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A proliferation of mold and mildew can be the hallmark of hot and humid summers. I have a friend who has green mold growing on the shoes in her closet! A humidifier might be the best help for her, but there are also three natural materials that can be used as a spray to kill mold and mildew. They are all an excellent substitute for less environmentally safe bleach.

Learn these three tricks for killing mold and mildew. One of these you most likely already have in your kitchen cupboard:

Over the years I have found three natural ingredients that kill mold: Tea Tree oil (an essential oil found in most health food stores), Grapefruit seed extract, and vinegar. There are pros and cons of each, but all three work. Vinegar is by far the cheapest.

Tea Tree oil is expensive, but it is a broad spectrum fungicide and seems to kill all the mold families it contacts. The problem is that it has a very strong smell, but that dissipates in a few days. Grapefruit seed extract is also expensive, but has no smell.

Mold can be dangerous to your health, even if you aren’t allergic. Many people react to mold by getting tired and even depressed. Try to stay on top of moisture and mold as soon as either arises.

Dry out anything that is damp, such as basements (use a dehumidifier), and carpets. Fix leaks in plumbing and roofs. Wipe up spills. Make sure water doesn’t escape from shower curtains. Vigilance will pay off!

Tea Tree Treasure

Nothing natural works for mold and mildew as well as this spray. I’ve used it successfully on a moldy ceiling from a leaking roof, on a musty bureau, a musty rug, and a moldy shower curtain. Tea Tree oil is expensive, but a little goes a very long way. Note that the smell of Tea Tree oil is very strong, but it will dissipate in a few days.

  • 2 teaspoons Tea Tree oil
  • 2 cups water

Combine in a spray bottle, shake to blend, and spray on problem areas. Do not rinse.

  • Makes 2 cups
  • Preparation Time: Under a minute
  • Shelf Life: Indefinite
  • Storage: Leave in the spray bottle

Grapefruit Seed Extract

The advantage of using Grapefruit seed extract instead of Tea Tree oil for killing mold is that it is odorless.

  • 20 drops Grapefruit seed extract
  • 2 cups water

Combine in a spray bottle, shake to blend, and spray on problem areas. Do not rinse.

  • Makes 2 cups
  • Preparation Time: A minute or so
  • Shelf Life: Indefinite
  • Storage: Leave in the spray bottle

Vinegar Spray

Straight vinegar reportedly kills 82 percent of mold. Pour some white distilled vinegar straight into a spray bottle, spray on the moldy area, and let set without rinsing if you can put up with the smell. It will dissipate in a few hours.

Get your herbs and oils at a place you can trust!

Starwest Botanicals not only utilizes their own milling and packaging operations for all organic herbs and bulk spices, they also conduct quality control testing on each and every product in their own laboratory.

With attention like that, you can be sure you will receive only the highest-quality organic herbs, dried herbs, organic spices, therapeutic essential oils and all natural products when you place an order with Starwest Botanicals.

By Annie B. Bond, author of Home Enlightenment (Rodale, 2005). http://www.care2.com/
photo credit: yourbestdigs Group of sponges (license) 


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