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clean mold/mildew organically

Debbie Marsh

Joined: Oct 29, 2011
Posts: 5
Location: Piedmont, NC, zone 7
Tea tree oil is a good fungus remedy. I used it on my son's ringworm years ago - very effective. But I'd think it would be kinda expensive if needed in a large area.

Piedmont, NC, zone 7
dave brenneman

Joined: Jan 14, 2011
Posts: 38
Location: london, england
Walk Hatfield wrote:We use hydrogen peroxide for cleaning up tile grout and moldy spots on wood.  Hydrogen peroxide, when sprayed on a surface with vinegar, boosts the disinfectant quality of either product alone and will kill e-coli better than chlorine bleach (I think it was the University of Nebraska that did research on this)

Thanks for that - I did some poking around and it seems that Susan Sumner, who was at University of Nebraska, now at Virginia Tech, wrote about it in the 29 Sept 1996 issue of "Science News" - Here's a link to a scan of the article.

Zone 9, southern UK
Frere Daran

Joined: Jan 06, 2012
Posts: 13
Hello good folks,

My first post on this forum...

Concerning natural cleaning products, I use the excellent booklet below. It is a free PDF with nice illustrations (a hard-copy version is also available for a fee).
The only glitch: it is in French.

All the best and a merry 2012
Tint van der Merwe

Joined: Jan 07, 2012
Posts: 2
Hi guys! Thanks for the wealth of information here and thanks, too, for the email from Paul Wheaton hilighting the topic!

I have a question. Once you have killed off the mildew... what next? We're in a fairly new knotty pine cabin and the mildew has left really ugly marks indoors. Same goes for painted surfaces. Any suggestions for clearing that? I've (until now) been using bleach, but to no avail at all
Dale Hodgins

Joined: Jul 28, 2011
Posts: 3510
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
I live in a very moist environment on Vancouver Island yet have had few problems with this. Seems to be a too tight house problem.

When I've delt with it at jobsites I put bleach in a pump sprayer, the kind used for spraying fruit trees. I've used this sprayer for stripping wall paper, spraying mildew, dampening new mortar work, dampening asbestos, dampening drywall joints before tape, soaping large window areas, soaking recycled restaurant equipment.

Never sprayed a tree with it.

QUOTES FROM MEMBERS --- In my veterinary opinion, pets should be fed the diet they are biologically designed to eat. Su Ba...The "redistribution" aspect is an "Urban Myth" as far as I know. I have only heard it uttered by those who do not have a food forest, and are unlikely to create one. John Polk ...Even as we sit here, wondering what to do, soil fungi are degrading the chemicals that were applied. John Elliott ... O.K., I originally came to Permies to talk about Rocket Mass Heaters RMHs, and now I have less and less time in my life, and more and more Good People to Help ! Al Lumley...I think with the right use of permie principles, most of Wyoming could be turned into a paradise. Miles Flansburg... Then you must do the pig's work. Sepp Holzer
kj gardner

Joined: Nov 13, 2011
Posts: 3
HI, Paul and gang,
I just found a better alternative to buying borax etc from Amazon, I think.
Prices are a leeetle bit better, but the shipping is way lower - Free shipping on $25 or more of product! And the cost for a $19 order was 5.99, compared to
Amazon's $10.64... so that's my 2 cents!
Thanks for all the good stuff, Paul!

peace and blessings...
Tim Canton

Joined: Sep 14, 2010
Posts: 164
Ruso McCoy wrote:Heya, terrible events, vents didnt get finished on a greenhouse, now that is has rained for a few days and has seed trays, a couple started to mold, I have evacted but want to be 100% sure by spraying grapefruit seed extract on tables, trays,

my question is wdo you think I can spray a formula of grapefruit seed extract mist on mold seedtrays, or will the gse hurt seedlings, and  not completely eliminate mold issues?

Thanks for your time,

I would be careful with any GSE products...... research has shown its the chemical preservatives doing the work not GSE.
Earl Mardle

Joined: Nov 02, 2012
Posts: 5
Di, you say

Dj Guthrie wrote:I found that a tea tree solution can be made by diluting the oil and putting in a spray bottle.

What did you dilute it with?

BTW, if it is anything like as potent as citrus oil, I would also keep it in a glass container, not the spray bottle.
Elisabeth Tea

Joined: Sep 08, 2012
Posts: 53
I hate to spoil the fun, but cleaning with borax is actually the standard treatment for dealing with mold. The first step is to wash with a mild detergent. This cleans up the actual mold. (Actually the first step is to seal off the room so that spores don't leave during the clean-up.) The optional second step is to use bleach. This doesn't clean mold, but only cleans the mold stain. The final step is to put on borax without rinsing. Some recommend vacuuming with a commercial-grade hepa filter vacuum, as well.

There are lots of sources for the info. Here's one from Washington State.

David Hartley

Joined: Mar 23, 2012
Posts: 258
I live on the Oregon coast, where mold could be harvested as a cash crop... If there was a market for such a thing. It is everywhere and on everything...

I have successfully used many things... Soapy water followed by vinegar works well... Hydrogen peroxide is excellent and fun to use

But my all time favorite, especially against that nasty black mold, is homemade silver colloid. That stuff is superior!
Judith Browning

Joined: Jun 21, 2012
Posts: 2036
Location: Arkansas Ozarks zone 7 stoney acidic sandy loam
David Hartley wrote:I live on the Oregon coast, where mold could be harvested as a cash crop... If there was a market for such a thing. It is everywhere and on everything...

I have successfully used many things... Soapy water followed by vinegar works well... Hydrogen peroxide is excellent and fun to use

But my all time favorite, especially against that nasty black mold, is homemade silver colloid. That stuff is superior!

Hi, Dave, I wondered how you make silver colloid? I have been spraying borax/water mix on black mold patches and I don't feel sure it's killed the mold (the patch is still black). I don't use bleach so was ready to go on to peroxide and vinegar when I saw your post. thanks.

"We're all just walking each other home."
Ram Dass
Brenda Groth

Joined: Feb 01, 2009
Posts: 4432
Location: North Central Michigan
i used borax to kill fleas..worked like a charm..I sprinkled it liberally everywhere..waited as long as I could stand it around, then vacuumed and repeated (as eggs hatch when you vacuum cause of the vibrations)..

never had another flea..and had no reactions to the borax on the furniture, rugs ill effect to our cats either


Bloom where you are planted.
David Hartley

Joined: Mar 23, 2012
Posts: 258
Judith; pure distilled H2O, 99.99% silver (not 99.9%), a multi-meter (one that has has a 20milliamp range), a glass/ceramic container (not metal and preferably not plastic) to make it in, dark glass to store it in once made, "alligator" clips and a bit of copper wire, a variable VDC source (which can be done via several 9v batteries). A ppm meter is handy but not absolutely necessary.

My Dad put together some literature several years ago. I'll see if I can find a hard or digital copy
Matt Carroll

Joined: Feb 28, 2013
Posts: 6
Just wanted to add a couple more thoughts to the borax and bleach parts of this (excellent) thread. (Hope you guys don't mind a thread resurrection like this.)

There's nothing intrinsically more organic or even safe about either chemical. (Should we ever assume that stuff we use to kill other stuff is safe to be around or consume?!) They do have some opposing pro's and con's that make one beter in some situations vs the other.

Some facts as I see them:

Borax is mined in the larget open pit mine in the USA - nothing very organic or eco-friendly about that. Borax leaves a residue that can be highly toxic, especially to small children or pets. A big reason that bleach is favored for disinfection of most surfaces, especially in hospitals and restaurants. This residue is ironically also one of the main benefits in using borax for something ike mold control as suggested earlier in this thread - just place it smartly!

Chlorine is made by electrolosys of common table salt and can even be made at home. Chlorine off-gases (evaporates) from solution or surface very quickly and can form harmful compounds in the air. Ironically, this quick off gassing is also one of the main benefits of using chlorine, as noted aove. Just use it with adequate ventilation! (And never mix with ammonia or other cleaning chemicals for that same toxic gas scenario already mentioned.)

Also just one more thought: someone mentioned that bleach doesn't disinfect it just breaks down colors. That is how it whitens your laundry, but it's not the whole truth by a long shot. Just ask "What is Bleach?"

Kristy and Kai Cameron

Joined: Aug 23, 2013
Posts: 4
Hello to all on this thread. Just thought we would weigh in with the Aussie solution to Mould. Recently as many around the world would be aware Australia has suffered some of the most out of control natural disasters (mostly floods) in living memory. As a result of this and our recently purchased Termite and Mould infested first home we did some research and found that the QLD (Queensland a state of Australia) Government recommened using White Vinegar to initially kill the mould off and following a nice hard scrubbing spraying on a thin sheen of Clove Oil or Oil of Clove whichever your most comfortable referring to it as.

What we have found is that the mould goes and stays gone... and the best part is that both of these are 100% Organic..... We actually drink White Vinegar all the time mixed with Lemon Juice in our water as it aids in breakdown of fat cells. And the Clove Oil is nothing worse than what most snow skiiers would have in a glass of Gluwine. 6 drops of Clove Oil in a spray bottle (or even better a high pressure garden sprayer) with around 2 litres of water is plenty to get the job done for a whole house.

Where we live is probably one of the wettest places in Australia with it not being very unusual to get at least 1000mm of rain per year. Also we have no form of insulation in our house or internal walls so there is constant cold air hitting warm This stuff works like a charm though and with our little 1 year old crawling round sampling everything with her tongue it is a huge concern to us that we not use anything even remotely toxic... Hope this info helps at least one person in a million as it has done for us because mould is such a common foe...=)
Bryan Milne

Joined: Oct 21, 2011
Posts: 8
any comments on this....

I've been adding it to laundry (about 2 Tbsp) pretty frequently... could this be the cause of itchy skin?

Anyone know if there are issues with toxic vapors from Borax?

I've seen recommendations for mixing it with boiling hot water and dumping down the drain to remove drain gunk too...

I guess I'm looking for feedback on what amount or frequency of use becomes toxic, or is all use toxic?
Bryan Milne

Joined: Oct 21, 2011
Posts: 8
another article on Borax
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