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Mold cleaning expert cautions against popular cleaning method that can turn dangerous: 'You can get a bad chemical reaction'

"Just remember, more natural … better move."

Using bleach to kill mold.

Photo Credit: @ moldfinders / Tiktok

One TikToker who specializes in mold cleaning is advising against using bleach to get rid of mold. 

The scoop 

TikToker Brian Karr (@moldfinders) posts content about cleaning mold, finding hidden mold, and how mold can affect your health. 

One of his videos zeros in on the myth that bleach is the ultimate cleaning product and warns against using it to clean mold. 

@moldfinders Products That Help Clean Mold. Hint: It's NOT Bleach 🫡 #hiddenmold #blackmold #moldtoxicity #bleach #bleachandmold ♬ original sound - Brian Karr

He explains that mold contains mycotoxins, which are naturally occurring chemicals. It's smart to avoid mixing chemicals, in general, and when mycotoxins are combined with the chemicals in bleach, they can become toxic. 

"You can get a bad chemical reaction," Karr says, and the Environmental Protection Agency backs up that claim

Instead, he suggests using all-natural cleaners such as vinegar or Benefect Decon 30 — a cleaner that is an antimicrobial and antibacterial, with essential oil as the active ingredient. 

Some comments on the video questioned if other household products would work, as well. 

"What about hydrogen peroxide?" asked one user. 

Hydrogen peroxide is another option for an all-natural cleaner. A mixture of one-half part hydrogen peroxide with one part water will do the trick. 

Additionally, eco-friendly dish soap with borax works, too, by adding a squirt of dish soap and a teaspoon of borax to a quart of water. 

"Just remember, more natural, less synthetic, less chemical, better move," Karr says. 

How it's helping 

This suggestion is important for keeping yourself safe while you clean. Mold has health risks on its own — causing eye, throat, and respiratory irritation — so it's important to clean it out of your living space and avoid making symptoms worse with non-ideal cleaning products. 

Plus, many of the all-natural cleaners can be made with products that are in your pantry or laundry room, saving you money and a trip to the store when you find mold.

In addition, cleaners with natural ingredients are better for the environment. Some mold cleaners use chlorine, which dissolves in water and can be hazardous to wildlife and humans after it drains from your sink. 

What everyone's saying 

Commenters on the post were happy to hear of an alternative to bleach. 

"I love your content!" said one user. 

"I'm getting huge vinegar and baking soda [containers] to leave in the house!" added another.

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