Is Bleach or Vinegar Better to Kill Mold?

Medically Reviewed on 1/7/2021

Which is better to kill mold?

Both vinegar and bleach are practical and powerful to kill mold growth around the house.
Both vinegar and bleach are practical and powerful to kill mold growth around the house.

Both vinegar and bleach are practical and powerful to kill mold growth around the house. However, both have their advantages and disadvantages. Vinegar is a safer choice than bleach.

Vinegar: It is a natural and non-toxic remedy that will penetrate deep inside the mold areas and prevent their growth. It contains about 5-20% of acetic acid. However, vinegar can cause discoloration if used on tiles. We may use vinegar

  • If mold is growing on porous surfaces: Vinegar can penetrate deep into the pores of the surface, killing around 82% of it. Molds that are growing on surfaces such as carpets and upholstery may be treated with vinegar for better results.
  • If the mold area is dense: Vinegar is a natural and non-toxic remedy to kill mold and bacteria. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) approves it, so we may use it everywhere and anywhere even if the mold area is dense.
  • To kill the mold at its roots: The penetration power of vinegar can help in killing the mold completely and prevent its recurrence.

Tips to use vinegar for mold:

  • White vinegar is a mild acid that can kill around 82% of mold species.
  • It is still better to wear protective gloves and glasses before using vinegar because vinegar when exposed to the skin may cause irritation and stinging sensation in a few people.
  • Put the vinegar in a spray bottle without watering it down.
  • Spray the vinegar generously onto the moldy surface and let it sit for around an hour.
  • After an hour, wipe the area clean using water and allow the surface to dry.
  • Repeat this process after a few days to ensure a mold-free surface.
  • Never mix vinegar with peroxide or any other substances because it may give rise to poisonous fumes.

Bleach: It can be toxic to our health. Therefore, it may be recommended to use these methods only if there is a small amount of mold in your house.

  • If mold is growing on non-porous surfaces: Bleach is one of the most potent remedies to kill mold that is being grown on nonporous surfaces such as glass, bathtubs, and tiles. This is because bleach cannot penetrate inside the porous substances.
  • If the mold area is sparse: Because bleach is a chemical, we do not recommend to use it in larger areas. The chemical structure of bleach makes it harmful for the lungs, and thus, it is not approved by the US EPA.
  • Cheap yet stronger remedy: Bleach, whether it is the oxygen one or the one with chlorine, is a cheap remedy to get rid of mold, yet it is powerful.

Tips to use bleach for mold:

  • Open the windows and keep the room ventilated. Because bleach can irritate your skin and affect your eyes, we recommend wearing protective glasses and gloves beforehand.
  • Dilute one cup of bleach with a gallon of water, giving a ratio of 1:10.
  • Apply the mixture to the affected areas. For this, you can use a spray bottle or a sponge, so the mixture spreads evenly over the whole surface.
  • Let it sit and work for good. Bleach will slowly destroy and kill the mold.

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Medically Reviewed on 1/7/2021
References
United States Environmental Protection Agency. Mold Cleanup in Your Home. https://www.epa.gov/mold/mold-cleanup-your-home#TipsandTechniques

Clean Water Partners. Does Vinegar Kill Mold? A Complete Guide to Get Rid and Prevent Mold from Coming Back. https://cleanwaterpartners.org/mold/does-vinegar-kill-mold/