The following guest post was contributed by Carl Bennett, Vice President of Above & Beyond Unlimited Cleaning – a New Jersey company specializing in providing a full range of mold and water damage restoration services, including environmentally friendly dry ice blasting.
You’ve just found out that you have mold in your home and you need to get rid of it. Don’t be afraid. Mold is very common, and only the dreaded ‘black mold’ poses an immediate danger to your health. However, leaving mold unchecked and allowing it to continue to breed and grow can cause serious health-related issues in the long term. But, you don’t want to use dangerous and toxic chemicals – that seems counter-intuitive to your new and improved, healthy lifestyle. Plus – it’s bad for the environment. You want clean air to breathe – without mold.
So where do you look? There are actually many ‘green’ ways to clean up mold – a few are listed below. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons.
Household Mold Cleaners
Baking soda and vinegar are two remedies used to rid your home of mold that you might find that you already have in your kitchen. How’s that for easy and gentle on the environment?
Hydrogen peroxide is another cleaner that is commonly used to oust mold from the home. And if the mold happens to be in your bathroom – well now isn’t that convenient, since that’s probably where you store your peroxide.
Just apply any of these cleaners using a spray bottle (vinegar straight up, hydrogen peroxide straight up – but use only the 3% concentration formula, and for baking soda use about 1/4 tbsp in your spray bottle) and voilà – easy peasy. You should let the vinegar sit for about an hour, the peroxide for about 10 minutes and scrub the baking soda concoction immediately. Wipe the area clean with a fresh, clean wet cloth afterwards to remove any remaining residue and/or mold. It goes without saying that the vinegar may stink more than the other two options.
Professional Grade “Green” Cleaning Solvents
Think “Simple Green” and “Moldex” here – which can be found at your local hardware store. The convenient thing about using, for example, Simple Green’s Pro Grade All-in-One Cleaner is that it removes the mold or mildew, plus any stains they left behind. They’re completely bio-degradable products. Conveniently Moldex also requires no rinsing afterwards. Just spray it on and it does its mold removing magic.
Essential Oils for Mold Removal
You may be surprised to hear that both tea tree oil and grapefruit seed extract are often used to remove mold. Both options follow pretty much the same directions. Mix about 2 teaspoons with 2 cups of water in a spray bottle. Mix it up well and spray on the mold. You can leave it there, no need to rinse. Many choose grapefruit seed over tea tree oil because it is odorless. The solution can be stored forever.
Dry Ice Blasting Mold Removal
The method of using dry ice blasting to remove mold is fast becoming a favorite method amongst those wishing to be friendly to the environment. It cleans thoroughly, and in much less time than traditional scrubbing or sanding methods. It’s a scientifically fascinating method where tiny rice-sized pieces of dry ice are blasted onto the area needing to be cleaned by use of a blasting gun. When the dry ice hits the air it goes from a solid to a gas immediately (avoiding the liquid state completely because of the use of compressed air and CO2) and the surface is subsequently stripped free of all mold. Amazing!
Any of these methods are kind to the environment, your nose, and your skin. A trifecta of green cleaning for the undoubtedly nasty household problem of mold removal!