Mold Removal Mistakes: Why Bleach Isn’t Suitable for the Job

In the age of Pinterest and self-proclaimed DIY (do it yourself) professionals, it is common for homeowners and business owners to search online for homemade cures for a majority of their problems. If you do a quick search for DIY mold removal, you will likely find dozens of articles claiming that bleach is a quick and simple solution to removing mold, but it simply is not true. Bleach not is not the solution to your mold problems; it can actually make it worse in most cases. Below are some additional reasons to NOT use bleach for mold removal:

Bleach can be toxic

Bleach produces vapors that pollute the air and can create a by-product called dioxin. Used over time and in high concentration bleach can cause build up in your lungs. Studies have also shown that the by-product, dioxin has been linked to various types of cancer. Bleach has the ability of irritating the eyes, skin, and the respiratory tract by just inhaling the gases it emits. The last thing you want is to create a toxic environment (with bleach) while trying to treat a toxic environment (mold).

Bleach is corrosive

Bleach is very destructive, especially when it comes to organic materials as will break down the fibers of materials like wood, drywall, and particle board which makes them weak and can compromise their integrity. Bleach can also cause corrosion to metal piping and various types of plastic. Bleach is even more toxic and corrosive when mixed with other chemicals and products.

Bleach doesn’t kill mold

While it is true that bleach can remove the appearance of mold and the stains that it leaves behind, it does not actually kill molds root system (called as mycelium). Bleach is even less effective on porous surfaces because its root system tends to grow very deep and has the ability to take a stronger hold in these areas. This means while it may appear that the mold has been removed from the surface, the roots will continue to grow.

Bleach can contribute to mold regrowth

Store bought bleach typically contains 5-8% bleach concentrate which means the remaining 92% is water. The bleach concentrate evaporates quickly and is typically gone sooner than its smell. This leaves behind all of the water content from the bleach product which soaks into organic and porous materials. This moisture feeds the remaining mold roots and causes mold to grow back (usually more quickly and larger than the original mold growth).

EPA and OSHA both advise against using bleach for mold remediation.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) no longer recommend the use of bleach for mold clean up. Instead, they have been releasing recommendations advising against the use of bleach as it has been shown to be ineffective and has shown to have negative impact on people’s health.


DIY is great but somethings should be left to the experts and mold removal is definitely one of them. A professional mold removal company will:

  • They have all the proper equipment and products
  • They will ensure all the mold is identified and removed
  • They will find and repair the source of the mold
  • Perform testing to confirm all of the mold has been successfully been removed
  • They can develop a plan to prevent future mold growth.

They will provide you with the peace of mind of knowing you are living in a healthy, mold free space.