How Much Bleach to Kill Basement Mold?


Mold in your basement could lower the value of your home and cause serious health issues such as lung infections and chronic hay fever. Avoid this by cleaning mold as soon as you notice it and control the number of mold spores in your basement. Household bleach is only effective at killing surface mold on non-porous surfaces such as paint. Use other cleaners for bare wood or concrete.

Mixing Bleach

  • Because bleach is a toxic chemical that emits gas, use as little bleach as possible to get the job done without damaging the items in your home. Never use more than 1 cup of bleach to 1 gallon of water, as a more concentrated solution can cause eye, skin and lung irritation.

Using Bleach

  • To use bleach to kill mold, pour the solution into a spray bottle. Spray the solution over hard, non-porous surfaces in your home that have visible mold growth. As mold can change the color of your carpets, upholstery or wood furniture, only use bleach to clean hard surfaces such as vinyl, metal or painted drywall. Let the bleach sit on the mold for at least 10 minutes to loosen the mold's grip. Wipe up the area and scrub any stubborn mold growth.

Safety Precautions

  • Before cleaning with bleach, open windows in your basement for ventilation. If the basement does not have any windows, open a door to the upper part of your house. Don't use a fan as it can make mold spores airborne. Wear gloves, goggles and a dust mask to protect yourself from the bleach and mold. Inhalation of certain types of mold spores can cause lung infections in susceptible individuals.


  • If you have asthma or another respiratory issue, you might not want to use toxic bleach to clean your home. There are environmentally friendly and non-toxic cleaning solutions to use in lieu of bleach. White vinegar is an antifungal cleaning solution that is food-grade and non-toxic. Borax is another natural ingredient that is only toxic if ingested. Essential oils such as tea tree oil and grapefruit seed extract are capable of killing mold spores without harmful effects.

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