very confused-- Bleach vs. Mold

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I am planning an attic mold cleanup-- Conventional wisdom is to use bleach and water, but when I google it... I get a lot of hits saying that it is a myth that Bleach kills mold.
The EPA brochure does little to clear it up.
Anyone with any real-world experience or other good info.
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Jack wrote:

I can say for certain it turns it a perly white :) As for wether or not its dead, I couldn't say. I don't see why bleach would kill mold, its not that harsh of a chemical. Perhaps thats why we like to use it.
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Respectfully,


CL Gilbert
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Bleach may kill what it comes in contact with but much of the mold is inside the wood and once the bleach dries, it is no longer effective. Using enough bleach to saturate the wood may harm and certainly could change the color of the wood itself. Fungacides continue to work after the liquid carrier has dried.

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On Wed, 30 Nov 2005 17:57:37 -0500, "CL (dnoyeB) Gilbert"

It didn't turn my mold white at all. But I'm almost sure it killed it. After using bleach twice, I realized I would have to paint again if I wanted to make it white.

Alcohol is not that harsh either, but it kills germs.

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Not nearly as well as bleach from what I've read.
Bob
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depends on what kind of alcohol and how dilute.
I doubt a bottle of vodka would do much and 70% Isopropyl would be better but Straight Methanol or 198 proof Ethanol (or denatured ethanol) would work pretty good. Notice how doctors use similar before giving you a shot.
Alcohol is not advised as it may deteriorate the plastic or synthetic parts. Alcohol diluted by a tub of water would probably be ineffective alltogether. Try brewing a batch of bathtub gin.
These tubs have been around a long time. I'm sure if there were a real health risk, it would have destroyed that market by now.
Bleach works well diluted in water at almost any concentration (you can smell) it will kill microorganisms.
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wrote:

That would just make stronger my point about bleach.
Although when the nurse gives me a shot, she's never wiped my arm with bleach. :)

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And you are probably glad she didn't. It is pretty caustic, and it stinks. Many people would have reactions to it I would guess. When I donate blood, they use iodine. Every such agent has its uses. Bleach just happens to be more available, and cheaper than many others. Alcohol probably does a sufficient job of cleaning injection sites. It disolves oils well. It then evaporates quickly so it doesn't enter your body.
A friend of mine some years ago was a med-tech. She told me that her lab did their own tests of a number of "steralizing agents", and she was surprised how poorly the alcohol did in the tests.
Bob
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Bob wrote:

How about some real information. Iodine is pretty harsh. Alcohol is not used for cleaning, it is used to kill the microorganisms so that you don't push live organism under the skin when you stick a needle in. The best concentration of alcohol is about 70 percent (140 proof), a higher concentration is less effective. All of this has been know for decades. Bleach is highly effective. Why did the lab where the med tech worked do their own tests? This information is widely published in all sorts of journals and pamphlets put out by lab materials sellers.
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George E. Cawthon wrote:
<snip>he

Curiosity question: why is higher concentration less effective?
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Bleach does kill mold, by removing its Oxygen. Common bleach is 97-98% water therefore I dont dilute. If I dilute I notice I must often double treat an area of concrete I do every year. If conditions are not remedied mold comes back , because its airborn and everywhere. Bleach penetrates wood just like any other treatment but looses its efectivness when it evaporates.
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CJT wrote:

structure of microorganisms and what the alcohol does. Here is the simple answer. Higher concentrations cause the the cell walls of bacteria to become impenetrable stopping entry of the alcohol and dessication of the cell.
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wrote:

I never claimed to know all the ins and outs of alcohol or bleach. I raised alcohol because it's a not a harsh chemical and yet it is strong enough to kill germs. Similarly, bleach is not disqualified from being able to kill mold *just because* it is not harsh. Like you just said, "Every such agent has its uses." Others have posted convincingly that bleach *does* kill mold. So that's good enough for me..
But since bleach has come up, I'll mention that I noticed that Clorox Bleach as currently sold here, has no chloriine in it. I think it has another halogen instead. I was surprised. Then I noticed that Clorox is spelled without an H.
I though that maybe chlorine had been banned because of safety reasons, but I checked other bleaches and at least one had chlorine in it. So why is this?
I suspect I'm overly influenced into thinking chlorine is important because of the common term "chlorine bleach", but why is there more than one kind now and does either one have any advantages over another?

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There have always been bleaching agents other than chlorine. Including fermented urine for bleaching leather, where I'm pretty sure the active agent in ammonia.
Laundry bleaches now include things other than chlorine ostensibly because chlorine is hard on cloth and dyes, and they've found whitening/brightening agents that work better with less fading and damage to the cloth.
I'm pretty sure that clorox still sells a chlorine-bleach too, you just have to check the label to make sure which you're getting. Non-chlorine bleaches should not be used to shock your well....
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@bigfoot.com says...

You can find the active ingredients of many common bleaches at the National Institutes of Health,
<http://householdproducts.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/household/search ? tbl=type&queryx=Bleach&prodcat=all>
Looking over the list, Clorox makes quite a few bleaches that aren't chlorine bleach, but still quite a few standard sodium hypochlorite bleaches as well.
Non-chlorine bleaches are marketed as being "color safe," they won't fade many dyes that are susceptible to chlorine bleaches. They can also be safer for some fabrics that react badly to chlorine bleach. More recently, non-chlorine bleaches have also been marketed for environmental concerns.
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wrote:

Sadly for me, I wasn't as complete as I should have been.

This wasn't marked color-safe, and is sold in the standard bottle which used to sell Clorox chlorine bleach.
It almost certainly isn't color safe, because in place of chlorine is another similar element, for a compound something like sodium hypofluorite. It's the exchange of chlorine for a similar but still different element that suprised me.

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mm wrote:

Bull Shit. I think this is all a troll. No one would substitute sodium hypofluorite for sodium hypochlorite. Not sure that sodium hypofluorite exist under normal conditions.
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On Fri, 02 Dec 2005 01:43:04 GMT, "George E. Cawthon"

It's not a troll and there's no need for your vulgarity.

Well I said "something like sodium >> hypofluorite ". Since you don't think that is likely, I went to the basement, but I finished that container of bleach. So I was going to the grocery anyhow tonight and I looked for bleach.
All of Clorox's regular bleaches** have gone back to using sodium hypochlorite, but out of the blue I recalled more or all of what my previous gallon had in it, sodium hyposulfite, or at the very least some salt of some sulfite.
Before, when I said fluorite, I was only considering halogens. I looked for info about sodium hyposulfite and Britannica had a short bit about common sodium compounds, and all it said was" Sodium thiosulfate (sodium hyposulfite), Na2S2O3, is used by photographers to fix developed negatives and prints; it acts by dissolving the unchanged silver salts." In other words, hypo. Another page also gives no other use for it.
There is also sodium bisulfite, but that seems also to be used as photographic hypo and nothing else.
There is also sodium sulfide, and one of the "photographic formulas" for that is called Dassonville T-56 Bleach. The only use of the word bleach on the whole page, but still related to photography. OTOH, this was Jack's Photographic and Chemistry Site, so maybe he is concerned wityh photography.
A page under www.bookrags.com has " Sodium chlorite, hypochlorite, perborate, and peroxide are used to bleach paper, cotton, and rayon. Sodium hyposulfite is used in the reduction of certain dyes. Sodium thiosulfate is used to dissolve unreduced silver salts in photographic processes. Sodium sulfide is used as a depilatory and in the manufacture of sulfur dyes." This guy doesn't seem to know that hyposulfite and thiosulphate are, accoding to Jack's site, the same thing.
Other sites call hyposulfite a [deliquescent] ["hypo", photography], I haven't looked up deliquescent.
Any ideas why it was used in Clorox? There was an 800 number on the Chlorox bottle, but this strikes me as just the sort of thing they won't know anything about.
I'll try to remember to call on Monday.
**not Clorox 2, for example, which IS called color-safe. I was talking about "regular bleach", a term they use on the Clorox label.
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Bleaches, more than one, are suggested in woodworking forums for question/answer dialogues. Oxalic acid bleaches out the black stain when iron residue meets the tannins in oak and other woods, household bleach is suggested for minor bleaching to obtain a lighter tone of raw wood and swimming pool bleach is suggested for a more dramatic change in raw wood. Right tool for the right job.
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Way to confuse the issue, but may serves a purpose. Lot of things will lighten colors but they are not called bleach The only kind of bleach that is used to kill microorganisms is chlorine bleach. Just to confuse the issue, lots of other things including alcohol and other substances, e.g. betadine, are used to kill microorganism but they aren't bleaches. Until only the past few years, laundry bleach or justs bleach commonly meant a solution of sodium hypochorite.
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