Does White Vinegar Kill Black Mold?
Mold is a fungal organism in most environments, including the air. It’s common to see white fungus appear on fruits if you don’t eat them before the expiration date, but you may also see black mold growing in your house.
This is Stachybotrys Chartarum, also called Stachybotrys Atra, and it’s crucial to quickly get rid of this fungus. It is not only a foul sight, but it can become hazardous to occupants and the structure of your home.
To clear your home of black mold, you will need a fast-acting solution that’s not expensive. Many people use bleach, but we recommend white vinegar.
Here’s everything you need to know about using white vinegar to combat deadly fungus on your property.
Read more: Is it dangerous to remove black mold myself?
Why You Should Get Rid of Black Mold Right Away
This type of mold will damage your home’s structure by weakening any wood and drywalls. These materials are high in cellulose, and spores will grow quickly if the material gets wet.
The spores will rarely present a risk to healthy individuals with a robust immune system unless they inhale large quantities of the spores. However, it is possible to experience the following effects if you’re exposed:
- Memory loss
- Nose bleeds
- Body pain
You may develop respiratory issues after inhaling any spores as they are more allergic than others. In cases of lengthy exposure to spores, you can develop lung infections, asthma, or consistent allergic reactions.
Attacking and removing mold growth on time is vital to prevent the spores from spreading to unaffected areas of your home and prevent any respiratory illnesses.
Can You Use White Vinegar to Kill Black Mold?
White vinegar is a mildly acidic compound (pH 2.5) and can penetrate porous surfaces, so it is effective at killing black mold. Its ability to pass through porous materials enables it to attack the roots’ growth, thus preventing the spores from regenerating once the conditions are right.
White vinegar is excellent for cleaning porous surfaces such as drywall, concrete, unsealed tiles, and wood.
Read more: How to get rid of black mold naturally
How Much Vinegar Does It Take to Kill Mold?
The amount of vinegar you need depends on the surface area you’re cleaning. However, we recommend buying distilled white vinegar, which is made up of 20% acetic acid. This is stronger than normal vinegar and will kill the mold in a few hours.
How to Use Vinegar to Kill Black Mold?
Here are five must-follow steps to successfully remove black mold from your home using vinegar:
Step 1: Wear safety equipment
Even though white vinegar is an organic compound, it can be abrasive and irritate the skin after extended exposure. To prevent any irritation, get non-porous or rubber gloves.
Step 2: Fill up a spray bottle with pure white vinegar
Get a spray bottle and fill it to the brim with undiluted white vinegar.
Never dilute the vinegar with water to increase the quantity of cleaning liquid available. Doing this reduces its effectiveness. Get more vinegar bottles if you have a large surface area to clean.
Also, do not mix vinegar with bleach. You’ll end up with chlorine, which can be toxic in specific quantities.
Step 3: Spray the affected areas
Apply vinegar directly onto the mold-infested area. Ensure you cover the whole area with white vinegar. In situations where you don’t have a spray bottle, soak a small towel or cloth in white vinegar and use it to apply mold to the affected areas.
Once you finish applying vinegar, allow it to soak into the affected area for two hours. It usually takes that long for the vinegar to seep into the mold’s membranous areas and break them apart. Once it’s broken apart, the next step is much easier.
Pro-Tip: Don’t apply vinegar to unsealed tiles when cleaning up mold-affected tiles in the bathroom or restroom. It scratches the surface of the tiles.
Step 4: Scrub or brush out the mold
After the compulsory one-hour plus wait, grab a brush and start to scrub at the growth. Dip your brush in warm water each time before you scrub. A brush will quickly break up what’s left of the mold’s membranes.
Use the right size of brush when scrubbing out the growth. Your brush should quickly reach any hidden corners to ensure you clear out every strand of spore growth.
Pro-Tip: Some cleaning experts argue that using a baking soda solution is good for brushing the mold growth. To prepare a baking soda solution:
- Mix one teaspoon of baking soda in two cups of water.
- Spray the mold-affected area with the mixture and scrub the mold off.
- Remember to use a pair of non-porous gloves while scrubbing.
Step 5: Clean up the surface
Once you finish removing the mold with the brush, it’s time to rinse off the surface with warm water. If, after rinsing, you notice any leftover mold stains, repeat stages three to five again until the stains are completely gone.
Vinegar leaves a peculiar odor when used in quantities, and you’ll need to eliminate mold growth. But this smell will clear up within a few hours. Make sure you keep the windows open to help with cross-ventilation.
Pros of Using White Vinegar to Kill Black Mold
- It is non-toxic and harmless to humans and pets.
- It is organic and environmentally friendly.
- It is effective on porous and non-porous surfaces.
- It is affordable and can be found anywhere.
- It exterminates 82% of mold species.
Cons of Using White Vinegar to Kill Black Mold
- It has a strong odor that can be hard to dispel in areas with poor ventilation.
- 18% of the mold species can survive a bout of vinegar cleaning.
What’s Better for Killing Black Mold: Vinegar or Bleach?
Indeed, bleach will also kill black mold. However, vinegar is a more effective solution for eliminating black mold from porous surfaces. Bleach cannot seep through porous materials. This means it only kills the spores on the surface, leaving the roots to grow another set of spores once the conditions are right.
You must remove the exposed membranous growth and the embedded roots inside the material.
When you apply bleach to a mold infestation, the roots retreat more in-depth into the affected material to protect itself from the bleach treatment’s effects. You should only use bleach on non-porous materials that are affected by mold growth.
Another disadvantage of using bleach is it promotes mold growth. When a mold colony senses the presence of bleach, it terms it as a threat and reacts. This issue is exacerbated by the fact that bleach can’t kill the spore’s roots.
As the bleach loses its potency, the roots become immune to its effects and use it as a food source to grow faster.
Read more: black mold in shower
Frequently Asked Questions About Killing Black Mold with White Vinegar
Here are some frequently asked questions about this topic:
How long does it take for the white vinegar to kill black mold?
Most cleaning professionals agree that white vinegar takes an hour or two to kill off the black mold.
Can I mix white vinegar with hydrogen peroxide?
You should never mix white vinegar with hydrogen peroxide. When combined, the result is a chemical called peracetic acid. Peracetic acid is harmful in high concentrations, and you could create an intense concentration by mistake.
However, you can use hydrogen peroxide to clean off any discolorations on the surface or any leftover spores.
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, it’s 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, this solution makes it easier to brush off the moldy growth.
What’s the cost of white vinegar?
White vinegar is an affordable cleaning solution. You can purchase a gallon for a few dollars.
Where can I buy white vinegar?
You can purchase vinegar at any grocery store, convenience store, hypermarket, or online stores such as Amazon.
Read more: How to get rid of mold mites
Once you discover a black mold colony growing in any part of your home, white vinegar is your best bet to stop the growth and eliminate it before spores grow. A healthy dose of vinegar will not only kill the exposed moldy growth but also seep into the surface and kill the membranous roots.
However, you should only attempt to eliminate black mold when it’s in the early stages. If you discover it too late and it has covered a significant area of your home, this project becomes too dangerous. You could also spread the spores all over your home, and you’ll need to call in an expert immediately.
Our mold remediation professionals have specialized training, equipment, and experience to handle large mold outbreaks. We’ll ensure all spores are eliminated from your home and no regrowth happens. Contact our team to get rid of your mold today!