Does Bleach Kill Mold?

mildew vs mold

Mold – that scary four-letter word that no home or business owner ever wants to hear.

If you do end up in the unfortunate situation that mold is growing in your building, what do you do? Many say to, “simply wash down the affected area with a bleach solution”. Yes, bleach is a powerful product that can sanitize surfaces and kill bacteria, however, bleach does not kill mold!

A bleach mixture is a great solution to use when cleaning your non-porous shower stalls or wiping down your hard surface countertops. But, when found on a porous surface such as wood or drywall, it’s a different story.

Mold is a term that refers to fungi that grow in the form of multicellular thread-like structures, which grow into colonies. On a porous surface, the mold colonies grow into the pores of the material, much like a tree’s roots grow deep into the ground. Bleach is only able to kill what lies on the surface of the porous material, leaving what lies below the surface to continue to grow. To the eye, it appears that you’ve killed the mold that is growing, but unfortunately this is not true. The mold will then grow back stronger, deeper, and spread more since it’s embedded into the pores of the material.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) states, “The use of a biocide, such as chlorine bleach, is not recommended as a routine practice during mold remediation…” in their A Brief Guide to Mold in the Workplace.* The Environmental Protection Agency also states “The use of a chemical or biocide that kills organisms such as mold (chlorine bleach, for example) is not recommended as a routine practice during mold cleanup.” in their A Brief Guide to Mold Moisture, and Your Home.**

Facts about bleach: (via JP Mold Control)

  • It only removes the color or stain of mold
  • In some cases, it will allow toxic mold to grow where it was not present before
  • It’s  toxic and classified the same as gasoline
  • Bleach on gypsum (the material found in sheetrock or drywall), will emit chlorine gas for at least a week
  • When applied to wood, bleach will push spores deeper into the wood fibers creating more problems later

If your home or business is affected by mold, call us at 314-227-3932 or submit an inquiry online. We’ll completely restore your property from mold damage. Or, visit us here Mold Remediation & Removal.

About Woodard Cleaning & Restoration

Woodard Cleaning & Restoration was founded in 1946 by Earl and Nancy Woodard. Located in St. Louis, Missouri, Woodard services the greater metro area (Illinois, St. Charles County, Jefferson County, St. Louis County, and many more). Woodard is proud to serve as the preferred provider for cleaning & restoration services. Our cleaning services include carpet, hard surface, furniture, and rug cleaning for both residential and commercial properties. We also provide water, fire, board-up, storm and smoke restoration services for residential and commercial clients. For information or questions submit a form online or call us at 314-227-3932.

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Updated 4/23/2018

Sources:

https://www.osha.gov/dts/shib/shib101003.html

** https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2016-10/documents/moldguide12.pdf