Does Baking Soda Or Sodium Bicarbonate Make Mold Disappear?
Baking soda, also known as sodium bicarbonate or bicarbonate of soda, is a leavening agent widely used for cooking and baking.
Basically, baking soda is a salt that we find in nature in a white crystalline form. However, the marketed form is usually a fine white powder.
The most important thing about baking soda is that it produces carbon dioxide, which makes it one of the best substances for raising dough and baked foods such as bread, cakes, waffles and cookies.
Besides these leavening properties, baking soda has many other domestic uses and health benefits.
From pest control and odor removal to dental hygiene, baking soda is like a magic powder that serves different purposes and unexpectedly solves many problems.
What’s more, baking soda is known to be safe, environmentally friendly and causes no health problems. It is therefore a safe product to keep around pets and children.
Now the question is, can we add mold prevention and mold removal to this long list of superpowers?
In other words, can baking soda kill mold and fungus and will it be effective in cleaning moldy surfaces in our homes?
That’s what we’ll answer here.
In this article, we will share the antifungal properties of baking soda and discuss its potency against domestic mold and mildew.
Keep scrolling for more details…
TLDR; (Too Long, Didn’t Read!)
Yes, baking soda kills mold by exposing it to an alkaline environment (high pH) that it cannot survive. However, it should be noted that baking soda cannot eradicate all mold species and is less effective on porous surfaces where the mold takes root deep below the surface.
Below, you’ll find out the simple way on how to actually test this and apply it for yourself.
Does Baking Soda Kill Mold?
The first thing to mention here is that baking soda can be an effective way to prevent mold.
How does it do that?
Well, sodium bicarbonate is hygroscopic.
What does hygroscopic mean?
It means that it can absorb water from surrounding objects, making them dryer and, as a result, less likely to develop mold.
So baking soda can be useful to stop mold growth at early stages before it becomes a source of concern.
By simply spraying some soda powder on mold-prone surfaces, you reduce the water supply that mold can consume, and this alone will drastically slow their growth and multiplication.
Now, what if mold is already there, and it’s too late to prevent it? Can baking soda help get rid of it?
The quick answer is yes. Baking soda kills mold by exposing them to a harsh environment that they cannot survive.
As a rule of thumb, most species prefer a slightly acidic environment. Meaning, fungi are most happy when the pH ranges between 4 and 7.
On the other hand, baking soda is slightly alkaline and it’s pH ranges between 8 and 9.
So applying baking soda to a fungal colony puts molds in an environment that is too alkaline for them and, as a result, makes it difficult for them to survive and multiply.
That’s what makes baking soda an excellent solution against mold.
It just exposes fungi to an uncomfortable acidity, which eventually creates their demise!
Is Baking Soda The Best Solution For Mold?
We have said the baking soda kills mold by putting them in an alkaline environment that doesn’t support their growth.
Now the question is, do all molds die in an alkaline environment?
The thing to remember here is that there around 100,000 species of mold. And while most of them prefer a low pH, there are some species that can survive and adapt to different acidity levels.
So depending on what type of mold you are dealing with, baking soda is unlikely to be the only solution you need to make your property mold free,
Your walls and surfaces may contain some mold species that can survive alkaline environments and therefore soda powder is unlikely to cause any harm to them.
The National library of medicine supports that too.
In simple words, the study proves that the concentration of 10 g/l of baking soda inhibits the growth of 80% of all molds under test. So there are roughly 20% of mold species that baking soda cannot eradicate.
On top of that, baking soda tends to be more effective on non-porous surfaces, where it has easy access to the superficial mold roots.
In contrast, with a porous material like drywall or concrete, baking soda shows less efficiency as it cannot get deep enough into the pores and reach the mold colonies growing beneath the surface.
The result of this is obvious: After cleaning a porous surface, you may think that the job is done and that there is no mold left there. But shortly after that, you will see the mould stains forming again.
No, these are not new mold colonies growing. These are simply the mold spores that baking soda couldn’t couldn’t reach when you were cleaning. They stayed alive and active and kept multiplying until they showed on the surface again.
So the bottom line is, baking soda can kill mold, but it is not always the best way to go.
There are some cases where are you may need stronger detergents to get rid of the mold completely.
How to use baking soda to kill mold?
Using baking soda to kill mold is quite simple.
All you need to do is make some soda powder with water and then apply the solution to the moldy area.
Typically, you need a tablespoon of baking soda for every cup of water. Keep this ratio regardless of how much water you want to use.
Put both substances in a spray bottle and shake the solution until you make sure the powder is well dissolved in the water.
After applying the mixture to the moldy area, leave it there overnight and then use a wet brush or towel to wipe down the surface and clean off any remaining residue.
For harder mould stains, you may need to prepare a baking soda paste.
For this, you will need a 50/50 solution of baking soda and water. Keep mixing the two substances until you get a cohesive paste.
Spread the paste over the mold colony and rub it with a brush. Let everything sit there for 24-48 hours, then use a clean towel to wipe off the paste.
One more thing to note here is that one intervention may not be enough to remove all the mold you have. You may have to repeat the process several times before you get a satisfactory result.
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Wow, this really worked, thanks!
J. Sullivan – New Orleans