When dealing with mold problems, you’re going to get lots of conflicting advice. One of the most contentious issues is how to kill mold with bleach. Some recommend bleach as a cure-all. Others claim it doesn’t work at all for controlling mold.
Bleach is most effective when used on hard, nonporous surfaces such as shower stalls, linoleum floors, tile, sinks and counter tops. Its effectiveness is questioned on porous surfaces like wood or unfinished drywall.
Who Recommends Bleach (and Who Doesn’t)
The CDC and the EPA both recommend bleach solutions for killing mold. Government agencies in general agree with this suggestion. But most mold remediation companies generally do not recommend using bleach. They do recommend using whatever substance their company happens to use.
Bottom line is this: bleach has been used effectively for many years to kill mold. It’s still the go-to answer for how to kill mold, especially mold in bathrooms.
But, you want to handle it carefully; .i.e. with proper ventilation, diluting it, not combining it with other products, using it on surfaces that bleach will not harm permanently (not fabrics of course) and of course by wearing protective gloves.
How to Use Bleach Safely
You can prevent mold in bathrooms by scrubbing them down weekly with a bleach solution. The bleach solution does not need to be quite as strong for preventative cleaning.
Before cleaning with bleach, you should:
- Make sure the area is well ventilated. Bleach fumes are noxious and harmful to your health.
- Use protective equipment. Bleach is hard on the skin and eyes. Use gloves, eye protection and a face mask when using it to remove mold in bathrooms or elsewhere.
- Dilute one cup of bleach into one gallon of water. Scrub hard, nonporous surfaces with the bleach solution using a sponge or scrub brush. Rinse with clear water. Allow the area to dry thoroughly and repeat as often as needed.
- Alternatives to bleach include: soap and water (provided mold is not too deep in the surface), white distilled vinegar (should not be diluted with water), hydrogen peroxide and tea tree oil (mix with water).
When You Don’t Want to use Bleach!
Bleach is effective at killing mold – but, there are some instances in which you should use a different solution, such as hydrogen peroxide and water or lemon juice and dish soap. These include:
- On fabrics. Bleach will discolor fabrics (unless they’re white).
- On wood, unfinished drywall, or other porous surfaces. Bleach does not penetrate well below the surface, leaving mold’s roots untouched.
There are 2-3 primary home remedies for removing mold that work well and are low cost. These include: bleach, plain vanilla soap and water, tea tree oil (exotic and a bit expensive) and white distilled vinegar.
Bleach Gets the Job Done Fast
When you need to kill mold, bleach is the fastest, surest way to get the job done on nonporous surfaces. There are also many commercial products available which are effective. The advantage of using bleach is that it’s readily available in most homes. It’s also inexpensive, especially when diluted with water.
It’s not difficult to figure out how to kill mold with bleach. The process is fairly straightforward. Dilute the bleach; scrub the affected area, rinse, dry, and repeat. Remember to use alternate bleach killing solutions for porous surfaces and fabrics.
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