What Does Vinegar Do To Kill Mold
Vinegar is one of the most popular recommended cleaners for homeowners, and with good reason. Many of the deposits you find in common cleaning situations, such as soap scum, hard water stains, and glue, are alkaline in nature, and vinegar can help to dissolve these and make them easier to clean.
This acidity is also why vinegar is able to do a decent job as a disinfectant. This is primarily because nature has evolved the use of organic acids partly as a defense mechanism against microbes, which is one reason you naturally find chemicals like ascorbic acid and citric acid in fruits.
There are numerous functional properties that may make vinegar a useful antimicrobial agent in the food industry, since it can be used easily in concentrations that are not harmful to humans. However, against fungi, vinegar is a controversial agent. Most of the time, youll see unsourced claims on the Internet talking about how vinegar can kill 82% of mold.
Even if thats true, what would we say, then, about the other 18%? How do you know?
One study published in the journal Infection Control & Hosptial Epidemiology took a look at the ability of various cleaners to inhibit the growth of various kinds of microbes. The results were fascinating, and Ill summarize them here:
|Excellent: At least a 6-log reduction using the ASTM Standard Quantitiative Carrier Disk Test Method|
|Good: Between a 4- and 6-log reduction of the growth of the species|
|Poor: Less than a 2-log reduction|
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.
Vinegar Is Less Harsh Than Bleach
Bleach is caustic and can cause eye, skin and respiratory irritation, even when diluted. Vinegar is a mild solution of acetic acid in water that is less likely to cause irritation or wear down wall surfaces.
Vinegar has a pungent sour odor immediately after application. If you want to mask the smell of vinegar, consider adding a few drops of essential oil to a cleaning solution. Many people prefer to use citrus essential oils for this purpose.
You should still wear personal protective equipment, such as gloves, when working with vinegar. A mold-rated mask or respirator can also provide protection from fumes as well as spores, microbial volatile organic compounds and mycotoxins.
Keep in mind that any cleaning solution can cause a chemical reaction that discolors or causes the premature wear of wall finishes. For this reason, you may want to test full-strength or diluted vinegar cleaning solutions in a small area that is unlikely to draw notice. If vinegar kills the mold to which it is applied while preserving the appearance of the wall underneath, it should be effective for a full mold cleanup.
Should full-strength white vinegar also be too harsh for cleaning certain wall materials, consider a diluted mixture of one part vinegar to two parts water, a solution of one cup of Borax or baking soda dissolved in one gallon of water or a mixture of one part hydrogen peroxide to two parts water.
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How To Use Vinegar To Remove Mold Or Mildew In Your Home
Before you clean the mold, its important to address the moisture problem that led to the mold growth in the first place. If you get rid of the mold without targeting the moisture, it will almost certainly grow back.
Once youve fixed the moisture problem, heres how you can use vinegar to remove the mold.
Black Mold Removal With Essential Oils
There is much more than essential oils can do apart from their use in household activities. For instance, tea tree oil is among the safest way of doing away with black molds since its insect repellant, a deodorizer, and an antiseptic.
You can use the product to effectively clean away molds from the wood surfaces and prevent them from regrowing.
The steps include mixing a teaspoon of tea oil with water in a spray bottle, then spraying the affected areas, and giving the surface at least an hour to dry. After drying, wipe off the surface with a dry cloth or towel.
Since essential oils can irritate your skin, consider having some protective gear while using the product.
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Hire A Professional For Mold Removal Services
Mold infestation is annoying. But before you decide to remove the mold colonies in your home, identify the cause first. And if the reason is excess moisture, do your best to find the source and make repairs if you can. If the task is too complex for you, its time to contact a professional.
Superior Restoration is always ready to serve you. Our trained specialists are available in emergencies 24/7.
If you want to know more about our water damage and mold remediation services, feel free to contact us anytime.
Not All Vinegar Is Created Equal
Adding to the confusion is the different kinds of vinegar you can buy on the market. You have people proclaiming magical benefits for apple cider vinegar all over the Internet. Would that work?
Well, for one thing, its important to note that different vinegars contain differing mixtures of acids. For example, apple cider vinegar is composed of acetic, citric, formic, and lactic acids, among others, whereas distilled white vinegar contains only acetic acid.
Moreover, if you just go down to the store and pick up some white vinegar, youll probably be buying a 5% solution. Any further dilution from there, and you start to seriously cut down on any potential antimicrobial properties that the vinegar might have. For example, another study showed that treating E coli-tainted lettuce with 5% vinegar could significantly reduce the population of the bacteria.
However, when they diluted it to 0.5%, there was no bactericidal activity any longer.
This should be a lesson worth considering. If youre going to use common vinegar, do not dilute it, or else you risk cutting down on the antimicrobial activity. Either use a different disinfectant, or start from a stronger preparation of vinegar
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How To Use Borax To Kill Mold
Borax is a natural cleaning product with many advantages. While it is toxic if you swallow it, it does not emit chemicals or dangerous fumes like other mold killers. To remove mold, borax needs to be combined with with water. Borax is also a natural mold inhibitor.
How to Kill Mold Using Borax
Can A Mixture Of White Vinegar And Baking Soda Kill Black Mold
Baking soda has no properties that enable it to kill black mold. However, its an excellent scouring solution. So, mixing it with white vinegar can result in a solution that breaks up the spores faster than using vinegar alone. Simply put, its easier to brush off the moldy growth with this sort of solution.
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Vinegar For Mold Prevention
1. Vinegar to prevent mold in the bathroom
Keep a spray bottle of vinegar in the bathroom. Spray the area prone to mold growth with vinegar every few days. Dont wait until the mold appears.
Keep in mind that mold grows in a humid area. Make sure you ventilate the bathroom after each shower to let the air circulates nicely.
2. Vinegar for mopping the floor
Use vinegar to mop the floor on a mold-prone area such as kitchen corner. First, clean the area as usual then finish it with vinegar spray.
Do not rinse with water. Let it dry with adequate aeration. You can also spray vinegar on the sink every few days after cleaning.
3. Keep the room dry
The most important thing is to keep the room dry. Fix any leaks, wipe the surface if needed, invest in good ventilation and let the sunlight in.
Although the 18% of mold species probably is resistant to vinegar, this agent is safer and non-toxic for human compared to another agent. So, does vinegar kill mold effectively?
The answer is ultimate yes. However, dont hesitate to call professionals if you have clusters of mold which are resistant to various approaches.
What Is A Good Use For Vinegar
Mold can get on many things. The attic, basement, and walls are places that mold can grow, but it can also get on clothes, on bathroom tiles, and even in grout. Whenever you get mold on your clothing, vinegar and baking soda can come into play. You can create this mixture to get it out of the threads, although bleach can work for whites. If the clothes are colored, vinegar shines.
However, you can also use it on other fabrics like draperies. Curtains and carpeting can be cleaned thoroughly with vinegar and baking soda. A simple mix of this and your normal detergent will usually get mold out of these fabrics. It may require an additional wash or two to fully get the spores out of your fabrics, but they will be clean in no time.
When it comes to things like bathroom tiles and grout, vinegar and baking soda also make a great mixture to get the mold out of these areas. You may have to scrub pretty hard to get it off the surfaces, but the vinegar mixture will most certainly destroy any mold that is there. Using a toothbrush or some other bristle brush would have a positive effect on the mold that might coat it.
- Mix 4 tablespoons and ½ cup of baking soda to make a creamy paste.
- Use a cloth to gather some of the paste and then apply it to the stain.
- Dont mash too hard, as it might push the mold deep into the cushion beneath.
- Leave the paste to dry overnight.
For Bathroom Tile
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How Do You Use Vinegar To Kill Mold
- Fill a glass spray bottle with UNDILUTED distilled white vinegar. Distilled white vinegar contains only 5-20% of acetic acid. If you dilute the vinegar in water, the acetic acid concentration will be decreased and becomes less effective.
- Spray generously until the mold is 100% covered and wet.
- After spraying, let the vinegar sit for 2 hours so it can penetrate the mold and kill it completely.
- After two hours, grab a scrub brush, tooth brush, or sponge and scrub the moldy area until everything comes off. If it is tough area, you may need an electric scrub brush like this one.
- Wipe the area down with warm water and allow it to dry.
Cleaning Mold With Vinegar
White distilled vinegar is effective for killing small amounts of mold. It can kill over 80 percent of mold species commonly found in your home and as a mild acid, it can help prevent mold as well as remove it. Make sure you follow these steps when cleaning mold with vinegar:
- Protect yourself from exposure to the mold by wearing protective gear such as gloves and a mask.
- Pour the vinegar into a spray bottle but do not dilute it. Diluting the vinegar will reduce its effectiveness.
- Spray the moldy areas and let the vinegar sit for an hour so that the mold can absorb it completely.
- If you need to scrub the mold, do so with a baking soda solution. Pour 2 cups of water and 1 teaspoon of baking soda into a spray bottle and shake well.
- Spray the moldy area with the baking soda mixture and use a scrubbing brush or scouring pad to scrub the mold. Wearing protective gloves will protect you from direct contact.
- Use clean, warm water to rinse the area.
- Spray the vinegar again over the area and let it dry naturally to make sure all the mold has been killed.
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How Not To Use
There are many natural ingredients that are safe to mix with vinegar, but there are some that should be avoided.
Bleach and Vinegar
Vinegar should never ever be mixed with bleach. When bleach comes into contact like acidic products, like vinegar, some glass cleaners, dishwashing detergents and even toilet bowl cleaners, it can cause the release of chlorine gas.
Exposure to even small amounts of chlorine gas can cause adverse reactions like:
- Burning, watery eyes
- Ear, nose and throat irritation
- Runny nose
- Trouble breathing
- Pain and blistering
If youre exposed to chlorine gas for a longer period of time, you may experience chest pain, severe breathing problems, vomiting, pneumonia and even death.
Hydrogen Peroxide and Vinegar
Although separately vinegar and hydrogen peroxide are safe, mixed together they can cause adverse effects. The combination of compounds may eye, nose, throat and skin irritations. Exposure to this combo may also lead to respiratory issues, so keep them separate.
Baking Soda and Vinegar
Its safe to combine baking soda and vinegar in a cleaning solution that youll be using right away. But dont store a solution containing both ingredients because it can actually become explosive.
Once youre done using a tile cleaner with vinegar, water and baking soda, for example, dump whats left over.
Using Tea Tree Oil To Kill Mold
Tea tree oil is the most effective natural solution to killing mold. While it is a more expensive option, a small amount of tea tree oil goes a long way in removing mold. It is an antifungal that is capable of killing all types of mold. Make sure the tea tree oil you purchase to remove mold is derived from the Melaleuca Alternifolia.
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Use Vinegar To Eradicate Small Outbreaks Of Mold By Following These Simple Steps:
Make sure you are wearing protective gear, including a mask, goggles and gloves, to protect yourself from direct exposure to mold.
If the mold growing in your home is too dangerous or widespread to handle on your own, its time to call for professional help.
The experts at ServiceMaster are here to help you remediate the problem and prevent any long-term damage to your homes structure or your health. Reach out to learn more about our proven techniques for mold remediation.
ServiceMaster Advanced OC
Is Acv The Ideal Solution
Now, after comparing white and apple cider vinegar and discussing their mold-prevention properties, let me make one thing clear: Vinegar and all of its variations are not 100% effective against mold.
According to the Mississippi state university, white distilled vinegar kills only 82% of mold species.
I know this is a high and good number, but it also means that depending on the type of mold you have in your property, there is an 18% chance that your vinegar solution will not be able to kill it.
Vinegar also can not kill all mycotoxins that are associated with mold and responsible for many infections and health problems.
So in summary, vinegar is not the ideal solution to deal with mold.
Now, as I said, the studies above concern white vinegar only. The numbers should, therefore, be worse for apple cider vinegar since it is more basic and contains less acetic acid.
On top of that, remember that ACV comes in a brownish color, which makes it not suitable for all sorts of surfaces.
I mean, applying ACV to white walls, carpets and rugs will leave a brown stain on them, which is obviously not a wanted outcome.
Moreover, apple cider vinegar contains more sugar than standard vinegar. This sugar will provide more organic food for molds and can, as a result, make them multiply even further.
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Removing Mold From Your Home
Because of its non-toxic nature, vinegar is usually the best cleaning product to use on mold. If vinegar isn’t strong enough, use bleach and heavily dilute it .
Cleaning mold with vinegar is safe and effective, but large quantities of mold should be cleaned with specialized equipment. If you have extensive mold growth, call a professional to tackle the job. If you’re renting and find mold in your apartment, contact your landlord immediately, take photos and keep records of any health problems that you encounter.
The CDC provides these suggestions for cleaning up mold in your home: