Why You Should Never Use Bleach to Kill Mold
When we are faced with issues of mold growing in our homes or businesses, it can be daunting. However, you don’t be have to be discouraged or alarmed. Molds and Mildews are a part of the natural biology of the planet and can be managed with a little knowledge and care.
First of all, the mold that you see on the surface is not the whole organism. Molds and mildews can be present much deeper into the object. You only see what is on the surface. In addition, we are constantly surrounded by mold spores. They are everywhere and can often quickly and easily reinfect an area that has not been properly abated. That is why simply wiping mold off does not work.
So what do you do? We all know the lesson. Our Mom’s taught us that using Bleach was the best way to kill mold, but I hate to say it…Mom may have been wrong.
To make bleach, a direct electrical current is sent through a sodium chloride solution (table salt and water). This basically “splits” the atoms leaving chlorine and a caustic soda. Both chlorine and this caustic soda (lye) are extremely dangerous. These two chemicals react together to create what we know as bleach, or Sodium Hypochlorite.
Bleach is a heavily corrosive material capable of irritating the eyes, skin, and the respiratory tract often by simply inhaling the gases it emits. This inhalation has been noted to deteriorate the lungs and esophagus lining in addition to the scarring the respiratory tract. These side effects may not occur to a visibly notable extent with each exposure to bleach, but the chemicals impact is never favorable, especially over a long period of time.
This terribly corrosive material, when applied to organic material will begin to damage it. The burning and slimy feeling one gets when accidentally touching bleach is the corrosive material reacting to the fats and oils in the skin, breaking it down. Luckily, most skin can repair it self. The materials in your home or business cannot.
Furthermore, the household bleach that is sold at the grocery store in not 100% bleach. It is a solution of bleach and water. Pure Bleach would be way too caustic and dangerous for household use. The typical Bleach bought at retail is anywhere from 5% to 8% Sodium Hypochlorite. The rest is water. In addition, bleach rapidly reacts with anything it can possibly oxidize. It also spontaneously decomposes, particularly in the presence of light. Once it reacts, the by-products are sodium, oxygen, in addition to whatever was oxidized, and water.
So when a household bleach is used to kill surface mold on most objects, only the surface is affected, the object may be damaged, and you are left with mostly water. Since water is the number one contributor to mold growth, this very wet organic object that you were trying to clean, is now primed for more mold.
In conclusion, using household bleach to remove mold may be dangerous to those people and animals in proximity of the process. It may actually damage the surface you are trying to clean. Most of all it may not only fail in fixing the problem, it may make it worse by adding more water and contributing to additional mold growth.
The best practice is to contact a professional.