Winter may officially be a few days away but the damp, dank, dark wetness is here. Mold happily blooms across my walls. Do you have mold problems where you live? “The Shoebox”, once home to horses, does not boast quality construction. Cute… yes.  Quality… questionable. Hence I have been looking for gentle alternatives to eradicate the black mold that blossoms like decoration across white walls. I know I can take a bottle of bleach and wipe it off quickly but it feels good to practice gentle Mother Earth friendly choices. I  came across a great article today on National Geographic’s Green Guide.

This is what they say:

“First, determine the point of origin. Mold won’t grow without moisture, so fix things like leaky pipes, dripping faucets and cracks in the foundation into which water might seep. Also remove any “food” on which mold might grow, such as surrounding papers and fabrics.

For smaller problems, try these environmentally safe sprays and ingredients that kill mold. The trick is not to rinse after spraying so the ingredients have time to do their work. In a few days, clean up the dead mold with soap and water.

1. Australian tea tree essential oil (also known as melaleuca) is a broad-spectrum fungicide. It has a very strong smell (too strong for some people), and it is expensive but a little bit goes a long way.

Place 1 teaspoon of tea tree oil in a spray bottle with 2 cups of water. Shake to blend. Spray on moldy areas and don’t rinse.

2. Vinegar is a mainstay of traditional cleaners and effective against mold. Use white vinegar so as not to stain surfaces, and use it “straight up.” Spray it undiluted onto mold and don’t rinse. Vinegar is the cheapest available method of killing mold, besides direct sunlight.

3. Borax also reduces mold spores and is useful for scrubbing cement walls in basements. Cover such areas with a mixture of 1 cup borax to 1 quart of hot water, and let dry without rinsing. Dust off the borax a few days later.

While you can combine tea tree oil and vinegar, don’t mix borax and vinegar. They neutralize each other, and you won’t get the same cleaning power as if you used the ingredients individually.”

I tried vinegar today.  Good start. I’ll wash it off in a few days and then wipe the walls down with tea tree oil….

Do you have any other mold care suggestions? What do you use? have you tried any of these options? What was your experience? Were they effective? Would you use them again?