I live in a shared flat in the heart of London which has a cute little garden and modern kitchen, but I also have rising damp/mold/mildew on one of the walls in my room (anyone want to donate me a new home?). This is caused by moisture rising up through porous bricks in winter and something I have to constantly be aware of, especially because of the respiratory reactions you can get from mould. I had many mould symptoms before moving in here and while living here, but since changing my lifestyle and diet my asthma, headaches and skin rashes have all but disappeared. I’m still weary of what mold sensitivity can cause and I’m sure it affects many people. I’ve seen the warning signs on store-bought mold and mildew removers (it’s scary) and they aren’t good for your lungs, skin and wallet, so I always make my own.
I use this all the time at home and you can have this in a handy spray bottle or make it in a bucket when needed.
- Have equal parts of vinegar and water (basic cleaner)
- I like to also add a few drops (10 or more) tea tree oil,
Why This Works
The acetic acid in vinegar kills mold and mildew, and also inhibits the growth of future mold and mildew, unless you have a deeper problem. Add tea tree essential oil to the solution as it has anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties. I also like to add a bit of lavender for a more flower scent. This is an inexpensive way to make an all-purpose cleaner that is not full of harmful toxic chemicals.
Warnings when cleaning mold
- Do not reuse empty cleaner bottles. Buy a new bottle to use for your natural cleaning spray
- Keep out of the reach of children
- As with any cleaner, you should avoid all contact with the eyes and prolonged contact with the skin, I always wear gloves whenever I clean
Additional prevention and care
Condensation/mould/damp/mildew occurs mainly during cold weather, whether it is raining or dry. It appears on cold surfaces and in places where there is little movement of air. You can find it in corners, on or near windows, in or behind wardrobes and cupboards. It frequently forms on north-facing walls because these wall are usually the coldest. Besides regularly wiping down problem areas to keep these nasties at bay you can also:
- Produce less moisture (for example do not dry clothes on radiators, do not leave kettles boiling, something I see too often in London during winter)
- Ventilate your home with fresh air if possible (keep your windows slightly open, close kitchen and bathroom doors when they are in use)
- Insulate, draught proof and heat your home
- Ensure that the property is well heated and warm more clothes in the colder months. Warm air will not hold moisture as well as cold air can, so make sure your heating is left on a low setting all-day. Heating your home can be costly and keeping heating on when you are out could appear wasteful, but if it is at a low level, the boiler will not have to work as hard to reheat the home, making this method more efficient and economical in the long-run
Is Toxic Mold Exposure the Cause of Your Symptoms?
I know that I am sensitive to mold and have had a relationship with it since I was a child in every house I’ve lived in. I believe it was causing dis-ease in my body. Since changing my lifestyle and decreasing my exposure to mold, I believe it has been one of the things that has got me back on track with my health. Mold has it’s place in our ecosystem and gave me a really good warning about my toxic environment. If you suffer from any of these perhaps it’s due to a moldy environment you are unaware of?