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Cleaning Mold with Vinegar: The Ultimate Guide for Mold-Free Home

The mold that often appears in the dark, damp corners of your living spaces, showers, dishwashers, or washing machines can actually be more harmful than it looks like. It can cause serious health problems, and cause damage to your property if not spotted and removed.

Luckily, there’s no need to panic, as you have a powerful solution against mold growth right in your kitchen cabinets. Simple white vinegar can kill many different mold species, and help you get rid of it in no time.  

Cleaning Mold With White Vinegar

White vinegar is most effective when it’s used undiluted, which means you don’t need to mix it with water. However, be careful as its mild acidity can pose risks to certain materials and surfaces like aluminum, cast iron, waxed wood, or natural stone, potentially damaging them.

Before you start cleaning, collect the necessary tools and ingredients like white vinegar, an empty spray bottle, scrub brush, and protective gloves and masks. 

Step 1: Safety measures

Mold exposure and vinegar’s acidic properties can be harmful to your health, especially if mold spores become airborne. Take care and use gloves, safety glasses, and a mask covering your mouth and nose.

Step 2: Apply the vinegar

Fill the empty spray bottle with undiluted white vinegar, and cover the mold-affected area. Saturate the mold completely, and allow the vinegar to sit for about an hour, as it requires time to saturate the mold thoroughly.

Step 4: Scrub the mold away

Use a scrub brush or a sponge to gently scrub the mold away from the affected area after the vinegar has had time to work its magic. This will remove the loosened mold and stains. At the end, rinse the area with clean warm water while keeping your protective gear on.

Step 5: Finalize the process

Finally, spray the cleaned area once more with undiluted vinegar and allow it to air dry. This additional treatment will help eliminate any remaining mold and serve as a preventive measure against the new mold growth.


A cleaning crew member is cleaning mold.

Cleaning Mold with Vinegar and Baking Soda

Baking soda is another amazing ingredient that you can find in your household to easily beat mold and mildew, and on top of everything, it’s great for standard cleaning.

Mix 2 tablespoons of baking soda with 500 ml of water for regular cleaning, and if you’re dealing with tough black mold, mix up baking soda with vinegar as these two make a powerful and environmentally friendly pair that can handle various types of molds.

Here are some simple steps to guide you through the process: 

  • Before you begin, put on a mask, hand gloves, and eye protection to avoid any irritation, especially if you have sensitive skin.
  • Mix one tablespoon of baking soda with one cup of water to create a cleaning solution.
  • Pour the solution into a spray bottle for easy and even application on the moldy areas.
  • Apply the solution onto the affected spots and let the baking soda sit for 2 to 3 hours, or overnight for tougher stains.
  • Scrub and rinse thoroughly the area with clean water to remove any residue or baking soda leftovers.
  • Wipe the cleaned area and keep it dry. Ventilate your bathroom regularly by opening windows or using an exhaust fan.

Cleaning Mold with Vinegar and Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is often used for disinfecting open wounds because of its great antimicrobial nature. It is also proven that hydrogen peroxide kills bacteria, viruses, and fungi. Along with that, this substance also inhibits the growth of various household fungi. 

Therefore, hydrogen peroxide can be a great tool for cleaning mold in your household, however, make sure you don’t use it on any porous surfaces like wood, fabrics, or ceiling tiles as it may damage them. 

Begin with preparing the ingredients and safety gear like gloves and a mask. Then, fill a spray bottle with undiluted white vinegar. This will serve as the first part of the cleaning solution. Spray the vinegar directly onto the mold to cover it completely and let it sit for at least an hour without scrubbing or rinsing. 

In a separate container, mix equal parts of 3% hydrogen peroxide and water to create a hydrogen peroxide solution. For example, you can combine one cup of hydrogen peroxide with one cup of water. Fill another spray bottle with this solution and apply it onto the same moldy area after the vinegar has had time to work and let it sit for another hour.

Use a brush or scouring pad to scrub the area gently. This can help dislodge and remove the stubborn mold. After that, rinse the area with clean water to remove any remaining vinegar or hydrogen peroxide.

Cleaning Mold with Borax and Vinegar

Another effective and natural cleaner that can easily eliminate mold in your home, alongside vinegar, is borax. Borax is safe for home use as a cleaner, deodorizer, insecticide, and herbicide, but it can be harmful if ingested. 

When cleaning mold with borax and vinegar, make sure not to mix them. When used separately, they can effectively get rid of, and prevent mold growth in your home.

So, here’s how to do it:

Step 1: 

Mix one cup of borax with one gallon of water in a bucket and set the solution aside.

Step 2: 

Consider vacuuming up any loose mold particles using a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter. This can prevent the mold spores from spreading through the air. 

Step 3: 

Apply the borax and water solution to the affected area using a brush or a sponge. Scrub the area completely and wipe off any excess mold. Let it dry. 

Step 4:

After that, apply distilled white vinegar using a spray bottle onto the mold-affected area and let it sit for about an hour. 

Step 5: 

Rinse the area thoroughly and let it dry. If needed, spray the spots again with vinegar and repeat the last part of the process.  

How Long Does It Take Vinegar to Kill Mold?

The time it takes for vinegar to kill mold may vary depending on the concentration of the vinegar, the type of mold, and the environment. Usually, undiluted white vinegar needs some time to penetrate and break down the mold.

Letting the vinegar sit for at least an hour is a common recommendation, at least for light mold infestations. However, for extensive mold growth, or stubborn stains, you may need to leave the vinegar on the surface for several hours, or even overnight, to ensure proper treatment.

A moldy wall.

Does Apple Cider Vinegar Kill Mold?

While apple cider vinegar (ACV) has some natural antibacterial and antifungal properties, it also has limitations when it comes to cleaning mold. Some studies suggest that it can only eliminate about 82% of mold species and does not remove all associated mycotoxins. 

Therefore, apple cider vinegar is not recommended for use on white surfaces or carpets due to its brown color and odor. Moreover, its high sugar content may actually encourage further mold growth. So, if you have other alternatives at hand like standard white vinegar or other stronger solutions, choose those over the ACV for proper mold removal.

Will Cleaning with Vinegar Prevent Mold?

You surely don’t need to wait until mold appears in your home to harness the power of vinegar. To prevent potential mold growth in warm and damp spaces like bathrooms or laundry rooms, include vinegar in your regular house or apartment cleaning routine. You can also consider adding vinegar into the solution when mopping floors to avoid mold growth on the floors. By taking these preventive measures, you can stop a mold infestation before it even begins.

Regular cleaning, proper ventilation, and balanced temperatures indoors are the best ways to prevent mold inside your home.