Dealing with Mold without Harmful Chemicals

We have a screened porch, partly because I wanted an extra room on the house and partly so that the cats can feel like they get to go outside without me actually having to worry about them. It has shade cloth (like a thick screen that still lets air, light, and water through) for a roof, so it’s not really the place to keep things if you want them to stay dry. Occasionally the dog or one of us will bring something out there that shouldn’t be left, and we get a rare California rainstorm.

One of my cloth shopping bags, a light colored canvas one, ended up faring just such a fate, and by the time I discovered it (it had fallen behind a cooler), it had black spots all over it. Mold. Yummy. I ran it through the washing machine with the whites (and some bleach), but it didn’t help, except to get the actual dirt off.

Now, I’m environmentally sensitive, so we don’t use a lot of chemicals in the house. This also means, however, that I’m very sensitive to mold. Luckily, I know how to use essential oils and folk remedies of various sorts. I pulled out a big glass bowl, put in 1 drop of essential oil of rosemary, 2 drops of lavender, and 8 drops of mint, the fresh juice of a lime (I didn’t have any lemons in the house), and filled it with hot water. The bag is now soaking in it. The oils should kill the mold, and the lime should help to remove the stains, as long as I let it dry in full sunlight without rinsing it first.

It’s important to me to know how to deal with household issues, simple and complex, without having to use things that will harm me, my pets, or the environment. With all of the social change going on right now, I’ve been contemplating how I impact my world in my daily life. How about you?

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