How to Get Rid of Black Mold the Easy and Cheap Way

Updated on April 22, 2019
Turtlewoman profile image

Kim is a board-certified holistic health coach, healthy living and cleanse consultant, and studied under Drs. Andrew Weil and Walter Willet.


What Are Those Black Patches in My Bathroom?

What is that stuff collecting in the corners? What is that mildewy smell? It must be mold again!

There are many chemicals on the market that can kill mold, but polluting your house with additional toxic stuff might be counterintuitive if you're trying to avoid health hazards. Don't worry; there are several safe and natural ways to get rid of black mold in a bathroom or carpet. Save money by using common household products you may already have in your kitchen cupboard and avoid paying expensive service bills. If you have a small infected area, you can clean it up yourself without a professional.

Is Black Mold Dangerous?

Left unchecked, it can be a health hazard, causing potential respiratory problems and severe allergic reactions. Especially if you have a pet, a baby, or elderly folk in the home, it can be detrimental to their immune system!

Step-By Step Guide: How to Get Rid of Mold

  • Step 1: Find some eye goggles, a pair of latex or rubber gloves, and protective clothing that covers your whole body. Wear a filter dust mask to prevent inhalation.
  • Step 2: Contain the affected area. To do this, use duct tape and a plastic sheet to seal off vents or openings where air might flow in or out. You might place a small fan in an open window to direct the mold spores outdoors. Remember, mold can easily be transported to different areas in your house on pets or on the soles of shoes.
  • Step 3: Take a stiff brush and clean the area with mild soap and water. Throw away all porous items or materials exposed to the mold.
  • Step 4: Apply a disinfectant (one of the solutions listed below) to the area. Don’t forget to spray the surrounding area to kill mold spores you can't see.
  • Step 5: If directed, rinse the area with hot water. Let it dry completely. If there’s excess water, you can use a wet/dry vacuum to suck it up. Vacuum thoroughly after the area has completely dried.

Do not scrape dried mold, as it can be released into the air.

What Products Can Be Used to Clean up Black Mold?

Grapefruit Seed Extract
a natural and unscented anti-fungal
mix 20 drops grapefruit seed extract with 2 cups water; put in a spray bottle and spray on effected areas (do not rinse)
Tea Tree Oil
an excellent natural mold-killer
buy real tea tree oil; mix 1 tsp. with 1 cup water; in a spray bottle, shake and spray on effected areas; don't rinse
Distilled White Vinegar
safe and inexpensive fungicide
spray it straight on the effected area
toxic if swallowed it but doesn't emit dangerous fumes like some other mold killers; more effective on tiles, less so on carpet
mix 1 cup Borax and 1 gallon hot water; pour in spray bottle and spray; after a few minutes, use a scrub brush or cloth to wipe the mold away; don't rinse
Hydrogen Peroxide
higher concentrations may be hazardous and will corrode many materials, including human skin; in a lower concentration it is safe to use, doesn't damage the environment, leave a toxic residue, or produce a toxic fume; it is a bleaching agent which may cause material to fade
pour 3% concentration hydrogen peroxide into a spray bottle; leave it on effected area for 10 minutes before rinsing
a harsh, toxic chemical; like bleach, ammonia will only kill surface mold on hard, non-porous surfaces
mix a solution of 50% "clear" ammonia and 50% water; do not mix with bleach, as this will create an extremely toxic, dangerous fume; after spray on effected area and wait 2-3 hours before rinsing
a harsh, corrosive chemical which can damage the materials it's used on, emits dangerous fumes, and leaves a toxic residue
mix a ratio of 1 cup of bleach to 1 gallon of water; spray it on and don't rinse
This list is arranged from least toxic (top) to most (bottom). It's best to start with the least toxic solution. Note: never mix bleach and ammonia as they produce a toxic gas when combined.

Wear Eye Goggles and a Mask to Protect Yourself!

We didn't have any real eye goggles so these snowboarding goggles will have to do.
We didn't have any real eye goggles so these snowboarding goggles will have to do. | Source

Cleaning Black Mold Yourself

Instead of calling in the experts and paying a hefty amount to have the mold removed, there are ways you can handle the problem yourself. Before you begin, here are some ideas for how to do it and what you'll need.

Vinegar: The Cheapest, Safest Way to Remove Black Mold

Vinegar is a non-toxic and safe alternative. According to one study, a solution of vinegar kills 99% of bacteria, 82% mold, and 80% germs such as viruses.

Keep a spray bottle full of white distilled vinegar in your bathroom and kitchen for quick cleaning. Personally, I don’t mind the smell of vinegar but if you find it too strong and unpleasant, just add a few drops of essential oil (like lavender), and you will be able to tell the difference.

Tea Tree Oil Is Also Extremely Effective!

Getting rid of black mold with tea tree oil is an extremely effective method. Tea tree is an essential oil that is safe for people and pets. It is more expensive than vinegar, but a few teaspoons go a long way. I've used it successfully on a small area of the rug and a moldy shower curtain.

It does have a distinct smell but don't worry; the smell will dissipate over time. Since it has anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties, aside from killing all types of mold, tea tree oil can be useful for treating lice, dandruff, athlete's foot, and many other conditions. It is a good idea to buy a small bottle and keep in your house. Remember, a little goes a long way.

TIP: Make sure you buy real tea tree oil, made from the Melaleuca alternifolia.

To mix the solution:

  • 1 teaspoon tea tree oil
  • 1 cup water

Combine in a spray bottle, shake, and spray on effected areas. You don't need to rinse. If you have extra solution left, just save it for later since it won't lose its potency.

Grapefruit Seed Extract

The advantage of using grapefruit seed extract is that it is odorless. It is also expensive and can be bought at most health food stores or online. Grapefruit seed extract will also disinfect and deodorize the area.

How to mix the solution:

  • 20 drops grapefruit seed extract
  • 2 cups water

Combine in a spray bottle and spray on affected areas. Do not rinse. Like tea tree oil, it has a long shelf life and can be saved.

Other Mold Removal Products

Unless you have an extremely large affected surface, these should be your last alternatives due to their toxicity. Some may even harm the surface the mold is growing on. Use these solutions with caution.

  • Borax: Use a ratio of 1 cup Borax to 1 gallon water. Hot water will dissolve the Borax quicker. Although Borax doesn't give off toxic fumes, it is less effective on carpets. It is recommended on hard, flat surfaces like tiles. Pour the solution into a spray bottle and spray. Let it sit for a few minutes, then use a scrubbing brush or cloth to wipe the mold away. There's no need to rinse.
  • Hydrogen Peroxide: Pour 3% concentration hydrogen peroxide into a spray bottle. Leave it on the affected area for 10 minutes before rinsing. Although hydrogen peroxide is a safer alternative to bleach, it is a bleaching agent, which may cause material to fade.
  • Ammonia: Mix a solution of 50% "clear" ammonia and 50% water. Do not mix with bleach, as this will create an extremely toxic, dangerous fume. After spraying the solution on the affected area, leave it for 2-3 hours before rinsing.
  • Bleach: Use a ratio of 1 cup of bleach to 1 gallon of water. Spray it on and don't bother rinsing. Bleach cannot completely kill mold growing in porous materials. It only kills the top surface and, if left in a pool, it creates a moist area that invites mold to grow back. Another disadvantage of using bleach is that it emits corrosive chemical fumes and will damage cloth and other porous materials.

Shopping List for Do-It-Yourself Mold Removal

  • Plastic sheets to close openings and doorways
  • Duct tape
  • Spray bottle
  • Eye protection
  • Filtered respiratory mask
  • Stiff brush
  • Rubber gloves
  • Soap
  • Disinfectant (see list of options above)

And don't forget a vacuum, fan, and protective clothing, if needed!

What Is Black Mold?

It is a growth of small organisms, particularly Strachybotrys chartarun and Strachybotys astra, which are extremely dangerous to younger kids, babies, and older people, and have been linked to many health problems, including respiratory problems like bronchitis and asthma. Pets can also develop rashes and other issues when exposed.

Black mold can be found anywhere in your home, including ceiling tiles, water-soaked wood, walls, floors, and carpet. Small leaks or plumbing problems often lead to the growth of mold because the organism thrives best in moist environments. Flooding or leakage from the rain can leave carpets damp for a prolonged period of time. If your carpet has gotten wet and did not dry thoroughly, mold may bloom and spread in that damp area.

If you touch it with a gloved hand, it feels slimy. It usually looks black but may also have a shade of greenish-yellow and spreads in a spotty pattern. Black mold will have a very distinct mildew smell.

Sometimes the signs are not as evident. It may grow in places where you can't see it, like behind a wall or under a carpet. If you begin experiencing an allergic reaction or suddenly having respiratory problems, you should check for signs of black mold.

Mold Prevention Is Key!

According to the CDC, there are some preventative measures you can take to battle black mold. The following are some of their suggestions:

  • Fix leaks immediately.
  • Buy a dehumidifier. Maintain moisture levels in your home.
  • Buy an air purifier. It can help clean the air and destroy spores.
  • Make sure there is adequate ventilation. Use a fan or open the windows to your bathroom or window.

Black Mold Health Effects

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), Stachybotrys is responsible for mold allergies and over 100 cases of lung disorders. To avoid the risk of getting mold allergies, it is extremely important to remove all mold, regardless of what type you find. Your family’s health depends on it.

People who have allergies, respiratory disease, or any type of immune-suppressing disease should be especially wary.

Symptoms of a Reaction to Mold

Minor symptoms include:

  • Headaches, dizziness, red eyes, rashes and hives, asthma, lethargy, and/or wheezing.

Major symptoms to look for:

  • Memory loss, irregular blood pressure, damaged digestion, damaged respiratory, and/or infertility.

Prolonged exposure can lead to serious health problems. You should contact your doctor immediately and get rid of the mold!

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

Questions & Answers

  • I am being asked to help my sister clean her household items that were potentially exposed to black mold. Black mold was found in the basement, and some articles need to be cleaned upstairs, as I'm not too sure if they were exposed. Do I need to wear the mask and goggles? I have severe asthma and allergies to mold. Should I be concerned?

    I would wear one!

© 2012 Kim Lam

Comments or Questions

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    • profile image


      2 months ago

      FYI if you use vinegar use gloves. If you use it a lot like in cleaning it will take skin off your hands used it to clean the floor of a room one time scrubbing paint drips off floor. It tore up my hands. Vinegar is great to clean bathrooms with splashes of pee from boys before painting again but use gloves.

    • profile image

      breena solomon 

      5 months ago

      Ben (posted 15 months ago--today is April 8 2019) said some important things. I plan on moving from my moldy apartment--BIG areas of mold in several rooms, due to leaks, pipe bursts and poor repairs by the landlord. I wanted to get rid of the mold and mold smell in my bedroom, so that it would be safe for me and my cat, but did not want to hire a professional, due to the cost and I plan to move soon. I thought of using hydrogen peroxide or vinegar, on a cloth, as Ben suggested. Question: Might it be safer to just leave everything alone, not do anything, in case I don't kill all the mold or fail to remove it all? Breena

    • profile image


      7 months ago

      I live in Humboldt County and my apartment had mold and after I try to clean it comes back! The management tells me just to clean it up.. I can't cause I'm disabled and don't have any one to help me... It is very dangerous and unhealthy here...I can't afford to move elsewhere.....

    • profile image


      10 months ago

      I had toxic mold which I got rid of, but the spores are everywhere and I am allergic to mold..What can I do to get rid of them? or should I move? I read that mold spores dont die and regenerate. Does anything kill them? They are also now in my car and in my clothes. Should I sell my car and throw out my clothes and couch , chairs and what about the TV and. If I do it will costs me 10 thousand dollars. Im extremely stressed right now. I never knew mold spores could explode out of control and ruin your life. I have bought air purifiers and de-humidifiers and no matter what I do. the spores dont leave.

    • profile image

      John Joseph 

      11 months ago

      These are great tips, unless you have a cat. In which case, even “a few drops” of essential oil, can reportedly cause a toxic, life threatening liver condition. So tea tree oil is out. Borax also can be swallowed by pets and do grave harm. If you don’t have pets though, you’re good to go.

    • profile image


      12 months ago

      I am a student and in my student house (London Ontario) and a few weeks go one of my roommates had to throw out all of his belongings because it was covered in mold. My landlord decided to wipe it off all the baseboards and the walls. He said that the moisture was coming from a sub pump. I am concerned that the mold is in the walls and since the room is right beside the filter room it will not be that hard for it to travel to the rest of the house. Should I get a second opinion?

    • profile image


      16 months ago

      I have a garage that has got mold all over the walls and the smell is very bad we have to air out garage just where we can stay in den now the smell is getting to us in there and causes headaches how can I clean it where it will not harm me and wife

    • profile image


      20 months ago

      I would avoid spraying anything on a patch of visible mold. Instead put the cleaning solution (vinegar or other) on a clean towel and then wipe and turn to a clean side repeatedly until no more color transfer. Mold spores, especially when dormant, are naturally coated in an oily substance. When you spray any liquid directly on mold growth you will likely cause two things to happen: spores to become airborne as the oily substance repels the water in your cleaning solution; and a possible release of mycotoxins as the mold colony tries to defend itself from what it perceives as an attack. Also, if you kill but don't completely remove the mold, you can cause a worse situation than you had to begin with. This is due to the fact that as mold is damaged or dies the cell wall breaks down. This can cause an increased release of mycotoxins from within the mold cells which can cause allergies and illness. This is similar to the die off effect that people describe when they are treating internal fungal conditions like Candida overgrowth in the bowel. They will feel worse shortly after the fungi start to die because toxins are being released in larger quantities from the damaged mold cells.

      If you have over 10 square feet of mold growth the EPA and the American Industrial Hygiene Association recommend you contact a professional. Most industry standards recommend, and some states mandate, you obtain an independent evaluation from a Qualified Indoor Environmental Professional (IEP) or Industrial Hygienist prior to having professional mold remediation performed. This will protect you, as the consumer, from being taken advantage of. Having a remediation company assess whether there is a problem, determine the severity of the problem, determine the steps needed to remedy, and bid the project presents a serious conflict of interest. Get an independent evaluation from an IEP and then have several remediation companies bid on the protocol supplied by the IEP. Also, I would suggest having the IEP return after the remediation and perform both a visual inspection and sampling to ensure the work has been completed satisfactorily. This is going to cost a little extra, but is definitely money well spent to ensure the mold is gone.

      The mold remediation industry is not well regulated in most states. Therefore, it is very easy for a customer to be taken advantage of. If you do need a professional remediation, do your homework and protect yourself.

    • profile image

      Bruce Rosand 

      20 months ago

      How long do you leave vinegar before cleaning off?

    • profile image


      22 months ago

      People pls read all the above and take mold seriously..It can cause major respiratory illnesses as well as allergies including sinuses and skin problems.It can cause long term memory failure as well as reducing your ability to smell and headaches..Once you get rid of it it you will find your health improving .Mold can be found in damp places ,walls,ceilings ,carpet,wood and vents as well as air-conditioning systems .Please take this seriously and wishing you the best of health!!!

    • profile image


      22 months ago

      TEA TREE OIL IS NOT SAFE FOR CATS!!! essential oils in general are toxic to cats and tea tree oil is one of the worst. if you use this, make sure your cats do not come in contact with it!

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      Doris James MizBejabbers 

      2 years ago from Beautiful South

      Getting rid of black mold in our humid Southern climate is easier said than done. We have black mold despite running two dehumidifiers, using gas heat, and running the AC during cool weather in early spring and fall to aid dehumidification. We've resorted to copper sulfate, which kills the mold on our concrete outer walls, but it comes right back. We are going to have to have all inner wall drywall and plaster and the carpets removed from our house. I want to move but my husband is in denial. He's developed allergies, and it has exacerbated my lung problems I already had because I had histoplasmosis when I was a child. I'm so desperate I've actually thought about using a torch on the nonflammable walls to see if high heat would kill the mold.

    • profile image


      2 years ago

      To my horror, after reading your hub I have discovered why my dog got sick a year ago and passed away last week - MOLD! I am utterly heartbroken!!!! How do I remove mold from a stained wood floor?

    • profile image


      2 years ago

      nice one

    • profile image


      2 years ago

      AFFECTED areas, not EFFECTED areas.

    • profile image


      2 years ago

      You are misusing the words "effect" and "affect" which most people do!!! Here is a sentence using the correct word:

      "The effect of using white vinegar is to remove the affect of block mold which is to make surfaces look nasty!"

      You "affect" the mold by spraying it with white vinegar! The "effect" is to kill the mold by spraying it with the white vinegar!!!!

    • profile image


      2 years ago

      thankk you so much! I'm freaking out as I found lots of mold on our windows. We all have these health problems...

    • profile image


      2 years ago

      Thank you for this very hepful info Miss Kim.

    • profile image


      2 years ago

      My mold problem is in the ceiling, caused by a leak in the roof, which has been fixed. Are these solutions mentioned for inside the house safe, effective, and legal for this kind of problem and what precautions should be used?

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 

      3 years ago from Central Florida

      This is great information. I prefer using household pantry items for cleaning. I have a problem with mold and mildew building up in the shower. I leave my shower curtain open after showering so the moisture can dissipate, but mildew still creeps into the caulking.

      I don't like to scrub and rinse, so the tea tree oil mixture you outline above is perfect for me. I'll definitely be giving that solution a try!

    • profile image

      jesse j0nes 

      3 years ago

      thank you so much me and my girlfriend have been staying at my moms place and have been sick since we got here! when my girl is at work she is fine the second she gets here bad news like asthma . i found a bunch like the complete bathroom cabinetry 64"x21"x34" was consumed with toxic black mold !!! i have since done my best at cleaning it up and thank god i have half a brain and duct taped the door to my sis room and the air vent on floor {mobile home} and haved used the window to get in and out so i didnt track any mold through the house. this article is very good for me rite now as today im going to start the final clean up and inspection and will use all this info to make sure nobody else gets sick! thank you again and i will be following you for sure from now on!!!

    • profile image

      Brandon Williams 

      3 years ago

      I stay on the 3rd floor of these apts my girlfriend and I jus moved to and notice black mold in the ceiling wash room near the back side of the shower wall. It's a nice size and Ive been really going thru all the symptoms.We have told maintenance on 3 different occasions but still they haven't fixed it and we been here goin on 3 months. Someone please shed sum advice..

    • profile image

      Steve Mazon 

      3 years ago

      I took a drop ceiling out of an old house and found dry mold on the rough lumber. I sprayed it down with vinegar 2-3 times. Removing it was impossible. I painted over it with a mold killing primer, but still difficult to cover completely. Also I was exposed initially, I'm using a dehumidifier, and staying out of the area for the moment.

    • Turtlewoman profile imageAUTHOR

      Kim Lam 

      3 years ago from California

      Hi magenta7! Yikes! So glad you figured out the source! Mold is definitely detrimental for Crohn's. The tea tree essential oils are safe for dogs. However with the furniture, please try a small area to see if there's any issue. Good luck!

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      Hi there, I recently moved out if a rental villa after nearly 2yrs, that was inundated with copious amounts( in under kit.cabinets, laundry rm, both bthrms, both bed rms, attic, ceiling, walls, fireplace and outside storage rm and patio) of Black mold. It was not visible until the odor led us to find the horrors that surrounded us. The roof was rotten and needed replacing and after investigating further, found there had been a house flood that was covered up by cheap flooring, base boards and new paint. It was so toxic smelling I believe my husband, myself and Boston terrier were being poisoned the whole time. The noxious smell could even be found on clothing and eventually seen on belongings, and the usual suspect symptoms arose.. even worse more, we were also infested with Brown Recluse spiders!!

      It was rented to us by a mngmnt co. that could have cared less; after all they weren't the ones subject to living with it. Any atempt to bring attention to the huge nightmare, were quickly discredited, by them. We stayed there only because of financial reasons. But, I know now that the price we had paid then with our health and perhaps in the future health, by continuing to stay, may be far greater.

      Fortunately, we are now in a gorgeous CB home on the water, where there are lots of windows and breezes thru the house, if we choose.

      However, after only a few days the odor returned, but only in certain areas, it seemed worse when the A/C kicked on, and it becomes breathtaking. I was terrified to think that we had moved into another house, with the same problem, too!

      I also suffer from a compromised immune system, due to chronic and severe complicated Crohn 's disease followed by multiple surgeries.

      Luckily, I've been able to pinpoint the sources! I wasn't able to purchase new furniture due to the expense of a major move. I have a faux or leather recliner, micro- fiber couch, solid wood dresser and bookshelf, that are painted(all from the previous dwelling. At this time I don't have a choice but to keep them. Though I cleaned clothing in hot water and got rid of household items that were effected, I was hoping you would give your thoughts/ recommendations..? Can I use any of the natural remedies on the upholstery? Wondering if I put one or a combo of the essential oils you speak of, in my hand held steamer or steam cleaner, that I can save our health (including our sm dog, who now has respiratory and rash issues) and my furnishings? Thank you for taking the time to read my fears. Desperately and Sincerely...

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      Thanks for all this info it will surely help... This my first winter in my house and We got some mold so thank you very much for all this helpful tips...

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      I had a walk in closet full of mold, I used borax and a scrub brush to remove it,you could see the crystals it left behind on the shelf inside there. This was for a elderly woman. I liked the fact it emitted no fumes and was easy to administer(spray bottle) and it also got rid of the modly smell.

    • sandeep15r profile image

      Sandeep Rathore 

      4 years ago from New Delhi

      Informative Hub!

    • Kodex Paint profile image


      4 years ago from 2/20 Bridge St, Pymble, NSW, 2073, Australia

      Very Useful hub! Thanks for Sharing.

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 

      4 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      Very useful knowledge on how to get rid of black mold in the bathroom. Good to know for future use. Voted up!

    • Arco Hess Designs profile image

      Arco Hess 

      4 years ago from Kansas City, Kansas

      Thanks. I have some of this in my bathroom. I'll try the vinegar method first.

    • Turtlewoman profile imageAUTHOR

      Kim Lam 

      5 years ago from California

      Thank you Nancy! Cheers!

    • nancynurse profile image

      Nancy McClintock 

      5 years ago from Southeast USA

      I love your hubs . Thanks so much for sharing. I have severe allergies to mold and will definitely try your ideas. I have pinned you to my pinterest account.

    • poetryman6969 profile image


      5 years ago

      Very cool. You have performed a valuable and worthwhile service.

      Is there anything vinegar can't do?

      I need to see if I can find some grapefruit seed extract.

    • villyvacker profile image

      Billy Turnock 

      5 years ago from Manchester England

      Thanks for this super-valuable information which I am going to try this week on a small patch of black mold we have in our bathroom

    • Sushma Webber profile image

      Sushma Webber 

      5 years ago from New Zealand

      Great hub! Thanks for your detailed description of types of mold and how to get rid of them in the natural way without causing damage to self and the environment. Voted up and shared on Facebook.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      I just want to know if anyone has cats that can tell there is mold in their carpets? My cats refuse to walk on our carpets much less lie on them. They jump from chair to chair and couch to couch. The only floor they will walk on is the kitchen and bathroom floors. I believe we have gotten mold from the downstairs getting flooded when we had a bad storm last spring. I found black spots in the carpet even when nothing was spilled on it. Any help would be appreciated.

    • grand old lady profile image

      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 

      5 years ago from Philippines

      I've been using stuff from the store to clean my molds. They are effective but very strong, sometimes I feel a weakness in my arms from their strength. For this reason, using something natural like those you've listed here is most helpful. Voted interesting and useful. Great hub!

    • bethperry profile image

      Beth Perry 

      5 years ago from Tennesee

      Very helpful Hub! I've had good luck with vinegar, but not so much luck with tea tree oil. I have not tried the grapefruit, but if I ever see black mold again I may try it.

      I will say that in the effort to prevent mold, I have found that an occasional cleaning with bleach helps much.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      I. Have black mold under kitchen sink for a yeat if not more. Have used bleach but still there. The floor board is damaged. Contractor say need to be torn out at a wopping $5.000.00. Never tried tea tree oil or vinegar!!! Any suggestion! HELP HAVE 3 small children

    • Turtlewoman profile imageAUTHOR

      Kim Lam 

      5 years ago from California

      Merej99- thanks for sharing your experience! Glad it worked out for you and the migraines are no longer there.

    • merej99 profile image

      Meredith Loughran 

      5 years ago from Florida

      Very useful! I tend to have bad reactions from toxic chemical cleaners. A lot of times the smell sets off a migraine. When I had black mold in my bathroom I was desperate for an alternative and found out about vinegar - and later tea tree oil. Oh, I wish I had found your hub sooner, but I swear by these products and my house is never without them. Thank you for sharing. :)

    • Pinar profile image


      5 years ago from London

      Many thanks. I will do ^_^

    • Turtlewoman profile imageAUTHOR

      Kim Lam 

      5 years ago from California

      Pinar, don't panic. It's very easy to do. You would need to get rid of it as soon as possible before it starts to spread and cause more health problems. Make sure you follow the instructions in this article and wear a mask and gloves when cleaning it. Try the tea tree oil first- it's very effective. And make sure your room is well ventilated after the problem has been resolved to prevent more mold in the future.

    • Pinar profile image


      5 years ago from London

      Hi there,

      I have small spots of Black mold and dark Yellow circles forming on my ceiling in my room and has increased within 6months but due to work, I have only just noticed how bad it has got. I have also spotted white fluffy mould on wood and Black material on my wardrobe. My Asthma seems to have come back as I have noticed a difference to my breathing. I also drink more water then usual. Would Tea tree oil help with the Black and Yellow mold? Any help or advice would be great. Since reading up on it, it has freaked me out.

      Many Thanks.


    • Turtlewoman profile imageAUTHOR

      Kim Lam 

      5 years ago from California

      Thank you trusouldj- it's definitely annoying "crap." Glad you found it helpful! :)

    • trusouldj profile image

      LaZeric Freeman 

      5 years ago from Hammond

      oh my gosh ... what an amazing hub. I did not know that you could get rid of that crap. I had my suspicions, but not confirmation. Thank you.

    • Turtlewoman profile imageAUTHOR

      Kim Lam 

      5 years ago from California

      Hi Jackie welcome to Hubpages! Thank you for commenting, I really think the natural solutions can help with the mold on your front porch.

    • Jackie Gilpin profile image

      Jacqueline Gilpin 

      5 years ago from Northern Ireland

      This is the first Hub I have ever read, the advice is terrific.I have had a mold problem in the house porch since the beginning of December and was at my wits end.It looks terrible and I knew it was also a health hazard.

      I had tried a few store bought sprays etc. but no joy, now I will use your safer alternative tips.Many thanks I look forward to being able to open my front door without embarrassment in the near future.

    • toptenhome profile image

      Brandon Hart 

      5 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia, USA

      Thanks for the tips. I just bought an older house and I need to clean some mold up.


    • torrilynn profile image


      5 years ago

      mold seems to become an increasing problem in the United States. thanks for this hub. its quick and effective. voted up and pinned.

    • nathalia27 profile image


      5 years ago

      I'll try those alternative solution.

    • BarbMH profile image


      5 years ago from Holly Springs, Georgia

      @barleysinger. if you are going to talk about birth defects at least spiel it correctly. people afflicted by spina bifida don't take too kindly to hocus pocus people saying unproven things of how one can have a baby born with it. It isn't the water because less children now are born with it than before they added things to the water and most cases were in rural areas. It is one thing to try to help people and you know what you are talking about. It is another to hijack.someone else's blog with your own inaccurate facts about a totally different subject.

    • BEEZKNEEZ profile image


      5 years ago

      Thanks for the info on the mold. I hate how it's so easy for mold to grow anywhere. I have had some under my sink and wanted to remove it for a little. Thanks for the info. Voted up!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Thanks for this post I am so thankful that you gave several options. Youtube was beyond useless.

    • IslandBites profile image


      6 years ago from Puerto Rico

      Great useful hub!

    • Turtlewoman profile imageAUTHOR

      Kim Lam 

      6 years ago from California

      Hi Holly, for every 1 teaspoon of oil, add 1 cup water. If you have a bigger area to cover and need more, increase it to 2 teaspoon oil to 2 cups water, etc. That's what I meant about keeping the ratio the same. It's easier to remember. Sorry about the confusion :-)

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      the recipe above for tea tree oil says 1 tsp of oil to 1 cp of water . but then in parenthesis is said "1:1 ratio". which is it?

    • ketage profile image


      6 years ago from Croatia

      I have used vinegar, works like a charm, Very informative hub :)

    • SunGloWF profile image


      6 years ago from Denver/Northern Colorado

      Good detail on this hub. Please remember that at any time that you feel uncomfortable about doing your mold remediation yourself, please call a professional. As outlined above, mold is not something to be taken lightly.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      help my dog has black mold and im needing a home remedy

    • Turtlewoman profile imageAUTHOR

      Kim Lam 

      6 years ago from California

      cfmom - Glad I could help you and your daughter! Take care

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      thanks for the tips. my 9 yr old daughter has Cystic Fibrosis & while cleaning the apartment i just rented, i found mold hiding in the closets

      , under bathroom tile & under the sink. i'm glad i haven't completely moved in nor let her come in yet. i have time to get rid of the mold now before i finish moving in & before she spends 1 night here!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Thank you sooo much for this! I had some black mold in my closet, but you saved me! :)

    • Turtlewoman profile imageAUTHOR

      Kim Lam 

      6 years ago from California

      You're welcome Taneisha, glad to know I could help! The health of your two children definitely comes first, and unfortunately there's too many harmful cleaning products on the market. Thanks for stopping by...take care!

    • profile image

      Taniesha Grace 

      6 years ago

      Thanks for the input I worked for Melaleuca so I have a bottle of green tea oil and I will be using vinger to clean my bathroom floor. I have two small children so I didn't want to use anything to harm them. This is great. I love that I can use house hold items to get rid of my mold problem.

      Thanks Again,

      A stay at home mother

    • moldservices profile image


      6 years ago from USA

      First of, what a great hub you made, I was about to make a comprehensive mold removal solutions hub myself, good thing I did a search first :) Really good job!

      I also second Thieves Oil, I know quite a few people who were able to get rid of mold completely by using it.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      You forgot one.

      Aside from NEVER EVER USE BLEACH (it does not work and it harms you) - the EPA says DO NOT USE BLEACH against mold...

      - THIEVES OIL has been tested (a lot) and does the job, testing by environmental expert Dr Ed Close and others. There are many companies that make it, and some charge a bucket load of cash, whereas others do not. There is no reason to pay $70 for 30ml (unless your last name is Gates). so just shop around and check to see that all the ingredients are there and nothing BAD has been added.

      It ought to contain:

      Clove Oil (Syzgium aromaticum)

      Lemon Oil (Citrus Limon)

      Cinnamon Bark (Cinnamomum verum)

      Eucalyptus Oil (Eucalyptus radiata)

      Rosemary Oil (Rosmarinus officinalis)

      As long as the ingredients are the same ones, then you have the right stuff.

      Also (my comment) it certainly would not hurt at all if you found one with real aussie tea tree oil in it too (or add it in yourself).

      Since it is the volatile oil that does the job you will want to tape the area off to keep it from all drifting away on the wind, and it is VERY strong (although not dangerous) so you probably don't want to be where it is while it does its job. Just use plastic sheeting and/or wide sticky tape to seal off the area and MASK AND GLOVE AND EYE PROTECTION to stay safe. Any protection is far better than none. If you do any form of treatment that involves scrubbing the bold spores will be loose in the and and also in your lungs and on your skin and in your eyes). Skin is not a barrier and anything on your skin is also in your blood - including the chlorine in treated water (which no longer kills cryptosporidia, giardia or amoebic dysentery and HASN'T for 50 years) but it does cause miscarriages, cancer and spinna biffada among other things - peroxide and ozone are better water treatments)


      I have tried the vinegar and borax method on stubborn mixed molds (including black) under a kitchen sink that leaked at the trap. On simple mold problems it was an easy fix - just a few treatment and it was gone.

      Frankly, the mixture is cheep and pretty good on most situation but it takes PATIENCE and a lot of repeated work/treatments, *BUT* it is fairly useless on press board. My guess is that press board it just too porous, and after a month of spraying the area down every day with lots of scrubbing there has been about a 75%-80% improvement *EXCEPT FOR* the press board.

      Frankly I *HATE* press board with a purple passion. The stuff itself is very toxic to everything living, as it is basically sawdust held together with carcinogenic and otherwise quite toxic formaldehyde based glues (I grew up where they make it, and had "Ed" a professional glue mixer as a friend).


      Press Board and other fake sheets of wood are the reason why there are rules in the USA (and the USA is the worst of all 1st world nations on taking environmental issue seriously) concerning prefab homes and mobile homes. They are basically BUILT with press board, oriented strand board and plywood (fake wood). When they started making prefabs REAL houses were not made with any of that except for some plywood. The rules in the USA state that *ALL* the air in a prefab (or equivalent) home must be fully vented (completely exchanged) every few minutes by a special system built into the house.

      OUR 100+ year old house has no plywood in the main building structures (just the cabinets).

      Why vent the air that way with all the cost for such a system? Because the older homes - often sold for cheep (made say ... back from the late 70s to the mid 80s) did not do this. They also had unbreathable air inside as that type of building is SEALED TIGHT and highly insulted for energy reasons. No fresh air gets in from outside & the formaldehyde fumes just build up inside. This made hundreds of thousands of people very ill in poorer parts of the USA (where such housing seemed to be a godsend) , and the formaldehyde fumes caused permanent injury, cancer and death in quite a few people.


      Black mold -also- maims and sickens and kills people...and it thrives in press board, strand board, plywood (to a lesser extent) and carpets). If you ever have the chance to build - just avoid the stuff. the stuff.

      I watched from the mid 70-s to the 80s as Warehouser, ITT Rainer & Simpson cut down almost every single harvestable tree on the entire west coast of the USA (from the late 70s to the mid 80s) and sold them as RAW LOGS (technically illegal) to Japan and the middle east. Japan has its own forests but refuse to log them, as they are too important for human health to just cut them all down (this from the irradiated country) - so they take other peoples trees instead (get the picture M.I.M.B.Y.) and how is this relevent? They put BACK the Warehouse super-ttrer whicyh has rings most of an inch across and CANNOT be used to make real timbers. All you can do with it is make wood chips, paper pulp and sawdust (fake wood sheeting and fake composite timbers).

      Most of today's mold problems (including lots of deaths) in the USA would not exist had the timber industry not gutted the national forests for quick cash.

    • Turtlewoman profile imageAUTHOR

      Kim Lam 

      6 years ago from California

      Thanks Kate, for providing information on this. I will research this further. I do have a dog, and at the same time use tea tree oil for other reasons too.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Very nice post! I will be using this very soon, however I did want to mention that tea tree oil is toxic to dogs and cats and can very easily be life-threatening. See here:

      Please use care when using tea tree oil around pets!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Nice Post!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Thanks for all this info it will surely help... This my first winter in my house and We got some mold so thank you very much for all this helpful tips...

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Thanks so much!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Wow, great information Turtlewoman. I have never liked using bleach, so your vinegar and tea tree oil are great ideas for me. Thanks!

    • handymanbill profile image


      7 years ago from western pennsylvania

      I always used Clorox. I need to try some of the other ideas that you mentioned. Thanks for the hub

    • Turtlewoman profile imageAUTHOR

      Kim Lam 

      7 years ago from California

      No prob Hady, it's definitely useful especially if you have children who are sensitive to smell. :-)

    • Hady Chahine profile image

      Hady Chahine 

      7 years ago from Manhattan Beach

      Thanks, until now I did not know grapefruit seed extract could be used to treat mold, and it's odorless!

    • Turtlewoman profile imageAUTHOR

      Kim Lam 

      7 years ago from California

      Thanks Bella! I'm glad the article helped! Mold can be a pain!

    • Turtlewoman profile imageAUTHOR

      Kim Lam 

      7 years ago from California

      Hello leaderofmany,

      You're welcome- I'm glad you found it helpful. Thank you for sharing it with your family.

    • Leaderofmany profile image


      7 years ago from Back Home in Indiana

      I have never heard of these methods to get rid of black mold, I always thought that a professional had to be brought in to remove it. Thank you for the tips. I will certainly pass these tips along to other family members.

    • Turtlewoman profile imageAUTHOR

      Kim Lam 

      7 years ago from California

      Oh, Miss Ardie you better get to work and get rid of that mold!

      Thanks for stopping by!

    • Ardie profile image


      7 years ago from Neverland

      I love this Hub! I am going to try to get rid of the black mold in my bathroom on my own before I call someone in. It's growing in the grout where the shower wall meets the ceiling and I CAN'T get rid of just smears. Ugh. Thanks :)

    • RTalloni profile image


      7 years ago from the short journey

      Interesting information that is important to know. Thanks for a great resource on methods of removing black mold. I had never heard of using tea tree oil.

    • Turtlewoman profile imageAUTHOR

      Kim Lam 

      7 years ago from California

      Thanks miakouna, for stopping by!

    • miakouna profile image


      7 years ago

      Very useful information!


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