Does Dish Soap Kill Mold & How to use It for Mold

Our homes can be a breeding ground for mold and other fungus nasties.

All it takes is some damp or moisture and they can be setting up shop; hiding, growing and spreading and doing a lot of damage to your home, possessions and possibly even your health.

Does Dishsoap Kill Mold?

When it comes to cleaning and removing that pesky mold, you can use a variety of readily available household products or solutions.

However, your results will largely depend on the type of surface that has developed mold growth.

It is important to use the right cleaning agents or there is a risk the mold will simply come back.

Dishsoap is one product that you can safely use to kill mold on most surfaces.

How to Use Dishsoap to Kill Mold

Dishsoap and water is sufficient to remove many surface level mold infestations. You can use in a spray bottle or fill a bowl with hot water and dishsoap.

On Dishes

You can use hot soapy water to clean moldy dishes and crockery. Mold is unable to penetrate the surface so you can simply scrub the dishes well and allow to dry.

If vigorous washing with dishsoap does not remove the stains, you may need to follow up with a soak in a very mild bleach or hydrogen peroxide solution. Rinse well after and air dry.

On Clothes

If you’re dealing with an item of clothing or fabric item that stays smelly and moldy no matter how many times you wash it, you can try adding bleach to the wash. Ordinary household (chlorine based) bleach is exceptionally effective against mold, but unfortunately it will discolour, fade and damage any dark or coloured clothes or fabrics.

Oxygen bleach is better to use in this situation and will wash away mold without damaging your clothes. Use it to remove mold from any non-white fabric. You can also use hydrogen peroxide in the wash to kill the mold as it is also less toxic than bleach.

On Walls

You can scrub mold from walls with a mixture of one cup of bleach water and four cups of warm water. Use a soft brush and scrub well until the signs of mold disappear. After scrubbing the surfaces, simply allow the bleach solution to continue to penetrate into the surface and dry naturally.

On Surfaces

Use dishsoap solution in a bottle to clean surfaces and scrub away mold.

The Method & Why is Mold so Difficult to Remove

Mold is difficult to remove because it can penetrate, live in and grow deep inside the structure of things. This means that simply killing the surface mold is not going to be enough to eradicate it.

The roots can be intricately connected below the surface, well out of sight and the reach of the cleaning products, and so the mold simply grows back.

Even successfully killing all visible and deeply rooted mold is sometimes still not going to be enough as mold generates tiny seeds called ‘spores’. You cannot see these spores and they can move around and can even float up in the air. Just a single spore remaining can create a whole new colony by itself.

Several steps are required to get rid of mold for good;

  • Step 1 – Killing and removing the visible mold.
  • Step 2 – Killing the roots deep inside and as many spores as possible
  • Step 3 – Making the environment hostile for mold to grow back.

Step 1 – Killing Visible Mold

Some mold cleaning guides suggest dishwashing soap either on its’ own or added to bleach and water to dislodge and remove it by scrubbing it away. Dishsoap has potent cleaning powers that can tackle most surface level mold.

You can also use either bleach, water and dishsoap mixture or a mixture of white vinegar and dishsoap to kill and clean all visible mold. These solutions will easily be able to kill mold that is confined to the surface.

You can also use ordinary dish soap to clean and remove mold on some very hard, non-porous surfaces such as crockery. The mold is not able to penetrate deeper so the dish soap can fully remove it.

However, for other items you really have to consider many factors including the species of mold you are dealing with and also whether the mold has penetrated beneath the surface.

Step 2 – Killing Mold Beneath the Surface

Dishsoap is very effective at penetrating beneath the surface to kill the roots and spores. This is because it is known as a ‘surfactant’ because it can go deeper and, if added to bleach, can make more headway in your challenge to remove the mold.

Bleach alone does not have this ability so can only kill surface level mold.

Bleach also becomes inert over time and the mold can then re-establish itself. Detergent can stick around a lot longer. By mixing bleach and dishsoap together, you can both penetrate and kill.

Step 3 – Making the Environment Hostile for Mold to Grow Back

The last step is to take away one or more of the elements mold needs to grow. You can remove moisture from the atmosphere with a de-humidifier. You ideally want to keep humidity levels in your home at or below around 50%.

Also, fix all leaks in your home and keep surfaces clean, dry and hygienic and this will help prevent mold being able to survive.

Does Dishsoap Prevent Mold?

Dishsoap will clean and remove mold and hinder its’ future growth but not prevent it. Vinegar is a better option as it will effectively prevent future growth. Spray the surface with vinegar and wipe.

How Long does it Take for Soap to Kill Mold?

Products such as dishsoap and white vinegar can usually kill mold in a couple of hours.

On a non-porous surface they can also be used to remove it immediately.

Using Other Household Products to Treat Mold

Household products you can use to treat mold include dishsoap, bleach, white vinegar, baking soda and hydrogen peroxide. You can also buy special EPA registered products that treat and remove mold.

You may wish to begin with the most natural and least toxic products first in your fight against mold and then move on to harsher chemicals if the mold returns. The stronger the chemicals you use, the more chance you have of further damaging your items.

1.White Vinegar

White vinegar is said to kill around 82% of mold species. It is also safe and non-toxic in the home. Use a spray bottle and use neat for maximum efficiency or for stubborn mold.

2.Laundry Soap

Laundry soap is very effective at removing mold, especially from clothes and fabrics that can withstand a hot wash cycle.

3.Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen Peroxide kills mold fast and is less harmful than bleach.

Is Dishsoap Enough to Kill Mold?

Dishsoap is effective at removing mold from non porous surfaces and it can hinder its’ growth substantially but to fully kill it you need a stronger cleaner such as hydrogen peroxide, vinegar or bleach.

Best Kind of Dishsoap to Use for Mold

Dawn dishsoap is particularly effective at cleaning mold because it has uniquely powerful levels of surfuctants, which can penetrate surfaces and treat mold. However, any brand of dish soap will still work well.  Anti-bacterial soaps will also give an extra boost to your mold busting capabilities when used.

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