Does anyone know if you can use white vinegar to irradiate black mold from inside window panes? I see they mention rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar; is there a difference on how those react with mold spores versus white vinegar? I'm trying to stick with a more natural approach since I have a chemical sensitivity.

  • " I see they mention..." Who mentions?
    – Niall C.
    Jan 1, 2016 at 17:23

2 Answers 2


The rationale for using vinegar in treating mold is that the acidity disrupts the pH balance that it needs for growth. Black mold's growth range runs between a pH of 4 and 7. Different vinegars will have different pH values that run between 2.4 and 3.4, so the vinegar with the lowest pH would presumably be the most effective (although lemon juice or a citric acid solution would be even better). However - the other consideration is that upsetting the pH balance only slows (albeit pretty dramatically) fungal growth, so I'd actually go with a distilled vinegar personally - cider vinegars contain some solids and unconverted sugars that would potentially provide a food source.

Note that you can go the other way with pH and use a base instead of an acid. A saturated solution of baking soda in water will have a pH of somewhere around 8.1, so it should be effective via the same mechanism.

Finally, you can mix baking soda and vinegar and use that on molds instead, although this would not be using a pH vector - it would be using an oxidizer to disrupt growth.

  • Interesting but wouldn't the vinegar and baking soda just neutralize each other? I am not understanding the oxidizer reference.
    – ArchonOSX
    Jan 1, 2016 at 22:03
  • @ArchonOSX - As far as pH goes, yes. But... like the grade school science project volcano, it generates a bunch of CO2 and attacks it through oxidation.
    – Comintern
    Jan 1, 2016 at 22:05
  • Ahh ok better living through chemistry. 😊 Thanks for the explanation.
    – ArchonOSX
    Jan 1, 2016 at 22:13

Yes, I've been using cheap white vinegar which contains water, so when I spray the bathroom mould on walls & ceiling, just realised I've been been simultaneously slowing it's growth, and feeding it, as does any treatment that contains water. Am about to tackle the mould using distilled white wine vinegar 6% acidity & fresh lemon juice. Will post results :)

  • Hello, and welcome to Stack Exchange. Any vinegar you can buy will have water in it, and water doesn't "feed" mold, it just encourages it until the water has evaporated. Nov 7, 2016 at 11:46

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