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Remedies for mildew

BEAT IT: Northern Rivers residents can expect a dramatic increase in mould courtesy of wet weather and flooding.
BEAT IT: Northern Rivers residents can expect a dramatic increase in mould courtesy of wet weather and flooding. Jupiterimages

IN the wake of the floods many locals are now being facing another battle with the onset of mould.

Wet surfaces inside and out caused by heavy rain and flooding are the perfect breeding ground for mould and mildew, the furry little fungi that can trigger nasal congestion, sneezing and respiratory infections, and worsen asthma and allergies.

Senior environmental health officer with the Lismore public health unit Tony Kohlenberg said it was important to let homes air out to stop mould growing.

"It's important, especially after the wet weather we've just had; the humidity will be a perfect environment for mould to grow," Mr Kohlenberg said.

People with weakened immune systems, allergies, severe asthma or lung diseases are more susceptible to the health problems mould can cause, as are children - particularly infants - pregnant women and people over 65 years.

But help is at hand, because there are a few remedies that are said to work wonders on mould and mildew.

There's the tea tree oil with water remedy, the grapefruit seed extract and water remedy, the magical clove oil with water and even straight vinegar.

All four remedies are applied by putting them into a spray bottle, shaking to blend, spraying on problem areas and leaving for a couple of hours before scrubbing off with a bristle brush.

Straight vinegar reportedly kills about 80% of mould, but if you don't like the smell of vinegar you can always add essential oils.

And for mouldy carpet, a good cleaning mix is two tablespoons each of bi-carbonated soda, white vinegar and methylated spirits, and two teaspoons each of eucalyptus and glycerine.

Mould busters:

  • Two teaspoons of tea tree oil combined with two cups of water
  • 20 drops of grapefruit seed extract mixed with two cups water
  • Straight vinegar
  • One quarter of a teaspoon of clove oil mixed with a litre of water

Topics:  ex-tropical cyclone oswald



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