Have you ever wondered whether or not heat can kill mold? The answer is yes – but it’s not always as easy as it sounds. Here we will discuss the pros and cons of using heat, and show you how.
- What temperature kills mold?
- Should I use heat to kill mold?
- How to kill mold with heat
- What about freezing?
What temperature kills mold?
Mold thrives in hot temperatures, but it also needs high humidity levels. However, when temperatures start reaching 140°F (60°C), mold starts becoming negatively affected.
Exposing mold to temperatures between 140°F to 160°F (60°C to 71°C) consistently for at least 30 minutes is enough to kill most strains. Higher temperatures will yield better results, but to kill most types of mold with heat upon contact will require temperatures of 212°F (100°C).
Should I use heat to kill mold?
It depends, but in most cases we do not recommend it for a number of reasons. Depending on the method you use, you could injure yourself, you could damage the very items you are trying to save, there is the potential of a fire hazard, or you could only have limited success.
It’s also important to know that DIY heat treatment, even if 100% successful, still isn’t good enough as a standalone solution. This is because even though the mold and its spores are dead, it still has to be physically removed. Furthermore, dead mold spores trigger the exact same allergic reactions in people.
Professional mold remediation companies, on the other hand, have the knowledge, expertise, and equipment to safely and effectively apply heat treatments. They can assess the situation, determine if heat treatment is suitable, and implement the process using specialized heating equipment and techniques in a safe and effective manner.
How to kill mold with heat
If you still want to kill mold with heat, then here are the options:
Electric bed bug heaters
An electric bed bug heater, as the name suggests, is designed to kill bed bugs with heat – but they work just as well with mold. It’s an insulated bag that has a heater, timer and thermometer. You place moldy items inside the bag and the built-in heater starts evenly heating up everything inside for a certain period of time.
Find out more here.
Handheld steamers work better than bed bug heaters because they can easily reach (and even exceed) temperatures of 212°F (100°C) – which is enough to kill mold upon contact.
Find out more here.
If you have fabric or a small children’s toy with mold then placing it in the dryer would be a good idea. You would probably have to use the highest heat setting on the dryer so maybe first confirm if the item can tolerate that much heat.
Some heat guns can reach astonishing temperatures – 1000℉ (538℃). Temperatures in this range would be fairly suitable for burning mold on certain types of furniture, baseboards, and maybe even some hard to reach places.
Infrared heaters emit heat through infrared radiation and can reach temperature ranges from around 150°F (66°C) to 400°F (204°C) or higher, depending on the specific model. This might not be the best way to kill mold with heat but could be effective when dealing with moldy walls.
You could also kill mold with your oven. Place moldy glass or wood items in the oven and put it on low-to-medium for 15 to 20 minutes. This will get the job done but you could potentially damage wooden items this way. Also keep in mind that the oven is where you prepare your food.
Most hair dryers have multiple heat settings that allow users to adjust the temperature according to their preferences. The highest heat setting on hair dryers can reach temperatures close to 194°F (90°C) which is almost enough to kill mold upon contact. The only downside to killing mold with a hair dryer is that you will end up blowing mold spores around the room.
What about freezing?
Freezing mold is not a viable option. As soon as temperatures drop to 32°F (0°C) or lower, mold goes dormant. They become active once again after being unfrozen.
You can kill mold with heat, but its not the best DIY method. It’s better to try a different way or to let a professional mold remediation company do heat treatment instead.