Alcohol as a Mold Killer

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When you find mold in your home, you may consider using alcohol as a mold killer. Alcohol isn't always the best option for killing mold, but you may decide to use it when the mold is on a soft item that could be damaged by other cleaning products.


Why Mold Is a Problem

Mold is a common problem because the microorganism can grow on almost any surface where it's damp. You can use alcohol to clean a moldy surface, but you also need to limit the amount of moisture to prevent future mold problems in the home. When your home has mold issues, it's important to get rid of the mold because it can cause health problems such as allergies, infections, and asthma.


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Options for Mold Removal

Experts recommend using different products for mold cleanup depending on the surface you need to clean. Chlorine bleach is an excellent disinfecting agent, and it can inactivate mold spores, which is how mold reproduces. That means bleach is a more effective option than alcohol as a mold killer. However, bleach cannot be used on many soft surfaces because it would damage the material.


Alcohol evaporates too quickly from hard surfaces to kill mold spores, but there are some surfaces where it is recommended for cleaning mold. These include materials such as leather and woven or knit fabrics, which bleach could damage. Typically, you use ethanol or rubbing alcohol as a mold killer. However, you can even use vodka in a pinch, although that's a more expensive option.

If porous items, like papers, are moldy, throw them out. It's easier to clean and disinfect hard surfaces, like glass or metal, than it is to remove mold from porous materials.


How to Remove Mold With Alcohol

You can use an alcohol solution to clean mold on fabrics, including clothing, upholstery, and mattresses. You can also use it on walls and ceilings. Before treating any surface, test the alcohol on an inconspicuous area first. Alcohol can damage some materials, including acetate, triacetate, and acrylic fibers.


To clean mold off surfaces, mix 1 cup of rubbing alcohol with 1 cup of water. Moisten a cloth with the diluted alcohol and wipe the surface until you've removed all the visible mold. Dry the clean item outdoors or in front of a fan.

Tips for Preventing Mold

Once you've used bleach or alcohol as a mold killer, take steps to prevent mold from growing in the future. Mold can grow on a damp surface in just a few days, so limit the amount of moisture in your home. Steps you can take to ensure dryer air in your home include the following:


  • Use a dehumidifier in humid climates.
  • Run the air conditioner to take humidity out of the home.
  • Run the exhaust fan in the bathroom when family members shower.
  • Fix leaking plumbing.
  • Run the exhaust fan in the kitchen when boiling water or cooking on the stove top.


When working with mold, wear an N95 mask or use a HEPA filter mask. Protect your hands by wearing gloves.



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