Mold growth at home or in the office continues to be one of the most stressful events for most people. Since mold does not only cause structural damage but also a number of health issues like allergic reactions. Mold grows where moisture is and spreads quickly if neglected. For quicker mold removal, people would often search and ask, “Does bleach kill mold?”.
Bleach is generally marketed as a cleaning solution and considered one of the alternative ways to get rid of mold. While it has become public knowledge, a few people know the facts behind the use of bleach for killing mold. This article will help you find answers to your question.
What You Need To Know About Bleach
When you think of cleaning up mold in your home, the first chemical that enters your mind is bleach. And many people believed that using this to kill mold works. Read these facts to learn whether mold can really kill mold or not.
- Bleach is used as stain removal, color lightening agent, and has bactericidal properties that can sanitize and disinfect.
- There are different types of bleach.
- Chlorine bleach usually contains sodium hypochlorite as its active ingredients.
- Oxygen bleach has a peroxide-releasing compound of hydrogen peroxides such as sodium percarbonate or sodium perborate.
- Bleaching powder contains calcium hypochlorite.
- Bleach is effective for killing most bacteria and may be effective in certain applications but ineffective for killing mold growth.
- Bleach kills only surface mold and does not penetrate all surfaces. It should only be used on non-porous items such as tiles in the bathroom, sinks, or plastic.
- Bleach contains water that is almost 90% which can cause mold to grow again.
What EPA Recommends
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) changed its advice in answering the question – does bleach kill mold? This agency changed its guidelines about molds after extensive evidence has been presented. Therefore, EPA no longer recommends bleach as a routine practice during mold cleanup except under special conditions.
But for your safety, using any cleaners especially if using bleach can’t be avoided, the following important reminders are set:
- Before any cleanup, wear protective equipment. As much as possible, wear at least an N-95 respirator, protective gloves, and goggles.
- Always ventilate the area. Open your windows or doors when using any products for cleaning.
- Never mix bleach solution with products containing ammonia or any other cleanser to avoid produced toxic fumes.
Does Bleach Kill Mold?
Yes. Bleach does kill mold but only the surface part and not on porous surfaces like drywall or wood. The chemical structure of bleach makes it hard to penetrate porous materials.
Moreover, mold spores will just spread their roots deep into a porous surface to avoid the chemical and survive. Then, it will continue to grow beneath and will return again in a short period of time. The mold returns and usually worse than before.
Another thing is that bleach contains mostly water and mold really loves moisture/water. When you apply this, the chlorine evaporates quickly after use leaving behind much water. Thus, stronger mold happens. To clean and remove mold deeply, mold remediation is necessary.
Other Safe Alternatives for Cleaning Mold
Fortunately, many alternatives that are nontoxic for mold cleanup on both porous and nonporous surfaces are available.
- Hydrogen peroxide- In a spray bottle, combine 1 part hydrogen peroxide and 1 part water. Apply to mold areas and allow to sit before removal.
- Baking soda- Combine 2 tbsp. baking soda with 2 cups of water in a spray bottle and shake to completely dissolve. Spray directly to the mold and let it sit before scrubbing. Then rinse the area and apply the solution again, allowing it to fully air dry.
- Vinegar- Place white, undiluted vinegar in a spray bottle. Apply and allow to sit for an hour. Wipe the surface and allow air to dry.
- Grapefruit seed extract- Mix 10 drops of the seed extract into a cup of water. Spray onto the mold and its areas then let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Tea tree oil- Mix 2 tsp. of tea tree oil with either 2 cups water or 2 cups distilled white vinegar. Spray onto the mold and let it sit for at least an hour then scrub.
Deal With Mold Right Away With Mold Remediation Professionals
Does bleach kill mold? Yes, bleach kills mold but on selected materials only and may not be the best cleaning solution. If you need help with mold removal or remediation, Superior Restoration will be of great help. Superior Restoration provides quality mold removal and remediation services.
Our mold remediation specialists will take care of all mold problems in your home or office. This will prevent mold damage in the future. We use advanced equipment and methods that ensure complete mold removal or remediation.
For your questions, concerns, and service requests, please contact Water Damage Rancho Cucamonga. Serving Suburban City in San Bernardino County for 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We also offer water damage and fire or smoke damage cleanup and restoration services.