Does vinegar kill mold?

Kill mold with vinegar
Does vinegar kill mold?

Yes, vinegar does kill mold. 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
  • Where can I buy vinegar?
  • Conclusion

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.

Pros of using vinegar for mold removal:

Natural and Non-Toxic: Vinegar is a natural product made from fermentation, making it non-toxic and safe to use around humans and pets. Unlike chemical cleaners, it doesn’t release harmful fumes or leave residues.

Readily Available and Affordable: Vinegar is widely available in grocery stores, making it easily accessible to most households. It is also cost-effective, providing an economical solution for mold cleaning.

Versatility: Vinegar can effectively kill mold on both porous and non-porous surfaces, making it suitable for various cleaning tasks in different areas of your home.

Disinfectant Properties: The acetic acid in vinegar has mild disinfectant properties, which not only kill mold but also inhibit its regrowth to some extent.

Environmentally Friendly: Vinegar is biodegradable and eco-friendly, reducing its impact on the environment compared to chemical cleaners.

Cons of using vinegar for mold removal:

Smell: Some people find the strong smell of vinegar unpleasant, though it usually dissipates after a few hours.

Lower Kill Rate Compared to Chemicals: While vinegar can eliminate a significant percentage of mold species (82%), so it may not completely eradicate all types of molds on its own. However, this slight limitation is easily overcome by pairing it with baking soda.

Slower Action: Vinegar typically requires more time to work effectively compared to chemical cleaners, which might be quicker at killing mold.

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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.

Where can I buy vinegar?

Vinegar is a common household item and is typically available in the condiments or cooking aisle of most grocery stores and supermarkets. You can also find it online.

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Iberia’s 5% Distilled White Vinegar has proven to be a versatile and indispensable addition to my home. From spicing up sauces to cleaning and beauty hacks, this vinegar does it all. It preserves food, brightens hair, cleans surfaces, removes stains, and so much more. With Iberia’s Distilled White Vinegar, I’ve found a single product that meets a multitude of needs, making it a true household marvel.


Vinegar is an effective, natural, and safe solution for killing mold. It works on both porous and non-porous surfaces, making it a versatile option for mold removal. While vinegar alone eliminates 82% of mold species, combining it with hydrogen peroxide, borax, or baking soda achieves a 100% kill rate. Remember to avoid mixing it with bleach or ammonia. For severe mold issues, consult professionals, but for everyday mold cleaning, vinegar is a reliable and eco-friendly choice.

Further reading

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