Truth or Myth: Household Bleach can eliminate Mold, and you!

sodium-hypochlorite-chemical-label-lb-1592-116Be honest, how many times have you tried to get rid of mold using household bleach?

  • And approximately how long did it take for the mold to resurface again?

Ah! The war against our formidable foe mold can be both tedious and overwhelming, but only if we let it!

Knowledge is Power

Understanding the bare basics of anything tends to provide insight into how to conquer ‘that thing’ from the core!

  • The Thing about Mold

Mold is a fungus that is found in multiple forms in nature. In addition to all of its other characteristic features, it tends to grow in the form of multicellular thread-like structures called hyphae, which have the capacity to penetrate porous surfaces, like drywall, thereby acting analogous to a ‘root’ system.

  • The Thing about Household Bleach

The type of bleach that we typically use at home is chlorine based with sodium hypochlorite as one of its primary components. Chemically, the ionic molecules of the latter are largely unable to penetrate porous substrates.

Check out this awesome resource, “6 Natural, Homemade Mold Treatment Solutions to use Instead of Bleach” by Ryan Poppe

So, does bleach really eliminate mold, you ask?

Well that depends on your definition of the word ‘eliminate’!

By the word ‘eliminate’, are you referring to:

A. The superficial sense of the word, as in:

  • No longer visible to the naked eye (but technically still there via its hyphae system)?


B. A more intricate sense of the word, as in:

  • To eradicate;
  • To obliterate; or
  • To expunge…….roots and all?

Your ability to emerge as a victor in the ‘war against mold’ will depend heavily on the type of surface/substrate that the mold is growing on.

Is it:
• Non-porous, such as glass and tile; or
• Porous: such as drywall, wood, fabric, paper, Styrofoam etc.,

Mold on non-porous surfaces

With no way for mold hyphae to penetrate non-porous surfaces like glass and tile, mold removal can be a simple matter of ‘wiping’ away the unsightly with a wash cloth and a solution of household bleach (sodium hypochlorite) which typically exhibits a broad spectrum of anti-microbial activity (as well as a host of potentially detrimental effects on humans)!

As a matter of fact, since mold hyphae do not have the capacity to penetrate non-porous substrates, why bother wiping away mold with potentially toxic household bleach?

Vinegar, baking soda, soap and several other popular household concoctions could technically get the job done, and are relatively friendlier than household bleach, don’t you think?

Mold on porous surfaces

When mold hyphae penetrate porous surfaces such as drywall however, remediation and removal become a whole new ‘ball game’!

Since sodium hypochlorite, which is one of the primary ingredients in household bleach does not typically have the capacity to penetrate porous surfaces, using bleach as your ‘ammunition’ against mold, only creates a camouflage!

The application of bleach to a moldy drywall surface for instance, simply chemically oxidizes the superficial/visible mold, thereby creating a beautiful façade of ‘Mold be Gone’!

In reality however, just because you can’t see any mold with your naked eye, it doesn’t mean it’s not there!

Remember that with non-porous substrates/surfaces, all the mold hyphae are accessible and can therefore be easily and permanently removed with the swish of a cloth.

In the case of porous substrates however, the hyphae are typically deep seated within porous substrates such as drywall, and therefore are not visible to the naked eyes or easily accessible for that matter!

So don’t be surprised if a few weeks later, out of nowhere, BOO!

  • Here comes mold to haunt you again and again and again and again!

The Harsh Reality

The only way to completely expunge mold that has ‘set up shop’ on porous material like drywall, is to completely discard the infested substrate, in its entirety.

Obviously, the sooner you address the issue, the less you may potentially lose, and the less money you may have to spend!

Last Word

Don’t wait till it’s too late. At the first sign of mold in your home or business, arrange for professional mold remediation, mitigation and removal expertise.

For a free complimentary consultation relative to your mold remediation and removal needs, contact us at (301) 523-9419.

We currently serve all cities within a 30 mile radius of Washington DC including the Washington DC Metropolitan and Northern Virginia Areas.