Does vinegar kill mold?

Kill mold with vinegar

Yes, it does. While many of the over the counter chemical mold killing products are toxic to humans, animals, and the environment, vinegar, on the other hand, with its mild natural acidic content is a perfectly safe and effective mold killing alternative.

Topics covered
  • What types of vinegar kills mold?
  • The pros and cons
  • How to kill mold with vinegar
  • How to remove mold/mildew from clothes with vinegar
    • The washing machine method
    • The pre-soaking method
    • The spot removal method

What types of vinegar kills mold?

Vinegar comes in many kinds, but the two most common types found in American households are white distilled and apple cider vinegar.

Both of these will get the job done, but apple cider vinegar, depending on the type of material you are cleaning, could leave stains behind. So the better option would be to use the white distilled version.


The pros and cons

The advantages of killing mold with vinegar far outweigh the disadvantages as you are about to see.

First of all, it’s affordable, readily available, and the chances are that you already have it stashed away somewhere in your kitchen cupboard. Also, it’s perfectly safe to use as it poses no health risk to humans, animals, or the environment. Another benefit is that it can kill mold on both porous and non-porous surfaces, unlike some other solutions that are only effective on non-porous materials.

The negatives are that some people, like me, find the smell of vinegar repulsive. But more seriously, the truth is that vinegar, on its own, only kills 82% of all mold species.

That’s hardly a downside considering that distilled white vinegar pairs up perfectly with hydrogen peroxide, borax, or baking soda to achieve a 100% mold kill rate. The only to keep in mind in this regard is that you should never mix vinegar with bleach or ammonia, as the combination creates highly toxic fumes.


How to kill mold with vinegar

1: Pour white vinegar into a spray bottle without diluting it. As mentioned, on its own, it can kill 82% of mold species. If you’re feeling particularly paranoid about this, then feel free to add a teaspoon of hydrogen peroxide, borax, or baking soda to achieve a 100% kill rate. Just be sure to shake the spray bottle a few times to ensure that everything mixes properly.

2: Spray generously onto the moldy area and allow it 40 to 60 minutes to do its work.

3: Wipe the mold off with a cloth or rag. It should wipe off easily. There will be a fairly strong vinegar scent, and it’s advised that you do not wash it away because the smell will naturally dissipate after a few hours.


How to remove mold and mildew from clothes with vinegar

Vinegar does a great job of removing mold from clothes, too, and we will show you a few ways of doing it.

The washing machine method

For lightly moldy clothes, put them into the washing machine with your regular laundry detergent and let it fill up with hot water. Add two cups of distilled white vinegar and let it wash as usual.

The pre-soaking method

For heavily moldy clothing, a different method is required. Put 75% hot water and 25% white vinegar in the bathtub or a bucket and let the clothes soak in it overnight. The next morning, wash the clothes in the washing machine as usual.

The spot removal method

If you only want to remove a couple of spots, then add some undiluted vinegar to a spray bottle and spray heavily on the affected areas. Allow at least an hour before gently rubbing the mold or mildew away. You can also add a teaspoon of borax or baking soda in the spray bottle for extra effectiveness.

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