- Sunlight is a natural disinfectant, so make the most of the days when the sun’s out by drying out your chairs, sofas, damp linen, laundry, mattresses along with the usual books and shoes in a sunny spot, opening up windows and sun-drying damp immovable items.
- Vinegar is said to kill >80% of mould species – just pour it into a spray bottle and spray it directly on the mouldy surface. Let it sit for an hour until the vinegar is absorbed by the mould. Then scrub off with a brush and hot water. Clean the area with hot water and wipe it dry.
- Baking Soda – Sprinkle baking soda onto a mouldy patch or spray a solution of 1 teaspoon of baking soda and 2 cups of hot water directly on the mould. Let it sit for an hour before scrubbing with a brush and rinsing off the residue. Give the area final spray of vinegar to disinfect it and prevent regrowth. Wipe dry.
- Neem – Shade-dried neem leaves are great for keeping mould and fungus away – wrap a few neem leaves in a cloth and place them in your wardrobe and bookshelves. You can place them in between stacks of clothes or in the pockets of jackets, shirts and trousers on hangers.
- Lemon Juice is a mild natural bleaching agent and mould cleaner. It is an effective mould repellent for a number of surfaces – from furniture to bathroom tiles to clothes. Rinse and apply the lemon juice directly to the mould before scrubbing with a scouring pad or brush. Its fresh scent makes it effective on musty-smelling parts, too.
- Camphor works as a natural and non-toxic alternative to naphthalene balls. As in the case of neem, you can make pouches containing a few camphor tablets and some cloves. Place the pouches in your wardrobe, shoe rack or bookshelf to protect them and give them a pleasant odour.
- Light – You can overcome the shortage of natural light during monsoon by installing a bulb in the dark, damp spaces of bookcases, wardrobes and kitchen cabinets – the heat and light generated by the bulb can remove the moisture in these areas and prevent fungus from taking hold.
While the monsoon has certainly brought a lot of respite from the heat, and has turned everything in its path a lush, lively green, the resulting increased humidity has also brought in mould which can damage your walls, furniture and clothes, especially if you live in a coastal city like Mumbai which has its fair share of the downpour and then some more! Apart from the apparent & obvious problem of the furniture looking ugly, mould spores also cause and aggravate allergies and respiratory conditions like asthma. The musty air and stale odour also affect the quality of indoor environments, especially in poorly-ventilated spaces. Repairing mould damage is difficult and expensive – so while it is best to take preventive steps before the monsoon sets in, as per the steps we have covered in our previous blog on the subject, but sometimes, no matter how cautious you are, a few articles or areas of your home will still end up catching mould! Here’s are a few tips that can help you tackle it naturally without reaching out for bleach, harsh acids or expensive disinfectants:-