Does cleaning vinegar kill mold spores?

Yes, vinegar is a mild acid that kills 82% of mold species. It's often used as a natural, non-toxic alternative to chemical cleaning products when it comes to killing household mold. Cleaning vinegar, which contains 6% acetic acid, is the best type for killing mold. Vinegar has antifungal and antibacterial properties and can be a cheap and effective treatment for many types of mold.

Smaller areas of mold growth that are detected early can be eliminated with some basic cleaning products by following some safety guidelines. There are several biocidal products that kill mold more quickly than vinegar, but white distilled vinegar or cleaning vinegar are less toxic to the environment and to humans. It is important that the vinegar you use has an acetic acid level of 4.0% to 4.2% or higher. Distilled white vinegar from the condiment aisle contains about five percent acetic acid and 95 percent water.

Cleaning vinegar contains about six percent acetic acid. While vinegar kills mold, it works slowly, and mold discoloration and stains may remain and require additional scrubbing with a household cleaner. Read on to learn when vinegar can be an effective solution for removing mold from your home, how it compares to other options, and when you should call a professional cleaner. To clean mold with hydrogen peroxide, you can apply standard 3% hydrogen peroxide directly to the mold with a spray bottle.

If mold growth is too intense or widespread, you should call a mold remediation professional right away. As one of the most pervasive myths about mold on the Internet (and we've seen a few), this common tactic often ends up with homeowners calling a mold treatment company like MoldTech anyway, often with a bigger problem than they had at first. While bleach and vinegar don't get rid of mold, there are many different methods used by professional mold remediators that are just as safe but infinitely more effective. If mold has left the grout or other finishes discolored, you'll need to use an oxygen-based bleach solution to remove stains.

The longer you and your family are exposed to mold, the more likely you are to experience health effects and they will worsen until the mold is eliminated. Mold grows in warm, dark, and humid environments, so places like the shower, dishwasher, and washing machine can see mold growing from time to time. It's important to get rid of mold safely so that it doesn't return and doesn't cause further damage to your property. Unfortunately, bleach and vinegar don't get rid of mold effectively enough to achieve long-term positive results.

The Department of Environmental Protection recommends professional removal of mold colonies that cover more than 10 square feet (approximately a three-foot by three-foot patch). Your local public health department can offer advice on mold testing and refer you to a mold remediation company. Household vinegar (the kind used in salads) is a mild acid, which is a useful tool when it comes to replacing the most dangerous household cleaning products, but it won't help get rid of mold. Take items outside to remove as much of the mold from the surface as possible, which prevents mold spores from spreading inside your home.

Brenda Seemann
Brenda Seemann

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