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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Is Bleach Ok for Cleaning Mold?

7/7/2021 (Permalink)

white wall with black mold spots, hand with yellow glove holding a white spray bottle crossed out with a red line spraying bleach whenever you see mold is nothing but a myth.

Did you know that bleach does not actually get rid of your mold problem?  The old school thought of spraying bleach whenever you see mold is nothing but a myth. The reason people believe this works is because to the naked eye the visible mold is gone, yes, butthat is because the bleach has removed the color of mold not its roots.  

When doing some research online, it came up that the OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) stopped recommending the use of bleach for dealing with mold problems. The ESA (Environmental Site Assessment) also updated their guide similarly as well. 

The problem with bleach is that it is has too many variables that affect how it can treat mold. Bleach only works on killing mold on non-porous materials.  Mold typically grows on porous materials like drywall and wood. So the chances your mold growth will be on a hard surface is unlikely anyways. 

Using bleach to clean areas like wood can actually promote mold growth and can leave you with a bigger problem than when you originally started. This is because mold spreads its roots deep into porous surfaces. When you use bleach it creates excessive moisture which then creates a better environment for the mold to return and thrive.  Bleach will also negatively affect materials like wood by breaking down its fibers. It can also cause corrosion to metals. 

Bleach contains an ingredient called Sodium Hypochlorite which in high concentrations can be registered as an antimicrobial pesticide that will kill mold under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act. However Sodium Hypochlorite can also be sold as a household cleaner without being registered as a pesticide due to this type of item only containing small amounts of Sodium Hypochlorite. This means it is not guaranteed to kill mold nor is it sold for that purpose. 

We want to steer you away from thinking bleach is the best route to dealing with your mold. Not only is it not effective but the dangerous fumes are toxic to your health. Plus, there are many  anti-microbial alternatives readily available that will get the job done and are safer to use.

If you are dealing with mold in your home, it is recommended to contact a professional. Here at SERVPRO Of East Riverside we are available to answer your mold questions. Contact us today 24/7 (951)222-2224

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