Use Vinegar Not Bleach To Kill Mould
Despite what you have heard to the contrary, household bleach does not kill mould spores... but vinegar does.
I was one of those people who thought that household bleach could be used to kill off mould spores and only recently did I discover that it does not. Even after a heavy cleaning with household bleach, mould spores can remain behind to grow back and form a new colony. Furthermore, by using household bleach to try and remove mould you could be making the situation worse.
DOES BLEACH KILL MOULD?
The answer to this is no. It cleans the surface where mould spores appear but it doesn't get deep enough - especially on porous surfaces - to kill off all the mould spores and this results in a re-occurrence of mould. Household bleach is a combination of chlorine and water and it's the water that mould thrives on. So while the chlorine evaporates it leaves behind moisture that encourages the mould to grow.
Many people ask about using household bleach to kill mould on tiles, but the mould isn't growing on the tiles but in the grout or sealer that surrounds the tile. Mould needs moisture to grow and it thrives in any area where there is moisture, which makes bathrooms particularly attractive and especially bathrooms that lack air circulation. You might think the mould is gone after wiping with bleach but the mould spores are still there, deep in the grout.
DOES VINEGAR KILL MOULD?
Vinegar does kill off mould. Not only that, when used on mould it kills off mould spores as well. White spirit vinegar is acidic enough to kill off over 80% of mould species and that includes black mould, one of the most toxic types of mould you can have in your home. Add to that the fact that you can use white spirit vinegar on most household surfaces, with the exception of granite or marble countertops, natural stone floor or wall tiles, touch-screens on electronic devices, and rubber components in appliances (repeated use).
Never use bleach and vinegar together as this combination will release harmful toxic chlorine vapors.
HOW TO CLEAN OFF MOULD WITH WHITE SPIRIT VINEGAR
To use white spirit vinegar to remove mould from surfaces, have a spray bottle and fill it with 80% vinegar and 20% clean water. Have a couple of buckets on hand with clean water. Spray the infected area and leave it on for about 30 minutes to an hour and then use a cloth to wipe off. Rinse the cloth in the first bucket of clean water and then again in the second bucket of clean water and repeat this until all the mould is cleaned off. This should kill off mould and mould spores.
GOOD TO KNOW: I like to finish off with a solution of 20 drops of tea tree oil in a spray bottle of water and apply this over the cleaned surface and leave it on for about an hour. I then use a clean, dry cloth to wipe over the area.