Does white vinegar kill black mould?

autumn leaves
Mould (or, interchangeably ‘mold’) is great for our natural environment, aiding in the breakdown of organic matter. You can see it everywhere outdoors, playing its role in the necessary decomposition for the good of flora and fauna.

The moment it comes past the front door of your home, however, is when it becomes dangerous to your lungs for those with asthma, pulmonary fibrosis or other respiratory issues. It can also be the source of certain allergies.

Be constantly aware of your home’s interior, especially the areas where moisture can linger. True, the upkeep of your dwelling is not a fun job, but mould growth is especially dangerous and can go unnoticed as it quietly and slowly extends its’ mass.
You can combat small areas of black mould with natural cleaners and leave the big jobs to Ontario Mould Specialists.

What is Black Mould?

black mould sporesStachybotrys chartarum is the Latin name for black mould, one of the most common household moulds found in moisture-heavy places on cellulose-rich areas. Cellulose is an organic component of fibres from cotton, paper, paperboard (drywall) and wood pulp. Moulds come in different colour variations: green, grey, black and white being the most numerous. The colour descriptor ‘black’ is also attributed to other types of moulds but Chartarum is the most common of the black moulds. Read our post ‘Indoor Moulds, the Definite Guide’, here.

If you are aware of mould growth early, there are several natural products that will work effectively at getting rid of it. The reality though, is, the mould is a visual cue to fix your moisture problem.

White Vinegar is effective on small areas of black mould:

Before vinegar and its delicious spin-offs were a staple on our salads it was a ‘poor man’s wine’ fermented from other diluted alcohol products. It has been around from the beginning of man’s civilization with uses as varied as culinary, medicinal, and due to the acetic acid in vinegar, cleaning.

Yes, vinegar can be very helpful for cleaning small areas of your early detected mould. Using full strength on a cloth or in a spray bottle will slowly break down the spores. Spray it on, leave it for about an hour, use an old toothbrush or cleaning brush and afterwards wipe it and the mould off. Similarly, it can be used for cleaning clothes.

White Vinegar & Baking Soda are better when used together against black mould:

Make your vinegar even more effective with the addition of baking soda, a granular product. Your concoction will produce an instant visual, its’ bubbling and fizzing properties will clean a bit more deeply. Add ½ to one teaspoon of baking soda to ¼ cup of vinegar and let it sit for ½ hour to an hour. Use an old toothbrush or cleaning brush and afterwards wipe it and the mould off.

There’s no harm in adding more baking soda; leaving a layered paste on the mould for a while may help its ability to clean.

Good to know: Baking soda, sodium bicarbonate, is an alkaline compound and cannot be interchanged with baking powder.

More examples of naturally occurring cleaners that break down a minor, mould-affected area:

Hydrogen Peroxide with baking soda will clean away black mould:

Hydrogen is a natural compound of basically water with an oxygen molecule. Have you ever swished hydrogen peroxide in your mouth? It is a completely safe sterilizer. You could also add baking soda and create a natural type of cleaner for your teeth.

Although, it isn’t a pleasant comparison, the same combination can also be used in your struggle against the early stages of black mould. Baking soda provides physical bulk and a slight abrasiveness to these acidic liquids. Use your brush of choice and wipe. Hydrogen peroxide will naturally fizz when it touches organic bacteria. It is sold in drug stores and beauty sections of department stores.

There is one product you should not mix with hydrogen peroxide: vinegar. It will create a new corrosive type of product that may be more harmful than helpful.

Lemon juice with cream of tartar will remove black mould:

basket of lemons There is a commonality in the products used against mould: acids and abrasives that break down the organic mould. With their citric acid, sunny, happy lemons have a tough ability to eat through small amounts of mould with the bonus of their crisp citrus deodorizing scent.

Cut a couple of lemons and squeeze the juice into a bowl with some cream of tartar (an acidic salt). The question of whether bottled lemon juice is made from actual lemons is answered ‘yes’ by ReaLemon; but with the addition of preservatives.

Teatree Oil with the addition of Borax helps remove minor, black mould areas:

Teatree oil originates from a native Australian Tea tree. Mix a few drops of tea tree oil (found as an essential oil in drug stores and natural food stores) with Borax (a natural cleaner found in grocery store cleaning isles) and dish soap, in a bowl to create a paste. Allow it to sit on the mould (this works well on mildew too) for 15 minutes and use a brush or dish-scrubby and rinse off.

Do not allow Teatree oil around your children; it is poisonous if swallowed.

Any of these mixtures is a great and natural way to combat small amounts of mould in your home. Store-bought remedies may not be any more useful against minor, black mould-affected areas than natural compounds.

If you think mould in your home has grown out of your control, contact us. We’re here to help you with a free visual assessment.


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