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Does Bleach & Vinegar Get Rid of Mold? (Answered)

Mold build-ups in our house isn’t that unfamiliar. This fungus loves water and so mostly grows on wooden furniture, carpet, laundry areas, floors whatever they find damp and moisture. Not only this type of fungus looks gross but also can be risky to health. 

So people don’t actually prefer to keep mold grown in their house unseen. There are many methods homeowners apply to remove molds which include many effective commercial mold cleaners.

But since you might not always have those market-based mold removers at home, it’s good to know about the ingredients that are always in our house.

Vinegar and bleach are two common things we all have in store. These two are used for many cleaning purposes at home and also have fewer side effects than marketed products. So can bleach and vinegar can get rid of molds? Let’s know!

Bleach & vinegar to get rid of mold

Bleach and vinegar are two powerful ingredients to use against mold. These two can be used separately or together as mold cleaning solutions. When applied on different porous. surfaces vinegar and bleach can remove and stop mold growth. However, vinegar is a better mold remover than bleach.

Bleach and Vinegar, are two common names in households. These are always relied on to complete jobs, such as cleaning spots, removing odor, disinfecting surfaces, deterring insects and bugs, and the list goes on. 

These are very effective against molds and neatly remove them from many types of surfaces. Let’s see from what surfaces these two agents can clean molds.

On walls:

Bleach can temporarily clean molds from the bathroom, kitchen, or any damp walls.

But bleach cannot finish molds off forever. For long time prevention from mold and mildews, using diluted vinegar on walls will help much. 

On wood:

Molds on wood can be eliminated by using the bleach solution. But since wood, is a porous surface, bleach will not be able to clean the mold from the root or prevent it further.

Vinegar on the contrary can penetrate the wood and remove the mold properly. 

On concrete:

Among bleach and vinegar, bleach is a safer option to use on concrete that has molds on it. Vinegar is great at removing molds but it might damage the cement of concrete made project.

On drywall:

Vinegar can remove mold traces from drywalls’ surface and underneath without ruining its texture.

But bleach should not be used on mold-affected drywalls as bleach will ruin the surface, moreover, it will only clean the mold buildup from the top layer. 

On clothes:

Bleach is not suitable to use on clothes if they are mold infected. Though many people use bleach as fabric cleaner it’s then used in a milder concentration.

To get rid of molds from clothes you can use vinegar. It’s gentle yet strong against molds.

On plastic:

Molds on the plastic surface can be cleared with both bleach and vinegar solution. But since bleach is good for non-porous surfaces, it works better against molds on plastic.

In air conditioner:

Bleach works superbly against molds grown in the air conditioner.

When wiped with a bleach solution, it cleans every visible residue of mold and sanitizes the area. Vinegar too works the same way to eliminate mold spores from the air conditioner without harming the machine. 

In carpet:

Carpet is a soft porous surface so bleach is not the right thing to use to get rid of molds from carpets. Vinegar is better to remove molds deeply from the carpet.

Can you mix bleach and vinegar to get rid of mold?

Yes, you can mix bleach and vinegar to get rid of mold. But the combination comes with negative side effects.  

Bleach and vinegar are two powerful ingredients to work against various fungi such as mold or mildew too. 

Vinegar is full of antifungal properties. It’s very strong against fungus, bacteria, and microorganisms such as molds. Vinegar when applied to mold-affected areas eliminates the fungus and stops its growth. 

Similarly, bleach is used to clean surfaces and appliances that are infected with bacteria, fungus, or microorganisms.  

When mixed, bleach and vinegar become more powerful, and make sure your house is free of molds. But the combination of these two ingredients produces harmful chlorine gas along with a strong odor. 

It can affect health and trigger issues such as breathing difficulty, fatigue, nausea, etc. when inhaled. So combining bleach and vinegar is not encouraged. 

How to use vinegar and bleach to get rid of mold?

Vinegar is a solution of acetic acid with flavored traces. It is a great agent for sanitizing, sterilizing, and stain removal. Whereas, bleach is a combination of sodium hypochlorite and sodium hydroxide. It is usually used for its disinfecting and brightening attributes. 

Vinegar solution usage for mold

Vinegar solution is an effective mold remover. The mild acid concentration in it helps to eliminate mold and prevent a future breakout. 

Here’s how to use vinegar against molds: 

Fill up a spray bottle with vinegar solution:

First, you will need a spray bottle to fill up with white distilled vinegar. The solution should be added with full strength.

Spray the solution on the mold:

Spray the solution on the mold thoroughly.

Let the solution sit:

You need to keep the solution untouched for at least 1 hour before scrubbing or wiping it out. The solution should be set well for the effective removal of mold.

Add baking soda:

You can wipe out the solution. But if any additional scrubbing is required, add one teaspoon of baking soda combined with two cups of water through a spray bottle.


The next step is to scrub it with a brush or a scouring pad. Scrub it until the mold is fully removed.


Last but not the least, rinse the area with water. You need to use warm water here. Then spray the vinegar solution again and let it dry well.

You should not use vinegar solution on cast iron, aluminum, waxed wood, and natural stone. The solution might ruin the surface texture.

Bleach solution usage for mold

Bleach is sued a lot for cleaning and disinfecting purpose. But it mostly works on hard and impermeable surfaces than porous surfaces. However, it’s a quick mold remover. 

The following measures can be followed to use a bleach solution for mold:

Take safety measures:

First of all, remove all the fabric items and soft items from the area to be cleaned. Put on safety glasses, rubber gloves, and a dust mask. Ensure proper air circulation. Damp the moldy area with a disposable wet rug.

Prepare a bleach solution:

The concentration of bleach varies from surface to surface.

For smooth hard surfaces, ½ cup to 1 cup of bleach per gallon of water is sufficient. But for rough surfaces at least 1½ cup of bleach is required per gallon of water.

Fill a spray bottle with the solution:

Make sure that the bottle is clean. Do not add any other cleaners to avoid any unwanted chemical reaction.

Spray the solution:

Spray the bleach solution on the moldy area thoroughly and let it sit for 30 minutes. Reapply the solution if necessary. 


Scrub the surface with a scrub brush and wipe out clean. Rinse the area with clean water and leave it to dry. You can wipe the area with disposable dry rugs. 

Dispose of all the used materials:

All the used materials such as sponges, brushes, rugs, and clothes should be disposed of immediately.

You cannot use bleach on soft porous areas like drywall, carpet, or fabrics. It might damage these. Besides, molds can move deeper to avoid the chemical and re-grow within a short time beneath the surface. Therefore, bleach cannot prevent future outbreaks.

How long does it take vinegar and bleach to terminate mold?

It usually takes take at least 1 hour to a few more for vinegar and bleach to terminate mold.

Bleach is a strong cleaner. It’s as powerful against molds as it’s on bacteria or insects. Bleach solution when used to clean molds takes at least 30 minutes to work properly to remove molds. Within 15 to 60 minutes, there will be no visible mold on the surface.

Vinegar is known as a multi-purpose ingredient. It’s more effective and safe to use on various surface that has grown molds.

Whether it’s black or orange, spot-like or furry thick textured, vinegar can remove mold from the roots and stop its growth for a longer time. For this, you might have to wait 60 minutes or longer.

The duration actually depends on the cleaning solution you’re using, the surface, and mold type. 

Final Thoughts

Bleach and vinegar are used to deal with mold growth in many places. These ingredients are strong and effectively destroy molds from roots. You can use them together or as separate solutions in affected areas. But using vinegar or bleach together can be harmful so safety measures should be taken.