These New and Improved Homemade Mold Wipes Make Cleaning Your Things, Your Body, AND Your Food for Molds, Bacteria, and Viruses Safer, Easier, and Much More Portable!
I don’t know how long you have been reading this blog, but it is actually almost 3 years old! It is hard to believe that mold can provide such a rich array of subject matter to write about.
When I first started this blog, I wrote almost exclusively about easy, doable mold maintenance (cleaning for mold) and my approach to mold avoidance that includes both body and environmental protocols. I often included homemade recipes and DIY tools and techniques that were self-tested and only proven effective in our home. Along-the-way, those recipes and inventions became foundational pieces of our daily mold maintenance and recovery. This was mostly due to the fact that no one out there was making the products we so desperately desired and NEEDED to help us to get better.
Fast forward to today. As the blog has grown and evolved to become more of a wellness space for environmental and mold illness, I have moved away from my DIY and Homemade Product roots a bit, so that I can focus more on what YOU, the readers, ask me to write about—total body approaches to healing from mold, and practical, safe approaches to testing and remediating your homes and living spaces. And, even though, I absolutely LOVE where we are now, I don’t want you to miss out on some of the goodies from the past.
Today, I want to introduce or re-acquaint (whichever that may be) you with my DIY Mold Wipes, but made BETTER. Better, because in true Catherine-type-A-personality fashion, I couldn’t just make the mold wipes, use them over and over, and let “good enough” alone. I had to keep testing them for success and enhancing and improving them. Truth be told, I have actually been tweaking and refining the formula since the day I first created it. As a result, I now have a new, improved formula that I am going to share with you today: I call these my Mold Wipes 2.0.
For those of you keeping up, but who don’t like clicking around to previous articles for the full story, I will briefly revisit the main reasons why I wanted to create a “mold wipe” in the first place. After you read through my list, you will see why I think that mold wipes are a needed and helpful product, not just for me and my family (mold-sensitive people), but, for EVERYONE.
1.) Mold is everywhere. That is just a fact. We encounter molds outside, inside, on our clothes, on our foods, in our cars, and on our things. Unfortunately, some of us are very sensitive to mold and our health is negatively impacted by mold almost instantly. No matter how you design your life and your indoor spaces to avoid the harmful, illness inducing molds and levels of molds, you will inevitably be faced with an exposure somewhere. Thus, having a portable, easy-to-use, mess-free product is a great addition to anyone’s mold arsenal.
2.) Everyone loves convenience. There are places and situations where a mold spray is just not an operable solution. In other words, whipping out a spray bottle and a paper towel in your car when you are on the go is just not as accepted or doable as pulling out a pre-moistened wipe. Pre-moistened wipes are also better for wiping your hands and face while out and about, not to mention that they just work better for kids to use as well.
3.) Other wipes on the market (antibacterial wipes to be specific) are only good for some bacteria and many are toxic to humans. Antibacterial wipes have become a staple in many homes, purses, cars, and offices. These days, cleaning for bacteria is commonplace and done as part of the cleaning regimen. (I think it is important to note that most of these antibacterial cleaners make claims to kill 99.9% of bacteria. This is a marketing assertion with little certainty, given that there are an estimated 5 million, trillion bacteria on this earth. Mind you, this figure does not include microbes, fungi, or viruses.) But, for those of us particularly sensitive to and/or concerned with avoiding molds, microbes, pathogens and viruses, most antibacterial wipes do not address these things. As a matter of fact, most antibacterial wipes contain ingredients that are potentially harmful to our health and that could, many scientists have already theorized this, do the opposite of their design. Meaning that by constantly being used to clean for bacteria, they are actually creating super-bacteria that are so strong and powerful that they cannot be killed by most antibacterial agents. When these get in, watch out, because they can cause extreme illness and are difficult to treat. By using an all-natural mold wipe, made with antifungal, antimicrobial and anti-viral ingredients that were made that way by nature, there is less chance of invader adaptation and more chance of effectiveness. There is also much less chance of user reaction, because the ingredients used to make them are usually well tolerated by most people. Natural ingredients also do not interact with our environments in negative ways, off gassing or creating VOCs and toxic gases. So, while you are cleaning for mold and bacteria, you don’t have to also worry about making yourself sick in the process.
4.) Most non-toxic, mold-specific products on the market are too expensive to use every day, multiple times a day. I hate this about the all-natural, holistic cleaning solution market. It seems like the healthier the product, the more expensive it is. These mold wipes require a limited list of ingredients (most are items that you probably already have in your cabinets at home), the most expensive of which costs about $30.00. Full cartons of each ingredient for them can then produce 6-8 cannisters of mold wipes. In addition, each ingredient required to make the wipes can also be used in other applications in your home. So, in the end, you save money AND have a more versatile, effective product.
5.) No other wipe that I know of is safe to use for cleaning fresh fruits and vegetables. This may not be a pain point for everyone, but it was for me. You see, I pack our food and bring foods from home wherever we go. Ever since I learned and experienced what a proper diet, full of whole-food vegetables, fruits, nuts, and proteins could do for our health and recovery, I haven’t looked back. This has meant quite the revamp of our lifestyle when it comes to food. It has also meant that if we want to eat well and smart when we are out and about and away from home, I have to think ahead and pack meals, drinks and snacks in a cooler to take with us. That way, when faced with hunger or when it is time for snacks or a meal, we have easy access to sustenance that will not set us back nutritionally or cause inflammation. But, this also means that I have to have all of these foods washed and prepared ahead-of-time, so that I can easily throw them into a cooler or grab to take with us. With young children, a job, and a school/kid’s activities that are far from our home, foresight and preparation are not always feasible. Thus, I wanted a product that I could safely use to wipe off fruits and vegetables on the go. This wipe needed to remove molds, possible pesticides, and bacteria, BUT not harm us if we ingested trace amounts of it. A tall order, I know, but these wipes do just that. (Note: This need of mine was another reason for the reformulation. The old wipes are great; however, they just should not be used on food, because they do contain ingredient(s) that should not be ingested.)
Now that all of that is out of the way, here are my instructions for making your very own mold wipes:
Mold Wipes 2.0
Here is how to make your own portable canister of anti-fungal wipes that can also be used to wipe off fresh produce:
- 8 oz. aluminum coffee can, glass, or plastic canister with a lid (An empty plastic canister of antibacterial wipes will work well, but these canisters vary in size and some are larger than 8 oz., so you may have to double the recipe. For on-the-go wipes, you can also use an empty, rectangular baby wipes container, or a gallon-size, Ziplock bag. Just remember that adjustments and tweaks might need to be made to your ingredient amounts to make sure that you have enough liquid to keep the wipes moist and to prevent them from drying out before you can use them. For reference for this post, I used an 8.7 oz. empty wipes container that measures 7 inches x 8 inches.).
- 1 roll paper towels (I highly recommend using good-quality paper towels. The thinner they are, the more likely they are to rip when you are pulling them out of the container. Viva brand paper towels tend to work the best, because they are almost spongy and really stay together and absorb lots of the liquid. I also prefer the standard cut paper towels, but it is fine to use the pick-a-size ones, if you think you will want the option of using smaller squares.)
- Sharp, serrated knife
- Medium-size glass or other non-reactive bowl
- Container or measuring cup with a spout or pour top
- ½ cup of distilled water (DO NOT USED TAP WATER. This is extremely important, because all minerals have been extracted in the steam distillation process from distilled water, which make it totally neutral and non-reactive and also less prone to growing molds or bacteria.)
- ¼ cup of EC3 Mold Solution Concentrate (Note: EC3 is anti-fungal and antibacterial, so it packs a double punch. The formula does contain vegetable glycerin, but the trace amount that you would ingest from using the wipes on a piece of produce should not cause any digestive distress.) OR 40 drops of CitriDrops Dietary Supplement (If you choose to use the CitriDrops, you will also need to increase your distilled water by ¼ cup.)
- ¼ cup white distilled vinegar (The acts as a preserving agent for the wipes. It will keep them moist, will help to combat bacteria and mold and will preserve freshness. I like to use cleaning vinegar for my wipes, but this is not necessary. It just has a 6% concentration, which is higher than the 3-5% of most white table vinegars.)
- 10 drops pure essential tangerine oil, lemon oil, peppermint oil, oregano oil, spearmint oil, clove oil, or cinnamon oil
(It is important to only use one of the oils I have listed. These are all pure essential oils that are safe to ingest in small amounts. They all also have properties that fall in the realm of antifungal, antibacterial, and/or antiviral. I highly advise you to pick an oil with a fragrance that you enjoy, because anything you use the wipes on will have a faint scent from the oil. I frequently switch ours up, so that we don’t exhaust one fragrance. My favorites are the lemon, oregano and clove oils.)
1.) Wash your intended wipes cannister thoroughly with hot, soapy water. Make sure to wash the cannister lid as well. You want to make certain to remove any residue for chemicals from whatever was in the container previously. Take it apart and allow it to dry.
2.) Hold your paper towel roll next to your cannister and measure it for a proper fit. Once you know the size it needs to be to fit properly, take your serrated knife and cut the roll to the proper size.
3.) In a medium-size glass or other non-reactive bowl, mix together your distilled water, EC3 or CitriDrops, vinegar, and essential oil of choice.
4.) Pour your mixture into a container, like a large measuring cup, with a spout or into something that it easy to pour with. You will have to be able to slowly pour the mixture over the paper towels inside the cannister, so a spout makes for a more focused pour.
5.) Place your cut paper towel roll inside of your cannister with the cut side down. You want the smooth side facing up, so that your wipes look professional.
6.) Slowly pour your liquid mixtures over and all around the paper towels inside the cannister. Make sure to cover everything evenly and to get the whole roll saturated.
7.) Close the top of your cannister and turn it upside down once or twice to make sure that none of the liquid is trapped in the bottom and not on the paper towels.
8.) Open the top of the cannister and gently pull the cardboard center out of the paper towels. In doing so, your first “wipe” will pull to the top and can be secured in the lid, or pulled to the side and laid slightly over the top of the roll for easy grabbing and use.
9.) Enjoy using your awesome Mold Wipes anywhere and everywhere to clean for molds and bacteria and to make your life just a little bit easier!
I hope you enjoy these wipes as much as we do. Try them out and see for yourself what other ways you can come up with to use them. I am certain that there is something I haven’t thought of yet.