Does a Vinegar & Bleach Mix Kill Mold?
Vinegar is an effective mold killer, as is bleach. However, these two chemicals should be used separately to rid surfaces of mold. If they are combined into one mixture, the result is hazardous to your health instead of a more effective mold remover. Ensure you use vinegar and bleach in the proper way to remove mold.
If two separate chemical cleaners are effective in eliminating mold growth, the natural assumption may be that mixing the chemicals together would create a "super" chemical that combines the strength of both cleaners. Mixing chemical cleaners creates chemical reactions and, in the case of bleach and vinegar, releases toxic, hazardous gases. This health threat far outweighs any possible effects the mix could have on mold. If you do choose to use both vinegar and bleach to kill mold, use one at a time.
Because of the fumes that bleach gives out, vinegar alone is often used as a natural alternative to remove mold. Mix an equal amount of vinegar and water together in a spray bottle, and spray the diluted vinegar mixture onto the mold. For mold that is more difficult to get rid of, spray or pour vinegar directly on the mold, without diluting it with water. Allow the vinegar to sit on the surface for a few hours before rinsing it off with clean water.
If you choose to use bleach as a method of ridding surfaces of mold, dilute the bleach with water. The proper amount of bleach to use is no more than 1 cup mixed with 1 gallon of clean water. Scrub this solution onto hard, moldy surfaces with a stiff brush. After waiting between 15 to 20 minutes for the mixture to clean and disinfect, apply the solution to the surface again. Wipe the surface down with a towel dampened with water, and allow it to completely dry.
When cleaning up mold, especially when using bleach, take the right steps to guard your safety. Wear goggles, gloves for your hands and skin, and a mask to protect your breathing. Allow fresh air to circulate into the room or area by opening a door or window. After cleaning the mold, prevent it from reoccurring by repairing any leaks, keeping the interior humidity level at the correct levels and maintaining adequate indoor ventilation.
Christopher John has been a freelance journalist since 2003. He has written for regional newspapers such as "The Metro Forum" and the "West Tennessee Examiner." John has a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Memphis State University.