I have found a way to get rid of mould and best of all it is all natural.
When my girls were little I used to have a steam vaporiser in their room over winter but I noticed it was causing mould to grow on their walls. The steam was settling on the walls and causing them to be constantly damp. Mould thrives in wet, unventilated areas without natural sunlight. So on closer examination I also saw it growing behind the wardrobe, on the window sills and even on the back of the cot.
Is all mould bad?
Mould comes in many different colours and doesn’t affect everyone in the same way. But as my youngest daughter already had a rattly chest for most of her life and the doctor had mentioned she would probably develop asthma, I was overly cautious. I threw out the steam vaporiser and set about cleaning off the mould.
Traditionally I would have reached for the bleach but having done some research I learnt that bleach is alkaline and is a great food for mould. It really just bleaches the mould so you don’t see it anymore. It doesn’t actually get rid of it. That’s why when you clean your shower or grout with bleach the mould comes back within a few weeks.
Steps to removing the mould
So first off I wiped down the walls with a mix of Thieves essential oil blend (not only does this blend contain Clove oil but it has the extra benefits of Cinnamon, Eucalyptus and Rosemary essential oils) and my trusty Thieves Household Cleaner. I then diffused the Thieves essential oil for a few days non stop in the bedroom with the doors closed. My daughter slept in our room for those few days not only to stay away from the mould but because the cinnamon in the Thieves blend can cause a tickle in your throat. Thieves is the very best way to purify the air, in order to kill airborne mould and bacteria.
I used an old fashioned atomising diffuser which to my surprise Young Living still sells. They can be found under the miscellaneous section when you place an order and are called Diffuser Complete. They come in two colours bronze and green. These diffuser work with a fish tank pump and have a metal well where you can either put some of the essential oil in to the well or what I do when diffusing for a few days straight is to tip the bottle upside down and sit it in the well with the drip stopped still in the bottle.
Atomising diffusers don’t use any water so there is no additional moisture to feed the mould. Young Living have another atomising diffuser called the aromalux and I’ve used this in areas where there has been mould present too.
These days I have switched to a cold air, ultrasonic diffuser in the girls room. Guess what – there is nothing growing on my walls. Even though this diffuser has water it doesn’t pump out steam or anywhere near the volume of water the vaporiser did. I still recommend atomising diffusers in areas which are damp and prone to moisture though. I’m a big believer in prevention being better than cure. It is much easier to stop mould coming in the first place than it is to get rid of it once the mould spores have taken up residence. So check your house for rising damp, areas where water may be pooling or not drying due to poor ventilation and no natural light.
Other ideas for mould
Our wardrobe downstairs can get quite damp so a natural solution is to use chalk sticks to absorb the moisture. You can buy a bucket of children’s chalk and stick this in the bottom of wardrobes. Or simply hang pieces of chalk in the wardrobe. Once the chalk has swelled up just leave it in the sun to dry out. Then you can reuse it. We also leave the doors open to promote ventilation. It also helps ensure that inside the wardrobe is not significantly cooler than outside of it. Last year with all the wet weather we invested in a dehumidifier to run on the days that it rains not stop.
If you have mould on fabrics like clothes or strollers, the best trick, which I learnt from Shannon Lush is to make up a salt solution with 1kg of salt and 9 litres of water. You can soak the item in the solution overnight and then hang out to dry. Once dry shake off the salt. Sometimes you might need to do this a few times. If you can’t soak it for example a lounge chair, just paint the fabric with the solution to form like a salt crust and then when it is dry brush the salt off the fabric. This works because the salt crystals expand when they dry and pull the mould out of the fabric. You do have to be careful with delicate fabrics like silk and suede as they require something a little different. I have used the Thieves Household Cleaner on Leather boots and handbags but always patch test it first.
One last tip
If I have mould in the grout in my bathroom I mix up a paste of bicarb soda, Thieves essential oil blend and a drop or two of vinegar. I’ve even used tap water once when we were out of vinegar. I use a toothpaste with the bristles dipped in the paste to scrub the grout. I then use the Thieves Household cleaner to clean my bathroom shower and tiles on a regular basis. This truly is the best cleaner I have ever used. I love that I only need to buy one cleaner for everything. If you are interested in learning more about natural cleaning solutions check out the Detoxing my Home hot topic.