Will Bleach Or Vinegar Kill Mold [The Ultimate Showdown!]
Both vinegar and bleach are powerful, practical, cost-effective solutions to kill mold growth around your home. However, there are advantages and disadvantages to both. The short answer: vinegar is a safer choice than bleach. Looking for some science behind why? You’ve come to the right place. The team at Klean-Co has all the insight into this match-up you need.
Vinegar To Kill Mold
Vinegar is a natural, non-toxic, and environmentally friendly option to kill mold. It penetrates deep inside the mold spores, preventing their growth. It also contains 5-20% of acetic acid – a byproduct of fermentation. Acetic acid also acts as a disinfectant that can destroy some bacteria and viruses. As a result, vinegar effectively kills over 80% of mold species commonly found in homes. In addition, its acidic properties act as a mold preventative.
When To Use Vinegar To Kill Mold
1. If Mold Is Growing On Porous Surfaces
Vinegar is a wonderful solution for mold growth on porous surfaces. It can penetrate deep into the pores of a source, effectively killing 82% of the mold. Therefore, vinegar is an excellent combatant if mold grows on your carpet, upholstery, or drywall.
2. If The Mold Area Is Dense
Vinegar is a non-toxic remedy to fight mold growth. Because it’s non-toxic, you can easily and safely spread it in mold-dense areas without fear of damaging your lungs or skin.
3. If You Need To Kill The Root
Vinegar has a powerful penetration ability, helping it kill the mold at the root and preventing it from returning.
Tips for using vinegar for mold
- Wear gloves and glasses to protect your skin and eyes before using vinegar, as it can cause skin irritation and stinging sensations in a few people.
- Never mix vinegar with other cleaning chemicals, such as bleach or hydrogen peroxide.
- Use the vinegar in a spray bottle without watering it down.
- Generously spray the vinegar all over the moldy surfaces and let it sit for a minimum of 60 minutes.
- If you need to scrub the mold, use a baking soda and water solution. You only need a small amount of baking soda to water — two cups of water with one teaspoon of baking soda is perfect! Put it in a spray bottle, and shake well.
- Spay the moldy area with the baking soda mixture and use a scrub brush to remove the mold.
- After 60 minutes, wipe the area clean with water.
- Allow the surface to dry.
- Repeat the process every few days to ensure that the space stays mold-free!
Bleach To Kill Mold
Bleach is a chemical cleaning solution that is a strong and effective disinfectant. Its active ingredient, sodium hypochlorite, denatures protein in microorganisms and effectively kills bacteria, fungi, and viruses. Household bleach is readily available at a low cost, making it seem like the perfect solution to your mold problems. Let’s see how the bleach stacks up against the vinegar.
Mainstream bleach companies promise that nothing kills mold as effectively as bleach. However, that isn’t true. Bleach does disinfect, but it does not kill mold. The illusion of bleach-killing mold is just that: an illusion. Bleach changes the color of the mold and kills the mold on the surface, making the surface appear clean without affecting the mold membrane underneath. This is why the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and its sister organization, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), stopped recommending using bleach to kill mold.
Bleach only works on the mold when the mold is on an impermeable surface (i.e., a bathtub or tile). However, the mold monster renders bleach ineffective on porous surfaces (i.e., drywall and hardwood floors). Why? The mold monster has long-reaching arms (mycelia and hyphae) that stretch deep into porous surfaces.
Not only does bleach not kill mold, but it can also multiply mold growth. When you pour bleach into a mold colony, the mold recognizes the bleach as an intruder and reacts appropriately. The mold will use the damp environment the bleach provides as a food source, causing the mold to grow back stronger and faster. Unfortunately, the bleach also creates a damp environment providing a hearty feast for the mold to grow more powerful.
Finally, insurance adjusters won’t pay if you apply bleach to the mold because bleach is corrosive and can cause secondary damage. Then, there are the health implications of using bleach. Bleach is toxic and classified in the same category as gasoline. It harms the lungs and skin! Like bleach dissolves surfaces, it will dissolve your skin’s top layer.
When To Use Bleach To Kill Mold
1. Small Amounts of Mold
Bleach is toxic to your health. The chemical structure of bleach makes it dangerous for your lungs. In addition, the solution is not approved by the US EPA for mold removal. Therefore, we recommend only using it if small amounts of mold are present in your house.
2. Mold Growing On Nonporous Surfaces
Bleach is a potent and effective remedy to kill bleach growing on nonporous surfaces such as window glass, tiles, or your bathtub. This is because bleach will not penetrate inside the porous substance, effectively killing the surface-growing mold.
Tips For Using Bleach For Mold
- Open the windows and always keep the room well-ventilated.
- Wear protective glasses and gloves because bleach can irritate your skin and eyes.
- Dilute the bleach water. Always dilute so your ration is a 1:10 mixture – 1 part bleach to 10 parts water.
- Use a spray bottle to apply your bleach/water mixture onto nonporous mold areas.
- Let it sit for a minimum of 60 minutes.
- Rinse off with warm water.
The Mold Winner
While bleach and vinegar both work to kill mold, vinegar is the better option for removing mold from porous materials. In addition, it is a safer option, better for your health and the environment. Vinegar kills the mold at the roots, while bleach kills surface mold, meaning there is a good chance the mold will return.
If you are experiencing an outbreak of mold that is more than your poor little spray bottle of vinegar or bleach can handle, then it is time to call the mold remediation experts in Jacksonville, Alabama! Our professional, experienced Klean-Co team is standing by, ready to restore your home and health.
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