Mold remover formula

Does vinegar kill mold and mildew? What works, what doesn’t


Mold, often called mold, is a category of fungus that likes to grow in damp areas in and around your home. Shower walls, window sills, and other areas that attract moisture are prime areas for mold growth.

In nature, mold plays an important role in decay organic material like leaves and plant debris, but in your home it can potentially contribute to health problems. Mold exposure is associated with a number of problems such as allergic reactions, respiratory problems and asthma.

Can You Get Rid of Mold Growing in Your Home Using Vinegar? The answer is yes, depending on how much mold you have and the surface it is growing on.

Keep reading to find out when vinegar can be an effective solution for removing mold in your home, how it compares to other options, and when you should call a professional cleaner.

Vinegar has antifungal and antibacterial properties, and it can be a cheap and effective treatment for many types of mold.

Household white vinegar generally contains about 5 to 8 percent acetic acid. Acetic acid is a moderately strong acid with a pH of approximately 2.5 that can disrupt the growth of a wide variety of fungi and other microorganisms.

Research has shown that vinegar is effective in preventing mold growth on fruits and in eliminating certain common household molds, but it is not effective in killing all types of mold.

In a 2015 study, researchers found that vinegar made from 4 to 4.2 percent acetic acid in vinegar was effective in treating Penicillium chrysogenum But no Aspergillus fumigatus. Both are common household molds.

If you find that vinegar doesn’t help you get rid of mold and mildew in your home, you can try one of the other cleaners we’ll look at in this article or call a professional.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends hiring a professional cleaner if the covered area is larger than 10 square feet or approximately 3 feet by 3 square feet.

You can use vinegar safely on a wide variety of surfaces, but we’ll look at some specific surfaces that you should avoid using vinegar on.

Does vinegar kill mold on drywall?

You can safely use vinegar to kill mold on drywall. However, be careful when rubbing so as not to damage the surface underneath.

Does vinegar kill mold on concrete?

Vinegar is generally not recommended for killing mold and mildew on concrete. While it is unlikely to damage the concrete itself, it can damage the surrounding cement.

Does vinegar kill mildew on leather?

Vinegar can be used to kill mold and mildew on leather. Anecdotally, many recommend diluting vinegar with a 1: 1 ratio of water. You can apply the vinegar mixture to a cloth to avoid over-moisturizing and potentially damaging the leather.

The acidity of vinegar can damage some types of surfaces in your home. Do not use vinegar on:

  • Stone counters. Vinegar can tarnish and etch certain stone surfaces such as marble and limestone.
  • Wooden floor. Flooring manufacturers often include warnings not to clean wood floors with vinegar, as it could destroy the protective finish.
  • Electronic screens. Vinegar can damage the anti-glare properties of some screens and can interfere with a touchscreen.
  • Certain types of metals. Vinegar can corrode certain types of metals like aluminum and copper. It is often not recommended on stainless steel.
  • Porous surfaces. Vinegar is unlikely to be effective in cleaning mold from porous or absorbent surfaces. If you notice mold growing on the ceiling tiles or carpet, you will likely need to replace them.

Before cleaning up the mold, it is important to sort out the moisture problem that led to the mold growth in the first place. If you get rid of mold without targeting moisture, it will almost certainly grow back.

Once you’ve fixed the moisture problem, here’s how you can use vinegar to remove mold.

What you will need:

  • undiluted white vinegar with at least 5 percent acetic acid
  • non-porous gloves
  • facial mask
  • Protective glasses
  • spray
  • cleaning cloth
  • soft brush


  1. If possible, open a window to help ventilate the room you are working in.
  2. Put on your protective mask, goggles and gloves.
  3. Pour the undiluted vinegar into a spray bottle. Spray it directly on the moldy surface.
  4. Let the vinegar sit for at least an hour.
  5. Using a soft bristle brush, scrub the moldy surface until the mold loosens. If you are scrubbing a rougher surface, you may need a thicker brush.
  6. Dry the area completely with a clean cloth and discard the used cloth and brush.

Vinegar is one of the many DIY options for getting rid of mold. We’ll take a look at three more cleaners you can use to get rid of mold below. We’ve omitted bleach from the list, even though it has the potential to help you manage mold on hard surfaces.

Although many people use bleach to kill mold, prolonged exposure to bleach fumes can irritate the lungs, skin, and eyes. People with respiratory problems such as asthma may be particularly sensitive to vapors.

While vinegar is often an effective mold cleanser, there are many other household cleaners you can use. Here are some other DIY options.

Tea tree oil

Tea tree oil comes from the leaves of a small tree native to Australia called Melaleuca alternifolia. Tea tree oil contains a number of chemicals, including terpinene-4-ol which has antimicrobial properties.

In a 2015 study, researchers found that tea tree oil was more effective at inhibiting mold growth than vinegar, alcohol, and two types of commercial mold cleaners.

To use tea oils, try mixing a teaspoon of the oil with about a cup of water.

Hydrogen peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is commonly used to disinfect open wounds due to its antimicrobial activity. It also has the potential to inhibit the growth of mold in your home.

In a study, researchers looked at the effects of hydrogen peroxide and several other disinfectants on six common types of fungi found indoors. The researchers concluded that hydrogen peroxide has the potential to disinfect fungi on hard surfaces, but it is unlikely to be effective on porous surfaces.

To clean mold with hydrogen peroxide, you can apply standard 3% hydrogen peroxide directly to the mold with a spray bottle. Let sit for at least 10 minutes and rub.

Baking soda

Baking soda, also known as sodium bicarbonate, has antimicrobial properties that give it the potential to kill household molds.

In a 2017 study, researchers found that sodium bicarbonate was effective in controlling the growth of powdery mildew on hazelnuts.

To use baking soda to kill mold in your home, try making a paste by mixing it with water and applying it directly to the moldy area. Let sit for at least 10 minutes before rubbing.

According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), you can clean small areas yourself, such as a door-sized section of wall or your shower. However, if you have mold in a larger area, it is advisable to seek professional help. You may also need to hire a professional cleaner if mold has entered your heating, air conditioning, or ventilation system.

Mold thrives in damp areas and you can often find it around pipes, leaks, or windows. The best way to prevent mold from growing is to minimize humidity in your home.

  • Inspect your home regularly. Look for signs of visible water damage or mold. Repair leaky pipes or leaks in your roof that can cause water to accumulate.
  • Keep humidity levels under control. Consider using a dehumidifier in damp areas such as a basement. Humidity rate between 30 to 50 percent are ideal for preventing mold.
  • Keep your home ventilated. Use fans in your kitchen and bathroom.
  • Repair or replace leaky windows. Regularly repairing your windows will help prevent mold growth around the frame.
  • Dry your home immediately after a flood. To avoid mold growth, it is best to dry your house 24 to 48 hours after the floods.
  • Add mold inhibitors to the paint. Many home improvement stores sell mold inhibitors that you can add to paints.

If you notice mold growing in your home, it’s important to get rid of it immediately, as inhaling mold spores can contribute to many health issues. Vinegar has the potential to kill many types of household molds in your home. However, if you are dealing with particularly large areas of mold or mildew in your ventilation system, it is a good idea to call a professional to help you deal with them.