Can Dish Soap Kill Mold? Professional Mold Experts Answer

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Have you discovered mold, and are trying to research what you can use to kill it? We’ve all been there. A million questions surface, like “Why is there mold in my house?!“, “What caused it?“, and “How do I clean it?
Right now, you’ve arrived at the question, “Can dish soap do it? Can dish soap kill mold?” Who can you trust to give you a good answer on this? We suggest you trust real experts on mold.

We’re Cleaner Guys, a professional mold removal company with more than 20 years of experience. We know more about mold, how it works, and how to get rid of it than just about anyone else you could find! And today, we’re going to answer the question of whether you can use dish soap to clean mold.

Table of Contents

Can Dish Soap Kill Mold? The Short Answer

No, dish soap can not kill mold. Dish soap is formulated to detach and wash away grease and food particles from surfaces, and it’s very good at that! But it is not designed to be stringent enough to completely kill fungal matter like mold. It can appear to kill mold, because it can wipe mold off of surfaces, but it is not actually penetrating the mold and killing it down to the root.

Mold is a fungus that likes to root deeply into whatever material it grows on. It prefers porous materials so that it can spread deep, which is why drywall and wood are the most common locations of mold growth. But because mold likes to root very deep into these materials, wiping it off the surface, like with dish soap, is not actually getting rid of the mold. It’s still growing under the surface, and it will come back again. So, how do you kill mold completely?

What Kills Mold 100%?

For large amounts of mold, removing the materials it is on is typically the only solution that will kill the mold with 100% effectiveness. With small patches of mold, a fungicide may be effective. We strongly discourage trying to remove mold-infested materials yourself if you are not trained in mold remediation. The proper knowledge, PPE (Personal Protective Equipment), and equipment is needed to remove mold safely and effectively.

A lot of home decor magazines, hardware store websites, and even cleaning service websites list vinegar as a good solution for cleaning mold. Unfortunately, in our experience as professional mold experts, vinegar is usually not actually very effective against mold. It can kill the mold on the surface, but it cannot penetrate very deep. This means that while it appears to have killed the mold, because it killed it on the surface, there is still mold alive deeper in the drywall or wood. We only recommend trying vinegar on mold if it covers less than 1 square foot.

What About Mildew? Can Dish Soap Kill Mildew?

Dish soap can be used to clean mildew on hard surfaces like showers and tile. However, it is not as effective as vinegar or strong household cleaners. Vinegar is great for mildew because it kills fungal and plant matter. Dish soap can detach and lift contaminants like mildew from hard surfaces… but it is not designed to kill mold like vinegar can.

Mildew is a form of mold, but it roots shallowly, preferring to grow on hard, non-porous surfaces like plastic, ceramic, and tile. This is why remedies like vinegar, household cleaners, and even dish soap can work on mildew, and not widespread mold on drywall or wood.

Learn more about the differences between mold and mildew here.

More Answers

Do you have more questions about the mold you’ve found in your house? Check out our full archive of mold-related content, or use the links below to jump to our most popular mold-related articles!

Do you have mold in an apartment? Learn how to navigate what to do with your landlord here.

Worried there may be more mold hidden elsewhere in your home? Read this article to learn how to recognize the signs of hidden mold.

What happens if you touch the mold? Learn about the 3 things you’ll trigger in this article.

A photo of some of the technicians at Cleaner Guys, ready to help remove your mold!

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. No part of this article is medical or legal advice, and may not be used as such. For all serious medical matters, consult your doctor. For all serious legal matters, consult your legal advisor. This article contains Cleaner Guys’ experience and opinions only.

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