Natural cleaning tips Part 1, against mold
essential oils, vinegar and baking soda to counteract the growth of mold in closed rooms and to make the indoor air healthier
In our posts we always try to understand how the natural remedies may be useful to improve our quality of life. From natural cosmetics for our beauty to herbal teas for the wellbeing of body and mind, there are several little tips and tricks that we can carry out for a healthier lifestyle. Also for what concerns the house cleaning, essential oils, vinegar, baking soda and other simple ingredients result really helpful and may replace more aggressive products that can release toxic substances in the indoor air that we breathe. Today we will see what we can do against mold that can affect the house walls. When we speak about mold we intend, under this term, various types of fungus that propagate through spores. These spores come from the external environmental and, when they reach the inside of a room and find a damp surface, they can take root and grow. The problem of mold inside a house isn’t just about appearance, but involves also health because it is possible that mold can cause allergic reactions and respiratory problems. The first advice is to counteract humidity in the rooms, for example you can often air the rooms, it is better to avoid drying damp clothes inside the house and try to find if there are broken pipes. However, sometimes all these precautions aren’t enough and the mold may appear in any case but, luckily, it is possible to prepare with a few ingredients a product able to disinfect the walls and remove the bacteria that are inside the mold. You should have a spray bottle, pour inside a glass of water and a tablespoon of baking soda, efficient against the growth and the proliferation of fungus and molds (Letscher-Bru et al, Mycopathologia, February 2013). Shake the bottle in order to mix all the ingredients, then add half a glass of white wine vinegar, with an anti mold action, though not as efficient as tea tree essential oil used in the next step (Rogawansami et al, Int J Environ Res Public Health, Jun 2015). Be careful because at this point the baking soda will react with the vinegar and will produce foam, but you can just do all the procedure in the sink. Add now 5 drops of lemon essential oil, an essence able to inhibit the fungal growth (Nazzaro et al, Pharmaceuticals, Dec 2017), and 7-8 drops of tea tree essential oil, with a powerful antimicrobial, antibacterial and antifungal action (Nazzaro et al, Pharmaceuticals, Dec 2013 – Swamy et al, Evid Based Complement Alternat Med, 2016). Tea tree essential oil has been shown indeed to be one of the most powerful antifungal agents, also if compared with commercial products that have also the limitation that they cannot be used in high quantity indoors (Rogawansami et al, Int J Environ Res Public Health, Jun 2015). Spray this mixture on the walls with mold, let it act for a couple of hours and then remove the mold, now more soft, with a cloth. In case of resistant and old mold repeating this process also in the next days will be necessary. And in order to prevent mold formation you can perform this treatment once a month, in order to sanitize the walls. For what concerns the grout of floor tiles, that often may present mold, especially in the bathroom that is one of the dampest room in a house, prepare a cream by mixing lukewarm water and baking soda. Apply this paste on the grout and let it act for about half an hour, then clean with a cloth or a soft toothbrush. Be careful if you have dark grout because the baking soda may have a whitening action.