Should I Use Vinegar On Mold – Does Vinegar Kill Mold?

Updated on 20-Feb-2024

Vinegar – a natural mold cleaner

When considering using vinegar for mold cleanup, it’s important to understand its capabilities and limitations. White distilled vinegar, typically with around 5% acidity, is recommended for killing mold. It’s noted for its antifungal and antibacterial properties and can kill over 80% of mold species, including some potentially hazardous molds like black mold. However, it’s advised not to use vinegar on surfaces that can be damaged by its acidity, such as natural stone, waxed wood, cast iron, or aluminum. Approved by The United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) .

Effective Use of Vinegar for Mold Removal


According to some research, vinegar will only prevent mold growth on fruit and remove some household molds .

Vinegar is an aqueous solution that consists of acetic acid and other compounds.

Acetic acid is a strong acid that can stop fungi and other microorganisms from growing, so vinegar is therefore antifungal and antibacterial.

However, it can only tackle mold on surfaces and cannot kill airborne spores.

Vinegar can be used to kill mold on drywall and leather, but it may break down finishes on some surfaces like wooden floors .

Vinegar is safe for use on most porous and non-porous surfaces to prevent and kill small spots or patches of mold .

However, it is not recommended that you use vinegar to remove mold as it can be ineffective, damage your property, and may even put your health at risk

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Vinegar is most effective on nonporous surfaces and is not recommended for porous materials where it can’t reach mold beneath the surface. It’s also important to address the underlying moisture issue that led to the mold growth to prevent it from coming back. Vinegar is not recommended for use on concrete as it may damage the surface, and caution is advised when using it on wood or leather.

For effective mold removal with vinegar, the suggested method is to apply undiluted white vinegar directly to the mold, let it sit for at least an hour to absorb, and then scrub off the mold. Afterward, a follow-up with a baking soda solution can help clean any remaining mold and stains. It’s crucial during this process to protect yourself from mold spores by wearing gloves, a mask, and goggles.

Vinegar vs. Traditional Chemicals

When considering traditional mold removal methods, which often rely on harsh chemicals like bleach, vinegar emerges as a hero in the eco-friendly arena. Its natural antifungal and antibacterial properties make it an attractive option for the health-conscious homeowner.

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The traditional approach to mold removal typically involves the use of chemicals that can be harsh on the environment and potentially harmful to human health. These chemicals, while effective at killing mold, often come with warnings about ventilation and contact with skin. For those looking to maintain a green household, these methods might not align with their values or health priorities.

Vinegar, on the other hand, offers a gentler yet effective alternative. It’s a ubiquitous household staple that’s biodegradable and safe for use around children and pets, a feature that’s increasingly important for those looking to reduce their ecological footprint. Unlike some chemical solutions, vinegar doesn’t emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that can contribute to indoor air pollution and health problems.

Moreover, vinegar doesn’t just kill surface mold; it can penetrate to destroy mold at the roots. This is particularly relevant in the case of nonporous surfaces, where mold’s presence is not just on the surface but also deeper within. The acetic acid in vinegar is strong enough to disrupt the growth and proliferation of mold, making it an effective solution for long-term mold management.

Another point in favor of vinegar is its accessibility. While specialized mold removal products can be costly and sometimes hard to find, vinegar is inexpensive and readily available in most grocery stores. This ease of access, combined with its effectiveness, positions vinegar as a superior choice for routine mold cleanup tasks.

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It’s important to note, though, that vinegar is not a one-stop solution for all mold problems. In cases of severe infestations or mold that’s penetrated into porous materials like wood, professional assessment and removal may be necessary. But for regular maintenance and small areas of mold, vinegar can be an ideal, health-friendly choice.

As we embrace more sustainable living practices, vinegar’s role in home maintenance can be seen as part of a larger shift towards natural and safe home cleaning solutions. Its efficacy, combined with its non-toxic nature, presents a compelling case for those looking to make environmentally responsible choices without compromising on cleanliness.

In summary, vinegar can be an effective and budget-friendly method for cleaning small mold infestations. Still, it’s essential to know when to call in mold removal professionals for larger infestations or when mold is present in HVAC systems or other complex areas. For an extensive mold problem, especially one that covers an area larger than 10 square feet, professional remediation services are advised.

Tackling mold can often be a DIY task, but there are situations where calling in professional mold remediation services like Ultimate Mold Crew is the prudent choice.


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