Mold should be removed promptly to prevent damage to your house and your health. While most home remedies have proven to work effectively, you will achieve better results with bleach or vinegar. These are common household cleaning agents and are known to eradicate most types of molds. However, you can’t mix them. You have to choose one and stick with it. So which works better, bleach or vinegar?
Vinegar is safer to use even though it has an unpleasant smell; it is less and kills mold on porous surfaces such as wood and drywall since it can penetrate these porous surfaces. On the other hand, bleach is a reliable cleaning agent that kills all fungus, bacteria, and other microorganisms but is not safe to use since it is harsh on the skin and lungs. Bleach kills mold on non-porous surfaces like tiles and sinks.
How to Kill Mold with Bleach
Bleach kills mold on non-porous surfaces like tubs and tiles, but it’s not effective on porous surfaces like wood and drywall. This is because bleach cannot penetrate underneath and kill the mold from the root. As a result, when you use bleach on such surfaces, it will grow back sooner since the roots are still there.
If you have mold on porous surfaces and you’re sure they don’t have any underlying roots, below are some cleaning steps you can follow when using bleach.
Bleach produces harsh fumes, so make sure your room is well ventilated before you begin. Also wear protective gear such as gloves, respirators, eye goggles, and overalls or old clothes. Let us begin;
- Mix a ratio of one cup of bleach to ten parts of water (1 gallon of water).
- Pour the solution into a spray bottle.
- Spray abundantly on the surface with the mold and let it soak in.
- For rough surfaces, use a rigid brush and scrub off the mold.
- Wash the surface using clean water and let it dry. However, if the surface is not often used, such as kitchen counters, you can leave the bleach on without rinsing. This will inhibit future breakouts.
- Dispose of the sponges, clean the spray bottle, gloves if not the disposable ones, and the clothes thoroughly after use.
Household bleach is not as toxic or corrosive, but extreme exposure to it may harm your skin, eyes, and lungs, especially if you are asthmatic. Bleach should not be mixed with other agents if not recommended because the reaction will produce harmful gases that may be harmful to you once inhaled.
How to Kill Mold with Vinegar
As mentioned earlier, vinegar is ideal for mold on porous surfaces such as walls and wood. This is because the vinegar can penetrate these surfaces and kill the mold by the roots preventing future breakouts. As noted earlier on, vinegar is as powerful as bleach but much safer to use. White vinegar, to be specific, kills 82% of molds. There’s no need to ventilate the room. Even though vinegar has an unpleasant smell, it is non-toxic and quickly dissolves in the air.
Below is a step-by-step process for cleaning mold using vinegar.
- Wear non-porous gloves when using vinegar to kill mold. Extended exposure to vinegar can irritate your skin.
- Pour concentrated white vinegar into a spray bottle. Make sure you have enough supply to cover the surface infested by mold.
- Spray the vinegar profusely on the moldy surface. Make sure to include the whole area generously with the vinegar for it to be effective.
- Vinegar takes a short time to kill mold but allow it to rest for at least an hour to get satisfactory results.
- With a brush, scrub off the mold soaked in vinegar. The brush will break the molded membrane and keep your hands from getting in contact with vinegar.
- Clean the surface clean and allow it to dry. In case of persistent mold still lingering on, repeat the process until you achieve your desired results.
If you are cleaning mold from the bathroom, avoid using vinegar on tiles as it will cause discoloration and etching. Also remember to use a brush that suits your purpose, one that will be able to reach even the curved hidden corners.
Does Bleach or Vinegar Kill Mold?
Both vinegar and bleach can kill mold. But as stated earlier, they both work on different surfaces. Bleach can only kill mold on non-porous surfaces while vinegar can kill mold on porous surfaces.
When to use bleach and vinegar?
Vinegar is the best when you’re dealing with a huge mold infestation and on a porous surface. As a cleaning agent for other types of germs, it is slightly less effective than bleach since it kills at least 90% of germs. Bleach, on the other hand, kills 99.9% of germs that are bacteria, viruses, and mold or mildew.
Both vinegar and bleach can kill mold but on different levels. What makes vinegar better in killing mold than bleach is the level of safety and effectiveness on the porous surfaces. Vinegar will kill mold on both porous and non-porous surfaces, while bleach will only remove mold on the non-porous surfaces. However, bleach is also known to kill other types of germs on both porous and non-porous surfaces. So if you have a combination of several infestations, then bleach may be a better option.