Does ammonia kill mold?

spraying mold

Don’t know how to deal with mold infestations in your house?

Ammonia is a simple chemical solution commonly found in households that’s known to kill mold. But if you are wondering how effective it is, then we’ve got you covered with a detailed guide on the matter.

We’ll walk you through what mold exactly is and its different types to assess whether it can be treated using ammonia. So, let’s get started!

What Is Mold?

Mold is a heterotrophic fungus that grows in moist conditions in various shapes and sizes. It could be on your shower curtain in the form of slimy black spots or a slick orange film over your kitchen drain.

Not only is it unsightly, but it can trigger several health issues like allergies or asthma. And even if you aren’t allergic to mold, it can irritate your nose, skin, eyes, throat, and lungs. It is especially harmful to those who have a weak immune system or respiratory issues.

While mold spores are usually harmless in small amounts, they multiply exponentially on a damp surface and can be a threat to your health. Moreover, they are usually found in areas with excess moisture like kitchens, bathrooms, basements, laundry, and crawl spaces.

Different Types Of Mold

There are several types of mold based on their shape, color, nutrition, and growth habits. We have discussed a few of them here to help you identify them and take appropriate measures.


What Does It Look Like:

Alternaria is a concentric airborne fungal pathogen with a brown or dark green velvety texture. It has projections on the surface that give it a hairy appearance.


This mold is common in wet areas like bathtubs, shower stalls, and sinks and typically indicates pipeline damage. It can be cleaned using clear ammonia if the colony hasn’t spread extensively.


What Does It Look Like:

Have you noticed gray, beige, or white patchy mold growth around your AC vents? Then it could be the cosmopolitan globular fungus Mucor.


Mucor grows in extremely wet conditions where condensation frequently occurs, like near air conditioners, leaky faucets, HVAC ducts, etc. It is classified as an allergen, but small patches can be cleaned by homeowners using slightly concentrated aqueous ammonia.


What Does It Look Like:

Next up, the Aspergillus species occurs in multiple colors, but green and gray spores are most prevalent. It can cause severe respiratory issues if inhaled in large amounts.


This species usually grows on wooden surfaces, so ammonia isn’t very effective in getting rid of it. Therefore, you should consult professionals to eliminate it from your home.


What Does It Look Like:

Penicillium is a renowned fungal species and one of the most unsightly ones because of its velvety blue-green colonies. It spreads very quickly and can cause pulmonary infections and several other allergies.


Often found on wallpapers, carpets, and mattresses, it can create havoc in unused furnished spaces. Since it sprouts on non-porous surfaces, ammonia cannot keep it under check, but if you see it on your HVAC ducts, do use the solution.


What Does It Look Like:

Trichoderma is another common mold primarily responsible for skin and hair diseases. It occurs in green and white wooly colonies that shed easily, creating a mess in the house.


The worst thing about this mold is that it produces enzymes that spoil textiles, wood, and paper, damaging your carpets, fabrics, wallpaper, or any surface exposed to moisture. It can be killed with ammonia when found on walls, ceilings, and floors.


What Does It Look Like:

Moving on, the next fungus on our list is the Stachybotrys, popularly known as black mold because of its black or dark green slimy colonies.


It is found in parts of the home that are exposed to high humidity and excess moisture continuously for several weeks, such as ceilings, walls, and drain pipes. We recommend leaving its removal to professionals because it is too infectious to be tamed by ammonia.


What Does It Look Like:

Lastly, Acremonium is a colorful mold, which is initially a pink, orange, white, or gray moist colony, but later turns powdery.


Home humidifiers, drip pans, drainpipes, and HVAC cooling coils are favorite spots of this mold species and often grow with Stachybotrys. It can be controlled by clear ammonia when present in small amounts.

What Is Ammonia?

Ammonia is a molecular compound consisting of one nitrogen atom and three hydrogen atoms. It is the simplest hydride of pnictogen (elements of group 15 in the periodic table) and naturally occurs in a pungent-smelling gaseous state.

Furthermore, it can be dissolved in water to form a liquid or an aqueous solution and used for cleaning purposes.

Does Ammonia Kill Mold?

If you’re wondering “does ammonia kill mold?”, the answer is yes. Household Ammonia kills surface mold growing on ceramic, tile, porcelain, granite, etc., quite effectively. Along with being a safe solution for mycotoxin removal solution for porous materials, it works on some non-porous surfaces as well.

However, ammonia is rendered useless on hard non-porous surfaces like furniture and other wood items where mold can hide in all nooks and crannies.

How To Kill Mold Using Ammonia?

First off, don a respirator, open all the windows of the infested room, and turn on the exhaust fans. Make sure to turn off the air conditioner or ceiling fans to avoid spreading fungi spores all over the place.

The ammonia found in households is three to five percent concentrated and called clear ammonia, so you need not dilute it further. Still, you can make fifty-fifty ammonia and distilled water mixture if it seems too pungent.

Start off by cautiously putting the clear ammonia in a spray bottle without getting it on your hands; you can wear rubber gloves to be on the safer side. Then, spray it on the moldy areas and let it sit for a few hours.

Once that’s done, wipe the area clean of excess moisture using a wet cloth. These simple steps should kill surface mold, preventing future mold growth.

Some Precautions To Take While Using Ammonia

Ammonia solution is a cheap disinfectant that is sold in all local stores, but that doesn’t make it less toxic than other chemicals. So, it’s important to take appropriate precautions while using it to avoid any mishap.

Here are a few things you must keep in mind while killing mold with ammonia:

  • Keep all the windows open in the room you’ll be cleaning
  • Wear a respirator at all times while using it
  • Transfer the household ammonia solution in a spray bottle cautiously while wearing gloves
  • Keep pets and children away from the saturated area for at least three hours
  • Don’t use it on a non-porous surface

Pros Of Using Ammonia To Kill Mold

Ammonia is a good option for cleaning mold because of the following reasons:

  • The best solution for killing mold on non-porous surfaces
  • Easily available in local pharmacies
  • Can be used by amateurs
  • Doesn’t need much dilution and can be sprayed directly
  • Cost-effective

Cons Of Using Ammonia To Kill Mold

Though potent, this industrial and residential cleaner has some drawbacks, and they are:

  • Toxic and harsh on certain surfaces
  • Eye and skin irritant; can’t be used without a respirator
  • Doesn’t work well on non-porous surfaces like drywall and wood

Final Words

So, the bottom line is ammonia kills mold, but only certain types and on non-porous surfaces.  It is a powerful mold-killing agent, but if species like Stachybotrys and Acremonium have taken roots in your wood furniture, then you should seek professional help.

Though cheaply available, ammonia is a toxic chemical and should be handled with care, especially if there are pets and children at home. But simply mixing it with some distilled water can make it tolerable and safer to use.

All you need to do is spray some solution on the moldy area and leave it for a few hours to get rid of the mold. That said, we’ll wrap up for the day.

Need professional help when it comes to mold remediation in Stafford VA? Contact us and get a quote now.