Does Hydrogen Peroxide Kill Mold?

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So you want to get rid of mold with hydrogen peroxide? Let’s settle in for a nice little chat shall we. Does peroxide kill mold? You are about to find out.

What Is Hydrogen Peroxide?

Hydrogen peroxide is a combination of hydrogen and oxygen (H2O2). It comes in several strengths.

  • Household peroxide is sold in brown bottles in drugstores and supermarkets. It contains 3% hydrogen peroxide.
  • Hair bleach is about 6% to 10% hydrogen peroxide.
  • Peroxide used for microbial removal is 12%
  • “Food grade” hydrogen peroxide is 12% to 35%. Despite its name, “food grade” hydrogen peroxide should never be taken internally, unless it is extremely diluted. Food grade simply means there are no stabilizers added to the peroxide and it requires storage at cooler temperatures (not room temp).
  • Higher concentrations of hydrogen peroxide, up to 90 percent, are used for industrial purposes.
Bottle of peroxide with the words "how to remove mold with peroxide" above the bottle

Does Hydrogen Peroxide Kill Mold?

Hydrogen peroxide reacts by releasing oxygen at a rapid rate, which in turn oxidizes the surface of the mold and decomposes it. Many peroxides for mold removal are acknowledged by EPA as registered disinfectants with broad spectrum and coverage. This means that hydrogen peroxide removes mold but doesn’t kill mold.

How Do You Use Hydrogen Peroxide To Remove Mold?

  • To remove mold, pour 12% concentration hydrogen peroxide into a glass spray bottle. This is the peroxide I use. (The reason I use this brand is because they make small batches of peroxide which not only ensures a true 12% concentration but also reduces any leaching from the plastic container into the peroxide over time.)
  • Spray the moldy surface completely so that the moldy areas are saturated with hydrogen peroxide.
  • Leave the surface to sit for 10 – 15 minutes while the hydrogen peroxide goes to work. You want to wait until the peroxide has completely stopped bubbling and then give it an additional 5-10 minutes.
  • Scrub the area to make sure to remove all the mold and mold stains.
  • Wipe the surface down to remove residual mold and spores.

Can You Use 35% Hydrogen Peroxide For Mold Removal?

Don’t do it. Step away from the bottle. 35% hydrogen peroxide is far more caustic than it’s 12% counterpart. In addition, if it gets on your skin it will literally eat through it. Ask me about the time I grabbed the wrong jar and poured 35% peroxide in my ear to stop an ear infection. Let’s just say my hearing is shot in that ear now and I will NEVER forget the pain I was in. My advice is to stick with the 12%. It works just as well with less risk.

If you do want to use a stronger peroxide solution, remediation companies often choose a 15-17% hydrogen peroxide solution. You can read more about how they use it in this great post.

Pros of Using Hydrogen Peroxide To Remove Mold

  • Hydrogen peroxide has multiple benefits in addition to mold removal.  It also kills viruses and bacteria. 
  • Doesn’t leave behind toxic residue or produce toxic fumes
  • It does not generate environmentally objectionable byproducts
  • Safe to use on all materials
  • Easy to access
  • Inexpensive
  • Penetrates porous surfaces very easily

Cons of Using Hydrogen Peroxide To Remove Mold

  • While hydrogen peroxide is non-toxic it can cause irritation to sensitive skin
  • It has a mild bleaching effect, so it can lighten colors on fabrics.
  • Solutions of hydrogen peroxide are not stable in sunlight, so packaging and storage are an issue.
  • If contaminated, the container will undergo rapid pressurization with the risk of bursting.
  • It is susceptible to degradation if contaminated; therefore, containers and any water used to dilute it must be very clean.
  • Peroxide is stable only under acidic conditions. As a result, it can damage surfaces that are not acid stable.
  • Hydrogen peroxide does NOT remove or kill mycotoxins. This is a major con. Be sure to read my post about mycotoxins so you have a better understanding of why you need those bad babies dead.

Cost of Hydrogen Peroxide

You can purchase my favorite Hydrogen Peroxide mold removal kit for $94. It comes with a sprayer and instruction sheet. Otherwise you can get a gallon of the 12% peroxide for $49.

Biobalance hydrogen peroxide mold removal kit with 12% peroxide, a sprayer, gloves, a mask and eye protection.

Where To Buy Hydrogen Peroxide

You can usually find 3% at your local supermarket, big box store, or hardware store. Drugstores and even some convenience stores sell peroxide. Amazon sells it as well. But again, I only trust this 12% hydrogen peroxide.

Is Hydrogen Peroxide My Go-To To Kill Mold?

Not typically. Like I mentioned above, it doesn’t actually kill mold, just removes it, and it doesn’t tackle mycotoxins. Where there is mold there are mycotoxins. There is only one product that I trust completely to kill both mold spores and mycotoxins. If you are interested, you can check out my favorite product to kill mold and mycotoxins here.

Take A Look At These Posts!

DIY mold spray with peroxide. Person wondering if peroxide kills mold

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  1. Brent Driskill says:

    Hi Jennifer:
    I read your articles and find them very informative for the consumer. However, as an environmental consultant and mold remediation contractor here in New Orleans LA ,I thought I’d offer a different perspective on the use of hydrogen peroxide in commercial remediation. First and foremost there is no chemical residue that might affect the occupant of a site after remediation as other chemicals do. And, the 20% solution we apply (sometimes with a Potassium Hydroxide accelerator) virtually eradicates mold to the point that it can’t be distinguished as mold under a microscope. Again, this process is for professionals only and does about the best job and removing and disinfecting surfaces that I’ve seen or used. All the other stuff used the market place is classified as disinfectants with 90%+ kill rates. Keep up the good work.

    1. Thanks Brent! I always appreciate additional point of views from mold professionals. Clearly working in New Orleans has afforded you a lot of experience with the effectiveness of commercial grade hydrogen peroxide.

  2. Thank you! The article is very informative. Can I mix hydrogen peroxide and EC3 mold solution to clean any surfaces including metals? Can I use 12% food grade hydrogen peroxide?

    1. Hi Sara! You do not want to mix anything with the EC3 since it will degrade the citrus seed extracts in it and basically render it ineffective. If you are using the 12% peroxide you will tackle any mold but not mycotoxins. Are you trying to remove actual mold growth or just clean items to deal with cross contamination / airborne mold spores?

  3. Well, I give you HUGE KUDOS for being open and honest, but at the same time, it’s a little difficult to take any advice from someone who admitted she “poured” undiluted 35% H2O2 into her ear.

    Best of luck hawking the many items you promote for Amazon comissions!

    Love and kisses!


    1. Hi Kelly! The funny thing about being human is that sometimes we don’t pay attention to things like we should. I grabbed the wrong peroxide. A mistake. I bet you’ve made a few of those before. It doesn’t discredit my knowledge in any way. Also, I can’t imagine you are suggesting that a single mom whose source of income is her website to do this for free? Because if you are I would love any suggestions on how I am supposed to support my family if I don’t earn money through my website? Please don’t suggest I get a job. This is my job. There are plenty of products I recommend that are not through affiliate links. I make recommendations based on my personal experience with them and will always share the product I think is best.