Does Borax Kill Mould?

Friday 13th October 2023

Joanna Grimbley-Smith

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A bottle of borax in a laboratory CONTENTS

 

Borax is renowned for its cleaning abilities and is a mainstay in many homes. Despite being a banned substance in the UK, it is a popular mould remover elsewhere. However, it is recommended you always bring in professional cleaners for mould remediation. 

Here at ICE Cleaning, we offer our mould removal services across the UK. Our Dewpoint-accredited mould experts can remove all the mould in your home and significantly improve its air quality. Every service comes with a lifetime guarantee* so if it returns we will get rid of it free of charge. 

Keep reading to explore borax's effectiveness against mould, why it's banned in the UK, and what the best alternatives to it are.

*subject to advisories

What is borax?

Commonly known as sodium tetraborate, borax is a natural white mineral with low toxicity and an alkaline pH level of 9.3. Borax is derived from boron, an essential chemical that plants need for growth and humans require for bones, the immune system, and brain function. 

Beyond cleaning, borax plays a significant role in industries such as glass and ceramics production due to its unique properties that alter surface behaviour. Farmers also frequently utilize it as micronutrient fertilizer. You can find out more about the different uses of borax here

Can borax kill mould? 

As borax is alkaline, it creates an environment unsuitable for the growth and survival of mould spores. Mould favours acidic environments so borax can disrupt its lifecycle by interfering with its metabolism and reproduction processes. Eventually, the borax causes cell death and kills it. 

Why you should not use borax for mould removal

Firstly, borax is a very harmful substance when inhaled or ingested. Exposure to it can put you at risk of health problems including respiratory irritation, infertility, and kidney failure - it can even be fatal. As a result, since 2010, borax has been illegal to sell to the general public in the UK.

Cleaning with it is particularly dangerous. You will have to come in close contact with the substance and may leave some residue behind on the affected area. 

Another problem is that scrubbing with a borax-water solution as recommended online cannot penetrate porous materials, like fabric and upholstery. Mould can grow deep in its pores and evade treatment, so even if the surface mould is removed it will simply grow back. 

Attempting to remove mould yourself, whether with borax or another cleaning hack, can also make the problem worse. Scrubbing the mould, for example, will aggravate it and cause it to release spores. These spores will then spread around your home and cause mould elsewhere. 

Using DIY methods can only address surface-level infestations, as well, leaving hidden spores behind that could lead to recurring outbreaks.

Instead, you should bring in mould remediation professionals to get rid of the mould. With specialist knowledge, equipment, and personal protective equipment (PPE), professionals can safely eradicate all the traces of mould in your home. 

How to prevent mould infestations

The battle against mould does not end with removal. To prevent future infestations, it's crucial to create an environment where mould spores can't thrive.

A critical step is controlling humidity levels within your home. Remember that damp conditions provide fertile ground for mould, so keeping humidity levels below 60% should be a top priority.

Be mindful of activities such as drying clothes indoors or boiling water without lids, as well. They add excess moisture to the air, which encourages mould growth due to high moisture levels. If unavoidable, ensure proper ventilation by opening windows and using extractor fans when necessary.

Adequate airflow plays a significant role, too. Damp-prone areas like bathrooms and basements need to be ventilated while cooking and washing to evaporate any standing water and condensation on surfaces.

It is critical to ensure that vents from appliances are also directed outside rather than into attics or crawl spaces - places where trapped heat could promote further fungal development. Don't forget to fix any leaks immediately since even minor seepages can create habitable environments for new colonies over time.

Despite all precautions taken, if you do spot signs of mould, reach out to professionals promptly before the situation worsens further.

Book your mould removal service today

Although there are many alternatives to removing mould with borax - from bleach to baking soda - you should always bring in professional cleaners for mould cleaning services to deal with your mould problem. 

Our technicians can eliminate all the mould spores on the hard surfaces and the air in your home. They will give you peace of mind that the problem is solved, and our specialist cleaners can advise on how to keep your home mould-free in the future. 

If you would like to find out more about our mould remediation services, call 0208 066 0360 or email us at enquiries@icecleaning.co.uk. Our mould specialists are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 

 

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