning it up once it does begin to grow. There are many safe, effective, and eco-friendly things you can do to prevent mold in your home.

To help prevent the growth of mold:

  • Clean up any water spills or leaks immediately. Use a fan and dehumidifier to help dry damp carpets.
  • Fix any leaky pipes, washing machine hoses, sinks, tubs or toilets as soon as they are discovered.
  • Repair leaky roofs as soon as possible.
  • Turn on the exhaust fan in the bathroom when showering or open a window a little. Leave the fan on, or window open, for 20 minutes when you are done.
  • Turn on the exhaust fan in the kitchen when cooking or open a window.
  • Don’t install carpet in bathrooms. Use area rugs that can be removed and dried when they become wet.
  • Use mold-resistant paint in bathrooms (check the label carefully or contact the manufacturer if you have questions about whether their mold-resistant paint is environmentally friendly).
  • Install a dehumidifier in rooms where the relative humidity is frequently greater than 50 percent. Use a hygrometer to measure the relative humidity in your home. To learn more about hygrometers, just follow this link.
  • Have your home tested for mold after any flooding or significant water damage.
  • Inspect your home thoroughly for mold or have your home tested for mold if you notice a musty or earthy odor that doesn’t go away.
  • Make sure your rain gutters and downspouts are not clogged, or blocked by debris. Clogged gutters can cause water to seep into the attics or exterior walls.
  • Address any mold problems promptly.
  • For more on mold prevention, follow the link.

Non-Toxic Natural Mold Removal Products

controlling mold without toxic chemicalsEco-Friendly Cleaner

Of course, sometimes mold develops despite your best efforts at prevention. If in fact, mold does develop, there are many eco-friendly ways to deal with the removal and cleanup using non-toxic chemicals.

Hydrogen Peroxide: when using this method try to use hydrogen peroxide that contains a higher concentration than 3 percent. Stronger concentrations can be found at many health and beauty stores or on Amazon.com. Be careful when handling hydrogen peroxide of this strength because it can irritate your skin. Pour it into a spray bottle, apply it to the mold and allow it to dwell for about 10 minutes. Then wipe the surface down.

Vinegar: vinegar is mildly acidic and will kill most species of mold. Apply it full strength by mildly saturating the moldy area and let the vinegar dwell for about an hour. Rinse the area with water and then dry it with a clean cloth. Vinegar will leave behind an odor, but the odor will dissipate within a few hours.

Baking Soda: add ¼ tablespoon of baking soda to a spray bottle of water. Make sure that it completely dissolves, then spray the moldy area. You may have to brush the area gently. Finish by drying the area with a clean cloth. The good thing about baking soda is that it is safe to use around people and pets.

Non-Toxic Chemicals for Mold Removal

Consider using these products when your household includes individuals that are chemically sensitive. When looking for non-toxic chemical cleaners for mold, look for product labels that do not contain any of these ingredients:

  • Chlorine
  • Alcohols of any kind
  • Triclosan (an antimicrobial agent that has been banned in the U.S. in over-the-counter soaps)
  • Glycol (an organic compound belonging to the alcohol family)
  • Ammonia (extended exposure can cause nerve damage)

Instead, choose products that say “petroleum-free”, “biodegradable”, “VOC-free”, or “phosphate-free’. One such product is Benefect Botanical Disinfectant. This product is plant-based, kills 99.99 percent of germs, and is effective against mold.

For Help Controlling Mold without Toxic Chemicals

When it comes to mold removal, a wonderful resource for the do-it-yourself person is the book “A Homeowner’s Complete Guide to Performing Mold Remediation” by Brian Turner, mold remediation expert and author. In addition to guidance on mold removal, the book also contains recommendations of eco-friendly, non-toxic products to use during the process.

If you need assistance in dealing with mold, or aren’t sure about the best way to control mold without the use of toxic chemicals, we recommend consulting with a mold remediation professional. Some professionals may be more knowledgeable then others about eco-friendly mold removal techniques, so ask about that when scheduling an appointment. Many mold remediation professionals offer free consultations, so you can get some expert advice at no cost to you. To find qualified professionals in your area, just follow the link.



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