Pin Me

How to Prevent Mold and Mildew in Your Home

written by: NoreenK•edited by: Donna Cosmato•updated: 11/4/2010

Methods to Prevent and Remove Mold and Mildew in Your Home

  • slide 1 of 1

    How to Prevent Mold and Mildew in Your Home Naturally

    If you spot mold and mildew you may think your only option is scrubbing with chemical cleaners. Fortunately, there are many methods of both preventing and eliminating mold naturally.

    Lower the Temperature

    Turn down the heat in rooms that are not in use, especially in high humidity areas such as bathrooms, laundry rooms, and basements. Colder temperatures discourage the growth of mold and mildew on floors and walls.

    Decrease Humidity

    Molds and mildew thrive in humid areas, so turn on ventilation fans or dehumidifiers, or open windows to properly ventilate a room with fresh cool air. Indoor humidity levels should not exceed about 50 percent. Check for damp areas in your home such as in the basement, in closets, under sinks, and around hot water tanks and plumbing. Ensure that clothes dryers are vented to the outdoors. While drying clothes indoors is economical, place them in a well aired area to prevent humidity.

    Wipe Away Wetness and Mop Up Spills

    Even putting wet dishes in your kitchen cupboards will increase the moisture content that molds, mildews, and bacteria like to grow. Let dishes air dry, clean up any spills, don’t put away wet umbrellas, and avoid leaving damp laundry piles or wet towels in the bathroom. In the summer time, an outdoor laundry line is the best way to dry wet laundry; not to mention the cheapest and most environmental friendly method. Check for leaks in plumbing around bathtubs, shower stalls, and under sinks.

    Replace Carpets with Wood or Tile Floors

    High moisture areas such as kitchens, bathrooms, and basements should never have carpets installed. Area rugs should be aired out regularly. Carpets and other absorbent surfaces cannot be cleaned of mold and mildew effectively and should be disposed. Also try wood flooring with area rugs in bedrooms and living areas to prevent molds, mildew, and dust from accumulating.

    In the same way, wall paper also attracts humidity and it is better not to wallpaper walls to prevent mold and mildews.

    Clean Regularly

    Cleaning away spores prevents mold and mildew from growing. Clean shower stalls, bath tubs, and floors regularly with environmentally friendly (and human friendly) cleaners. Clean out fridges so that mold doesn’t have a chance to grow on decaying food and send spores into the air.

    Shower heads can harbor spores and bacteria that may causes illness. Clean and disinfect these by soaking them in a bowl of vinegar or replace very old shower heads.

    Avoid Wearing Shoes Inside

    Shoes track in dirt, toxins, and spores from the outdoors. In the warmth of your home, these may flourish into mold, mildew and bacteria colonies.

    Environment-Friendly Mold and Mildew Cleaners

    Bleach and commercial mold and mildew cleaners are toxic to both the environment and the health of your family and pets. Try natural anti-fungal sprays containing eucalyptus and tea tree essential oils for a safe, effective solution.