Homemade Anti-Mold Spray & Bathroom Cleaner + 10 Ways to Reduce Moisture in Your Home and Clean Your Indoor Air


Homemade Anti-Mold Spray & Bathroom Cleaner | Recipes to Nourish

MOLD is not my friend.  It’s not welcome in my home and never will be.  I have lived in 2 rentals that had serious mold problems – one had toxic mold {aka black mold, Stachybotrys} discovered after 2 years of living there and one had massive amounts of Aspergillus penicillium and Cladosporium which developed over time.  

[Serious mold problems need to be dealt with by a licensed mold professional.  Do not let anyone who is not a licensed mold professional {including you, a landlord, contractor, etc.} start removing anything {walls, flooring, carpet, wallpaper, etc.} or disturbing the mold, this will only further damage your home and your health. If you suspect you have a mold problem and don’t know where to start, check out momsAWARE for really helpful info – where to begin, mold 101, mold testing, mold remediation, symptoms of exposure, etc.]   

Most homes have small amounts of common household mold/surface mold from time to time, especially in bathrooms.  It’s important to clean them as often as possible and as soon as you see the mold before it becomes a problem.


Both vinegar and tea tree essential oil are known for helping combat mold.  Combining the two makes one powerful cleaner.

Homemade Anti-Mold Spray & Bathroom Cleaner

Use to help combat surface mold buildup, clean surface mold + also for a common household cleaner. 

{Affiliate links included, prices are the same for you}

You’ll Need:


1. Fill empty spray bottle at least half full with vinegar {if you can stand the vinegar smell, I usually make mine a bit stronger with an 80:20 ratio of vinegar and water instead of 50:50}.

2. Fill the rest of the spray bottle with water, leaving about a 1 inch gap at the top of the bottle.

3. Add drops of essential oil{s} – 1 teaspoon of essential oil for every 1 cup of vinegar/water solution.  

How To Use:

  • When ready to use the cleaner, shake vigorously to combine the essential oils throughout the mixture.  Spray on surface to clean.  
  • To help remove mold – generously spray on showers, shower doors, walls, tubs, etc. and LET SIT as a preventative, do not wipe down.  The smell will be strong but it will go away.  

Tip: Large stores like Target usually carry 1 gallons of white vinegar for around $2-3.  This is the best price that I have found for vinegar anywhere.  

Note: This is only intended for surface mold on non-porous surfaces. Mold cannot be completely cleaned from porous surfaces like clothing, particle board, mattresses, paper, etc.  

If you still find that you’re having trouble cleaning mold in your bathroom, here’s a great household cleaning tool that helps remove/clean mold {using very hot steam}.  It’s great for cleaning floors, tile, grout, etc.  It even helps removes rust and organic matter.

Ways to Reduce Moisture in Your Home

  • Use Dehumidifers to dry out dampness.  Look for mini dehumidifers for small rooms or regular dehumidifers for larger spaces.
  • If you have a water leak, fix is immediately.
  • Use fans and/or ceiling fans to keep air circulating in your home, cross ventilation is very important.
  • Open your windows and let the light in!  Sunshine helps dry out moisture. 
  • Use moisture absorbers {like these natural bamboo charcoal bags} in your home, specifically in areas that gather the most moisture.  They are commonly made from charcoal, rock salt, clay etc.  My family also uses this in our bathroom.  It works great for small areas.    

To Help Clean Your Indoor Household Air

  • I highly recommend using True HEPA Air Filtration Purifiers {not HEPA-Type}. They are portable and can be moved from room to room. It’s especially important to use in the room{s} you sleep in. I use this one in Little Love’s bedroom. We use this one in our bedroom. Look for models that work for the space you need like this one for medium size rooms.
  • Change your indoor filters every 1-3 months {1-2 months is ideal}, and always when the season changes.  Replace with high quality filters, not the cheap ones that don’t clean the air {cheap ones won’t help you save money on your electric bill either}.  Make sure to look for brands that filter mold, viruses, dander, etc.  I use these high quality filters.    
  • Open your windows to get fresh air as much as possible.  Outdoor air quality is usually better than indoor air quality. 
  • Use Nebulizer Diffusers with essential oils.  I recommend using pure therapeutic grade essential oils like Thieves {you can buy it here} which is known to combat mold and purify the air as well.
  • Use Himalayan Salt Lamps in your home. Not only are they absolutely beautiful, but they’re known for helping clean the air + block harmful EMFs {electromagnetic fields}. When heated, they release negative ions to help purify the air. My family uses this one … but this one and this one are beautiful too.  
  • Some indoor house plants can help clean the indoor air quality.  Be careful about moisture though, watering indoor plants can add extra moisture to your home. 

Note: I do NOT recommend the use of Bleach at all.  During my personal experience with Toxic Mold in a rental house, I learned from Toxic Mold professionals that Bleach should not be used to clean mold.  They shared that it actually makes the problem worse releasing the mold spores into the air for you then to breathe.  It’s also highly toxic and emits a gas that can cause damage to your lungs. Read more here to find out why chlorine bleach is so harmful.  

Are you on Pinterest? I pin lots of natural living + “green” home tips and recipes, holistic health remedies, yummy real food recipes + more there. Come follow along. 

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Find out how to buy essential oils at wholesale {24% off retail prices}. 



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  1. says

    Hi Emily,

    This is such an excellent, comprehensive post! In college we lived in an apartment in Sac with a mold problem and it was very persistent and I found myself cleaning and cleaning the same space many times (this was before my health problems, and thus my before my enlightenment and knowledge of all things holistic and alternative). I used bleach A LOT. YIKES!!!!

    On another note, I’ve been looking for a new air filter. We have a pretty good one that emits zero ozone, has UV and all that good stuff, but we need another one and I’m looking for updated technology. So I am ordering the one you suggested (that you use in Little Love’s room) – so thank you for this reference.

    And finally, I just LOVE your vinegar solution. I agree that vinegar is so powerful. I use it for many things around the house (and in my laundry). It’s good for people to know they can kill mold with your safe solution!



    • says

      Aww thanks Amber. Mold is so nasty! I used to use bleach too, yuck. I stopped when I learned more about chemicals.

      You’re so sweet. I hope you like the filter. It’s been great for us and it’s quiet too. I originally found it on a site that talks all about allergen products, I wish I could remember the name.

      I love vinegar for everything too :) and love it for Tiny Love’s diapers as a rinse.

      Take care and thanks again. xo

  2. Matthew DeSantis says

    Hello, I have read this article on homemade anti-mold spray, and I was wondering if Citronella would be an effective alternative to Tea Tree oil, as I’ve heard it’s pretty effective at killing bacteria and insects. Would you suggest citronella as an alternate ingredient in your anti-mold spray?

    Thanks in advance!

    • Emily Sunwell-Vidaurri says

      No, I would not suggest citronella as an alternative. Tea Tree essential oil is recommended by many mold remediation companies and mold experts. Citronella has lots of other uses, but I have never read anything about it having the properties to combat mold.

  3. says

    This is really a brilliant post! You have no idea how much you hlep me! I have horrible problems with moisture and mold at home! Thanks a lot! Greets!

  4. says

    Excellent post! I hate cleaning mold because I usually associate it with using very toxic cleaning products! I love the natural cleaning methods so I am very happy to find you post! Thanks a lot! Greetings!

  5. says

    Great post! Will this only work as a preventative or will it work to remove existing mold? I’m seeing some black/dark brown areas in my shower and I want to get rid of them safely!

    Thanks :)

  6. Katrina says

    Enjoyed the post! I have a 2 year old and the cold bugs have been thru our home long enough . I very recently started researching natural ways to clean and disinfect and I’ve been excited to be using my mixtures this week. How long can the vinegar, water and tea tree oil solution sit in a spray bottle? I added alittle dish detergent for extra cleaning and love it. I’ve also just been spritz in the house each day with tea tree, thieves and water vs. Lysol … I’m loving essential oils!

    • Emily Sunwell-Vidaurri says

      The vinegar – tea tree oil mixture can be left in the spray bottle for as long as needed. I have never had an issue with it. I usually go through a full spray bottle every other month. I love essential oils too :)

    • says

      There are lots of great ways to clean mold off of non-porous surfaces. Hydrogen peroxide is one good alternative as long as it is fresh and not stored in light – as light breaks down the potency in hydrogen peroxide. Distilled white vinegar, essential oils and baking soda are all wonderful options for non-porous surfaces. I don’t have experience with stone. It’s good that you know what works best for you.

  7. Stephanie says

    Great info, I’m going to be making a bottle tomorrow!
    I know you say to only use it on non-porous surfaces, do you have a suggestion for porous surfaces? I have noticed white mold spots on the bottom of my little one’s playpen that we keep in our living room. Do you know of anything that could help that? Thank you!!

    • says

      Hi Stephanie, this cleaner can be very helpful for surface mold. Unfortunately mold really cannot be cleaned on porous surfaces. You could try using it, but the thing with porous surfaces is that it will most likely come back because the mold never really goes away. Here’s a couple of other ideas for cleaning that might help – Natural Ways to Clean and Remove Mold, from Hybrid Rasta Mama.


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