Mildew and mold spores are known for being the top culprits behind allergies, skin irritation, and sinus infections, just to name a few.
But, what really kills mold and mildew? There are cleaning methods and all-natural solutions like using vinegar, tea tree oil, clearing the air, and drying surfaces that can help you keep your house free of these unwanted guests.
What are Mildew and Mold? What Makes Them Different?
Mildew and mold are fungi and microscopic organisms that thrive in moist environments. Molds are in reality quite important in nature. Mold breaks down dead organic matter, helping in soil regeneration.
On the other hand, indoor mold is not that great. Mold is often black, white, or green, and can appear fuzzy and thick.
Mildew, on the other hand, is simply mold in its early stages. This is typically white, yellow, brown, or black, and sometimes pink or orange and can appear flat or dusty.
Mold can grow in colonies and start to form on damp surfaces after 24 to 48 hours. This can create mold spores that are airborne, landing on surfaces near the original source. It can be quite annoying since they tend to spread like moldy wildfire.
Why Mold is the Last Thing You Want in Your Home
There are a lot of health risks that are associated with mold and this is the reason why people are taking it rather seriously. The mold spores have been regarded as allergens that cause sneezing, runny nose, rashes, red eyes, and in the more severe cases, can also lead to asthma attacks. For those people who have compromised immune systems, bearing with these problems can be more difficult.
Mold is not just an irritant as it can be possibly toxic as well. This is why if there is a serious mold problem in your home, whether it is because of lack of ventilation or floor, you should hire a professional to help you in treating it as soon as possible.
Mildew produce less severe case of the said symptoms but a bit in the bathroom is sometimes a mere eyesore instead of a health threat. Thus, you don’t have to worry if you notice ordinary mildew around your home.
Mold can even ruin surfaces where it settles on. On the other hand, mildew will not cost you lots of money to solve. This is common in very damp areas and simply needs proper management. The moment it forms, you can clean and treat it to prevent re-growth.
Below are some solutions that will remove mold and mildew:
Plain white vinegar is among the best all-natural cleaners perfect not only for eliminating mildew and mold from bathrooms and kitchens but also for cleaning your whole house.
Vinegar is a natural antimicrobial so there is no need to combine it with anything else. All you have to do is pour vinegar, either white or other kinds, into a spray bottle then apply this anywhere mildew and mold are growing.
Allow it to sit for several minutes to dissolve and kill the fungus and use sponge or cloth to wipe away.
2. Dry It Up
Mildew and mold thrive in wet places. For damp places in your home such as kitchens and bathrooms, you may need to buy a dehumidifier. You also have to make sure that you fix leaky plumbing at the soonest time possible to prevent mildew and mold from growing in hard to reach areas such as under cabinets and behind walls.
Also, make it your habit to air out your house on a regular basis by opening your doors and windows. If there are ventilation fans in your home, use these for cycling the air in those rooms that tend to have excessive moisture.
You should also close the shower curtains if you are not using them to allow them to dry. In addition, don’t leave items such as moist towels, wet clothes, or damp rugs lying around since these are the ideal medium where mildew and mold can grow in.
3. Tea Tree Oil
Another powerful natural fungicide that you can use is tea tree oil. To use the essential oil for killing any existing growth of mildew and mold, just add about 10 drops of tea tree oil to a water-filled glass spray bottle.
Spray this on hard surfaces where mildew and mold are growing and allow the essential oil to do its job. You need to scrub this a bit and the repeated use of the all-natural cleaner can help kill mold and mildew and prevent any future re-growth.
You need to shake the mixture properly well before using for the oils to separate.
4. Keep the Air Clear
The lesser mildew or mold spores you have in your house, the lesser growth you need to worry about. You can buy a high quality air purifier to maintain the cleanliness of the air.
Install mildew and mold filters that can catch spores in the return vent of your air conditioning unit.
5. Distilled Ethanol
If the smell of vinegar is not something that your nose can handle, you can use other types of fermented liquids in the same way. The distilled grain alcohols such as vodka can help kill mildew and mold just as fast.
You can also give this cheap stuff a try. The cheap bottom shelf spirits are filtered lesser and distilled in fewer times.
This means that they contain higher amounts of congeners such as acetaldehyde that is extremely more toxic, around 30 times more, to any unwanted fungus compared to ethanol.
Seal Tile and Grout
After you have cleaned and cleared your tiles and grout of mildew and mold, you can also seal these to prevent growth in the future. Unfinished tiles and unsealed grout in bathrooms and kitchen will only invite midew and mold to grow.
If your grout stains or holds water longer than what it should, you have to reseal it.