Bleach Mold Myth
read "The Truth About
Bleach is Ineffective
to Kill Mold on Porous Surfaces and Building Materials
such as wood, plywood, paneling, ceiling tiles, drywall,
paper backing of insulation, and carpeting, all of which are
good food for
mold to eat.
real-world reports from bleach users worldwide about the failure of bleach
to kill mold growth:
whole back of the house grows mold on the lower bottom of the walls. I
bleach it and it comes right back."
---F.D. on Jan. 21, 2006.
---"How can i
prevent mold around the windows from coming back after I clean it with
clorox and water? After about three months ii can see it starting to come
back? I see different colors of it. What can I do to stop it?"---D.B. on
Jan. 12, 2006.
---"I live in a
half double and I recently discovered mold in my home. In my downstairs
living room and in my upstairs bedroom. I cleaned the area with
bleach and within a few days the white hairs were growing back."---D.W. on
Nov. 17, 2004.
can forward you pics of the walls, which by the way I scrubbed with a
bleach mixture, then sealed & repainted, the black & fuzzy grey mold is
growing back. I know it is the mold making me sick, I never suffered from
any of this before in my life."---R.K. on Nov. 21, 2004.
---"Mold grows all over the baseboards of
the downstairs. In the closets and on all the contents in the closets. It
grows on the sofas and the pillows on the sofas. It actually grows on any
and everything down stairs. I have cleaned everything with lysol and
bleach and yet it returns."---K. in Tennessee on Nov. 22, 2004.
air conditioner was leaking this summer and caused water to run down my
apt. wall, I now have mold on the wall, carpet, and surrounding woodwork
despite trying to treat it with bleach."---D.M. on Nov. 23, 2004.
---"My mother called the landlord and told
him that there was brown stuff growing on the walls, and he said clean it
with bleach and water. My mother is constantly cleaning the walls
with bleach because it keeps coming back."---J.O. on Nov. 24, 2004.
apartment manager sent a maintenance man up and he wiped off it off
with bleach. Well, it keeps coming back, just noticed that in our
bedroom where we all sleep mold started develop on the walls near the
floor."---L.D. on Nov. 29, 2004
---"We tried bleach on the mold in our bathroom, but other than emit a
nasty smell throughout the condo, it did nothing."---E.T, Florida on Dec.
every single window seal in my house, we have mold that appears every
week. I have been cleaning it off with bleach, but I want to know how to
make it stop. All the windows are only 2-3 years old."---A.M., on Dec. 5,
---"Bleach works for a while but the mold
keeps coming back." D.W. on Dec. 8, 2004, from eastern North Carolina.
---"There was also mold growing on the walls
behind my mirrors. This has been noted to my land lord. The landlord's
maintenance employees sprayed it with bleach, and now the mold is back .
My family's health has not been the best from living with mold."--G.S., on
Dec. 10, 2004.
used clorox and Kilz on the growing mold on wall and baseboards and
windows, but it keeps coming back!
Bleach and Kilz don't help stop mold."---H.M., on December 10, 2004
is mold growing on my basement walls a little at a time. I always wipe it
off with bleach but it eventually grows back (the walls are dry wall)."---D.M.,
on December 11, 2004.
had a lot of mold on my walls. It probably was about 20 inches high from
base board. I always cleaned it with bleach and it took it off for a while
but always came back."---B.N., on Dec. 27, 2004.
---"A month ago the apartment maintenance
men cleaned the mold on the wall by our daughters crib with bleach. Since
then, we have found, 4 more spots of mold, on the same wall."---K.O., on
Dec. 29, 2004.
have a really gross looking mold (I think it’s a mold) growing in the
corner of my shower, I believe originating from the tile grout. It looks
like two pale yellow macaroni noodles stuck together. They are hollow and
about 1 inch each. They appeared literally overnight, for the second
time, despite heavy cleaning and bleaching."---M.S., Los Angeles,
California, on Dec. 29, 2004.
am 7 months pregnant and also have a 2 year old son and all of us have
seemed to be sick since we moved here. The manager has only wiped the mold
away with bleach and told us to do so also if it comes back..... which I
have been doing every 3-5 days, that’s how long it usually takes to
reappear."---R.C., on Jan. 3, 2005
have scrubbed several times with straight bleach and the mold just keeps
returning."---D.D., on Jan. 4, 2005.
have a severe mold problem growing in the basement. We have washed the
walls time and time again with bleach and water, but it never seems to do
any good."---S.P., on Jan. 5, 2005.
---"I have tons of mold in my classroom.
During the summer, I scraped it off, bleached it, and painted it. It
grew back within 3 days."---C.B. on January 5, 2005.
---"We soon noticed one of the climbing vine
houseplants had a fluffy white mold growing atop it's "climbing pole."
We've noticed that the surface of some of the bricks were covered with a
white powder, and unfortunately doused the bricks with bleach after
removing the plants. This caused a fluffy white overgrowth that was much
worse than the first."---R.L. on January 5, 2005.
---"We have a window mold problem. We have
cleaned the tracks with bleach and it comes back."---K.S. on Jan. 6, 2005.
---"Bleach seems to help control the mold
only for a month or so."---P.R., on Jan. 7, 2005.
---"The landlord recommended bleach which
didn't get rid of the mold---it's growing back."---A.M. on Jan. 11, 2005.
---"I have been bleaching the mold and
scrubbing the effected areas (the entire attic!) on a daily basis.
But it keeps coming back."---R.B. on Jan. 12, 2005
---"The mold spread over time and my wife
tried to clean it with bleach having no success."---J.A., on Jan. 12,
is black mold in the shower at all times. I bleach it and it goes away for
a day or so and then reappears."---C.H. on Jan. 12, 2005.
occasionally spray the moldy basement cement walls with clorox bleach.
The clorox only seems to work for a month or two."--- A.B. on Jan. 13,
have mold in my bathroom (ceiling and upper wall) and have tried bleach
water and repainted with Kilz. The mold is returning."---T.L. on
Jan. 13, 2005.
four walls are covered pretty much floor to ceiling along with the
ceiling. Like many others, I have cleaned with bleach only to have the
mold return."---D.C. on Jan. 14, 2005.
cleaned with bleach but there is still mold in the house. I have been very
nauseus and throwing up every morning."---L.O.
on Jan. 14, 2005
spray will take it away but the mold comes back."---T.T. on Jan. 14, 2005.
---"A black powdery mold, growing in circle
clusters keeps growing and growing. bleach doesn't work. I want to be able
to kill it for good."---K.M.
on Jan. 15, 2005.
mother, who is a nurse and here on vacation, came over to our apartment
and freaked out, saying that she smelled and detected mold in our window
ledges, after I had just bleached it less than a month ago. So the mold
has grown back since then."--M.P. on Jan.16, 2005.
---"On the front porch of my daughter's home,
there was mold all over. She cleaned with bleach and it came back."---A.C.
in North Carolina on Jan. 16, 2005.
the building there are now several areas as large as 2 to 3 feet in
diameter of what appears to be a white mold substance coming up through
the concrete. This substance cakes up 2 to 3 inches high. My rental
manager has tried treating this with bleach and it has not stopped it from
re-occurring."---J.C. on Jan. 17, 2005.
cement garage floor (1st time ever) has white fuzzy mold all over it.
First I washed it with diluted bleach, the next day it came back. I
just poured straight bleach on it but it still is coming back."---S.H. in
California on Jan. 18, 2005.
have plaster walls throughout the home, and have been cleaning the mold
with vinegar, bleach and water -- the mold seems to disappear, but within
weeks it is back again." T.L. in Canada on Jan. 18, 2005.
tried the bleach method, and it didn't work."---H.B. on Jan. 25, 2005.
---The maintenance man
comes and cleans the mold off with bleach water, but as of yet nothing is
being done to fix this 'growing' problem." ---L.C. on Jan. 29, 2004.
have tried bleach and the mold killers from Home Depot. I sealed the
moldy walls with a deep penetrating oil primer on the cinder blocks after
using the mold killer...None of these things have stopped the mold."---S.H.
on Feb. 3, 2005.
maintenance men for my building were the ones who pointed it out to me as
mold. They did this in December,. 2003. They said to treat the mold with
bleach and I did but it keeps coming back."---J.L. in Massachusetts on
Feb. 3, 2005.
---"We are able to
completely remove the black spots when we clean the ceiling with Lysol
Bathroom Cleaner (with bleach) but it’s only a matter of a week or two
before it’s back again."---K.O. on Feb. 4, 2005.
---"I tried bleach and wire brush. It looked
fairly well but after 24 hours the mold on the front wall is starting to
grow back."---J.K. on Feb. 4, 2005
---"I spray the wood walls with
bleach, but as I have learned via the web, bleach is a myth. Please
give me some advice as to how I can kill mold effectively. It is such a
shame to live in Hawaii and have to spend my days cleaning mold off the
inside walls."---D.K. in Hawaii on Feb. 7, 2005.
began to notice mold growing on the window casings and the window sills. I
would wipe it down with bleach water, but it soon would return."---A.S. on
February 8, 2005
---" I tried to kill the mold in my house with bleach but it
didn't seem to help at all."---J.D. on Feb. 14, 2005.
husband washed the walls and windows with bleach (which obviously doesn't
work because the mold is of course growing back now)."---D.L. in Florida
on Feb. 15, 2005.
have cleaned the wall mold up with diluted bleach, but it has returned
worse."--J.P. on Feb. 16, 2005
have a tenant that has a problem with grey mold in one room, They
would bleach and then the next day its back."---B.W. on Feb. 17, 2005
need to know how to remove mold from the outside of my house. I have used
bleach and Kilz and it keeps returning every year."--E.H. on Feb. 22,
i noticed the mold, I washed it off with bleach. I also used a product
called 'stopz'--- its an oil based paint which stops stains from bleeding
though the paint. I painted the wall about the first week of Nov and I
though that the bleach would get rid of the mold. About 3 weeks later it
came back even blacker and fuller than before."---L.F. on March 1, 2005.
---"We are finding mold all over
our house. Is it safe to live here? We have just finally decided to check
into it, because most of us are sick with many of the mold symptoms. I
have cleaned it when it has popped up with bleach, but it seems to be
getting worse."---C.B. on March 2, 2005.
black and repeatedly grows back after being sprayed every few months with
bleach."---E.K. on March 5, 2005
am very concerned about this mildew that I have in my apartment.
Almost every week I clean it off with bleach and hot water and it still
returns."---N.B. on March 12, 2005.
have have an ongoing problem with all of our outside walls getting black I
don’t have a picture but I can describe it as being like black soot I
clean the walls with bleach but it returns."---C.B.on March 12, 2005.
---"I live in an apartment and my
bedroom wall consistently grows mildew the owner tells me to clean it off
with bleach but it continues to grows. Of course I called and complained
finally they sent out a painter to spray paint over the walls and guess
what the mildew came back!"---C.A. on March 15, 2005
---"We have tried bleach water
and it temporarily removes some of the mold but it grows back."---J.J. on
March 21, 2005
started seeing MOLD little black/Brown patches in my shower...looks like
it was also underneath the tile caulking!! like the landlord was trying to
cover it up!!!! I scrubbed with bleach and sprayed Lysol ... it was
back with in a week..."---S.S. on March 26, 2005.
---"In my room I have black mold that grows
about six inches up some of the walls. We bleach it and we have painted
over it but it always returns."---D.P. on March 30, 2005
---"I live in the
Sacramento area of California and I have a problem with mold growing on
the outside of my home. Last year I talked to the
paint company (Sherwin Williams) that supplied the paint for our homes and
they said use a bleach water solution to get rid of the mold. I washed by
hand last year about 1/3 of my home with this bleach/water solution. This
year it is back bigger than ever. I would have to wash 2/3's to 4/5’s on
my home now."---S.H., Sacramento, California, on April 13, 2005.
cleaned the mold with Clorox and a toothbrush. Within 3 days, the mold
reappeared about 4 inches away, I did the same thing and it reappeared
about 3 days later."--K.N. on April 17, 2005
year we have a black mold returning on the siding in all
areas---North-South-East-and West sides. We have washed it with
bleach and then re stained. But that didn't work."---A.K. on April
---"We would spray bleach on the
mold and every other day it would grow back."---L.M. on April 17, 2005.
found some mold in a corner about 2 months ago and the maintenance man
told me to clean it with bleach water so i did but it came back worse."---C.S.
on May 1, 2005
---- "No matter how much bleach I use, it
keeps coming back," --- S.B. on May 18, 2005
some black mold on the ceiling of my carport. It is a
open one facing the west side. What's the best way to get rid of it? I
have tried bleach that did not work. I bough a special paint, but the mold
came back.''---J.V. on May 30, 2005
have a little black mildew and a bit of white fuzzy mold in my basement.
The white stuff has broken right through the Kilz paint that was applied
after cleaning with bleach."---L.H. on June 14, 2005
---"There is white and tan fungi (not mold) on the joists and flooring under the
house, possibly Serpula lacrimans, which we sprayed with full strength
household bleach last year before closing the place up. I had also placed a
layer of clear plastic sheeting over the entire crawlspace sand floor. Of course
this was a huge mistake because the water component of the bleach was standing
in puddles over the whole plastic liner when we opened the place up this year,
and the encrustation by fungi is way worse."---B.M. [Michigan] on August 17,
month ago I noticed mold growing inside a kitchen cupboard and on the
surrounding drawers , I took everything out and cleaned the mold with a
bleach mix, (which I have no read might not have been a good idea), dried
everything, and left the cupboard open for a week. The mold is now
back."---L.K. on August 20, 2005
---"I was under the
impression that bleach was supposed to kill mold, so we cleaned the bottoms of
all the furniture with bleach that was slightly diluted with water. I
thought that would kill the mold and keep it from coming back, at least for a
while. Apparently not, because its back again."---D.K. on August 23, 2005.
---"I have tried to clean some wood paneling in a basement. Mold seems to
grow back in a couple of days. I cleaned it with straight bleach. I
have also tried polish and Mop and Glow floor cleaner. It seems to come
back every time." ---R.G. on August 30, 2005
---"There is a huge mold problem in the bathroom and in September of 2004 the
owner brought over some sort of bleach solution. After using the solution
for almost a year the mold continues to come back. I use the solution at
least once every three weeks and the mold seems to be getting worse."---T.S. on
Sept. 3, 2005.
---"Mould is present on my furniture (mainly on the wooden furniture) caused by
the flat where I live being damp. I have tried to remove it with warm
water and bleach and have purchased a dehumidifier to combat the damp but it
keeps coming back."---C.B. in the United Kingdom on Sept. 3, 2005.
maintenance guy came with a small bucket of bleach. When he took the
cabinets off the wall, I looked up into the wall. The patch of black mold
went all the way up into the second floor. I was extremely skeptical that
he could fix this with a bucket of bleach, but he *insisted* he could.
Well, of course, the mold is back, worse than ever. It has invaded the a/c
ducts (you can see it), the kitchen, and both bathrooms."---J.D. on Sept. 4,
---"I have areas of the concrete that keeps
growing a white mold/fungus(?) that I can't get rid of. I've sprayed it
with bathroom cleaner w/bleach, lysol, & also diluted bleach & water. It
keeps growing back"---K.V. on Sept. 13, 2005.
---"I have been repeatedly cleaning the mold with the
Clorox Clean Up product and spraying with Lysol and nothing seems to be getting
rid of it."---S.S. on September 27, 2005.
the shower area there is a pink type of mold. I have never seen it before.
What is it and can your product help. I have used bleach, Tilex, scrubbed
it and it still returns."---K.B. on September 28, 2005
flooded. We installed a sump pump which is working but mold grew on all the
cracks in the cement basement floor. I bleached the cracks but the mold grew
back within a few days."--L.L. on October 31, 2005.
Chlorine Bleach is ineffective in
killing mold on porous-surfaced building materials [wood, drywall,
insulation paper, ceiling tiles, etc.] for at least four reasons:
It is too
diluted and thus too weak to permanently kill mold unless the mold is simply sitting on top
of a hard surface like a counter top or sink. Even a
scientific study paid for by
Clorox [biggest manufacturer of chlorine bleach] concluded:
"The study results confirm that
denaturing the mold spores with a dilute chlorine bleach solution appears to be the most
effective and efficient way to reduce mold allergen on hard surfaces.
killing power chlorine bleach does have is diminished significantly as the bleach sits in
warehouses and on grocery store shelves or inside your home or business [50% loss in killing
power in just the first 90 days inside a never opened jug or container] Chlorine ions
constantly escapes through the plastic walls of its containers.
ion structure also prevents chlorine from penetrating into porous materials such as dry wall
and wood--- It just stays on the outside surface, whereas mold has protected enzyme roots
growing inside the porous construction materials. When you spray porous surface molds
with bleach, ONLY the water in the water solution soaks into the wood while the bleach
chemical sits atop the surface, gasses off, and thus only partially kills the surface layer
of mold while the water penetration of the building materials fosters further mold growth.
Chlorine Bleach is NOT registered with the EPA as a disinfectant to kill mold.
You can verify that important fact yourself when you are unable to find an EPA registration
number for killing mold on the label of any brand of chlorine bleach.
"Bleach is actually a poor cleaning agent and can be inactivated by
organic material..." reported the Indoor Air Unit, Environmental
Health Division, MINNESOTA DEPT. OF HEALTH, in its report
"Recommended Best Practices for Mold Investigation in Minnesota
Schools," November, 2001.
New University Study Discovers That
is Ineffective In Killing Mold on Wood [a porous surface]
"While bleach is often
recommended for remediation of surface mold on wood, our [university research study] results
illustrate that the treatment does not eliminate the surface microflora,"
is the conclusion of the Oregon State University study of the effects of chlorine bleach on
mold growth on Douglas fir wood [an important timber crop in the state of Oregon]. The
research study was conducted by Professor Jeffrey Morrell, Dept. of Wood Science, Oregon
State University, as assisted by Adam Taylor [graduate research assistant] and Camille
Freitag [Senior Research Associate], as published in Forest Products Journal, 54:4,
Bleach as a mold disinfectant is best used
on hard surfaces such as in the kitchen and bathroom for countertops, tubs and shower glass,
and other hard surfaces. In addition, successful mold remediation is much more than simply
killing mold. Learn the 25 steps for safe and effective
Comparison of Commercial Products
versus Home-Made Alternatives such as using Bleach
Often people choose to use home-made
alternatives to commercial cleaning products because they believe that naturally occurring
or naturally derived substances are less toxic and better for the environment than
commercial products. However, scientists have not found a correlation between naturalness,
toxicity, or environmental compatibility. In fact, some of the most toxic substances in
existence are naturally occurring substances. Furthermore, commercial products are tested in
terms of effectiveness, safety, and environmental compatibility. Nonetheless, if you choose
to use a homemade cleaning solution, you MUST use precautions.
In addition to the factors listed in the
following table, there are safety factors that should be considered before making or using a
homemade cleaning product. For instance, you should NEVER mix cleaning solutions. This is
especially important because products that are safe when used separately can become
hazardous if mixed with another product. An example of this type of product is chlorine
bleach. NEVER mix chlorine bleach or a product containing chlorine bleach with ammonia or
any product containing ammonia or with any acidic products such as toilet bowl cleaners. If
these products are mixed, toxic gases can be released. Furthermore, mixing household
chemicals can also result in heat or explosion or household chemicals can become less
effective if mixed with another chemical. Still yet, some household solutions simply do not
work well or at all. This is of particular concern when individuals are trying to disinfect
a surface, or kill disease causing microorganisms.
The following table outlines some of the
advantages and disadvantages of commercial products and homemade alternatives.
|Meet Federal Safety Regulations
||Not Subject to Federal Regulations
|Proper Precautionary Labeling
||No Precautionary Labeling
|Ingredients Known to Poison Control Centers
||Ingredients May Not be Known to Poison Control Centers
|Child-Resistant Closures Where Needed
||Usually No Child-Resistant Closures
|Packaging Compatible with Formulation
||Packaging May Not Be Compatible
||Product May Degrade in Package
|Won't Grow Harmful Bacteria
||May Grow Harmful Bacteria
|Won't Harm Goods When Used as Directed
||May Harm Valuable Possessions
|Careful Quality Control
||Varies By Consumer Skill
|Evaluated for Safety and Environmental Compatibility
||Not Evaluated for Safety or Environmental Compatibility
Source: The Consumer Products Handbook: A
Comprehensive Guide to Today's Household Chemical Products. (1992)
Chemical Specialties Manufacturers Association, Inc
Disadvantages of Using Chlorine Bleach
The following disadvantages of using
chlorine bleach were published "Bleach Usage" on Facility-maintenance.com---
Chlorine bleach lacks the ability to cut through dirt. A surface
or object being cleaned and disinfected must first be cleaned if bleach is going to be used
as disinfectant, adding time and labor costs to any project. “Organic material readily
inactivates these disinfectants, so the surface must be cleaned first,” said one industry
consultant. “You have to essentially double the time that it should take to clean and
disinfect a soiled surface.”
[In a 2004 study of five different
household products to try to clean a moldy shower curtain, The Wall Street Journal
recently reported that the least effective product was chlorine bleach.]
More disadvantages of chlorine bleach are as follow---
Bleach loses strength
rapidly: Carol Bush, area manager for contract cleaner Central Property Services,
Pittsburgh, said a bleach/water solution left on a shelf for any period of time will lose
its effectiveness. At the same time, said cleaning industry educator William Griffin,
Cleaning Consultant Services Inc, Seattle, bleach loses its effectiveness quickly when being
used, “gassing off” before most disinfecting can be accomplished.
Bleach can hide dirt:
The bleach can make some soil transparent, leading a cleaner to think he/she has actually
cleaned a surface when in fact the soil remains there, said Michael Smith, academic
custodial supervisor, Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA.
Bleach damages floor
finishes: Bleach attacks floor coatings, eating away at their effectiveness.
Bleach damages fibers,
Bleach corrodes hard
surfaces: Metals and other surfaces can not only be corroded, but discolored.
Bleach causes health
concerns: Improper use of bleach – either using too much or mixing it with certain
products – such as those that contain ammonia hydrochloric acid, acetic acid and phosphoric
acid – can create hazardous health conditions.
[Another bleach health
hazard: bleach can
Mold Victim Rights Association:
Are you a MOLD VICTIM because you are:
1. Working in a moldy workplace?
2. Renting a moldy rental house, apartment, or condo?
3. Sick from staying in a moldy hotel, motel, or resort room?
4. Living in a moldy home purchased from a seller or new home builder
who failed to disclose known mold infestations?
5. Making mortgage payments to a lender for a moldy house, condo, or
6. Being unable to pay for needed mold remediation because your
insurance company has wrongfully denied your water or mold damage
7. Living or working in a moldy house or building that was improperly
or incompletely mold remediated by a mold remediation company?
8. Sick from living or working in a building water and mold damaged by
a negligent building contractor such as a roofing, plumbing, or air
9. Attending school or teaching or working in a school that is
Get mold justice plus health-saving access to over 2,000 mold trained
and experienced doctors across the USA and Canada by joining the
Mold Victim Rights Association.
What should you use to kill and
remove mold effectively?
You can use a low cost Mold Home Remedy Recipes---available
at Mold Mart.
The report is only $15
and it will save you hundreds of dollars compared to buying expensive
Also, you should learn
the 25 steps recommended for safe and
For more info on bleach
and mold, please read---
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