Can a dehumidifier spread mold spores? Well, I can see where this kind of question would come from.
After all, a dehumidifier is a water-handling appliance. And water and mold go together!
We have also mentioned severally that having high humidity outside and inside can cause the growth of mold.
So do dehumidifiers spread mold? Actually, these appliances can help to prevent the spread of mold by lowering humidity. To discourage mold from growing in your indoor spaces, set the dehumidifier to lower the humidity level to below 60 percent.
Mold will grow well in relative humidity that is above 60 percent. When left to grow to maturity, it produces mold spores that can float in the air, spread to other parts of the house and start new colonies.
Can a dehumidifier spread mold spores? No
Some people also ask: Can a dehumidifier make mold worse? The answer is a resounding no.
These appliances, whether it is a battery powered one, a portable one, or a whole house dehumidifier, cannot make mold worse.
In any case, they lower the indoor air humidity, and this makes the indoor space inhospitable to different types of mold.
If there are already mold spores by the time you run a dehumidifier, they will still spread to other rooms. You can use an air purifier to remove the spores.
Even if you do not have an air purifier, do not worry too much. The spores will not be able to create new mold colonies because they will not get the moisture needed to thrive.
Can a dehumidifier kill mold? Not really
Actually, no, but they prevent it from spreading. The question that you should be asking here is: How long does it take a dehumidifier to kill mold?
Like any other living thing, when you deny mold its food, it is definitely going to die. And this is what a dehumidifier does. It removes the most important component that mold needs to thrive – dampness!
Mold needs a humidity level that is at least 60 percent to thrive. Therefore, if you live in the state of Florida in a high humidity place, run your dehumidifying unit. It is going to remove moisture from the air.
In a really humid place, a dehumidifier can take a few days to a week to lower the humidity to the recommended range of 30 to 50 percent.
Once this happens, mold will stop spreading. However, if there were existing colonies, it is best to fumigate them out.
Check for signs of mold in your humidifier. If the air becomes too dry and there is a need to increase the RH (relative humidity) level, an infestation can start from the humidifier.
It can also cause humidifier sickness symptoms, which manifest in breathing problems, teary eyes and others. If there is anything in the humidifier, it is pumped out in the mist and you inhale it.
To conclude, your dehumidifier is not going to kill mold. It is going to prevent it from spreading. Once you remove the mold from your rooms, maintaining a humidity level of 30 to 50 percent will prevent a recurrence of the same.
Black mold in dehumidifier bucket – how to remove
In portable dehumidifiers, water is collected in the bucket. It stays there until you can empty it. During the time that the dehumidifier bucket stays full, the unit will not be working.
When you empty the bucket, please check it keenly. If you see black matter inside, it’s an indication of black mold.
If you do not clean the dehumidifier bucket with vinegar to kill the mold, it will eventually find its way into your indoor air. If you inhale it, allergic reactions and respiratory issues can occur in some people.
The black matter can also be grease, or other forms of dirt. No matter what it is, just clean it out carefully.
Regular water and soap cleaning will not kill mold. It requires white vinegar or bleach. However, NEVER USE BLEACH AND WHITE VINEGAR TOGETHER because they form a poisonous gas when they mix.
Can black mold grow in a dehumidifier? Yes, it can grow inside the bucket. This is why it is important to empty the bucket as soon as it is full.
How to use a dehumidifier to eliminate mold: 3 Ways
We have already established that using this appliance can prevent the spread of mold in your house by lowering the humidity in your space.
Now, we need to find out how your dehumidifier can eliminate mold. Is there a specific thing you can do with it to remove mold?
Run the dehumidifier in the room with mold
This is the first thing to do. If the dehumidifier is new, it can run for about 12 hours before it starts extracting moisture in your space.
You do not have to run your unit for many hours on end. You can run it for about 7 hours a day. After a few days, it will lower the moisture and keep it at the recommended level.
After the dehumidifier lowers the moisture to manageable levels, always keep it at 30 to 50 percent. At this level, mold will never grow in your house.
Clean out the mold colonies
A dehumidifier does not kill mold. It only prevents it from spreading.
Therefore, even if you keep the humidity level low, the existing mold will still stay inside your indoor spaces.
You have to embark on a thorough cleaning exercise to kill mold. You will have to use cleaning products such as bleach, vinegar, baking soda, ammonia and hydrogen peroxide.
It is very important that you never put any two of these cleaning products together, since you do not know how they will react.
If you have decided to use ammonia, then ammonia it is. If you are using vinegar, use it alone, and so on.
However, following that “fumigation” exercise with soap and water cannot do any harm. The aforementioned products kill the mold. Soap/detergent and water clean the space that was infested.
Running your dehumidifier is going to dry out the moisture that remains after cleaning. It will also help to dry out carpets after wet-vacuuming them.
Use a dehumidifier to dry the kitchen, laundry room, and bathroom
The laundry room, kitchen and bathroom are the most humidity-prone rooms at home. You can use a dehumidifier to dry the air in these rooms.
Sometimes, even opening the windows and doors to these rooms does not help. The best thing is to use a hygrometer to check the indoor humidity level even if the windows are open.
If you cook, there is steam all over the kitchen from boiling water and food. This increases the humidity level.
If the steam is exposed to cold surfaces under the counter, it condenses. Mold also grows under the counter and inside the cabinets.
If you hang wet clothes indoors, a dehumidifier can dry laundry! Mold can also grow in the bathroom cabinets and other hidden spaces. You must use a portable dehumidifier in these spaces.
Running a dehumidifier to lower humidity prevents mold from growing in the first place. Always maintain the recommended levels to prevent the development of mold.
What to put in dehumidifier to prevent mold
Mold can only grow in the dehumidifier bucket, but cleaning it with white vinegar can prevent that. It can kill any mold growing inside it.
The dehumidifier coils can also grow mold and it can spread to the house. The best thing is to clean the coils.
Generally, taking good care of your unit ensures that the air it is pumping back into the room stays clean.
It is best not to put anything in the dehumidifier since it holds water that it removes from the air. You can use this water for your indoor plants.
Can a dehumidifier spread mold spores in your house? We have seen that this unit prevents the spread of mold in your indoor living space.
On the same note, dehumidifiers do not kill mold. They only halt the spread of the same. By lowering the humidity level, mold cannot thrive because it requires moisture.
Removing excess humidity from the air helps in many other things. It prevents damage to furniture, carpets, books and even electronics.
The most important thing is to run a dehumidifier several hours a day during summer (if you get humid summers).
Keeping the air at the required humidity level is good for your health and maintains the right state for your items.