Will Bleach Clean Up Mold and Mildew?
PROPER Mold remediation involves the removal and or clean up and restoration of mold contaminated building materials.
Laundry bleach is not an effective mold killing agent for wood-based building materials and NOT EFFECTIVE in the mold remediation process.
Chlorine bleach, commonly referred to as laundry bleach, is generally perceived to be an “accepted and answer-all” biocide to abate mold in the remediation processes. Well-intentioned historical (but retracted) recommendations of health departments and other state and local agencies had perpetuated the belief. Untrained mold remediation real estate professionals, home owners, plumbers, contractors and others continue to recommend bleach to solve a “mildew” problem. Beware of any mold inspector, mold remediation contractor or other individual that recommends or uses chlorine bleach for mold clean up on wood-based building materials, OR ANY OTHER TYPE OF BIOCIDE FOR THAT MATTER.
Why Chlorine Bleach is NOT Recommended for Mold Clean-up. Chlorine bleach is corrosive (not to mention the exposure hazards of dioxins). Yet the properties of chlorine bleach prevent it from “soaking into” wood-based building materials to get at the deeply embedded mycelia (roots) of mold. The object to killing mold is to kill its “roots”.
Mold remediation involves the need to disinfect or removed wood and wood-based building materials, all of which are porous materials. Chlorine bleach should not be used in mold remediation as confirmed by OSHA’s and EPA’s guidelines. The use of bleach as a mold disinfectant is best left to kitchen and bathroom counter tops, tubs and shower glass, etc.
Chlorine Bleach Is Active Ingredient in Newer Mold & Mildew Products.
The appearance of newer mold and mildew household products on store shelves is on the rise. Most are dilute solutions of laundry bleach. The labels on these mold and mildew products state that they are for use on hard, non-porous surfaces and not for wood-based materials.
Before purchasing a mold and mildew product, read and fully understand the advertised purpose of that product — and correctly follow the use instructions of a purchased product. The labeling claims on these new products can be confusing — some say their product is a mold and mildew remover while another says their product is a mildew stain remover and yet others make similar ‘ambiguous’ claims.
CAUTION: DO NOT MIX CHLORINE BLEACH WITH OTHER HOUSEHOLD CLEANING AGENTS. DOING SO CAN CAUSE SERIOUS HARM TO HUMAN HEALTH AND EVEN DEATH. For example, mixing chlorine bleach with cleaning products that contain ammonia or acid (vinegar, as one example) releases chlorine or chloramines, gases which are TOXIC.