Q Dear Auntie Pearl, we have this old family home in Woodstock.
This house has so much mould in it and I heard now the other day someone saying mould can make you sick.
Can you please tell me more about this. I am worried now.
And what can we do about the mould?
A Sweetie, you’ve heard right, mould can make you sick.
Mould is a type of fungus and can be found almost anywhere – sometimes it’s black, white, orange, green, or even purple.
Mould plays an important role in nature and helps to break down dead leaves, plants, and even trees.
Now the small amount of mould we usually breathe in is fine, it’s harmless and does nothing to us, but if it’s growing in your home then it can become a problem.
The spores can end up in the air and be inhaled, and over time, this can cause health problems.
Mould is all around us, but loves dark and damp areas, like the shower and bathroom, or a house that doesn’t get a lot of sunlight, or is always clammy and wet.
Daai slimy black spots on your shower curtain? Daai’s mould.
The black stuff at the back of your fridge? Daai’s mould.
Now sometimes mould can make mense sick, especially if you have allergies or asthma.
It can also irritate your eyes, skin, nose, throat and lungs.
People who are more prone to suffering from mould are small children or babies, ou mense, people with illnesses that compromise their immune systems (such as HIV, cancer, liver disease, or who are undergoing chemotherapy treatment), and people with chronic lung diseases.
So what can you do about it?
Well hartjie, there are a number of solutions, and some are quite easy-peasy and cheap.
But if it’s a big problem, you can get a specialist to help you.
In the meantime, try Auntie’s easy huisraadjies:
Regularly clean your refrigerator, especially there at the back where the drip is, and grooves around the doors.
Use white wine vinegar – it will kill 82% of mould species.
Pour some into a spray bottle and spray the vinegar onto the mouldy surface like walls, fridge, shower curtain, tiles and leave for an hour.
Then you can wipe the area clean with water and a cloth, and allow the surface to dry.
Try baking soda – add 1/4 tablespoon of baking soda to a spray bottle of water and shake it until it has dissolved.
Now spray the mouldy areas with the mixture and scrub off.
Rinse off with clean water and then when it’s dry, spray the areas again. Any left-over mould will be killed and it will help prevent the mould from coming back.
You can also mix two parts baking soda with one part white vinegar and one part water. Then you will have a lekker paste that you can use to scrub the walls or wherever you have the mould.
If there are wet places in the house, especially after it rains, dry them within a day or two to prevent mould from growing.
Fix leaks and anywhere where water is seeping in.
If possible, keep windows and doors open so that air can circulate.
You can also buy an anti-mildew cleaner from the shop, simply spray it on, let it sit for a while and then scrub off.
Easy huisraadtjies to rid your home of harmful MUF