Mold Myth #1: Does Bleach Kill Mold?

Updated: Mar 15

Today, we are talking about the #1 Mold Myth out there: Bleach kills mold. It feels like a day doesn't go by that we don’t receive a phone call asking if you can use bleach to get rid of mold. The answer is a resounding “NO!”. Especially on porous surfaces, and here's why:

This has become a very common mold myth because you can use bleach to kill mold on non-porous surfaces like your shower, sink, and tile floors. However, some of the most common surfaces we find mold growing are porous, such as drywall, wood, and block foundations.

What happens when I put bleach on porous surfaces?

The first thing people notice when you put bleach on mold is that it will “get rid of it” for a couple of days. But then, in less than a week, it will be back and, likely, stronger and angrier than it was before!

The mold initially “goes away” because you are scrubbing it, but the bleach has an oxidizing effect that mostly just aggravates the mold as it's pushed into the surface.

When you apply bleach to a porous surface with mold on it, the first thing you are doing is adding moisture to the mold. The water content in bleach gets absorbed into the surface that you are trying to remove it from. Mold thrives in humid environments and adding more water is just going to make it grow even more!

The second thing you are doing when you apply bleach to mold on a porous surface is feeding the mold. When bleach dries, it leaves a carbon residue layer. This essentially is food for the mold. So now, not only have you failed in killing the mold, you’ve actually watered it, fed it, and made it mad.

👎 Not good.

What should you use to get rid of mold?

If you're wanting to try a home remedy... Instead of using bleach, you should use hydrogen peroxide, cleaning vinegar, or soap and water to help treat mold. But remember: Mold also lives in the air and moisture is the main culprit for creating a mold-friendly environment, so just treating the mold with these products is still likely just a temporary fix.

The permanent fix is to treat any moisture or water issues you have, physically remove the mold, vacuum any debris off of the surrounding surfaces, disinfect the entire area, and dry fog the area to remove mold spores from the air. The equipment to remove mold properly yourself can be expensive to buy or rent, so if you have a recurring mold issue, it’s worth it to get an inspection and estimate from us here at Healthy Homes!

Remember, when you stop the water and stop the mold you create a healthy environment for a healthy home!

Interested in scheduling an inspection? Give us a call today.

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