Does vinegar have the ability to kill mold? Discover how 48 Hours and an impromptu experiment at Good Housekeeping found the answer to this question.
Yes, vinegar does kill mold.
During a light-hearted interview with CBS’s forty-eight hours (Dec. 2000), cleaning maven Heloise admitted that she didn’t have all the answers and one that she has been pondering for years…can vinegar kill mold? This lingering question prompted the producers to seek the answer from Gina Marino, Good Housekeeping’s microbiologist. In an impromptu experiment, Marino placed mold in the grout of tiles and allowed it to grow for a few days. The experiment revealed that a 5% solution of household vinegar was effective in killing 90% of the mold.
Because the report did not specify the conditions under which the experiment was conducted or how the results were measured, the complete accuracy of the test is questionable, but it definitely indicates that vinegar does kill mold to some extent.
Killing Mold In Small Areas
With the Environmental Protection Agency informing the public to stop using bleach as a routine practice during mold remediation, this makes vinegar a clear-cut environmental friendly alternative for homeowners everywhere.
The Maids Professional Housecleaning company suggests that when vinegar is used to eliminate mold the following procedures should be followed.
- Using a spray bottle, pour in straight vinegar.
- Spray the entire area that is affected by mold.
- Leave the vinegar on the area without rinsing and allow the area to dry naturally.
- Wipe the area fully with water and allow to air dry.
- The smell from the vinegar will disappear over a short period.
Cleaning Mold In Large Areas Can Be a Health Concern
The use of vinegar to clean mold should only be used in the case of small household instances such as small areas of moldy grout. Even then, you need to be careful that you protect yourself from mold spores and mold inhalation. Cleaning mold releases mold spores into the air, which can become a health concern if inhaled. (Area size according to CDC) If you have a mold issue, you should contact a professional.
“Heloise Hears A Hint.” CBSNews. CBS Interactive. Web. 5 Oct. 2015.
“3 Non-Toxic Ways to Clean Mold – The Maids Blog.” The Maids Blog. 2 May 2012. Web. 5 Oct. 2015. <http://www.maids.com/blog/3-non-toxic-ways-to-clean-mold/>.
“EPA.” A Brief Guide to Mold, Moisture and Your Home. Web. 5 Oct. 2015. <http://www2.epa.gov/mold/brief-guide-mold-moisture-and-your-home#tab-4>.
“Safety and Health Information Bulletins | A Brief Guide to Mold in the Workplace.” Safety and Health Information Bulletins | A Brief Guide to Mold in the Workplace. Web. 5 Oct. 2015. <https://www.osha.gov/dts/shib/shib101003.html>