Does Bleach Kill Black Mold? (Answered) | House Trick (2022)

Homeowners all across the world have had to deal with black mold at one point or another. This particularly ugly mold (due to its dark, unsightly color) will stick out like a sore thumb, no matter where it appears. Furthermore, it will make it very clear that there’s a humidity problem in the home.

So, what is the solution? Does bleach kill the mold? Let’s find out.

Table of Contents

Can You Kill Black Mold Using Bleach?

Black mold, just like any other mold, forms mostly in areas with high humidity. Your bathroom walls and the tiles around your bathtub are fine examples of that. When you start noticing little black spots on the grout between the tiles, that’s black mold.

(Video) How to remove and kill mold - Bleach vs vinegar

You could use bleach to remove it off normal surfaces, and that will work perfectly fine. But when the mold starts developing on porous surfaces, you can’t kill it using bleach alone. On such surfaces, the mold will be able to spread its roots deep into it, making it difficult to reach. Bleach, however, will only be able to clean the surface.

If you start having black mold on your ceramic tiles, you could use bleach to clean the mold. But if the mold appears on wood, grout and other surfaces with millions of tiny holes, you need something stronger than bleach to tackle it. Keep reading to learn how to use bleach and other cleaners to remove black mold.

Use Bleach to Get Rid of Mold on Nonporous Surfaces

Bleach is a very strong cleaning agent, and it can help you kill the mold on any nonporous surface easily. But before you start soaking your bathroom floors and walls in bleach, make sure that you take all the necessary precautions. After all, bleach can lead to a number of health issues due to its strong smell.

Ventilate the Room

The most important step when cleaning anything using bleach is to properly ventilate that area. Open any doors and windows leading to the room, and even turn on a fan if you have one. Bleach fumes can cause nausea, headaches and many other unpleasant effects.

Protect Yourself

If you want to avoid potential skin irritation and bleach smell soaking into your hands, you should put on some gloves. Also, make sure to wear some old clothes that you don’t mind getting stained, because the bleach will damage any fabric it comes in contact with. For additional protection, you can put on a facemask and goggles.

Clean the Area

Now that you’re ready to start, it’s time to put together the cleaning mixture. Fill an empty spray bottle with water ¾ of the way, and pour in a cup of bleach. Spray the mixture onto the surface with black mold and allow it to sit for 5 minutes, so it can soak into the mold.

(Video) Black Mold - How To Kill Toxic Mold In Under 5 Mins!

Using a scrub brush and a sponge (for surfaces you don’t want to risk scratching), clean the area until the mold is gone. When you finish, rinse well using clean water and throw away the sponge. In case you’re wondering — you can’t reuse it because the mold might start forming on it.

Other Ways to Get Rid of Mold Without Using Bleach

If you’re not a fan of cleaning mold using bleach (for obvious reasons), that’s understandable. Below you will find several alternatives, all of which use non-toxic products.

Vinegar Is a Universal Cleaner

You can find vinegar in every kitchen, and it has amazing properties that might surprise you. It can help you get rid of odors, it’s a great surface cleaner, and it acts as a natural fabric softener. But did you know vinegar can also get rid of mold?

All you need to do is apply it directly onto the moldy surface and let it sit for one hour. Then, wipe the surface using a clean rug or a sponge soaked in water and the mold should be gone.

Baking Soda: A Great Cleaning Powder

If you want to remove black mold relatively quickly and in a non-toxic way, all you need is baking soda and water. Mix in two tablespoons of baking soda with two cups of water, until the baking soda is completely dissolved. Soak the black mold in the mixture, and allow it to sit for 15-20 minutes.

Then, start scrubbing until the mold is completely removed. You might have to repeat the process a second time if the mold is deeply rooted in the surface.

(Video) Does Bleach Kill MOLD and Mildew?

Hydrogen Peroxide is a Non-Toxic Bleach Alternative

If you want to obtain a similar result against black mold as you would using bleach, you can use hydrogen peroxide. In an empty spray bottle, combine equal parts hydrogen peroxide and water. Spray the mixture onto the mold, and allow it to sit for 15 minutes. Then, use a sponge to clean the surface and remove any leftover mixture, and you’re done!

Essential Oils Can Be Natural Cleaners

Did you know that essential oils can work for pretty much everything you can think of? From cleaning to aromatherapy, skin care, and even to aid women in childbirth, essential oils have proven universally useful!

The properties of essential oils vary, depending on the plant they come from. But they are completely safe to use and if you’re trying to find an all-natural alternative to cleaning products, you can use essential oils.

Tea tree essential oil is the best option if you want to get rid of black mold. Mix in two teaspoons of the oil with two cups of water and pour the mixture into an empty spray bottle. Then, apply it onto the mold and let it sit for one hour before scrubbing it off.

If the mold is still difficult to remove, you could replace the water with white vinegar. The mixture will be quite smelly, but it will do its job.

Clove essential oil and cinnamon bark essential oil work in a similar way to tea tree oil. They can also be used for cleaning, and will help you get rid of black mold. Furthermore, theyhave a great scent so they will make your home smell amazing.

(Video) How to Kill Black Mold Safely & Forever

Take Preventive Measures Against Mold

Removing mold is never fun — the easiest way would be to prevent the mold from appearing in the first place. As you may know, humidity is the main factor that helps mold appear. So, all you need to do is to keep it at a minimum.

An ideal home should have between 40% to 50% humidity. So, if you just removed the mold in your home and want to prevent it from forming again, you can invest in a dehumidifier.

Dehumidifiers are amazing — they will not only help with humidity, but also improve the quality of air in your home and remove bad odors. All you need to do is set the humidity levels you want and start the device. The dehumidifier will run in the background quietly and you can go about your day without worrying about it.

Final Words

When black mold appears in your home, you want to tackle it quickly, before it spreads too much. Using bleach to remove the mold can work great on certain nonporous surfaces, but when the mold runs deeply, you need an alternative. Since bleach is toxic and produces an unpleasant odor, you might want to consider some alternatives.

Natural, non-toxic ways to remove black mold include essential oils, vinegar, and even baking soda. If you ever think about how you can get rid of the moldy patches in your bathroom without creating a bleach health hazard, feel free to use the techniques mentioned above.

Finally, make sure that once you remove the mold, you take some measures to prevent it from appearing again. Investing in a dehumidifier will greatly help, so you should consider it.

(Video) How To Test For Black Mold In 5 Minutes

Does Bleach Kill Black Mold? (Answered) | House Trick (1)

FAQs

Does bleach kill black mold completely? ›

Bleach will make your mold problem worse in the long run.

Chlorine bleach cannot penetrate to destroy the growth as it grows at its roots. Mold spores spread its roots, called mycelia and hyphae, deep into porous surfaces.

How effective is bleach at killing mold? ›

The EPA does not recommend using bleach to kill or remove mold, except in special circumstances. In most cases, “a background level of mold spores will remain” after the application of bleach. “Bleach only kills surface mold, not the membrane underneath,” according to ServiceMaster. “That means the mold will grow back.

Will household bleach kill black mold? ›

Chlorine bleach can help eliminate mold on hard non-porous surfaces like sinks, bathtubs, tiles, or glass. This is because the roots of the mold do not penetrate through this surface and so it is easily wiped off.

What kills black mold permanently? ›

Instructions
  • Use Chlorine Bleach. Regular household chlorine bleach, sodium hypochlorite, will destroy mold and remove any discoloration on surfaces. ...
  • Treat With Hydrogen Peroxide. ...
  • Spray With Distilled White Vinegar. ...
  • Scrub With Baking Soda or Borax.
17 Sept 2021

How long should you leave bleach on black mold? ›

How to Remove Mold Outside the House
  1. Don gloves and eye protection and liberally spray a 1-to-10 solution of bleach and water on the surface.
  2. Scrub tough stains with a stiff bristle brush dipped in the solution.
  3. Let sit for 10 to 20 minutes and rinse with a garden hose.

How long do you let bleach sit on black mold? ›

affected area of mold and let set for 15 minutes. Rinse the area with a damp towel using clean warm water or by lightly spraying with warm rinse water in a spray bottle (spray bottle #3) and wiping with a clean towel.

What kills mold spores in the air? ›

Unfortunately, it is impossible to get rid of all mold spores in the air so you need to replace the air filter in your ac unit regularly. In addition, use an air purifier that contains a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter. These air filters are known to remove up to 99.7% of all mold spores from your air.

What actually kills mold? ›

Products such as vinegar, baking soda, or soap and water can effectively clean mold.

What disinfects mold? ›

Bleach is a household staple for its ability to disinfect and thoroughly clean most surfaces. Bleach can kill mold that lives on the surface; however, the chemical structure of bleach makes it impossible to reach porous surfaces where the membrane of the mold lives.

Is bleach the only thing that kills mold? ›

Bleach and vinegar can both kill mold, but vinegar is much more effective for removing mold from porous materials. This is because bleach only kills mold spores on the surface of affected materials. Vinegar will penetrate porous materials and kill the mold at the roots.

What household items kill black mold? ›

According to CDC recommendations, “mold can be removed from hard surfaces with household products, soap and water, or a bleach solution of no more than 1 cup of household laundry bleach in 1 gallon of water.”

Can you mix vinegar and bleach to kill mold? ›

The short answer is no, you shouldn't; a combination of bleach and vinegar is not recommended to treat mold growth. When mixing these two powerful chemicals, a toxic chlorine gas is released and can cause serious harm!

Can you ever fully get rid of black mold? ›

If the black mold growth in your home is small enough for you to treat alone, a simple mixture of bleach and water can help. Add one cup of bleach to one gallon of water and apply it to the moldy spots. You can also find commercial black mold removal products.

What kills mold instantly? ›

Hydrogen peroxide kills mold effectively on materials such as clothing, floors, bathroom fixtures, walls and items such as kitchen appliances. Pour 3% concentration hydrogen peroxide into a spray bottle. Spray the moldy surface completely to saturate the area with hydrogen peroxide.

Does black mold ever go away? ›

Without constant moisture, mold will become inactive but they never die unless you get rid of them completely. They can always come back to life in the presence of moisture and multiply rapidly causing serious health problems.

What happens when bleach hits mold? ›

Bleach appears to kill mold because after it is applied, the mold disappears. In fact, it makes it disappear by simply bleaching it. As mold begins to form and spread, it forms tiny “roots” that will go into the surface of most materials that it forms on.

Can I leave vinegar on mold overnight? ›

Vinegar can kill black mold and is best used on nonporous surfaces. White vinegar is a powerhouse for cleaning, deodorizing, and disinfecting around the house. It can also kill black mold, a mold that commonly appears when there is water damage. Spray vinegar onto the moldy surface and leave it for an hour.

Does bleach spread mold spores? ›

When bleach is applied, the chlorine quickly evaporates after use leaving behind A LOT of water. This water often soaks into the porous surface allowing the mold to flourish and re-grow in this moist environment. So in effect, using bleach actually feeds the internal mold spores!

Can mold spores grow in your lungs? ›

The mold spores can colonize (grow) inside lung cavities that developed as a result of chronic diseases, such tuberculosis, emphysema, or advanced sarcoidosis. The fibers of fungus might form a lump by combining with white blood cells and blood clots.

How do you tell if there are mold spores in the air? ›

To test for mold spores in the air you're breathing, you'll need to purchase a viable mold detection kit such as Seeml Labs' Mold Inspector in a Box. Most quality mold tests cost between $20 and $45. The entire testing process will take a few days.

How long does it take for mold spores to leave the air? ›

Mould spores remain airborne for an indefinite period of time. It's important to recognise that if a damp spot is present and unattended for longer than 24 hours, there is a high possibility that mould could fester and airborne spores begin congregating throughout the premises.

How do you get rid of mold spores completely? ›

Hydrogen peroxide kills mold spore on contact by breaking down proteins and DNA. It's normally used to clean mold on porous and non-porous surfaces. Ionized hydrogen peroxide can kill mold spores in the air, but it requires the use of a special fogging machine.

Do dehumidifiers remove mold? ›

If the humidity in a room increases, mold will start growing in patches on walls, clothes, and more. So, to answer your question, dehumidifiers do NOT kill mold, but they do prevent it by reducing humidity. If you have a mold problem in your home, don't wait. Mold spreads as long as it has a water source.

What is the best mold remover? ›

Best Overall: RMR-86 Instant Mold & Mildew Stain Remover

The RMR-86 Instant Mold Stain & Mildew Stain Remover spray is our best overall pick because it meets all of our criteria: a mildew remover that can tackle almost every surface, is budget-friendly, and works quickly.

Is vinegar better than bleach for mold? ›

Is Vinegar More Effective Than Bleach? Vinegar truly is better than cleaning with bleach when it comes to killing mold. The EPA does not recommend using bleach to kill or remove mold, except in special circumstances. In most cases, “a background level of mold spores will remain” after the application of bleach.

Do you have to throw everything away with mold? ›

This is why many toxicologists recommend homeowners treat moldy belongings ASAP. Damaged items should be thrown away without question, and items that are easy to replace or inexpensive (i.e. clothes, food) should be tossed as a precautionary measure. Basically, it's better to be safe than sorry.

Should you put a fan on mold? ›

Do NOT use fans if mold may already exist; a fan will spread the mold spores. Try to keep the humidity in your home below 40 percent. In moisture-prone areas, eliminate carpets or choose carpets of man-made fibers. Insulate to reduce potential for condensation on cold surfaces.

How do you remove black mold from walls? ›

Use 1 part bleach to 3 parts water, according to Sherwin-Williams. If you don't want to use bleach but do want something other than water, try vinegar, borax or branded products that you can find at a hardware store or home center, which also kill mold.

What is difference between mold and mildew? ›

Mildew refers to certain kinds of mold or fungus. The term mildew is often used generically to refer to mold growth, usually with a flat growth habit. Molds include all species of microscopic fungi that grow in the form of multicellular filaments, called hyphae.

Does dawn and vinegar kill mold? ›

There are 4 simple ingredients you can safely use to clean away mold in your home: white vinegar, baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, and detergent or soap.

Is hydrogen peroxide or vinegar better to kill mold? ›

Hydrogen peroxide is just one of many household ingredients you can use to clean mold. Using vinegar is another effective way to clean mold in your home. However, it's important not to mix hydrogen peroxide and vinegar together.

What is the easiest way to remove black mold? ›

Borax – Powdered borax dissolves easily in water and is effective at removing black mould. Just mix one cup of borax per gallon of water, transfer to a clean spray bottle, then spray the desired area. Leave for a few minutes and wipe away, leaving a shiny surface behind.

Can I mix bleach and Dawn dish soap? ›

Bleach and soap don't mix! Mixing chlorine bleach and cleaners like dish soap can be harmful to your health. Mixing bleach with other cleaners can release toxic gases. Bleach can irritate your skin and eyes.

What happens when you mix bleach and baking soda? ›

When combined, it creates chloramine, a toxic gas that can cause respiratory problems. In fact, this is the reason you should never mix bleach with any other cleaning product aside from baking soda. Many commercial cleaning products contain ammonia, which can produce chloramine.

How quickly can mold make you sick? ›

These symptoms usually first appear 2 to 9 hours after exposure and last for 1 to 3 days. Other affected persons have progressive shortness of breath and cough, as well as weight loss. Work-relatedness may only become apparent over long holidays if symptoms resolve and then recur on return to work.

How long does bleach take to work on mold? ›

How Long Does It Take For Bleach To Kill Mold? Bleach will start killing mold on contact and you should see a difference in just a few minutes. However, it can take anywhere from thirty minutes to several hours for it to completely disappear. In some cases, you may need to clean the area a few times.

Is bleach enough for mold? ›

The use of a chemical or biocide that kills organisms such as mold (chlorine bleach, for example) is not recommended as a routine practice during mold cleanup. There may be instances, however, when professional judgment may indicate its use (for example, when immune-compromised individuals are present).

What happens when bleach hits mold? ›

Bleach appears to kill mold because after it is applied, the mold disappears. In fact, it makes it disappear by simply bleaching it. As mold begins to form and spread, it forms tiny “roots” that will go into the surface of most materials that it forms on.

Can I leave vinegar on mold overnight? ›

Vinegar can kill black mold and is best used on nonporous surfaces. White vinegar is a powerhouse for cleaning, deodorizing, and disinfecting around the house. It can also kill black mold, a mold that commonly appears when there is water damage. Spray vinegar onto the moldy surface and leave it for an hour.

Is bleach or hydrogen peroxide better for mold? ›

In a study testing the effects of various mold-killers, hydrogen peroxide was found to be moderately effective at killing mold on nonporous surfaces, albeit less potently than bleach.

How do you remove black mold from walls? ›

Use 1 part bleach to 3 parts water, according to Sherwin-Williams. If you don't want to use bleach but do want something other than water, try vinegar, borax or branded products that you can find at a hardware store or home center, which also kill mold.

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