People today are more health-conscious than ever. They’re looking for natural solutions in almost every aspect of life, including mold infestation. When homes, basements and garages start to show unmistakable signs of mold, people want to know how they can eliminate it without hurting themselves or the environment.
This is, of course, a good instinct. But it’s also important to be realistic about what these solutions can actually accomplish. Here, we go beyond ordinary DIY treatments (Bleach, Ammonia) and break down some of the most popular ‘natural’ mold treatments being discussed today.
White vinegar is a cheap, eco-friendly and reasonably effective way to attack very minor mold problems. A mildly acidic substance created by natural fermentation, vinegar may kill up to 80% of all mold spores when used correctly.
Advantage: Cost-effective, non-toxic when used correctly, can be used in spray bottle
Disadvantage: Strong odor, messy, does not eradicate source of mold
2. Tea Tree Oil
This natural, anti-bacterial fungicide from the Australian Melaleuca tree is popular in soaps, shampoos, toothpastes and more. As a treatment against mold, the evidence is not convincing. Many people swear by it; others report no positive or lasting effects.
Advantage: Natural, eco-friendly, and the smell is better than vinegar
Disadvantage: Very expensive to treat large areas, and results are mixed at best
3. Grapefruit Seed Extract
This extract is made from grapefruit pulp and seeds. The abrasive, fresh scent has long been thought to indicate strong anti-fungal properties. This is difficult to determine, since many grapefruit seed extracts also contain an artificial antimicrobial substance called benzethonium chloride.
Advantage: Completely odorless
Disadvantage: Even more expensive than tea-tree oil; may not be as natural as you think
4. Hydrogen Peroxide
It may not sound as eco-friendly as the others, but hydrogen peroxide is considered a natural mold treatment. It’s corrosive, attacking the outer layers of mold and rendering it more vulnerable to the environment. It’s also cheap, and because of its fizzy nature, works better on porous surfaces than most sprays and extracts.
Advantage: Inexpensive, good on porous surfaces such as wood
Disadvantage: Can be too abrasive on some surfaces; also less safe than other natural remedies
5. Baking Soda
Baking soda is a natural deodorant and a popular DIY measure for attacking and preventing mold growth. It’s particularly easy to find and afford. Most people already have some at home.
Advantage: Inexpensive, neutralizes odors, eco-friendly
Disadvantage: Simply not as powerful as other solutions
So which alternative mold remediation treatment is best?
That depends on the size and nature of your problem, and also your preferences as an individual. Many people find that large-scale mold infestations threaten the value of their property and the health of their family. As a result, they’re willing to take stronger measures to deal with mold decisively, rather than cobble together a solution that requires more resources (money, water, packaging, time) in the end. Quality mold remediation specialists may use stronger ingredients, but they always take extra care to protect people and the environment while they eradicate mold.
Please feel free to leave questions or comments below; we’d love to hear about your experiences with alternative mold solutions!