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Can You Use Bleach to Clean Up Mold?

April 13, 2018

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Can You Use Bleach to Clean Up Mold?

If you’ve had flooding in your home due to a leaky or burst pipe, roof leak, excess bathroom moisture, or other issue and discover growing mold thereafter, you might be wondering if you can clean up mold yourself with bleach.

Years ago, the Environmental Protection Agency suggested the use of bleach as one means to kill mold. However, they have since changed that recommendation. Mold remediation requires specific procedures and products to be effective, and unfortunately, there are many problems with using bleach.

So, can you use bleach to remove mold? The short answer is yes, because bleach does kill mold, but only on hard, non-porous surfaces. Chlorine bleach (think Clorox) is a disinfectant, but it is not the best choice for removing mold from your flooring or walls. Why?

Bleach is only effective at removing mold on non-porous surfaces like countertops.

After a flood, mold often grows in floors, ceilings, and walls. The materials in these surfaces are porous. Chlorine bleach is ineffective against disinfecting on this type of surface (as well as surfaces like upholstery and carpet).

Mold spreads.

Even if you do remove some mold with bleach, in porous surfaces, there’s a very good chance that the spores have spread deeper than you can see with the naked eye. A surface might look clean, but the “roots” of the mold are still there, and the mold will keep coming back.

Bleach is corrosive to skin.

You can damage your hands and arms (and face if you’re using a spray bottle) applying bleach yourself.

Bleach is a biocide,

which is toxic to animals and humans. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration does not recommend using a bleach solution to remove mold because of the dangers in doing so.

It’s very easy to use bleach improperly.

Using too much can render the bleach ineffective and mixing it with certain products can be quite hazardous, creating dangerous vapors/gases.

While it is understandable that you’d like to give it a try to clean up mold yourself, the savings isn’t worth it when you consider the risk you’re taking. Improper cleanup techniques and tools are unlikely to work and can actually spread the mold!

Mold clean up is a complex procedure that needs to be done correctly. To be effective, the process should involve these steps/tools:

  • A High-Efficiency Particulate Air vacuum to remediate the area (which is more effective than a regular vacuum and doesn’t risk spreading mold spores like a wet vacuum cleaner).
  • Proper sealing off of an area to ensure corrosive, dangerous disinfectants don’t get into other areas in the home.
  • High-quality disinfectant solutions that are non-toxic.

Don’t take a chance. Hire AOA Cleaning and Restoration for your mold cleanup project. We’re a licensed and bonded mold remediation contractor, certified by the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification, the American BioRecovery Association and the Restoration Science Academy. We can provide a mold assessment of your home and let you know the best course of action. Call us at 201-848-8600 to learn more about our mold remediation services and how we can help get your home back to normal.

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