Mould is present virtually everywhere, both indoors and outdoors. It is fond of wet and moist areas, especially those that lack adequate ventilation and sunlight. It can grow in wallpaper, ceilings, bathroom tiles, carpet and wood, even in the cleanest of homes! While there are multiple forms of mould, all have the potential to impact our health and wellbeing.
Mould reproduces by creating tiny particles called spores. Spores get carried away in the air and can cause health problems if they are inhaled by anyone who is sensitive or allergic to them. Sneezing, runny or blocked nose, skin and eye irritation and even wheezing are typical allergic symptoms. In extremely rare conditions, sensitive individuals can develop mould infections, typically in the lungs.
People with asthma, allergies and other breathing conditions are most at risk of mould sensitivity or allergy, and those with weakened immune system (such as people with HIV infection or who have had organ transplant surgery) are more at risk of mould infection particularly in the lungs.
How can I control the growth of mould in my home?
Keeping your home well ventilated:
- Open your windows and enjoy the fresh air circulating in your home (when the weather permits)
- Allow as much sunlight into your home by opening doors and windows and drawing back blinds and curtains
- Ensure to repair any leaks or other plumbing issues as soon as possible
- If excessive water enters your home, thoroughly clean and dry any carpets and rugs
- Discard of any carpet, rugs or furniture that cannot be cleaned or dried completely
- Limit the use of air humidifiers and gas heaters as they attract moisture in the air
What natural cleaning products can I use for mould?
With a huge range of products available to us, which ones are the best at eradicating mould and are also natural? We’ve done our research and there are some superstar ingredients that are commonly and effectively used for mould in the home:
Essential oils – especially clove, lemon myrtle and tea tree oils. These essential oils possess anti-fungal properties, perfect for getting rid of mould! They also help to kill spores, meaning they lessen the risk of future mould outbreaks. They also smell lovely, leaving your home smelling clean and fresh.
Bicarb soda – made into a paste with equal amounts of water and applied directly onto the mouldy area, bicarb soda helps to bleach black mould, stops the growth of more mould and also absorbs mildew odour.
Here is a DIY mould cleaner recipe using some of these ingredients:
You will need:
- A spray bottle
- White vinegar
- Filtered water
- 10 drops of clove essential oil
- 10 drops of tea tree essential oil
- Fill your spray bottle with equal amounts of white vinegar and filtered water, then top with essential oils. Attach the nozzle and give the bottle a good shake before each use
- Spray your DIY mould cleaner onto areas of mould until it is fully saturated and leave the solution on there for 1-2 hours
- Return to the mouldy area, spray again with your cleaner and then wipe away with a damp cloth
If you prefer to buy ready-to-use mould cleaners, we recommend these two products which are both available for purchase on our website:
Simply Clean: Simply No Mould – this is a spray that uses the power of hydrogen peroxide to kill both mould and mildew. It is safe for use on most hard surfaces as well is in food prep areas. It is non-corrosive on grout, chrome and stainless steel.
Simply Clean: Lemon Myrtle Disinfectant Cleaner – this food-safe disinfectant and cleaner kills mould, fungi and 99.999% of germs thanks to the power of lemon myrtle essential oil. It has a fresh fragrance that’s perfect for the home. It is safe to use in all areas of the home, even on toys.
Wilson, R. (2020), Three of the best natural mould removers, Better Homes and Gardens, cited on 10.6.2020, accessed <https://www.bhg.com.au/natural-mould-removers>
Service Master Restore (n.d.) Mold Myths: Will Vinegar Kill Mold? Cited on 10.6.2020, accessed <https://www.servicemasterrestore.com/blog/mold-damage/mold-myths-will-vinegar-kill-mold>