The Mold Solutions Blog

Can I Use Bleach for Mold Removal in My Home?

Can I Use Bleach for Mold Removal?Bleach is the commonly used cleaning solution for household woes. It’s been passed down from generation-to-generation.  Because of that, it’s readily available inside every home.  People believe that by using bleach to clean and disinfect their home, mold removal and other harmful bacteria is safe. 

Mold produces mycotoxins which have been associated with allergies and respiratory inflammation. Some studies even claim that exposure to high levels of mycotoxins for extended periods of time can lead to life-altering illnesses.

Black mold, or toxic mold, in particular, produces high levels of mycotoxins. This type of mold is really hazardous and you can put yourself at risk when you attempt mold removal on your own.

Is Bleach Harmful?

 When used according to its directions, bleach is safe. Sodium Hypochlorite is the primary active ingredient in bleach.  

When you buy bleach at the grocery store it is diluted down to a level that is safe to use in homes for laundry and cleaning.  

Sodium Hypochlorite is a liquid form of chlorine and the levels in commercial bleach can be dangerous to users unless protective equipment is used. 

If bleach is mixed with acid found in disinfectants, the combination can yield highly-toxic off-gasses.  The fumes can cause severe irritation to eyes, nasal passages, and the lungs even when inhaling very small amounts. 

Bleach or chlorine can react to produce Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), which also are toxic. Inhaling these fumes is potentially carcinogenic and can cause certain types of cancer in humans.

Continuous Exposure to Bleach May Cause:

  •  Skin dryness and burns that can lead to tissue damage.
  • Bleach, when mixed with ammonia, is deadly, it has a serious effect on lung function.
  • Decreased immune system.
  • Increased asthma allergy symptoms that can lead to bronchospasm.
  • A headache and dizziness.

 How to Use Bleach Safely

The use of bleach has been a common practice of households for a long time.  While bleach can kill mold and remove discoloration, it should be used with caution.  It also does not assist in preventing the presence of moisture which is a primary cause of your mold problem.

ALWAYS follow the directions on the bleach bottle and only use the bleach for the recommended surfaces.  Also, realize that almost all bleach manufacturers specifically make no claims regarding bleach being an effective agent against mold.  

You should wear protective gear, such as a face mask and gloves, before applying bleach if you will be using it for an extended period of time.

Dilute the bleach with water because a higher concentration of bleach will not only burn your skin but may also damage fabrics and discolor floor and bathroom tiles.

NEVER mix bleach with other cleaning chemicals as it can create adverse effects or even an explosion in your home. 

If you feel uncomfortable using any chemicals at all, it is best to call in professionals. They will be able to determine the best course of mold removal action, once and for all.

Why Using Bleach for Mold Removal is Discouraged

Bleach evaporates quickly.  In fact, bleach evaporates so quickly that it is not effective on natural, porous materials as part of a mold remediation plan.  In simple terms, the bleach evaporates before it can absorb into the pores of the materials.  So the bleach never reaches the hyphae (or roots) of the mold spores.   

On natural, porous materials bleach may appear to have removed the mold but in most cases all you did was remove the spores, leaving the roots behind to grow back.  A great analogy is that using bleach on natural, porous materials is like using a lawnmower to get rid of weeds in your grass.  Right after you finish, it looks great but after a short time, all the weeds (or mold) is back.  

Even Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) advises against using bleach for removing mold.

Real Solutions for a Mold-free Environment 

Using hazardous chemicals to eliminate mold has its own limitations. It sometimes poses more danger to your health than the actual problem of mold growth does. Commercial grade chemicals, as part of an overall professional remediation plan, form the best and most cost-effective solutions to many mold problems.

 The best solution? Ask us for a consultation.We are ready to provide you real solutions to your mold problems. Call us today!

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