Does Bleach Kill Mold: Why Cleaning Mold with Bleach is Not Always Effective

One of the most common questions we get is “does bleach kill mold?” Bleach is the most common recommendation for cleaning mold and it is effective at killing mild in most situations. However, mold is actually a symptom of a water or moisture issue. So cleaning mold with bleach is often only a temporary solution. Killing mold with bleach today will not prevent it from returning tomorrow. The same goes for cleaning mold with a vinegar or ammonia solution as well. While they will clean the mold from the surface temporarily, it will return if the moisture is still present.

Tired of killing mold over and over? Call 1-888-443-3110 now for a free estimate from a mold removal company near you.

Does Bleach Kill Mold?

Yes, bleach does kill mold. However, it’s not always that simple. For example, germs and bacteria require a host to thrive. Bleach is effective at killing them because they don’t have the means to reproduce outside of a host. On the other hand, mold exists naturally all around us. So when you use bleach to kill mold, you’re just killing that mold.

There is still mold in the air or deep within the material itself. Without resolving the cause of the moisture, the environment is still right for mold to thrive. The surface will look clean for a few days or even a couple weeks, but the mold is still there. It’s just a matter of time before the mold returns.

What is Bleach?

When used at the right concentration, bleach is a common household chemical that will disinfect and kill mold, germs, viruses, bacteria, and other pathogens. While there are several types of bleach, we are most likely referring to chlorine bleach. Mixing chlorine bleach with other chemicals can be extremely dangerous.

How to Kill Mold With Bleach?

A solution of 1 and 1/4 cups of bleach in a gallon of water is effective at killing surface mold and other contaminants on almost any surface in your home. Wipe down small areas covered in mold or use a spray bottle to mist larger areas.

How Long Does It Take For Bleach To Kill Mold?

Usually, one application of your bleach and water solution is enough to kill mold. However, it may take anywhere from 30 minutes to several hours before the mold disappears. Depending on the extent of your mold problem, it may take a few applications.

Does Bleach Kill Black Mold?

Bleach is just as effective at killing black mold as it is at killing any other mold. So-called toxic black mold sounds scary, but it’s really no different than other molds. In fact, you can’t tell the difference between black mold and other mold species without an expensive test.

Why Did the Mold Come Back After Cleaning With Bleach?

Using a solution of bleach and water is effective at killing mold, but most times mold returns within days or weeks. The problem is actually the moisture, not the mold. If materials remain wet, mold will grow into the microscopic cracks and crevices.

Even if the bleach does reach all of those areas, the moisture is still the problem. Without resolving the source of the moisture, it’s just a matter of time before mold returns. Even the Environmental Protection Agency says that mold is likely to return if the water issue isn’t resolved.

Why Can’t I Just Keep Cleaning the Mold?

Instead of finding and repairing the water issue, some think that the best solution is just to keep cleaning mold with bleach. Although this may sound easier, you could be doing more damage. If you have mold, you should always take action to prevent further damage for two reasons.

First, mold exists to decompose organic materials. Even if you think you’re keeping it under control, it’s slowly eating away at your walls or cabinets. Second, you might only see some of the mold. You might only see a small spot, but there could be a lot more mold growing inside the wall.

How to Kill Mold Permanently

Unless you resolve the source of the moisture, using bleach to kill mold will be a regular part of your life. The best way to kill mold permanently is to identify and repair the source of the moisture.

The most common causes of mold are humidity and condensation in kitchens and bathrooms. Pour ventilation or the lack of an exhaust fan can make this much worse. Other causes of mold are consistent plumbing fixtures, roof, and basement leaks.

While you may be able to effectively remove mold on your own, it takes the right equipment and know-how to keep it from returning. Even after fixing the moisture issue, bleach will still only clean the surface mold.

Time is also a factor when removing up mold, especially when it comes to drying affected materials. Regular house fans will take too long to dry wet drywall, ceilings, paneling, and carpeting.

Call Now for Professional Mold Removal Service

The professional mold removal companies in the Restoration Local network are experienced in mold cleanup, ensuring that you only have to go through mold remediation once.

Our network includes popular brands like Belfor Restoration and Rainbow International as well as independent restoration and mold removal companies. Choose a local mold removal company near you.

For immediate service, call 1-888-443-3110 now to speak with our local on-call mold removal specialist. Our on-call mold remediation companies offer 24-hour emergency services, 30-minute response time, and a free, no-obligation estimate.

Author: Jeff Rooks

Jeff Rooks writes restoration content that helps homeowners restore their lives after a disaster or accident. Most days, you can find him cycling through Tampa. He also enjoys exploring new and delicious food and beverages around the world.

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