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DIY Mold Remover: How to Get Rid of Black Mold Naturally (Without Bleach!)

Wondering how to get rid of mold naturally? Whether you have black mold in your shower or basement, on your walls, windows, ceiling or baseboards, this DIY Mold Remover is a safe and natural black mold removal cleaner that will eliminate mold health risks and symptoms without toxic bleach.

Wondering how to get rid of mold naturally? Whether you have black mold in your shower or basement, on your walls, windows, ceiling or baseboards, this DIY Mold Remover is a safe and natural black mold removal cleaner that will eliminate mold health risks and symptoms without toxic bleach.

Oh no, it’s back. I walked into our bathroom yesterday and noticed our shower curtain was brimming with black mold.

I say “it’s back” because we dealt with black mold at our old house. One day, I went to open one of the windows in our master bedroom and I noticed lots of black spores growing all over the sill. I went to look around at the other windows and sure enough, nearly every window in that room was covered in mold.

So I did what any normal person does…I googled “how to get rid of mold”. Mostly a ton of results touting bleach came up.

And then I did what any natural living enthusiast does and I searched bleach on EWG’s Cleaning Database.

It wasn’t pretty–also known as Sodium Hypochlorite, bleach is a known asthmagen that is toxic to aquatic life, causes severe skin burns and eye damage, and is riddled with impurities, like chloroform and chlorine, that can cause reproductive toxicity, damage to organs, and even cancer.

And most of the products containing bleach don’t just stop the poison there. Not only does Clorox not disclose their full ingredients list (RED FLAG!), but what they do admit to using in their bleach includes Sodium Polyacrylate, an environmental toxin with acrylic acid impurities that can cause skin erosion and respiratory irritation.

So then I searched “mold” to see if there were any safer store-bought alternatives. It appears not–nearly all of the products that came up in the search results were rated a D or F by the EWG. Take a look:

So what’s a girl to do? I should’ve known–make your own!

It’s time for another DIY Natural Cleaning recipe here on Root + Revel, and I’m here to tell you that not only does this DIY Mold Remover work like gangbusters, but it’s 100% safe and natural and won’t cause any health problems or harm the environment. SCORE!

So here’s the deal!

Wondering how to get rid of mold naturally? Whether you have black mold in your shower or basement, on your walls, windows, ceiling or baseboards, this DIY Mold Remover is a safe and natural black mold removal cleaner that will eliminate mold health risks and symptoms without toxic bleach.

What is Black Mold

To fully understand how this DIY Mold Remover works, it’s helpful to start at the beginning. So what is black mold?

Black mold, also known as Stachybotrys chartarum or Stachybotrys atra, can be found indoors growing on a variety of surfaces, especially things with a high cellulose content like wood, fiberboard, gypsum board, paper, lint and dust. (source)

Like its name promises, black mold is dark black in color, although sometimes it’s can have a green or grey tint. It usually smells musty and mildew-like. Gross.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, mold, a type of fungus, is very common in homes and buildings and can grow anywhere indoors where there is moisture. Black mold thrives in warm, moist environments, which is why it’s often found in basements and bathrooms.

Black mold exposure and black mold poisoning can cause a wide range of health problems, some of which are really serious. No surprise–according to the CDC, black mold (though not toxic itself) can produce toxins that are toxic or poisonous.

Related: Homemade Bathroom Cleaner

Wondering how to get rid of mold naturally? Whether you have black mold in your shower or basement, on your walls, windows, ceiling or baseboards, this DIY Mold Remover is a safe and natural black mold removal cleaner that will eliminate mold health risks and symptoms without toxic bleach.

Black Mold Symptoms

There are a host of health risks associated with black mold expsoure, including nasal stuffiness, eye irritation, wheezing and coughing, skin irritation, headaches, chronic fatigue, and fever. So basically allergies.

Severe reactions may occur when people are exposed to large amounts of molds over an extended period of time (which is why it’s important to get rid of mold in your house as soon as you spot it). Severe reactions may include fever and shortness of breath, and if you already have a weakened immune system, black mold could cause chronic lung diseases like COPD and fungal infections in your lungs. (source)

The Institute of Medicine found there was sufficient evidence to link indoor exposure to mold with upper respiratory tract symptoms, cough, and wheeze in otherwise healthy people; with asthma symptoms in people with asthma; and with hypersensitivity pneumonitis in individuals susceptible to that immune-mediated condition. The IOM also found evidence linking indoor mold exposure and respiratory illness in otherwise healthy children.

So yeah, mold is no joke. If you spot it, get rid of it immediately.

But not just with anything–as we already discussed, bleach is not a safe solution for getting rid of mold. Likewise, mixing bleach with ammonia or other cleaning products will produce dangerous, toxic fumes.

Fortunately, there is a safe and natural solution to get rid of black mold, and you can make this DIY cleaner with just four ingredients you likely already have in your pantry or medicine cabinet.

Related: DIY Natural All-Purpose Cleaner

How to Get Rid of Mold Naturally (Without Bleach!)

After reading up on some different natural remedies for killing mold, I came up with a simple 3-step system to remove black mold naturally. You just need four ingredients (and a couple glass spray bottles):

  • Vinegar + Tea Tree Oil: I start by combining distilled vinegar, a naturally antimicrobial substance, and tea tree oil in a spray bottle. Give it a little shake and spray the mixture directly on the moldy area. Let it sit (don’t touch the mold or try to scrub it away) for 30 minutes. The vinegar will kill the mold with its acid, while tea tree oil is naturally anti-fungal and one of the best natural mold killers.
  • Baking Soda: Then I take some baking soda and add it to slightly warm water in a spray bottle. Shake the mixture well until the baking soda has dissolved. And then spray this mixture on top of the moldy area. Let it dry on the mold–so don’t touch it for at least half an hour. In addition to killing mold, baking soda will absorb moisture to help keep mold away.
  • Hydrogen Peroxide: Finally, take some hydrogen peroxide, an anti-fungal, anti-viral and anti-bacterial solution, and pour it into a glass. Dip a clean toothbrush into the peroxide and scrub the moldy area with the toothbrush, rinsing and dipping the toothbrush as you go.

One of my favorite places to shop online for home supplies (and healthy food!) is Thrive Market. If you have a Thrive membership, you can order the ingredients you need for this recipe like tea tree oil on their site.

If you don’t have a Thrive membership, check out this review of Thrive Market + Shopping List of My Favorite Buys!

A Guide to Our Favorite Healthy Brands + Exclusive Discounts

Take a clean microfiber cloth and wipe away any remaining mold and cleaning liquid. Repeat this process as needed, until all the mold has been removed. For me, it only took one time, but for more serious cases, it might require two to three rounds.

If possible, make sure the area is well-ventilated while you’re cleaning and don’t stay in the room while the solutions sit on the mold. You want as little exposure to the mold as possible. You can ever wear a mask while you clean to avoid inhaling any of the mold spores.

Related: DIY Natural Glass + Window Cleaner

Related: DIY Natural Granite Cleaner

Wondering how to get rid of mold naturally? Whether you have black mold in your shower or basement, on your walls, windows, ceiling or baseboards, this DIY Mold Remover is a safe and natural black mold removal cleaner that will eliminate mold health risks and symptoms without toxic bleach.

Preventing Black Mold 

Don’t forget that after you remove the black mold, you must identify the moisture source or cause. Otherwise, the mold will just keep returning.

So, let’s say you find mold in your bathroom. You can buy a dehumidifier to place in the bathroom (it’s best to keep humidity levels below 50 percent), and make sure to always turn your vent fan (or exhaust fan) on when you take a shower.

Likewise, make sure you completely fix any water leaks and/or any HVAC problems, and ensure proper ventilation is in place in high humidity areas. Regularly cleaning your home, especially damp areas prone to moisture, like the bathroom and basement, with natural anti-mold products will help prevent new mold from forming, too.

Related: DIY Natural Floor Cleaner

Related: DIY Homemade Dust Cleaner

Also worth noting: you may have to throw away certain materials if they become moldy, especially if they’re super absorbent or porous, like ceiling tiles, drywall, and carpet.

I will definitely be throwing away my shower curtain and replacing it with a fresh new one. If you think you can clean the area and avoid replacing it, just make sure you clean and dry the surface thoroughly, as you can still have an allergic reaction to parts of the dead mold and mold contamination may recur if there is still a source of moisture.

Alright, that’s it! This simple 3-step system should help you get rid of mold in your house naturally, no toxic bleach or harmful chemicals required.

If you try this remedy, don’t forget to share your results with us on social media–tag us @rootandrevel and/or #rootandrevel so we can see!

Wondering how to get rid of mold naturally? Whether you have black mold in your shower or basement, on your walls, windows, ceiling or baseboards, this DIY Mold Remover is a safe and natural black mold removal cleaner that will eliminate mold health risks and symptoms without toxic bleach.
4.41 from 10 votes
Servings: 1 treatment
DIY Mold Remover
Prep Time
5 mins
Total Time
5 mins
 
Wondering how to get rid of mold naturally? Whether you have black mold in your shower or basement, on your walls, windows, ceiling or baseboards, this DIY Mold Remover is a safe and natural black mold removal cleaner that will eliminate mold health risks and symptoms without toxic bleach.
Ingredients
Step 1:
Step 2:
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 tablespoons baking soda
Step 3:
Instructions
  1. Combine vinegar and tea tree oil into a spray bottle and spray directly onto mold. Let sit for at least 30 minutes.

  2. Combine water and baking soda in another spray bottle and spray directly onto mold. Let sit for at least 30 minutes.

  3. In a glass cup, add hydrogen peroxide. Dip a toothbrush directly into peroxide and scrub mold until it's gone. Clean the toothbrush with water when needed, and continue dipping the toothbrush into peroxide as needed.
  4. Wipe down with a dry microfiber cloth to ensure all mold is gone and the surface is dry.
Recipe Notes
Once you're done removing the mold, open windows and allow fresh air to come into the area for at least 30 minutes.
Course: DIY
Cuisine: Cleaning
Author: Kate Kordsmeier | rootandrevel.com

Photo Credit: Heidi Geldhauser

Wondering how to get rid of mold naturally? Whether you have black mold in your shower or basement, on your walls, windows, ceiling or baseboards, this DIY Mold Remover is a safe and natural black mold removal cleaner that will eliminate mold health risks and symptoms without toxic bleach.

Disclaimer: This post includes affiliate links, and I will earn a commission if you purchase through these links. Please note that I’ve linked to these products purely because I recommend them and they are from companies I trust.

Wondering how to get rid of mold naturally? Whether you have black mold in your shower or basement, on your walls, windows, ceiling or baseboards, this DIY Mold Remover is a safe and natural black mold removal cleaner that will eliminate mold health risks and symptoms without toxic bleach.

Photo Credit: Heidi Geldhauser

Disclaimer: This post includes affiliate links, and I will earn a commission if you purchase through these links. Please note that I've linked to these products purely because I recommend them and they are from companies I trust. There is no additional cost to you.

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44 comments on “DIY Mold Remover: How to Get Rid of Black Mold Naturally (Without Bleach!)”

  1. Would Turpentine be a good substitute for the tea tree oil?

  2. As someone who works in the remediation business, it would be nice if people would learn the difference between mold and mildew. They are not the same thing. To call shower mildew “black mold” is being disingenuous. Unless you called and had a testing company come out, take a sample, and send it to the lab, then you are probably wrong about what it was. It would have to be a swab sample, and not an air sample, to determine whether it was indeed “black mold”. The fact that you treated it one time and it didn’t come back, really leads me to believe that it was mildew, and not mold. If you have a mold issue on the tiles on your shower, that is probably the least of your worries, and you should have a local mold testing company come out, test, get results and put together a protocol for a remediation company to come and take your shower apart and take care of it, the right way. I work mostly with people with CIRS and it can get debilitating if it isn’t nipped in the bud, with urgency.

    • Thanks for sharing your insight, Joe! I know black mold is super serious and definitely want people taking care to eliminate it in the best way possible.

    • Thanks for this perspective. If we’re talking about treating mildew — that leaves stains on the painted walls and ceiling above the shower and in the bathroom — how can we treat this to 1) kill the spores, and 2) to remove the stains? Preferably NOT using bleach. I’m having trouble with removal of the staining after cleaning first with various combinations of vinegar/hydrogen peroxide/tea tree oil/baking soda. Any input greatly appreciated. Thanks.

  3. Hi and thank you. Is there something you use to prevent mold in the shower? I have pink mold. Maybe vinegar and tea tree spray with water would be helpful every day or so as a shower cleaner? Or is there something you suggest?

    • Hi, Carolyn. This sounds similar to the issue I had with my shower curtain. Do you have a curtain or a glass door or where does the mold collect? You can buy a dehumidifier to place in the bathroom (it’s best to keep humidity levels below 50 percent), and make sure to always turn your vent fan (or exhaust fan) on when you take a shower.

      Also, if it is a curtain, throw it away and replace it with a fresh new one. If you think you can clean the area and avoid replacing it, just make sure you clean and dry the surface thoroughly, as you can still have an allergic reaction to parts of the dead mold and mold contamination may recur if there is still a source of moisture.

      This mixture will also help kill existing mold. Hope that helps!

  4. Kate, You said that “Regularly cleaning your home, especially damp areas prone to moisture, like the bathroom and basement, with natural anti-mold products will help prevent new mold from forming, too.”
    By this do u mean re-applying these 4 ingredients above per the recipe? Or are there other natural anti-mold products that we can apply &/or clean w/ regularly that will help prevent new mold from forming?
    TY very much f/ your reply. & TY so much f/ this recipe. Yay!

    • Hi, Christena: No, sorry for the confusion. I mean preventing mold in the first place. This cleaning agent is used to treat existing mold. But if you don’t take the steps to prevent the mold from coming back, you’ll have to constantly deal with mold in your home, which is super unsafe. I cover techniques for keeping moisture at bay in the post. Hope that helps!

  5. I’ve used something similar to this for years. It really helps. Mold is serious…my grandma had bad flooding in her basement and never took care of it properly. From inhaling that mold for years she ended up with COPD. Right now we’re dealing with our landlord who insists things like this are passed down from tenant to tenant *sigh*

  6. https://www.survivingtoxicmold.com/scientific_biological_and_medical_research_of_mold_exposure

    This link is full of information . I thought you might find some use for it Deborah. Many many diseases are brought on by toxic mold.
    Good luck HOPE you find yourself some important facts here.

  7. Do you have to do step 3 if all visible mold is gone after step 1 & step 2?

  8. I very much like your recipe and wonder if you have tested for black mold after you cleaned it up? We are renovating a very old house and have now found black mold in two places. In a bathroom from an uninsulated AC duct and underneath a bathroom that clearly at one time had a bad leak. I am a bit freaked out as when you read everything online it makes mold sound very scary in that spores cling to your clothes etc. I would very much like to remediate this with your recipe. Our areas are contained and we now know the sources. Have removed old insulation and will need to treat the wood studs. I am curious if once you successfully removed it that it has stayed away? Also would very much like to know if anyone else has had success treating their wood studs? Thank you again!

    • Hey Stacy! It’s so tough to answer this because the causes of our mold are much different. My mold did stay away after I cleaned it, but because you had moisture issues in an old house, yours may not. Though it sounds like you’ve taken the necessary steps to prevent it from returning. Please keep us updated!

  9. Any suggestions on how to clean a shower stall (not tub)?
    How do I not get the mold on my feet? To far to reach the wall standing outside the shower. And how to clean the door?

  10. I was pleasantly surprised that your recipe works great and that I can stop using bleach / tilex to clean the mold.
    Thank you!

  11. Would plastic spray bottles be OK to use? If not, I am wondering why.

    • I tend not to use cheap plastic for anything since it’s toxic and I don’t like coming into contact with it, but plastic bottles that are higher quality (at least BPA free) should be OK!

  12. I have had to move more then once due to landlord neglect. I lived in one place for 21 years, which had some issues, but was tolerable, then had to move when the landlord passed away. Mold has been an issue with every apt unit I have looked at or lived in since. I have always taken pride in my home and respect my neighbors and always did repairs that I was capable of doing to keep things in tip top shape, and sadly landlords fall short when it comes to caring for their property investments. Slumlords are everywhere and have put many lives in jeopardy and some tenants have paid the ultimate price, losing their life. Slumlords are criminals and should never be allowed to own rental properties!

  13. I’m posting to urge the necessity to clean mold the instant it’s noticed. I’m an avid gardener. At least I used to be. I’m too weak now & have been for quite awhile. I just recently discovered why I’ve been feeling so sick and why my heart and lungs have been acting up so bad. I have a toxic mold infestation INSIDE my body! The apartments I live in are low income so of course they are not well maintained. Both of my vent fans have been dead in the water for weeks now and still nothing. Partially because we’re never home and always gone away at medical appointments and I refuse to let anyone enter my home when I’m not home. I’ve found a heap filter face mask online for $10.99. On the same site somewhere within the range of $50 or so they have a machine that kills mold spores in the air. Which I also purchased. Unfortunately I lost the page and for the life of me I can’t seem to find it again. I wish the best of luck for anyone else looking for these things out there. I have a chest x-ray ordered. Just waiting for my husband’s day off so that he can watch my daughter for me. Being that it’s Spring break. BE ASSERTIVE. BE PROACTIVE. Don’t wind up in my shoes. But if you do… I’ve been taking aggressively both neem capsules and organic activated charcoal from coconut. Also I’ve found burdock root in bulk and I take a quarter teaspoon 3 times a day. Because of my home therapy I’m feeling so so much better but I know for certain I still need medical treatment. Plus as much prayer as anyone can throw out there. My 7 yr old is wheelchair bound and has cerebral palsy and I’m praying that she’s not inflicted with this also. She can’t speak. Everything is a guessing game with her. Hit and miss or bull’s eye. Through my illness I’m still fighting to get the ickies out of our home though. Without outside interference. Much love and many blessings to all of you and yours out there! ❤️????

  14. I only skimmed this, so I’m not sure if you mentioned it or not, but you might post a warning that people should not be tempted to combine your three steps into two or one, and just whack everything into a spray bottle at once.

    Vinegar, peroxide, and “rubbing” alcohol (the last of which you didn’t mention here, but which is an integral ingredient in the quasi-natural mold-killing process that I have used in the past)
    each used on their own are great,
    but when they are mixed together (in the same container, or even as individual layers on a surface in a multi-step cleaning process) in various combinations, they can intensively bubble up or even create noxious chemical fumes that can be harmful to our lungs, eyes, skin.

    Not only should people think about throwing out floor tiles and carpets after a bad mold growth, but they should throw away (as painful and expensive as it is!) any fabrics, blankets, clothing that can’t be washed in very hot water with disinfectant, any leather shoes, leather purses, leather belts, foam headphones, unwashable fabric cosmetics bags, powder-based cosmetics, books, paperwork, framed wall art, etc. etc. that had visible mold on them or that had no visible mold on them but they were stored in the same area as the mold (and remember that the mold you can SEE is not the only mold that is in the area when you have a visible mold overgrowth — it spreads out to survive and grow, and some of the colonizing patches will still be so small that they are on your stuff in the vicinity, yet invisible to your eyes).

  15. This only worked for me when there was a light spot of mold. You should add to this for people to wear some sort of mask as well. Didn’t feel very well after doing this.

    • Hi Stacy – I did actually mention in the post: “You can ever wear a mask while you clean to avoid inhaling any of the mold spores. If possible, make sure the area is well-ventilated while you’re cleaning and don’t stay in the room while the solutions sit on the mold.” So yes, you definitely don’t want to be inhaling mold and want to avoid exposure as much as possible.

      Also, it may require multiple applications depending on the amount and severity of the mold.

  16. I do not have a window so should I use a fan and what kind of face mask and spray bottle for the baking soda should I use that is affordable.

    • Yes, making sure the area is well ventilated will be helpful and more safe, JoAnne. I link to the products I like in the post, so be sure to click through those for bottle suggestions. Thanks!

  17. I’ve tried your recipe, but I’m having trouble with the spray bottles being able to spray out the baking soda and water mixture. I’ve tried three different sprayers and they all seem to clog up. Can you recommend a brand that can handle the mixture.

    • I’m sorry to hear that, Marieon. I haven’t had this problem with the bottles I use. Did you try the bottles I link to in the post? http://amzn.to/2kLUgc8

    • Just a thought… do you change the heater filter regularly? We change ours monthly. Our heater is older and can not handle the newer allergy filters and the material bothers my airways. We tried it once to see if it would improve my symptoms but only magnified them due to the filter material. We order by the case from VHR RENTALS as our size was not found at local home improvement stores. Cleanup basement if heater is located there. Humidity above 50% is what environment mold thrives in. We have a 70 pint DeHumidifier in the basement. It works great and the air quality smells much better. Water damaged items… paper, old rags, water damaged rugs, cardboard boxes, musty books should be removed and or tossed. I don’t think the basement is the best place to store items. I have a mold allergy and feel very short of breathe when exposed to certain molds. Since menopause began everything I come in contact with (man made materials) vinyl products, wool sweaters, knitting fibers, new bedding etc…causes physical pains in my neck and chest. Also check all your plumbing for leaks, chimney and roof, walk around your house and make sure your gutters are clear of debris and draining far away from perimeter of house when it rains. Also check your refrigerator drip pan if it has one. Mold was found under ours when we removed the fridge to replace with a new one. After removing the fridge it disturbed the mold spores and I had bad respiratory symptoms. We had to jigsaw cut and remove the rotted wood and then I sprayed the area with hydrogen peroxide. The peroxide resolved my symptoms. I dispose MOLD! Life has become a challenge, it’s like living with a monster lurking around every corner. Stop using chemicals and pesticides from your home and get fresh air in when you can. Take care

    • I got the glass bottles recommended but I had trouble too. The bottles I’ve used for years from Lowe’s for a vinegar solution to clean rabbit cages work really well and last a long time but I got the glass ones special for this project. I think the problem is just that the baking soda settles to the bottom of the bottle.
      Even with constant shaking, I had to take the sprayer off and rinse it off in clear water then spray it with clear water to get it working again. I kept diluting the mixture b/c the baking soda never really dissolved.

      That being said, our shower looks great. I had pre-scrubbed it while waiting on my Amazon supplies of bulk tea tree oil and bottles. We have a more cement type grout and it seems to clean easier. My teenage sons bathroom is another story. Ugh. It hasn’t been cleaned in about 6 months! The tub is ancient and ugly. They had gross red and black yucky funk. I started cleaning theirs right after my son had taken a shower – not sure if that diluted the process or not. But it needs another round. And maybe another. But I did find lots of spots where there is no grout and finally years later, my husband agrees that it is time to redo this yellow 1970’s tile! Yeah!

  18. I like your tip about putting a dehumidifier in the bathroom to keep it from being too moist. I found black stuff in the bathroom that my kids use, and I’m concerned that it will make them sick. The dehumidifier is a good idea, but when it comes to getting rid of the mold, I think I’ll get a professional mold remover so I know it’s gone for good.

  19. It’s interesting that vinegar and tree oil can kill mold. I live in a humid area, and the siding of my house is covered in mold. These tips are really great, but I think I’ll have a professional service take care of my problem instead of trying to do it myself.

  20. Thank you for raising awareness about the dangers of mold growth and providing a non-toxic remedy. I love that the ingredients are items that most of us have on hand already!

  21. I didn’t know you could get rid of mold without bleach. But, I do know! Thanks for all of this information.

  22. Thanks for this recipe! Have you experienced mold in your vents? We are in a rental and believe there’s mold in the vents and trying to figure out how to handle.

    • Hey Kat–I haven’t experienced that yet, but definitely sounds like an issue you need to speak with your landlord about. They should definitely be protecting you from mold!