Can You Use Vinegar to Kill Mold?

Vinegar has a lot uses, many of which involve cooking, but vinegar can also kill mold within the house if used properly. Those living with mold -- or those who fear a future mold breakout -- should invest in a bottle of vinegar before hiring professionals or using environmentally unsafe products to resolve the issue.

The Solution

Mold is a hidden danger in the house.

Mold grows in damp areas of the house and can quickly become a threat to the health of those who live with it, especially if they have pre-existing health conditions. The best type of vinegar to eliminate mold is white distilled vinegar, which is known to defeat 82 percent of mold species. Simply place the white distilled vinegar into a spray bottle. Do not add water. Apply the vinegar to the moldy surface within your home and let it soak in for an hour. After an hour, wipe down the area with water and the mold will vanish.


Vinegar can also combat mold before it begins to form. Simply place the white distilled vinegar into a spray bottle and apply it to the areas that may attract mold. Apply the white distilled vinegar to these areas every few days. Repeated applying will prevent the mold from developing. The smell may be overwhelming at first, but it should fade within a few hours. Inhaling vinegar fumes is less dangerous than inhaling mold, so the trade off is worth it. You can apply vinegar to any non-porous floor on a regular basis to avoid mold development.

Better Than Bleach

The main advantage of using vinegar over other mold battling methods -- such as ammonia and bleach -- is that it's non-toxic and environmentally friendly. Bleach can release fumes that can become damaging to the body if inhaled. Vinegar is also reasonably priced and can be purchased at any grocery or corner store. Vinegar will not penetrate and kill mold on porous floors, however. The mold roots will still be intact, which can lead to another mold outbreak if you do not repeat the process on a regular basis. Bleach has the exact same problem -- not being able to kill mold at the roots -- but may damage the floor surface when used.


More than 50 types of problematic molds can grow within a home. One such mold type is black mold, also known as Stachybotrys. Regardless if mold is dead or alive, it can have a negative effect on the human body. Those exposed to mold will experience fever, coughing, irritation of the eyes, skin rashes, loss of memory, headaches and mood swings. Individuals with pre-existing respiratory problems are more prone to mold related medical problems.

About the Author

Based in California, Noel Shankel has been writing and directing since 2002. His work has been published in "Law of Inertia Magazine." Shankel has a Bachelor of Arts in film and writing from San Francisco State University.