Exposing rooms and furniture to sunlight is one of the non-toxic ways to get rid of mildew in buildings. Simply opening the curtains or windows and allowing the rays of sunlight to permeate the room will eliminate mildew spores that are in the air. Hanging rugs and carpets outdoors in the sunlight will reduce mildew as well.
Specific areas of the room that have visible signs of mildew, such as ceilings and walls, can be treated with sun lamps. The UV rays emitted from the lamp can kill mildew spores and prevent mildew from spreading to other areas of the building.
For a quicker way to eliminate visible signs of mildew, consider using a vinegar spray. Vinegar is acidic, which make it a great cleaner, and it is non-toxic, which makes it safe and environmentally friendly. A simple solution of vinegar and water in a spray bottle can effectively remove mildew from bathroom tiles, sinks, and other affected areas.
Baking Soda Treatment
Another non-toxic way to eliminate mildew is to apply a baking soda solution. Not only does baking soda eliminate mildew, it also whitens affected areas, and it deodorizes as well. Applying baking soda after treating the affected area with vinegar is an effective combination. Also, as with any cleaning product, a good scrubbing is usually required to remove set-in stains.
Grapefruit Seed Extract
Among the non-toxic ways to get rid of mildew in buildings, grapefruit seed extract is probably the least known. It is derived from the seeds and pulp of grapefruits. Simply mix grapefruit seed extract with water in a spray bottle. Usually, mixing 10 drops of grapefruit seed extract for each cup of water will produce an effective cleaning solution. Apply to affected areas and scrub with a sponge.
Another effective method for dealing with mildew from carpets and floor tiles is to use a steam cleaner. Steam cleaners generate water vapor that is heated up to 200 degrees. The steam can eliminate mildew spores and break up hard to clean stains. Afterward, use a towel to wipe away the mildew residue. If the stains are still present, try to incorporate other mildew removal methods. Usually, a combination of steam cleaning, vinegar sprays and baking soda will remove even the most difficult mildew stains.
Preventing Mildew Formation
The best way to prevent mildew from returning is to remove the conditions which favor fungal growth. Dark, poorly ventilated, and damp rooms are more prone to mildew. Increase ventilation by opening windows and installing an exhaust fan. Reduce moisture by fixing leaking pipes and removing standing water. Wiping down surfaces that are commonly exposed to water will prevent mildew. Installing a dehumidifier will also help reduce the amount of mildew that develops. With so many natural, non-toxic methods it is possible to address mold growth in buildings without using harsh chemicals.