Traditional methods of removing mold in your home calls for spraying the affected area with water mixed with harsh chemicals, such as ammonia or chlorine bleach. Unfortunately, chlorine bleach contains sodium hypochlorite (NaOCl), which, when mixed with water forms hypochlorous acid (HOCl).
Hypochlorous acid is a terrible irritant to human skin and tissues, and its fumes are harmful to eyes and lungs. Worse, when mixed with cleansers with ammonia (by would-be home cleansing chemists seeking double cleaning power), it can form chloramine gas, which can be deadly. Sometimes, hypochlorous acid mixes with natural, carbon-based matter in the environment and creates carcinogenic gases or dioxides.
The short answer: this stuff is bad for you, and bad for the environment. Luckily, the same mold-removing effect can be achieved with white vinegar.
White vinegar (the cheapest you can find)
Mixing bowl or measuring cup
1. Mix 3 parts vinegar to 2 parts water (such as 3 tablespoons vinegar to 2 tablespoons water, or for larger areas, 1 cup vinegar to 2/3 cup water) in a bowl or measuring cup. It won’t hurt to use full vinegar, but it’s not necessarily and diluting it with water saves resources and money.
2. Place the mixture in a clean spray bottle, and swirl to mix.
3. Liberally spray the mixture over the affected areas, and let sit for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
4. Wipe down the area with water, and allow to dry.
To prevent mold in problematic areas – such as showers and tubs, sinks, dish drainers, cutting boards – simply spray with a vinegar solution every few days.
[Microscopic Photo from jdbasementsystems.com]