Does Vinegar Kill Mold?
In the quest for natural alternatives to harsh chemicals in day to day living, the question of whether vinegar removes mold comes up more and more. Vinegar has long been touted as a natural cleaning agent and even a weed-killing alternative, but it’s not the catch-all that it seems to be. Why? One word…
White distilled vinegar, typically used in household chores, has a PH of about 2.5, making it the most acidic vinegar available. This acid reacts in different ways with various surfaces. Diluted with water, it’s safe on glass, which resists the effects of the acid altogether. Other surfaces are not so resistant. Hardwood floors, for example, will lose their shine over time as the acid breaks down the coating. Rubber seals in appliances (think: dishwasher) and metal items such as knives will also lose the battle against the acid in vinegar.
What does that have to do with mold removal? Mold produces MVOCs or Microbial Volatile Organic Compounds. Vinegar is an acid. There has been little to no research on the effects of vinegar acid interacting with mold MVOCs, such as airborne chemical residue. This is important to note, especially for those prone to chemical sensitivity.
When faced with a mold dilemma, remember that the root of the mold plant needs to be removed in order for the problem to completely go away. This means that a simple wipe-down won’t cut it on any porous surface – including drywall, wood and laminate, paint, etc. Clearing mold from the top of a surface will look nice for a while, but the root remains intact and mold grows right back. Vinegar is not adequate for removing the root of the mold plant on porous surfaces.
Fixing the Source
In addition to mold remediation involving the root, the cause of the mold in the first place needs to be addressed and fixed. Mold loves damp, dark environments with little airflow. Removing mold without changing the environment ensures mold to grow right back. This might involve increasing ventilation, fixing water leaks, or adding a dehumidifier. It depends on the situation.
Treating mold ultimately involves being exposed to mold spores in the air, and potentially spreading them throughout the home or business. The MVOCs produced by mold can lead to biotoxin illness, which includes symptoms that mimic asthma, allergies, and fatigue.
Vinegar fumes are harsh on their own, and they can severely irritate and damage sensitive tissues in the throat and lungs. Though not considered toxic, vinegar in itself is still a strong compound capable of doing damage to the body.
The Good News
There is a safe, effective, chemical-free way to eradicate mold for good — root and all. It’s called Dry Ice Blasting, and MoldPro is proud to be the only mold remediation company in the region that offers it. This natural technique leaves no chemical footprint behind and offers an even safer cleaning alternative than vinegar.