As the words “black oil” used to elicit certain feelings in generations past, the words “black mold” bring up a whole other range of feelings today. Fear. Angst. Even dread, particularly among parents, and homeowners. Why? Because black mold, left untreated, can render a home inhabitable, and is a known environmental health hazard that can cause everything from flu-like symptoms, to fatal respiratory issues.
I cringed when I saw it pop up on the windowsills of the first home I owned, which coincidentally was also shortly after my son’s birth. I was terrified that it would cause respiratory distress for this new little life for whom I was responsible. The toxic chemicals suggested for its removal also terrified me. Death by black mold, or death by toxic chemicals. I began to do some research and found a wide range of mold killer on the market. Call me crazy but I’m just not into using chemicals in my home that contain the words “killer.” My home is where I want clean air to breathe, not an environment polluted by off gassing! So I went about testing a variety of “natural fixes” and can happily now share with you that my greatest success was found with the following non-toxic concoction!
1. Put on a face-mask and gloves. Open windows and doors. Though the moisture in the following approach will minimize spores “floating out” you do want to avoid any that may enter that may enter the atmosphere around your home.
2. Fill a spray bottle half-way with white vinegar. Sprinkle baking soda on the mold. Add boiling water to the spray bottle and immediately spray the vinegar-water mix on to the baking soda covered-mold.
3. Area should be wet but not soaking.
4. Scrub black mold with brush until it is all loosened.
5. Wipe the mold away with a rag or paper towels, rotating the rag often so you are consistently wiping with a clean section.
6. Repeat as necessary until there is no more visible mold. Any mildew not removed will come back and spread once again.
7. Then pour boiling water on to the effected area for one final rinse. Dry thoroughly with fresh rags/towels, or even a blow dryer if you have one.
8. Do not leave any rags or paper towels lying around the house and properly dispose of rags, mask, gloves and anything else that came in contact with the mold.
Or, keep it really easy and use Naturally Cleaner Mold and Mildew Remover (http://www.ecomom.com/naturally-cleaner-mold-and-mildew-cleaner.html) made with a proprietary blend of enzymes that has worked perfectly on every moldy spot I’ve used it upon.
After cleaning mold, try to keep the mold-prone area free of moisture to prevent return of mold. In window areas where water tends to condense, wipe dry each morning.
By ecomom Co-Founder Kimberly Danek Pinkson
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