I have posted this many times when I see the request for mold or mildew clean up but I continue to see the question asked so I felt this would be a better way to get the message across.
Using bleach to clean up mold can be extremely dangerous to your health! Certain molds react to the chlorine in the bleach and creates an invisible gas and can/will damage your lungs permanently the first time you use it and you won't feel a thing.
I know it is the most common form of mold clean up but I found out how bad this is since it happened to me. Not only the lung problem but also it can cause an extreme reaction and you will end up with headaches that leave you almost physically paralyzed, pain so bad that you can't function at all and many trips to the ER. When they would hit me (several times a day, every day) I couldn't even stand up and would have to crawl if I wanted to go any place. I couldn't keep anything down, even water and lost 40 pounds in 2 months.
I live in the "great northWET" and we have a lot of problems with mold/mildew; I used bleach and wore a face mask and gloves but still have paid the price for not knowing about this.
The Red Cross online finally solved the cause of the headaches, etc. and told me to only use a 50/50 solution of white vinegar and water on mold. They said do NOT rinse it off since it will leave an acid base where the mold was and help prevent it from growing back.
I had to live in a tent in my backyard while my entire house was being painted with a special paint to prevent the mold spores from getting inside, everything, including all the natural wood had to be completely coated.
It took me 2 weeks of living outside to finally stop getting so sick but my body is infiltrated now and I get sick if I am around mold, even if no one can see it.
PLEASE, please tell all your friends about this so no one else gets as sick as I was.
Source: Red Cross online, nurse call back
By wolfbytez from Brownsville, OR
You are absolutely correct about not using bleach to clean up mold. Bleach in and of itself is a lung contaminant, so it isn't that it causes a reaction when combined with mold - it causes a reaction all on its own.
First and foremost, the cause of the mold should be eliminated before doing any cleanup.
After removing the mold source, use a mild detergent and water mix and a stiff brush to clean the mold. Wear a mask that says 'N-95' or 'NIOSH' to prevent breathing in mold spores, and wear chemical gloves (the orange ones, not yellow household cleaning gloves). After the mold has been removed, THOROUGHLY DRY the surface area.
The EPA has mold cleanup guidelines here:
Wow, thanks for the info. I always thought it was safe to use bleach to kill mold, now I know better. Sorry you had to get sick to find out.
Vinegar and tap water is a great all purpose cleaner and it kills odors too. I use it for almost everything around my house.
God Bless You for submitting this! I've submitted about not using chlorine bleach at all before and posted answers to questions a few times about not using chlorine bleach, whether alone or mixed with even dish soap, at all and very few people have taken the risk seriously :-( I am only 55 years old and am borderline stage 2/3 Emphysema because of lifelong chemical use and living this way is not a pretty sight :-( I so hope people will start taking not using strong chemicals more seriously!
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