Mold and mildew seem to be a fact of life. And with humid summers on the way, the problem can get worse. Bleach is the defacto weapon of choice to kill mold but besides being a very harsh chemical that strips the color out of porous materials, the smell can be really annoying. There are natural solutions that work just as well without the problems.
First of all, don’t bother trying to revive anything that’s already full of mold. Toys, pillows, clothing, books, upholstered furniture or rugs – it really is best to get rid of them. Not even bleach can save saturated items.
If possible, you can try washing the item in hot water with a detergent containing Borax but if it’s been sitting around for a while, it will be tough to get rid of the musty odor. If it’s a rug or furniture, use one of the liquid only solutions below then use a steam cleaner with a solution especially made for mold removal. Note that you shouldn’t put your own mixtures in steam cleaners as it will void any warranty/might gum up the works.
For spot cleaning and prevention, try these natural ways to kill and prevent mold and mildew.
Grapefruit Seed Extract
Distilled White Vinegar
Pure Tea Tree Oil
Yes, it’s pricey but it’s probably the best of all natural mold killers. It also has a strong odor that some don’t like, so use this on small items that you can place outside to dry or small areas that have good ventilation. Add 2 teaspoons of tea tree oil to 2 cups of water to make a spray you can use on any surface. Mask the odor with white vinegar placed in bowls or use natural air fresheners.