Does Bleach Make Mould Worse?

Tuesday 27th February 2024

Ellen Warren

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Close-up of someone wearing yellow gloves cleaning mould with a sponge

CONTENTS

In numerous homes suffering from damp or moisture-related issues, mould grows and thrives, leading to health complications and damage to the infrastructure. Bleach is often the first solution people use for mould removal, but it might exacerbate the situation.

At ICE Cleaning, we offer professional mould remediation services across the UK. We are the leading solution against all common household issues like damp, mould, and mildew. Our technicians utilise state-of-the-art technology and solutions to restore your property.

Read on to learn more about how bleach can affect mould and why it may not be the best solution.

Why is mould so common in households?

Mould thrives in warm, damp places with access to nourishment from materials like paper or wood. Our daily routines, including cooking and bathing, unknowingly create the perfect environment for mould spores by supplying warmth, damp, and organic materials.

Additionally, poor ventilation exacerbates the problem by trapping moist air inside. Modern houses, built with energy savings in mind, sometimes do not include enough ventilation to manage moisture effectively, making them vulnerable to mould growth.

Understanding the biological nature of mould and its preferred habitats is crucial to combat this issue. By addressing underlying causes, such as humidity control and improving ventilation, homeowners can significantly reduce the presence of mould within their living spaces.

Why is bleach the go-to solution for mould?

Many people have used bleach to combat mould over the years due to its strong ability to break down substances. This belief stems from its potent chemicals, which make it seem like an effective solution for killing mould.

However, the reality is not as simple. While bleach can kill certain types of surface mould, it is not universally effective across all species. It also fails to address the root cause of most mould problems - excessive moisture.

Using bleach as a mould cleaner often creates more problems, from staining to improving the resistance of the mould itself.

For example, on porous surfaces such as wood or drywall, bleach may remove mould but cannot penetrate deeply enough to eradicate the underlying problem. Using bleach also fails to prevent future growth if underlying humidity issues are unresolved.

Can bleach make mould worse?

While bleach may appear to remove mould by whitening its colour, it does not always kill the root of the problem. This superficial action can mislead homeowners into thinking they have eradicated mould when live spores remain.

Bleach's volatile nature can damage household materials, making them more vulnerable to mould's spread. Using bleach might be effective initially, but its harshness can gradually wear down certain surfaces. 

Porous materials that mould spores infiltrate will only degrade, becoming a more attractive space for future mould colonies. There is also a chance that the mould will react to the bleach by strengthening itself, becoming more resistant to the chemicals over time.

Is it dangerous to clean mould with bleach?

Whilst bleach can remove surface mould on non-porous surfaces, it cannot effectively eliminate mould on porous materials like wood or drywall because the mould roots penetrate deep into these materials.

Additionally, bleach can produce harmful fumes and irritate the skin and eyes. You must use bleach in a well-ventilated area, wear protective gear such as gloves and goggles, and never mix bleach with other cleaning products, particularly ammonia, as this can create toxic gases.

In many cases, it is advisable to seek professional help for mould remediation, especially if the mould infestation is extensive or if you have health concerns related to mould exposure.

Are there safer methods for cleaning mould?

Whilst it is impossible to eliminate mould with household cleaning products, you can prevent it with certain cleaners or by removing mildew before it becomes mould.

Eco-friendly cleaners are good for this as they contain natural ingredients known for their anti-fungal properties. Tea tree oil and vinegar are other notable examples, each can kill surface-level mould and mildew without leaving harmful residues behind. 

Professional remediation services offer another layer of assurance. Specialists in this field use advanced techniques and tools to identify, treat, and prevent mould infestations.

The benefits extend beyond health; these methods are kinder to surfaces and have less environmental impact than traditional chemical-based options. Opting for green cleaning solutions or expert assistance allows people to tackle mould growth with an emphasis on health and environmental preservation.

How to prevent mould

By changing small habits in your everyday life and taking more care during activities you conduct around the house, you can prevent mould from starting. You can learn to maintain a healthy and stable household by taking the following actions:

  • Install extractor fans in kitchens and bathrooms
  • Open windows to allow ventilation
  • Wipe down wet surfaces or condensation
  • Dry out wet areas after a spill
  • Use dehumidifiers in high-humidity areas
  • Address leaks or structure instability immediately
  • Dry clothes outdoors or on a heated clothes horse
  • Ensure there are gaps between the furniture and walls
  • Regularly clean the home

Frequently asked questions

Why should I not use bleach on mould?

Bleach whitens mould and fails to kill it at the root. It leaves spores behind, potentially worsening the problem.

Can you leave bleach on mould?

No, leaving bleach can damage surfaces and will not stop mould growth.

What permanently kills mould?

Professional mould removal services will eliminate mould properly and prevent its return.

Can other chemical cleaners kill mould?

No, using chemicals on mould can make it more resistant and stronger - making it difficult to remove.

Get in touch

For effective mould cleaning services, you can rely on our team here at ICE Cleaning. Our Dewpoint-accredited technicians can discover the root of the mould, eliminating it and ensuring your home remains mould-free going forward.

To learn more about our mould removal services, get in touch with our team today at 0208 066 0360 or enquiries@icecleaning.co.uk. We operate nationwide, offering guidance 24/7, all year round.

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