Oct 10

Chemical Versus Natural Mold Removal Products

There is a heated debate in the cleaning world that surrounds mold removal products. There are some who prefer using chemical cleaners whereas others swear by natural products for mold and mildew removal. Both sides are correct in their arguments as it is not uncommon for chemical cleaners to perform at a comparable level to natural products and vice versa, but there are a few ground rules when determining what is appropriate for a certain solution.

1. Natural before chemical

It is always wise to exhaust natural mold removal products before attempting to use chemical cleaners. The reasons for this direction include avoiding potential allergic reactions that are given off from chemical cleaners and a worry that chemical-based cleaners could have a long lasting effect on a household’s general health. Natural products are also much lower in cost and can be acquired in much higher volumes, which can’t be said for chemical cleaners that can usually become quite pricey when using them for frequent long term battles for mold removal in the home.

White vinegar is the champion of natural mold removing products. Clinical studies have shown it to be effective against 83% of mold outbreaks and it can be purchased in very large volumes that make the biggest of jobs easy to tackle. One great benefit of white vinegar is that it can be applied directly to the mold outbreak without any dilution or other process on behalf of the cleaner; just pouring it onto the mold outbreak will start the sanitation process. However, it is important to note that a vinegar and mold combination releases an unpleasant fume that many cleaners report to be disgusting. It is not toxic in its presence, but isn’t the most nice thing to smell on a regular basis! Vinegar applied to mold should be allowed to sit for three hours before attempting to remove it from the affected surface, so leaving the room for this time should provide a sufficient enough time frame for the smell to dissipate.

After three hours have elapsed, then it is time to start scrubbing. Most cleaners find that mold easily lifts from an affected surface without much effort, but it could require a little elbow grease on the cleaner’s part. Wetting a household sponge with boiling hot water and scrubbing harshly against the surface will help lift all of what the vinegar was able to react with. For particularly bad outbreaks, then the cleaner can apply another coating of white vinegar and allowing it to sit for a few hours before attempting to tackle the rest of the outbreak.

White vinegar alone is enough to deal with most household mold outbreaks, which includes being suitable enough to replace black mold removal products. However, it is important to keep an area clean after sanitizing it to prevent future mold outbreaks. Vinegar is not always suitable for this purpose as it requires refrigeration in order to remain effective. In this case, pouring 20 to 25 drops of grapefruit seed extract into a household water sprayer with two cups of water and misting areas known to harbor mold every day is sufficient enough to keep an area properly sanitized. This is due to grapefruit seed extract’s natural antibacterial and antifungal properties.

2. Chemical

Chemical cleaners are available as proprietary cleaners that specifically tackle mold, such as Tilex mold and mildew remover, or can even be reduced to a cleaner’s typical main active ingredient: bleach.  Bleach is effective against dealing with mold on nonporous surfaces and does not require significant setting time in comparison to white vinegar. In fact, it’s not uncommon for cleaners to liberally bleach a moldy area and immediately wipe it to a spotless shine. However, cleaners run the risk of respiratory damage due to the noxious fumes that bleach is known to emit when reacting with mold. It is therefore important to work in a well-ventilated area and always adhere to a manufacturer’s directions when using bleach.

3. Follow-up

After an area has been successfully cleansed of its mold problem, it is wise for cleaners to take measures to prevent future mold catastrophes. A dehumidifier is a common answer for many mold problems as moist conditions are key for mold development. Removing moisture from the household reduces the chance of experiencing future mold outbreaks and units can be acquired at relatively low costs. For maximum effectiveness, the dehumidifier and other mold removal products should be placed in areas that are known to experience frequent or devastating mold issues.