Homeowners all across the world have had to deal with black mold at one point or another. This particularly ugly mold (due to its dark, unsightly color) will stick out like a sore thumb, no matter where it appears. Furthermore, it will make it very clear that there’s a humidity problem in the home.
So, what is the solution? Does bleach kill the mold? Let’s find out.
Can You Kill Black Mold Using Bleach?
Black mold, just like any other mold, forms mostly in areas with high humidity. Your bathroom walls and the tiles around your bathtub are fine examples of that. When you start noticing little black spots on the grout between the tiles, that’s black mold.
You could use bleach to remove it off normal surfaces, and that will work perfectly fine. But when the mold starts developing on porous surfaces, you can’t kill it using bleach alone. On such surfaces, the mold will be able to spread its roots deep into it, making it difficult to reach. Bleach, however, will only be able to clean the surface.
If you start having black mold on your ceramic tiles, you could use bleach to clean the mold. But if the mold appears on wood, grout and other surfaces with millions of tiny holes, you need something stronger than bleach to tackle it. Keep reading to learn how to use bleach and other cleaners to remove black mold.
Use Bleach to Get Rid of Mold on Nonporous Surfaces
Bleach is a very strong cleaning agent, and it can help you kill the mold on any nonporous surface easily. But before you start soaking your bathroom floors and walls in bleach, make sure that you take all the necessary precautions. After all, bleach can lead to a number of health issues due to its strong smell.
Ventilate the Room
The most important step when cleaning anything using bleach is to properly ventilate that area. Open any doors and windows leading to the room, and even turn on a fan if you have one. Bleach fumes can cause nausea, headaches and many other unpleasant effects.
If you want to avoid potential skin irritation and bleach smell soaking into your hands, you should put on some gloves. Also, make sure to wear some old clothes that you don’t mind getting stained, because the bleach will damage any fabric it comes in contact with. For additional protection, you can put on a facemask and goggles.
Clean the Area
Now that you’re ready to start, it’s time to put together the cleaning mixture. Fill an empty spray bottle with water ¾ of the way, and pour in a cup of bleach. Spray the mixture onto the surface with black mold and allow it to sit for 5 minutes, so it can soak into the mold.
Using a scrub brush and a sponge (for surfaces you don’t want to risk scratching), clean the area until the mold is gone. When you finish, rinse well using clean water and throw away the sponge. In case you’re wondering — you can’t reuse it because the mold might start forming on it.
Other Ways to Get Rid of Mold Without Using Bleach
If you’re not a fan of cleaning mold using bleach (for obvious reasons), that’s understandable. Below you will find several alternatives, all of which use non-toxic products.
Vinegar Is a Universal Cleaner
You can find vinegar in every kitchen, and it has amazing properties that might surprise you. It can help you get rid of odors, it’s a great surface cleaner, and it acts as a natural fabric softener. But did you know vinegar can also get rid of mold?
All you need to do is apply it directly onto the moldy surface and let it sit for one hour. Then, wipe the surface using a clean rug or a sponge soaked in water and the mold should be gone.
Baking Soda: A Great Cleaning Powder
If you want to remove black mold relatively quickly and in a non-toxic way, all you need is baking soda and water. Mix in two tablespoons of baking soda with two cups of water, until the baking soda is completely dissolved. Soak the black mold in the mixture, and allow it to sit for 15-20 minutes.
Then, start scrubbing until the mold is completely removed. You might have to repeat the process a second time if the mold is deeply rooted in the surface.
Hydrogen Peroxide is a Non-Toxic Bleach Alternative
If you want to obtain a similar result against black mold as you would using bleach, you can use hydrogen peroxide. In an empty spray bottle, combine equal parts hydrogen peroxide and water. Spray the mixture onto the mold, and allow it to sit for 15 minutes. Then, use a sponge to clean the surface and remove any leftover mixture, and you’re done!
Essential Oils Can Be Natural Cleaners
Did you know that essential oils can work for pretty much everything you can think of? From cleaning to aromatherapy, skin care, and even to aid women in childbirth, essential oils have proven universally useful!
The properties of essential oils vary, depending on the plant they come from. But they are completely safe to use and if you’re trying to find an all-natural alternative to cleaning products, you can use essential oils.
Tea tree essential oil is the best option if you want to get rid of black mold. Mix in two teaspoons of the oil with two cups of water and pour the mixture into an empty spray bottle. Then, apply it onto the mold and let it sit for one hour before scrubbing it off.
If the mold is still difficult to remove, you could replace the water with white vinegar. The mixture will be quite smelly, but it will do its job.
Clove essential oil and cinnamon bark essential oil work in a similar way to tea tree oil. They can also be used for cleaning, and will help you get rid of black mold. Furthermore, theyhave a great scent so they will make your home smell amazing.
Take Preventive Measures Against Mold
Removing mold is never fun — the easiest way would be to prevent the mold from appearing in the first place. As you may know, humidity is the main factor that helps mold appear. So, all you need to do is to keep it at a minimum.
An ideal home should have between 40% to 50% humidity. So, if you just removed the mold in your home and want to prevent it from forming again, you can invest in a dehumidifier.
Dehumidifiers are amazing — they will not only help with humidity, but also improve the quality of air in your home and remove bad odors. All you need to do is set the humidity levels you want and start the device. The dehumidifier will run in the background quietly and you can go about your day without worrying about it.
When black mold appears in your home, you want to tackle it quickly, before it spreads too much. Using bleach to remove the mold can work great on certain nonporous surfaces, but when the mold runs deeply, you need an alternative. Since bleach is toxic and produces an unpleasant odor, you might want to consider some alternatives.
Natural, non-toxic ways to remove black mold include essential oils, vinegar, and even baking soda. If you ever think about how you can get rid of the moldy patches in your bathroom without creating a bleach health hazard, feel free to use the techniques mentioned above.
Finally, make sure that once you remove the mold, you take some measures to prevent it from appearing again. Investing in a dehumidifier will greatly help, so you should consider it.