Tips for Treating Household Mold and Mildew Naturally

There’s no denying that household mold and mildew can be dangerous to our health. In fact, it has been proven to promote asthma, allergies, and colds. Likewise, it is thought to increase the occurrence of mood swings and depression.

Generally speaking, prevention is the best way to eradicate the problem; however, that seems to be the issue with mold — we often don’t know it forming until it rears it’s nasty head.

Staying alert to the appearance of mold and treating it quickly is the only way to win!

Unfortunately, many of commercially-prepared products in the stores — created to solve the problem — can also cause the same problems they intend to fix.

So the question becomes…how can we do this without the use of harsh chemicals?

Start with the Basics

Here are a few things you must do to start treating the mold problem:

1. Dry out dampness. Moisture is the number one cause of mold. Drying out damp areas of the home will help to prevent the rate of incidence. This can be done most commonly by using a dehumidifier. One can also sprinkle arrowroot powder or cornstarch over the moldy area, as this will help to absorb the extra moisture. Find organic arrowroot powder here…

2. Fix the leak. Fixing those leaky pipes, or that leak in the roof, will help to eliminate the water source and prevent the conditions for which mold loves to grow.

3. Establish good air circulation. The best way to do this is to use fans throughout the home.

4. Let the sun shine in. Let the natural light of the sun into your home as much as possible. However, in areas such as the basement, consider using a UV light if things get really bad. They’ve been known to kill nearly 100% of the mold present.

Natural Recipes that Kill Household Mold

When mold is present and you need to kill it, here are a few tried and true remedies:

Tea Tree Spray
*Tea tree oil is one of the best ways to kill mold naturally.

To make this spray, simply mix 1 teaspoon of tea tree oil per 1 cup of water. Load mixture into a spray bottle, shake well to combine, and spray directly on to areas of mold. Do NOT rinse. I get pure tea tree oil here for an affordable price…

Vinegar

After cleaning the mold with a mixture of castile soap and hot water. Spray a generous amount of straight white vinegar on to the problem areas. In the shower, I keep a spray bottle full of vinegar to spray on the tub and tile after each use. Works like a charm in the prevention department! Read more here…

Grapefruit Seed Extract Spray

In a spray bottle combine 20 drops of grapefruit seed extract and 1 cup of water. Shake well to combine. Spray the problem areas. Do NOT rinse and allow to dry. Find grapefruit seed extract here…

Hydrogen Peroxide Spray

Mix 1 part 3% hydrogen peroxide and 2 parts water. Spray directly on to mold and allow it to dry. Note: Be sure only to make as large a batch as you will need for one application at a time.

Learn More

Are you interested in learning more about effective homemade solutions for toxin-free living? Check out these books:

For pure, safe essential oils you can trust choose ::

If you’re a blogger — or simply a lover of natural, plant-based healing — and would like promote Beeyoutiful’s line of essential oils click here to earn money and become an affiliate!!!

 What do you do to kill household mold and mildew?

And as always…if you really enjoyed this post I would be so honored if you’d click this link and subscribe to the blog! To those of you who have been committed readers, thank you.

Comments

  1. Hi-I really like your blog so far!, and I read how to get rid of mold with great interest as it is an ongoing problem in my shower. Can I ask you which of the remedies do you think is the MOST effective?
    Thanks,
    Maria @ JuicyGreenGirl

    • Hi Maria! Definitely go with the tea tree spray…I think it’s the most effective!

      • Yes, Tea Tree oil is the best! I also found it at a great price on bulkapothecary.com
        I make a LOT of my own personal items & this site has it all.

        • Yes, can confirm! Tea tree oil really does work. Source? I am a mould removals myself :)

          • hey guys…my real estate required me to remove mildew stains from the fabric vertical blinds of my prior residence…they are faint ..so I’m hoping for a simple and quick solution as i don’t live there anymore and need a miracle on the day…whats the answer…

    • Jill Moncilovich, PhD says:

      Hi Maria, The tea tree spray is the most effective thing I have tried. I even was able to kill mold in carpet that was on a concrete floor in a 6th floor apt as well as on the walls without the problems that chemicals and bleaching agents have. I use tea tree regularly in the shower as a preventative. Did you know you can use tea tree directly on skin [can't do that with most essential oils]? It is wonderful for the foot and nail fungus. It is great on even deep cuts and scrapes. We are never without it. Dr Jill

      • Young Living Thieves essential oil and household cleaner is very safe a 99.9% University proven effective. My Son’s family had a bad leak under the sink which would have required removal of the wood if not for the Thieves. I had him wash it down with slightly diluted Thieves Household Cleaner and put a 15 ml bottle of Thieves essential oil in a diffuser (nebulizer type that does not require water) that ran for at least 24 hours, under the closed cabinet after cleaning. Both my Grand Daughters have asthma and neither got sick because they eliminated the problem right away, actually saving them hundreds of dollars in repair costs and medical bills!

        • ‘…and medical bills’. This is one reason you need free healthcare in the USA. Granted, it ain’t perfect, but it’s better than nothing.

          • Mary Jo Pickett says:

            There is no such thing as ” FREE” health care. What a ridiculous statement. My husband has to tell the employees at his job that their health insurane is increasing 6k per year. That is an increase of $500.00 per month on top of what they pay. Several employees only make $35k per year. How are we going to make it?

            • Make up the difference in quarterly bonuses.

            • Marie Keough says:

              Dear Mary Jo Pickett,
              Please attempt to use kindness in your replies and posts, you certainly sound capable. Thank you for your time and consideration :).
              have a good day.
              Marie

              • Kathie Peters says:

                I thought Mary Jo Pickett was perfectly nice in her reply. She is right; there is no such thing as “free health care!” Taxpayers foot the bill for those who do not! Nothing is free!

            • Kathy3882 says:

              Thanks Mary Jo for sharing your story. There are still so many clueless people who insist Obamacare is the greatest thing since ice cream. Sorry folks, it’s time for a reality check. The Obama Administration is destroying our country. It’s time to make them go away…starting November 2014!

          • There is no such thing as “free healthcare.” Someone is paying for it with their hard earned tax dollars.

          • Kathryn says:

            What does the Affordable Health Care have to do with this discussion about getting rid of mold?

    • Tea Tree is toxic to pets.

      • I use tea tree on my pets and never had a problem
        It smells so bad they don’t chew on it
        On different sites for pets they sell products with tea tree in it

        • With tea tree oil, as with many essential oils, using a small percentage greatly diluted is key. Tea tree oil is great for killing mold, mildew and fungi, and also can be dangerous for your house pet – apparently cats in particular. I too have seen it used in pet products, but you have to know how much to dilute tea tree oils, and essential oils in general, for safety to pets and humans.

      • Actually I know of several people that have saved their pets with it, me included. One friend’s dog was bit by a water snake. The vet used something but it didn’t do much. My friend used Melaleuca in the puncture wounds and it healed up nicely. Her vet was impressed. My friend’s cat had a bad infection. I helped her treat it with Melaleuca oil and her cat was able to eat again within hours (he had stopped eating a day or two before) My cat was in a bad fight and I used it on his gruesome wound. None of them ever got sick. I wouldn’t recommend giving it to them internally but for wounds it has saved hundreds of dollars in vet bills. We’ve been using Melaleuca for more than 10yrs without any problems.

  2. This post could not come at a better time for me! I was going to tackle mold in our bathroom around the ceiling fan and hadn’t quite decided how I was going to do it yet. So far just wiping it away with a sponge and water hasn’t been very effective. LOL Thanks so for much this post and the others linked to it for cleaning the shower/tub with vinegar.

  3. I love natural ways over chemicals any day, thank you so much!

    • Rebecca says:

      This is great information. Do you have any tips on removing mildew stains? I have a fabric shower curtain that has been stained but have not found a way to remove them. I did get a formula from the natural food aisle for mold and mildew but the stains remain.

      Thanks!

      • Hi Rebecca! I would try soaking it in the hygrogen peroxide/water mixture for up to 24 hours, wash, then put it out in the sun to dry. The combination of the peroxide and UV rays from the sun should help significantly!

      • I have found that washing the item with white vinegar in the washing machine and then letting it dry in the sun kills most mildew and gets rid of the black spots. Peroxide can fade some items and only has worked somewhat for me. Hope that helps!

        • And sometimes, when mold gets into things, there is simply no removing it. If caulking is molded, it has to be removed and replaced….and fabrics can be tough too if it is thick….I love tea tree, vinegar and peroxide, but agree Andrea, prevention/immediate response is key!

          • I have it in the caulking in the shower and nothing has helped. Will be removing and replacing. Once under control I won’t let it happen again, that’s a promise to myself!. Thank you for this article.

      • Try lemon juice and sunlight. My mom swore by this, and I have found that it works well when I am concerned about using Bleach

        • me too…..remembering Mom using lemon juice and sunlight ! best for us all . Use GSE lots too for lots of things……especially a few drops in water to wash produce. Never have to worry about washing it off the produce. It is good for us to ingest some too !

      • Soak in 1-5 amonia:water for about 3-4 hours and then wash.. Dont leave it in longer than that because it breaks down thread fibers quickly.

    • Me too :) Because they work!

  4. Thanks for the tips. I’m going to see if this works on the pink stuff, too. Maybe just the vinegar spray will help.

    • I get that in the toilet a lot. Vinegar and baking soda is really good add the baking soda first then add vinegar it foams, let it sit for 10 or more minutes then scrub as usual.

  5. Ami Lowrey says:

    Living in the Pacific Northwest, moisture is always an issue at our house, and allergies are particularly bad this season. Thank you for sharing your remedies, Andrea! I’m looking forward to giving the house a great clean this weekend using your tips.

  6. Do you have a recipe for using Oil of Clove for treating mould and mildew?

  7. Hi, i was wondering if you knew of a way to get rid of mildew in the faucets and also i cleaned my basement carpet and went on vacation, while i was gone a family member informed me that the carpet had mold but when i got back it was gone… do i need to follow up and how?

  8. Tea tree and vinegar work really well.

  9. I live in the south so I’m always battling with mold and mildew! I have tried some of these ideas, but I will definitely try some of the other ones. Wanted to let you know I linked it up for my Weekend Wanderings post.

  10. I have a scrub that is a mixture of baking soda, borax, salt and tea tree oil; was that your recipe from another post? I use it everywhere that needs deep cleaning once a month. It works great, but I still have occasional mold and mildew issues. I’m gonna try keeping a spray bottle of vinegar in the shower as that’s my biggest issue spot.

  11. HOw do you get mold off the bathroom ceiling?

  12. White Vinegar is a wonder cleaner for every room in the house. From Laundry, to coffee pot to refrigerator, and Bath. It pays to keep a gallon on hand always.

  13. This is a great site for natural cleaning recipes…
    http://www.auracacia.com/auracacia/aclearn/art_greenclean.html

  14. This is great! We just recently started seeing the effects of water damage in the ceiling due to a faulty/worn chimney liner. I will definitely use the tea tree until we can do the demolition and repair after the snow melts!

  15. Where do you buy tea tree ??

    • Janice, I get my tea tree (melaleuca) from doTERRA. I’ve found that it is the MOST pure and potent due to their Certified Pure Therapeutic Grading. I LOVE using it for the shower, especially (add clove oils for an extra bang). We would get some nasty mold before I found it. I can also use the same melaleuca (tea tree) for my kids’ earaches, cuts/scrapes, colds, pink eye, etc. I can also take it internally because it’s so pure! Here is the website to order it http://www.mydoterra.com/oilsofhope. With this brand, you don’t have to use quite as much mixed with water and/or vinegar in a spray bottle because of it’s potency (1 drop per every 1-2 oz water). Hope that helps =)!

      • I couldn’t find any Tea Tree Oil on that link.

        • K Sue,

          I saw your post about not being able to find Tea Tree Oil on the doTerra website. They list it under it’s other name of Melaleuca instead of it’s more common name of Tea Tree.

          Hope you find it ok. It’s fabulous, and personally I love it for cleaning and so many other things.

          Cindy

    • Desleigh says:

      Melaleuca sells it…..just google it…..

  16. I use a mixture of both Tea Tree oil & Clove oil a few drops of each in a spray bottle & off I go it has worked really well, as I live in a very humid, wet enviroment even though my house has good air flow & sunlight, last year after a very wet season (summer) in SE Queensland for the first time in 20 years I had a mould problem & this certainly fixed it. Good Luck

  17. Pamela Duffey says:

    Hi…do you have any ideas about how to get rid of the mold/mildew that is under the caulking around the tub…I have tried everything I can think of. Wondering if it will be necessary to replace caulking. It was already there when we moved in and it drives me crazy. Also what is the amount of peroxide you would use in the washer to clean a shower curtain. Thank you for your help.
    Pamela Duffey

    • Pamela, I had the same situation with mold under the caucking. This is what worked like a charm for me…no scrubbing either. Take a cup of cotton balls and pour straight bleach over them. Let the cotton balls absord bleach completely. Put on rubber gloves and line the cotton balls along the edge where the mold is right next to each other. Leave them there for about an hour and half (longer if really bad) go back and remove cotton balls and voila… it will be bright white again.

    • Pamela, I had the same situation with mold under the caucking. This is what worked like a charm for me…no scrubbing either. Take a cup of cotton balls and pour straight bleach over them. Let the cotton balls absord bleach completely. Put on rubber gloves and line the cotton balls along the edge where the mold is right next to each other. Leave them there for about an hour and half (longer if really bad) go back and remove cotton balls and voila… it will be bright white again.

  18. We have always had good luck with borax too, as far as mold as I too live in the pacific northwest. And before anyone flips out about it safety, read this. http://www.crunchybetty.com/getting-to-the-bottom-of-borax-is-it-safe-or-not

  19. I read on a professional mold & mildew removing site that you should NEVER spray anything on mold or mildew since it scatters the spores that are water-proof in the first place. They said to take a hand towel, or paper towels and dip them into your solution and gently lay your cloth on top of where the mold is and swipe it to remove mold & spores without making your problems worse.
    I’ve used this method and it has slowed down my mold growth in my bathroom. I think I’ll continue to use this method and then once I think its “clean” use the spray then..

  20. I would like to subscribe to your blog. When I clicked the link at the end of this article, I was taken to something called FeedBurner on Google. I have a google email account, so I signed in. Then FeedBurner wanted me to sign in, there was no option for creating an account.
    Is FeedBurner the only way to get you blog other than someone sharing an article on FB?
    Sorry I am so computer illiterate

  21. Anne-Marie says:

    Not one mention of clove oil? This is a potent mould killer and you only need a few drops in a litre of water!

    • I too use clove oil in water, it’s very effective. I live in the tropics and it kills the inevitable mould off, easily! 10 drops to 500mls is what I use, using clove bud oil I bought quite cheaply at the local markets, $8 for a small container that seems to be lasting forever!

  22. Pamela, I had the same situation with mold under the caucking. This is what worked like a charm for me…no scrubbing either. Take a cup of cotton balls and pour straight bleach over them. Let the cotton balls absord bleach completely. Put on rubber gloves and line the cotton balls along the edge where the mold is right next to each other. Leave them there for about an hour and half (longer if really bad) go back and remove cotton balls and voila… it will be bright white again.

  23. What works well on outside mold? I have north facing brick stairs that don’t get the sun. I have used bleach in the past but want an effective alternative.

  24. Darlene N says:

    Yes, I would agree with Kim H about NOT SPRAYING your mold problem, especially an indoor problem as spraying will spread those nasty mold spores. I do love these ideas and especially since they are more natural than other chemicals was all use. Thanks so much! Tea Tree oil has a wonderful list of uses…great for your scalp also!

  25. Great ideas, I will be trying them. Thanks!

    Als, just a suggestion, but you should add a Google+ post to your options.

  26. Great ideas, I will be trying them. Thanks!

    Also, just a suggestion, but you should add a Google+ post to your options.

  27. Please let me know if I can use the tea tree oil and water spray if I have cats? I was told that essential oils can harm cats.

    • No, tea tree oil WILL NOT hurt your cat. I am a animal groomer and I have used tea tree oil, many many times on cats including my own for fleas, etc.

      It can even be used on 8 week old kittens if they have fleas.

      Just make sure to rinse them thoroughly and you don’t get it in their eyes, mouth, etc.

      Mary

  28. where can you buy this products like the tea tree oils?

  29. What should I use to clean the tile in my shower? Then after I clean spray with vinegar or tea tree oil? Or do you clean with the tea tree oil?

  30. Can you put a few drops of tea tree oil in you vinegar?

  31. Hi. Any ideas for cleaning fabric roman blinds of mould marks on the blackout lining?
    Appreciate any help on this. Thanks

  32. Patricia Proctor says:

    20 mule team borax with a little vinegar added to the water in a spray bottle is very effective in raising PH so mold doesn’t return. When the ph is too acid, mold and bacteria grow out of control

  33. Delores Kirkwood says:

    Ummmmm, chlorine is a natural ingredient. It is concentrated to make plain old fashioined liquid Clorox bleach. It is weaker than sodium hydroxide used to make real soap.

    Using a concentration of 1 oz to 16 oz. of water and spraying that on mold/mildew will safely kill what is on the service (as with other remedies) and at a fraction of what GSE, or other unproven things will. Don’t fall for advertising hype. :-)

  34. Walter Ingram says:

    Any suggestions for cleaning the interior/exterior of luggage fabric? We had to store our luggage outside because we don’t have enough room inside our condo.

    • Walter – I’m not sure about CLEANING the fabric; I would imagine that using Tea Tree Oil in water, sprayed on a cloth and wiped over the fabric, would work. As for keeping the interior of the luggage dry, you could use crumpled-up newspaper or charcoal placed in a plastic container with holes in the lid (for air circulation). This will absorb any moisture in the luggage.

  35. Tiana Phillips says:

    A product called Thieves from Young Living is excellent for killing mold as well.
    It is natural and has many! other uses as well

  36. michele says:

    Thieves is a blend containing tea tree and clove (few others too).
    ok sk the mold is gone…..how do you control moisture to keep it from coming back? I have a skylight but its just as humid outside during the summer. I have damp -x by the shower. There is no room for a fan.

  37. I think it is only applicable if the moulds are controllable, but anyway thank you for the practical tips that really works.

  38. There are many essential oils you can use effectively for mold and mildew, with tea tree oil being the most common. You still have to be aware of safety issues ,as with any essential oil, since they are very potent and can harm if used incorrectly. There are many blends available containing the more common 4-5 oils from many reputable essential oil companies and aromatherapists. Lemon, Clove, Eucalyptus, Cinnamon and Rosemary essential oils are the most common oils used in a blend which dates back many years called thieves. The name has been copyrighted but it can be blended very inexpensively by any experienced aromatherapist. Mold spores are very small and so if you spray a surface, leave it on for
    at least 15 minutes, then wipe and do not rinse. You should spray the room with the mixture using a fine spray mister or diffuser to kill the mold spores you have just wiped into the air. Two teaspoons of Tea Tree oil in two cups of water is a effective mix. It is best to stay out of the room after spraying for awhile especially if using the clove and cinnamon oils. There are many resources for essential oils which are effective, un-adulterated and affordable. Making a maintenance spray with white vinegar and TTO is great way to keep control. Keep air flow or use a dehumidifier when you can.

  39. How long do you wait before taking shower since you can’t rinse?

  40. Our mold issue has been corrected, however, what are your recommendations for removing mold spores from the carpeting?

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  42. Barbara Doan says:

    With flooding in ND, my house and I have reaped mold problems. During the battle (yet not completely over) I contact some mold removing experts who shared that some molds flourish even more when bleach is used. Not knowing one mold from another, I just stopped using bleach. And, as I as yet, do not have all of the answers, I stopped by here. THanKS!

  43. nancy Rhodes says:

    Silver solution works great. I have a garden window and after cleaning I spray silver sol around the corners. Also if musty silver sol it kills all fungus.

  44. i used to love using tea tree and still do but has anyone heard that over exposure to tea tree can have an effect on male hormones? my sister who studied bio chem told me that it converts male hormones to female hormones in adolescent boys and also causes gynecomastia (pectoral enlargement). i’ve scaled back using it as much especially when my son is in the house. just wondering if anyone else has heard this. thanks!

    • Hi Sid, I took this quote from the Mayo clinic web sit for causes of gynecomastia

      Herbal products
      Plant oils, such as tea tree or lavender, used in shampoos, soaps or lotions have been associated with gynecomastia. This is probably due to their weak estrogenic activity.Herbal products

  45. Kenneth Lawrence says:

    Great tips. Experts advice that removing moulds must be a high priority – http://mouldremoval.net.au

  46. What method can I use for removing the mold from silicon sealant? Thanks.

  47. Jenny Lynch says:

    I like the suggestions on here for getting rid of mold and mildew. I live in an apartment and when we moved in we already had the mold/mildew in the bathtub/shower. I have tried different things to get rid of it to no avail. Does anyone have any suggestion that will remove mold/mildew, soap scum, and any build up in the tub that has tile and grout. I can get the tiles to look nice again (or for at least the time being) but the grout is another story. Also any suggestion on trying to get the stains left from hard water in your bathroom sink and the toilet? And especially up under the rim of the toilet where it is so hard to clean?

  48. This article is really great! I tried the tips you mentioned and it did worked. Thanks for sharing these tips. Hope to read more of your articles.

  49. It’s under my linoleum floor! I’m sure it has to be replace but what can I do in between my financial crisis’? I know it’s not healthy.

  50. Would this be want I want to get? Tea Tree (Melaleuca) 100% pure therapeutic grade essential oil

  51. use borax in your wash to get rid of mouldy smell, also for cleaning

  52. Thanks for sharing your tips. It’s easy to understand.
    I am so happy to read this very helpful information!

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