Is there anything worse than finding a fresh mold spot on your wall or ceiling? Unfortunately, yes, there is. Finding a black mold spot is bound to put a damper on your mood, and leave a huge dent in your pocket.
But, is there a way to get rid of the ugly growth on your wall without spending a ton of cash?Is the old vinegar trick you heard about a myth, or should you give it a try?
Before you rush to the store to buy your supplies, read this article to find out everything you need to know about black mold, and how to remove it with vinegar.
What Is Black Mold?
Black mold is a clustered fungal growth that can appear anywhere in your home. This fungus can spread like wildfire and (depending on the type of black mold) can be highly toxic.
Furthermore, unlike regular mold, black mold tends to have a distinct odor that’s hard to miss. The most common types of black mold are Aureobasidium, Nigrospora, Ulocladium, Cladosporium, Alternaria, Pithomyces, Stemphylium, and Dresclera.
Although not all black mold is necessarily toxic, some types can cause severe allergy flare-ups. It goes without saying that allowing it to spread can also cause irreparable structural damage to your home.
What Is Toxic Black Mold?
One of the most dangerous types of black mold is Stachybotrys chartarum. This dark black (and in some cases dark green) mold is typically found in basements and attics and is highly toxic.
Stachybotrys chartarum releases toxic chemicals (mycotoxins) into the air which can cause severe health issues when inhaled.
In order for this mold to spread, the surface it’s growing on would need to be consistently wet for approximately 72 hours.
Can You Get Rid of Black Mold With Vinegar?
Here’s a bit of good news for those of you who are wondering whether it’s possible to DIY mold removal ― yes, you can remove this nasty fungus with vinegar.
It’s a well-known fact that vinegar can help get rid of odors, and it’s also an amazing surface cleaner. What’s more, it works wonders as a fabric softener, too! Now you can also add mold removal to the list.
Vinegar Solution for Black Mold: What You Will Need
Like with any successful DIY project, before you start cleaning, you will need to buy some supplies first.
You will need:
- A pair of non-porous gloves
- An empty spray bottle
- A scrubbing brush
- An absorbent cloth
- Clean water
- A bucket
- White distilled vinegar
- A sturdy ladder (depending on the location of the mold)
- An N95 mask
Keep in mind that although vinegar is an organic, natural substance, if your skin is exposed to it for too long it may get irritated. Additionally, using an N95 mask is optional, but if you’re sensitive to strong odors it’s best to have one handy.
Removing Mold With Vinegar: Step-by-Step Process
Note: Once you gather your supplies, don’t forget to change into some work clothes as this project can get pretty messy!
1. Prepare the Vinegar
Gather your white distilled vinegar and the spray bottle. Using the funnel, pour the vinegar inside the bottle.
Note: There is no need to dilute the vinegar with water.
Screw on the top of the spray bottle, and your cleaning liquid is ready.
2. Spray the Infested Area
Locate the mold-infested area and spray a healthy amount of vinegar onto it. Don’t be stingy, make sure you completely soak the entire area. You can even spray a bit of vinegar onto the clean sections next to the mold to make sure you cover every inch of the black mold.
3. Let the Vinegar Sit
You’re probably impatient to get rid of all that pesky mold, however, once you spray the substance onto the mold, you will need to let it sit for at least an hour. That way the vinegar will seep into the wall/ceiling and reach all the infected areas.
4. Scrub, Scrub, Scrub
Get out your bucket and fill it with warm, clean water. Then, start scrubbing the mold with the scrubbing brush. Use circular movements to really get into the depths of the moldy area. Remember to rinse the brush from time to time.
Also, you will need to switch out the dirty water as many times as you can, or else you’ll end up with a black-stained wall.
5. Clean the Area with a Cloth
Once you’re satisfied with the results, get out your absorbent cloth and dab the area you’ve cleaned. Make sure to press the cloth against the wall as much as you can in order to get the moisture out.
6. Open the Windows
If possible, try to create a draft by opening the windows and doors in the mold-infested room. That way your wall/ceiling will dry faster and the vinegar smell will evaporate.
Mixing Vinegar With Other Products
Ultimately, using just vinegar to get rid of black mold might not do the trick the first time around. You may see small traces of mold after cleaning for the first time.
After your wall/ceiling has completely dried, take a look at the final result. If you aren’t happy with how it turned out, you can repeat the entire process again, or you can opt to add other products to the vinegar:
- Hydrogen peroxide
- Baking soda
Note: Never mix all of these ingredients together! Only add one at a time. Additionally, never mix vinegar with bleach, or else you’ll end up creating a toxic substance.
Choose one of the suggested products, and add only a tablespoon to the vinegar. Then, repeat the cleaning process as explained above.
You may also like: Does Bleach Kill Black Mold?
How to Prevent Black Mold From Returning
As you know, mold tends to run rampant in damp areas such as basements, attics, bathrooms, etc. Even when you get rid of it, there’s a good chance that it will return. Unless, of course, you take some measures to keep it from doing so.
Apply Vinegar to Critical Areas Twice a Month
If, for example, your bathroom tends to get moldy, make sure you spray the critical areas (ideally twice a month) with the vinegar bottle. You don’t have to scrub the area, just leave it to absorb the vinegar.
Also, make sure to leave a window open to get rid of the smell and to quicken the drying process.
Check Your Home for Hidden Leaks
Unless there is an obvious leak in your home, you may be facing a plumbing problem. If that’s the case, call in a professional to check out your entire home.
Ultimately, you may end up dipping into your savings, however, if you don’t deal with the problem immediately, you’ll end up spending way more than you bargained for once your home gets infested with mold.
Invest in a Dehumidifier
If you really want to get to the bottom of your mold problem, the best solution is to invest in a dehumidifier. Some homes naturally lack ventilation, which is why they’re prone to mold breakouts.
After reading this article, do you plan on trying out this DIY project?
Overall, using vinegar to get rid of black mold is a smart way to deal with a serious problem. It’s perfectly safe, cost-effective, and it’s something you can try out at any time.
However, if you can’t seem to get rid of this stubborn fungus even after using the vinegar method, the best solution is to call in a professional mold removal service. After all, getting rid of mold is their specialty.