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Will Bleach Kill Mold?

Bleach is NOT effective in eliminating mold, it can actually make the problem worse. Bleach can only treat stains not the growth of mold itself.

Many people use bleach solutions to treat mildew in shower stalls. Bleach can certainly be used to clean mold infested surfaces that are hard and non-porous. But bleach becomes ineffective when the mold infected area is a porous surface like wood.

Bleach is not effective for tackling mold on porous surfaces, because mold grows deep into porous surfaces. Using bleach removes the surface stain but allows the mold to continue growing deeper inside. This becomes a potential situation for mold later. The mold returns in a stronger and deeper form than earlier on. The analogy is similar to cutting off infested branches but leaving infected roots behind.

Some more facts about why bleach is not recommended for mold removal:

  • Bleach ends up pushing mold spores deeper into wood fibers. This causes the mold to infect the material all over again- with renewed intensity.
  • Certain toxic molds are actually encouraged by the usage of bleach for mold treatments.
  • By using bleach on gypsum, chlorine gas is created and can be actively emitting fumes for at least one week. Drywall and sheetrock surfaces contain gypsum.
  • The EPA, Clorox Corporation and OSHA advise against the use of bleach in mold elimination. They recommend that bleach is only useful for stain removal not mold removal.
  • Bleach is a toxic substance that behaves similarly to gasoline.