I live in the humid Hudson Valley in New York, and I’ll never forget one of my first summers here when a green-like mildew grew inside of closets and over and inside of shoes. Being sensitive to mold I was very alarmed that the thick humidity would make such colonies flourish in my bedroom.
I have a number of tricks up my sleeve to kill mildew and mold, three of which are written about in 3 Ways to Kill Mold Naturally. These three are tea tree oil, vinegar, and grapefruit seed extract. Grapefruit seed extract is good for those who want no odor for the few days after spraying the mildew. I’ve used them all very successfully.
I’d like to add more about vinegar and essential oils. Studies by Heinz and others have shown that straight household white distilled vinegar kills 82 percent of mold when used straight up. (This means straight 7 percent acid solution from a bottle of vinegar that you buy in the supermarket.) This is a very good kill rate. And you can’t beat the price.
The problem is that many people write to me saying that they hate the smell of vinegar. What to do? I’ve been experimenting with adding a few drops of essential oil to straight white distilled vinegar and the results for smell are remarkable and unexpected. The essential oils seem to mellow out the bite of the smell of vinegar, leaving a vibrant essence that is mostly the smell of the essential oil with a bit of a sharp almost resinous touch, which would be the transformed vinegar.
A boon is that essential oils are very antimicrobial and will work to kill mold, too.
To try this yourself, place about 1/2 cup straight white distilled vinegar in a spray bottle. Add about 10 drops of essential oil, to start, shake, and smell. How do you like it? Do you need more essential oil? Just make sure not to add more than 15 drops of oil as it can be strong. I personally love lavender in this.
Spray this concoction directly on mold and mildew. Don’t rinse. The smell will dissipate.
Note: Make sure to avoid your eyes!