How to get rid of black mold

Mold Removal
Removing Mold

Mold is a fairly common problem in many homes but there are a number of preventive steps one can take; however action ought to be taken as soon as its spotted. In This DIY guide we will show you how to kill and get rid of black mold with ordinary household ingredients such as bleach, ammonia, baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, vinegar, grapefruit seed extract, tea tree oil and borax.

Topics covered
  • Safety precautions
  • Does bleach kill mold?
  • Does ammonia kill mold?
  • Does baking soda kill mold?
  • Does hydrogen peroxide kill mold?
  • Does grapefruit seed extract kill mold?
  • Does borax kill mold?
  • Does tea tree oil kill mold?
  • Does white vinegar kill mold?
  • Cleaning solution comparison table

Safety precautions

Following the correct safety guidelines and procedures in essential while getting rid of mold. Not only can the spores be detrimental to your health but it could also spread to other parts of your home.

1

Size of the infestation: If the infestation area is larger than 10 square feet then it might be better to call in a remediation company to have it professionally removed. A problem of this size can release a tremendous amount of spores into the air, especially when disturbed, which you will not only breathe in but also further spread throughout your home.

2

Wear protective gear: Wear a N-95 respiratory mask to prevent breathing in spores. If you choose to use bleach or ammonia as your mold killing cleaning solution, be sure to wear rubber gloves and a good pair of wrap around safety glasses too.

3

Elimination of mold spores: While cleaning you can minimize the spread of mold spores by closing the door of the room in which you will be working and opening the windows for fresh air circulation. It’s stronly recommended to run a HEPA filtered air purifier while cleaning if the infestation is relatively large and vacuuming the entire area with a HEPA vacuum cleaner afterwards.


Does bleach kill mold?

Bleach is one of the most widely used cleaning agents and kills every type of virus and bacteria upon contact thanks to its active ingredient chlorine. It’s only effective on hard non-porous surfaces because the chlorine is unable to penetrate tiny pores and cracks on porous materials where mold roots reside.

Pros:
Affordable. Easily available. Kills all viruses and bacteria upon first contact. 100% effective at killing all mold species on non-porous surfaces.

Cons:
Highly toxic to humans, animals and the environment. Only kills mold on non-porous surfaces. Bleaches dark colored clothes & fabrics.

Use bleach to get rid of mold on:
Light colored clothes & fabrics, tiles, toilets, painted drywall, bath tubs, finished wood.

Important:
When working with bleach open windows for ventilation and wear protective gloves along with eye protection and a respirator. And most importantly, do not mix bleach with ammonia or vinegar because it creates highly toxic fumes.

How to get rid of black mold with bleach

  • Mix bleach with water to a ratio of 1:10.
  • Apply the mixture to a non-porous moldy surface with a sponge or cloth and rub until it comes off.
  • Wipe the surface area clean.

Does ammonia kill mold?

Ammonia is a colorless liquid with a strong pungent smell and is highly toxic. It’s an excellent disinfectant and just like bleach it’s only effective on non-porous surfaces such as glass, bath tubs, tiles and counter tops.

Pros:
Affordable. Easily available. Kills all viruses and bacteria upon first contact. 100% effective at killing all mold species on non-porous surfaces.

Cons:
Highly toxic to humans, animals and the environment. Only kills mold on non-porous surfaces.

Use ammonia to get rid of mold on:
Tiles, toilets, painted drywall, bath tubs, finished wood.

Important:
When working with ammonia open windows for ventilation and wear protective gloves along with eye protection and a respirator. And most importantly, do not mix ammonia with bleach because it creates highly toxic fumes.

How to get rid of black mold with ammonia

  • Fill a spray bottle with a 50/50 water and ammonia mixture.
  • Spray onto the desired non-porous surface and allow 10 minutes to soak.
  • Spray again and scrub with a brush or rub with a cloth / sponge.
  • Wipe the surface area clean.

Does baking soda kill mold?

Does baking soda kill mold?

Baking soda kills up to 82% of all bacteria and viruses, is easily available, is perfectly safe to use around children and pets, and works on all types of surface areas. Baking soda does not kill all types of mold but mixing some vinegar with your solution will eradicate them all since vinegar kills the types that baking soda can’t. An additional bonus is that baking soda deodorizes thereby helping to get rid of that terrible moldy smell.

Pros:
Affordable. Easily available. Non-toxic to humans, animals and the environment. Effective at killing 100% of all mold species when combined with white vinegar on both porous and non-porous surfaces. Naturally deodorizes.

Cons:
Only kills 82% of mold species but this problem can be easily overcome by mixing some white vinegar with the baking soda.

Use baking soda to get rid of mold on:
All porous and non-porous surfaces and materials.

How to get rid of black mold with baking soda

  • Add 1 teaspoon of baking soda to a water filled spray bottle.
  • Add a teaspoon of white vinegar for extra strength.
  • Spray onto the desired surface and rub with a cloth or sponge.
  • Wipe the surface clean and spray again but this time let it soak in for 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Wipe the surface clean again.

Does hydrogen peroxide kill mold?

Hydrogen peroxide kills fungi with the same effectiveness as bleach but with the ability to effortlessly penetrate porous surfaces. It’s easily available, cheap and non-toxic unless swallowed. Keep in mind that hydrogen peroxide looses its potency when exposed to light for long periods of time so be sure to store it in a cool, dark place.

Pros:
Affordable. Easily available. Non-toxic to humans, animals and the environment (unless swallowed).

Cons:
None.

Use hydrogen peroxide to get rid of mold on:
All porous and non-porous surfaces and materials.

How to get rid of black mold with hydrogen peroxide

  • Add 3% hydrogen peroxide and warm water at a ratio of 50/50 in a spray bottle.
  • Spray the peroxide and water solution onto the desired surface and allow to soak in for 15 minutes.
  • Wipe the surface clean.

Does grapefruit seed extract kill mold?

Does grapefruit seed extract kill mold

Grapefruit seed extract is one of the most natural and safest items on the list. It isn’t exactly cheap but it’s citric acid content does a great job at killing mold on porous and non-porous surfaces while disinfecting and deodorizing at the same time.

Pros:
Easily available. 100% natural and non-toxic.

Cons:
Costs more than the other cleaning solutions mentioned on this page.

Use grapefruit seed extract to get rid of mold on:
All porous and non-porous surfaces and materials.

How to get rid of black mold with grapefruit seed extract

  • Mix 10 drops of grapefruit seed extract per cup of water.
  • Pour the solution into a spray bottle.
  • Spray the solution onto the desired area and let it soak in for 10 minutes.
  • Scrub the infected area with a small brush until its clean.
  • Repeat the process if necessary until all mold has been removed.

Does borax kill mold?

Does borax kill mold?

Borax is a natural multi-purpose white mineral powder that excels as a herbicide, pesticide, insecticide, disinfectant and mold killer while deodorizing. It’s cheap and can usually be found in the laundry detergent section of most supermarkets.

Pros:
Easily available. 100% natural and fairly non-toxic (unless swallowed).

Cons:
Borax can irritate the skin of sensitive people so wear rubber gloves just in case.

Use borax to get rid of mold on:
All porous and non-porous surfaces and materials.

Important:
Never mix borax with bleach because it produces highly toxic gases.

How to get rid of black mold with borax

  • Mix 1/2 teaspoon of borax per cup of water.
  • Pour the solution into a spray bottle. Add some white vinegar for extra strength
  • Spray the solution onto the desired area and let it soak in for 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Scrub the infected area with a small brush or cloth until its clean.

Does tea tree oil kill mold?

Does tea tree oil kill mold?

Tea tree oil has a strong, yet pleasant medicinal odor and works great thanks to its powerful anti-microbial properties. It’s so effective the aboriginal tribes used it for centuries as a disinfectant on burns and cuts. The only downside is that you have to leave it on a little longer than other solutions to soak in.

Pros:
Easily available. 100% natural and non-toxic.

Cons:
Costs more than most of the other cleaning solutions mentioned on this page.

Use tea tree oil to get rid of mold on:
All porous and non-porous surfaces and materials.

How to get rid of black mold with tea tree oil

  • Mix some tea tree oil with water in a spray bottle at a ratio of 1 teaspoon per cup of water.
  • Shake the spray bottle thoroughly.
  • Spray the solution onto the desired surface and allow to soak in for 20 minutes.
  • Wipe the surface clean.

Does white vinegar kill mold?

Does white vinegar kill mold?

The mild acid contained within distilled white vinegar effortlessly kills up to 82% of all mold species. It’s a great choice because it’s non-toxic, readily available in most households and pairs well with other fungi killing solutions such as baking soda and borax to achieve a 100% kill rate.

Pros:
Easily available, affordable and non-toxic.

Cons:
Only kills 82% of mold species but this can easily be overcome by adding baking soda or borax.

Use white vinegar to get rid of mold on:
All porous and non-porous surfaces and materials.

How to get rid of black mold with white vinegar

  • Add some white vinegar to a spray bottle without diluting. For extra strength add a teaspoon of baking soda or borax and shake the bottle well until all the powder has dissolved.
  • Spray the solution onto the desired surface and allow to soak in for 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Wipe the surface clean. You might have a vinegar smell on it but it won’t last for more than a few hours.

Cleaning solution comparison table

When comparing the various solutions covered in the above list you will notice that the most toxic items are the least effective while the environmentally friendly ones work best.

Item Ideal Surface Areas Pros Cons
Bleach Non-porous surfaces:
Glass, counter tops, bath tubs and tiles.
  • Easily available
  • Highly effective on non-porous surfaces.
  • Kills 100% of all bacteria and viruses.
    • Highly toxic
    • Doesn’t penetrate porous surfaces to eradicate roots.
    Ammonia Non-porous surfaces:
    Glass, counter tops, bath tubs and tiles.
    • Easily available
    • Highly effective on non-porous surfaces.
    • Kills 100% of all bacteria and viruses.
      • Highly toxic
      • Doesn’t penetrate porous surfaces to eradicate roots.
      Baking Soda All surfaces
      • Easily available
      • Highly effective on all surfaces.
      • Non-toxic.
      • Kills 82% of all bacteria and viruses.
      • Deodorizes.
        Hydrogen Peroxide All surfaces
        • Easily available
        • Highly effective on all surfaces.
        • Non-toxic (unless swallowed).
        Grapefruit Seed Extract All surfaces
        • Easily available
        • Highly effective on all surfaces.
        • Non-toxic.
        • Deodorizes.
        • Slightly more expensive than other solutions.
        Borax All surfaces
        • Easily available
        • Highly effective on all surfaces.
        • Kills 100% of all bacteria and viruses.
        • Non-toxic (unless swallowed)
          • Can irritate skin of sensitive people.
          Tea Tree Oil All surfaces
          • Easily available
          • Highly effective on all surfaces.
          • Non-toxic (unless swallowed).
          • Slightly more expensive than other solutions.
          • Have to leave it to soak in longer than other solutions.
          White vinegar All surfaces
          • Easily available
          • Highly effective on all surfaces.
          • Non-toxic.

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