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 Alternatives to Bleach
  To clean up mold, use what ever you would normally use to clean a dirty surface. Bleach is actually the worst at cleaning. Bleach is not a good surfactant. Use plain soap and water. Clean rags should be folded in quarters. Ring the rag out after dipping it in the soapy water. Make only one pass over a surface the flip the rage over and use a clean side. Used rags should not go back into the bucket of soap and water.  
  If you feel the need to use an antimicrobial, even though there shouldn’t be any mold spores left to kill after you are done cleaning, here are some alternatives:  
  Alternatives to bleach - Antimicrobials  
  • Dr Bronner’s Peppermint soap
  • Vinegar (1/4 cup vinegar per 1 gallon of water)
  • Hydrogen peroxide (3%)
  • Baking soda. Make a paste with water to scrub with.
  • Borates - 1 cup 20 Mule Team borax to 1 gallon water
  Natural Disinfectants  
  Vinegar is perhaps the world’s most effective, natural ant-microbial and would be labeled as such except then it would need to be registered with the EPA as a pesticide. How many of us would make a salad dressing using a product with an EPA registration? As with most anti-microbials, vinegar is most effective at killing bacteria and is limited at sterilizing mold spores. The contact time is very important. If you read the label on a can of disinfectant or any cleaning agent that contains an anti-microbial, you will notice that it says the surface must be clean prior to application and you must wait several minutes before wiping the surface after application.  
  While the IICRC S500 states that the use of biocides, including bleach, is not effective for mold remediation, sometimes people still want to use a disinfectant. Another natural disinfectant is a product called Benefect®, a blend of antimicrobial extracts, from the herb Thyme. The current formula has the same EPA registration as a disinfectant and fungicide as Micro-Ban™, a common chemical disinfectant found in many anti-microbial products. Benefect® does have added fragrance which some people do not like. It is manufactured in Canada and is available from local water damage and mold remediators in Canada and the United States.  
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Revised: July 05, 2017.

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