How to remove black mould using vinegar – the natural remedy that won’t damage your home

B&Q advises on how to remove mould from your home

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Black mould can be tough to get rid of for good once it starts growing in warm, dark and humid parts of your home. Cleaning it up with harsh bleach-based products might provide a quick fix, but it could be damaging to fabrics and surfaces around your property. White vinegar is a gentle yet effective alternative that will cost you just a fraction of the price, but why does it work so well on slimy black mould?

How to remove black mould with white vinegar

White vinegar has made its mark as a versatile and effective household cleaning agent, working on everything from stains to odours and even mould.

The acidic properties of this kitchen staple cleans, deodorizes and can even disinfect surfaces around your home.

This simple ingredient has been proven to kill 82 percent of mould species, including black mould, on porous and non-porous surfaces.

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Using it to banish household mould is easily done with just a few tools, including:

  • Spray bottle
  • White vinegar
  • Soapy water
  • Cloth
  • Soft bristled brush
  • Room spray/ scented candle

Always wear protective gloves and eyewear when dealing with mould as the strong scented spores can cause both respiratory and dermatological irritation.

Take a break from cleaning mould if you feel short of breath, light-headed or are itchy – this is most likely a side effect of being in contact with this known allergen.

The acidity of white vinegar is what makes it such a powerful cleaning agent so be sure to keep it undiluted when targeting harmful black mould spores.

Pour the undiluted vinegar into the spray bottle and generously spritz any visible black mould around your home.

Leave it to work into the pungent spores for around one hour before scrubbing gently with the brush.

Wipe away with clean, soapy water and leave the treated area to dry to avoid recurring mould spores – moisture is one of the key culprits of household mould

Spray your favourite scented air freshener or light a candle to combat the smell of the vinegar.

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Is white vinegar better than bleach to remove mould?

White vinegar works so well to treat black mould because of its gentle yet effective acidity which works to cleanse microbes and neutralise odours.

Bleach-based mould removers are often made with bleaching agents which can cause a number of issues, including:

  • Lightening fabrics or surfaces by bleaching colour pigment
  • Staining fabrics or surfaces
  • Respiratory problems caused by the strong stench of mould and bleach
  • Long-lasting odour which can cause headaches and nausea if inhaled for long periods

The antibacterial and antifungal qualities of vinegar work to disrupt the growth of a wide range of fungi and other microorganisms that cause mould.

Research has shown that vinegar is most effective as a mould cleaner when it has 4-4.2 percent acetic acid, so always opt for strong versions of this kitchen cupboard ingredient.

White vinegar is gentle on surfaces like drywall, leather, fabrics, acrylic and painted surfaces which can be easily damaged by bleach-based mould removers.

Avoid using vinegar to tackle mould on:

  • Wooden flooring
  • Stone countertops
  • Metals – aluminium, copper and stainless steel

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