Vinegar is effective at killing mold when it is applied to non-porous surfaces such as metal and tile. When treating mold on porous surfaces such as wood, wallpaper, or painted walls, vinegar has been shown to temporarily slow mold growth, but not fully kill the mold. Surprisingly, tea tree oil has been scientifically shown to be a more effective mold killer than vinegar. However, if you are dealing with a serious black mold infestation in your home, it’s essential to call a professional for remediation. Black mold can be hazardous to your health and vinegar is not strong enough to stop a serious mold infestation.
How to Use Vinegar to Kill Black Mold
Use only undiluted vinegar to kill black mold. Mixing vinegar with water or other substances will reduce its killing power by diluting the acetic acid. Wear rubber gloves before cleaning surfaces with vinegar. Vinegar can be damaging to the skin. Once you’re wearing protective gloves, spray the mold with white vinegar and allow it to soak for up to 2 hours. Then, scour the area with a scrubbing pad to remove all signs of black mold. To prevent spreading mold spores to other areas, throw away any cleaning tools used to scrub mold.
- Use undiluted white vinegar to kill mold.
- Wear protective gloves whenever you are cleaning with vinegar.
- Spray vinegar on the surface and let it sit for 1–2 hours.
- After 1–2 hours, scrub away the visible mold.
- Dispose of any cleaning tools used to scrub away mold—reusing them may spread mold spores.
- Vinegar is effective at cleaning black mold and mildew off glass, metal, ceramic, and other non-porous surfaces.
- Vinegar will not kill black mold growing on wood, painted walls, wallpaper, or any other porous surface.
Vinegar is best used to clean black mold off of nonporous surfaces, such as metal, glass, and tile. So, you can effectively use vinegar to remove mold from a tub, sink, shower, or window. However, vinegar will not kill black mold growing on painted walls, wood, or wallpaper. A scientific study showed that vinegar is ineffective at killing mold in wood. After two weeks, the mold will grow back. So, vinegar is not effective for killing mold on any porous surface.
When Should You Call a Professional for Mold Remediation?
If there is mold growing on your walls or ceilings, it’s best to call a mold removal specialist for an evaluation. Vinegar is not effective at killing mold growing on porous or painted surfaces. Plus, visible mold growing on a wall may be a sign of leaking pipes or moisture inside the wall. The mold may be growing inside your walls, and you won’t be able to reach it to kill the fungus.
- Mold on walls and ceilings can be signs of a serious mold infestation that requires professional assessment.
- If you see mold on a wall, there may be moisture and mold growth inside your wall that you cannot reach.
- Vinegar is not effective at killing black mold growing on walls and ceilings.
Vinegar and other household cleaners are perfectly fine for killing small amounts of mold and mildew growing in visible areas, but they can’t get rid of a true mold infestation. To prevent allergic reactions and serious health concerns, make sure that mold growth on walls, ceilings, and other areas are professionally assessed and remediated if necessary.
What is the Best Household Mold Killer?
Tea tree oil is the best choice for killing mold in your home. This scientific study found that tea tree oil is far more effective at killing mold permanently than vinegar. The authors of the study even suggested tea tree oil as a tool for professional mold remediation. So, if you’re going to scrub mold in your home, consider using tea tree oil.
- Tea tree oil has been scientifically shown to kill mold more effectively than vinegar.
- Make your own mold-killing solution by mixing 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of tea tree oil in 1 cup (250 ml) of water.
- Spray the tea tree oil mix on the mold, let it sit for 1 hour, then scrub away the mold.
By mixing tea tree oil and water in a spray bottle, you create a powerful mold-killer. You can spray the tea tree mix onto the mold, let it soak for 1 hour, then scrub and discard the scrubbing tool as you would when using vinegar. Tea tree oil is more likely than vinegar to kill mold and prevent its return.
How Long Does it Take for Vinegar to Kill Black Mold?
Undiluted white vinegar will kill mold growth in 1 hour. However, it’s essential to note that vinegar does not kill mold spores. Mold spores are airborne particles that can be carried by the wind, air ducts, or fans. They will attempt to grow wherever they land. So, mold will often grow back after you scrub it away with vinegar.
Is Bleach or Vinegar Better to Kill Black Mold?
Vinegar is a better choice than bleach for killing mold. Bleach releases noxious fumes, can easily discolor the surface you’re cleaning, and does not kill mold quite as effectively as vinegar. Although you can use either bleach or vinegar for cleaning mold from non-porous surfaces, neither is effective at killing mold that has infested wood, grout, painted walls, or wallpaper.
Does Vinegar Make Mold Worse?
Vinegar will not make your mold problem worse, but it may not solve the problem either. You can kill mold on non-porous surfaces by using vinegar. It is important to keep in mind that vinegar is not enough to stop a true mold infestation. Mold growing on a porous surface will only be temporarily harmed by vinegar. Within days after a vinegar scrub, mold that has infested a porous surface will begin to grow back. Walls, ceilings, wood trim, and tile grout are all porous surfaces. Vinegar won’t kill mold in these areas.
Can You Leave Vinegar on Mold Overnight?
You can allow the vinegar to soak on mold overnight, but it’s typically not necessary. Vinegar will kill mold by soaking for 1–2 hours. An overnight soak won’t increase the killing power of vinegar. Beware of leaving vinegar on tiles for long periods—vinegar can discolor certain types of tile, so it’s best to use this cleanser for mold on tile.
Will Spraying Vinegar on Mold Kill It?
Vinegar is only useful for killing mold in a few cases. To use vinegar at the right time and prevent mold infestation from putting your family at risk, follow these tips:
- Vinegar can kill mold on non-porous surfaces such as metal, tile, tubs, and shower surrounds.
- Mold growing on walls, ceilings, grout, and other porous surfaces will not be killed by vinegar.
- If you have mold growing on your walls or ceiling, contact a mold remediation professional for an assessment—vinegar can’t control a severe mold problem.
- A mixture of tea tree oil and water in a spray bottle is more effective than vinegar for killing mold.
- When using vinegar on mold, spray, allow the vinegar to sit for 1–2 hours, then scrub away the mold.
- Be cautious when cleaning mold off tiles—vinegar can discolor some types of tile.
When dealing with mold in your home, it’s essential to be cautious. Vinegar won’t kill black mold on most surfaces. It also won’t help control mold growing inside your walls. So, only use vinegar for small amounts of mold and mildew growing on bathroom and kitchen fixtures. For help with a serious mold problem, call a professional.