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clean mold/mildew organically

 
Posts: 5
Location: Piedmont, NC, zone 7
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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.
 
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Location: london, england
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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.
 
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Location: Spain
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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.

http://raffa.grandmenage.info/post/2006/01/12/Livret_____Le_Grand_M%C3%A9nage_____Versions_finales

All the best and a merry 2012
 
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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
 
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Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
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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.
 
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HI, Paul and gang,
I just found a better alternative to buying borax etc from Amazon, I think.
http://www.drugstore.com/20-mule-team-borax-natural-laundry-booster-and-multi-purpose-household-cleaner/qxp160587?catid=150360&fromsrch=Borax
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!
 
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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.
 
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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.
 
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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.

http://www.doh.wa.gov/CommunityandEnvironment/Contaminants/Mold.aspx


~Peace~
 
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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!
 
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Location: Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep clay/loam with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
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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.
 
pollinator
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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 etc..no ill effect to our cats either
 
David Hartley
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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
 
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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?"

-Matt
 
                                            
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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 air...lol. 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...=)
 
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any comments on this....

http://www.mnn.com/your-home/at-home/blogs/avoid-borax-in-your-green-cleaning-products

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
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another article on Borax

http://www.crunchybetty.com/getting-to-the-bottom-of-borax-is-it-safe-or-not
 
pollinator
Posts: 1539
Location: Massachusetts, 6b, suburban, nearish coast, 50x50, full sun, 40" year-round even distribution
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Any more info on what compost teas these were??  Ingredients please?

I'm heading to poor-construction mildew country, Virginia, in a few weeks, and last year I just slept in a tent.  They run fans constantly.  They're aware of the problem, buildings were built in younger more ignorant days, so needing something that will really work fast and want something that will really work long-term and can maybe brew before I go and bring with.  

I may pack a bit of borax or vinegar with me, definitely bringing h peroxide because I use that anyway.  I guess I don't expect people to be touching my walls while I'm there but after I go someone else will stay in that room.

Uh oh, what if the mildew smell from the next rooms over is overpowering??  I guess I'll just have to spray in there too.

Thanks!!

Anonymous wrote:I listened to a presentation of a permaculture group who did damage control in New Orleans after Katrina.  They brewed huge vats of compost tea and sprayed the tea in moldy buildings.  The military was spraying bleach all over, but in a few days the sterile environment was just re-infected with the bad sorts of fungi.  The tea worked more long term because it introduced a colony of beneficial fungi and microbes. 

 
Joshua Myrvaagnes
pollinator
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Ah, I see, mildew is actually vampires.  Now it all makes sense.

2:22!  

oaktree Hatfield wrote:To clean mildew without expose yourself to toxic chemicals you’ll need some distilled white vinegar, an empty spray bottle, baking soda, garlic, gloves, and an abrasive sponge. The vinegar and garlic will kill mildew, germ,s and bacteria. The baking soda and sponges help remove mildew stains and make a nice corroding reaction.

Recipe for garlic bomb: mince up 1-5 cloves of garlic (depending on size) and put it in a shot or two of water and let it sit for 5 minutes. this will let the juices out and create a really intense solution. I will down this shot whenever i feel like it, especially if have been exposed to a cold or if i feel low energy.

Fill the spray bottle with vinegar and add the garlic bomb. Shake the bottle a little. Sprinkle a little baking soda on the mildew you wish to eradicate. Liberally spray all the affected areas and be sure to make epic laser or blasting sound effects as you do it. Mildew is easily intimidated and confused. Let it sit for an hour or two to allow the vinegar, garlic, and baking soda to corrode and penetrate and kill the mildew.

Come back and hour or two later with a sponge and more baking soda. Scrub scrub scrub til its gone. Maybe spray a little more vinegar/garlic.

If you can or you really want to, leave a clove of garlic by the spot where the mildew formed. I havent actually done this last part but i think it may help in the long run. I break up garlic where i keep my fresh fruit and it definitely preserves the fruit longer.


Ultimately, if the site where you had mildew gets really moist again, doesnt have adequate air flow, and no sunlight then the mildew is more likely to come back. Oh and if you can put the object that has mildew on it in the sun or do the treatment while the sun is shining (on a window for example) it will work better.

 
steward
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Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
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A few months ago jocelyn and i stayed in a super clean, fragrance free, toxin free house for people with chemical sensitivities.   A fascinating experience.  

At one point there was an animated discussion between the owner and an especially sensitive guest.  Apparently, when it came to mold stuff, they agreed with each other that this stuff was the very best:



https://amzn.to/3lmJLLY

 
Joshua Myrvaagnes
pollinator
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It's always 2:22 when I read this thread. My update--the guest building at the community had zero mold, so I never got to use my garlic or my silver-tipped wooden stake.

Moral of the story--always try sleeping in a non-guest room before you join a community!
 
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Just want to make a comment about borax. I use to use it a lot in my laundry. Then I learned it builds up in the soil and it is not good for the soil. The soil needs boron and so do we but at such microscopic amounts. I no longer use borax for anything except homemade soap and have not made it for a long time. In the homemade soap it changes its composition so it is supposed to be safe for the soil.

For mold I use a peroxide solution. I mix an 8% solution, a bit strong but works. Obviously, I wear rubber gloves as to not burn my skin. Mold has never returned. I use a spray bottle and put a 3% solution in the spray bottle and use it for my counters and as a hand cleaner.
 
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Hi Everyone!
This is a great topic that I have experience often.

Quite by accident, I  discovered Clove Bud Essential Oil.
This natural product not only kills black mold, but also the spores!!! I did research, and it's true.
I sit on my porch often, and the porch side of the house faces North. Very little sun in summer, a few hours at most, and no sun beginning in the fall and winter. I also live in SE Pennsylvania and it is a high humidity zone.
Snow would accumulate on the ply wood which isn't graded correctly, so when it the snow melts, or rain happens, it just puddles on the edge. This also happens on the edge of the tin siding....it's a condo community, so if I mention black mold, they are going to tackle it with toxic goo.
I am sensitive to black mold, and hated the smell, so when the snow began to melt, and the black mold smell was intolerable, I grabbed a little bottle of Clove Bud Essential Oil and dripped several drops into the melting water (small porch) . The clove oil sure smells better than the mold!  After about 10 minutes, I wanted to sweep off the snow to avoid pudding, low and behold! The black mold lifted right off! Easy as Pie!!! That's when I ran to my computer to research it more, as I am an Aromatherapist. Wow! It won't harm my out door plants, it is not toxic to humans.
I place it full strength on the plywood to let it seep in for 10 Minutes and sweep around to get all the effected areas, then rinse off.
I cleaned my whole porch with a small bucket of water, a solution of 2oz 7th Generation Laundry detergent, to 30-40 drops of Clove Bud Essential Oil (mix that together first before putting in water) omigawd! No mold, spores, or bad smells!!!
I put a few drop in my dish detergent for dishes, a drop or two in the washer for anything smelly, and it smells like the Holidays.
It is NOT expensive, and a little goes a long way.
Clove Bud is a strong smelling oil, and the scent will linger for a little while, but it doesn't bother me, and I have had no problems with it. Use sensibly.
 
paul wheaton
steward
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I came here to mention the EC3 stuff, but see I already did!   And now I'm just gonna make the link a bit fatter:



https://amzn.to/3lmJLLY



 
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Thanks👍 I usually try tea tree oil... IF I can get to it before my husband. However, tea tree oil doesn't make some paint happy😯  How much water and how much borax?
 
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Build houses from hemp...no mold or mildew.
 
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One source for Borax or Boric Acid would be pottery supply places, the distributors for all the things Potters and ceramic makers use.  

Ebay would be another that often has whatever chemical things you're wanting at a good price, usually free shipping.
 
pollinator
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I'm surprised nobody has mentioned steam. If you have access to a steamer, it's pretty easy to use and just use distilled water and the steam (not vapor) will kill the mold, but not sure how deep it can work into walls or whatever. Of course since it's water it's going to leave the surface damp, which is not ideal, but there are definitely instances where steam is sufficient to eradicate mold, and it's hot enough that most of the water will evaporate quickly. Then bite the bullet and install that new sump pump or whatever you gotta do.
 
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