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How to kill mold spores with UV light

Updated February 21, 2017

Mold is a serious problem in homes that are exposed to water or other factors that aid the growth of moulds and fungi. There are numerous health risks associated with breathing in and being exposed to mould, so counter mould growth as soon as it is discovered.

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Use bleach and warm water to clean any areas affected by mould. Unfortunately, not all mould spores will be eliminated by surface cleaning. In these cases, ultraviolet (UV) lamps are effective in killing mould and mould spores. UV-C lamps, which provide UV light on the C-bandwidth) are best for dealing with mould problems, as other types of UV light don't damage the mould enough.

UV-C lamps have been used in hospitals for years in order to kill and control germs and mould, according to American Air and Water.

  1. Purchase a UV lamp. Get a lamp that emits UV-C light for the best results in killing off mould and mould spores. UV lamps can be purchased at most hardware stores or online.

  2. Wear a pair of UV-opaque goggles or glasses when working with a UV lamp, as the light can be damaging to your eyes. Goggles that protect your eyes from harmful UV rays can be purchased from a tanning salon or online.

  3. Place the lamp in front of the mould stain and turn it on. Put the lamp one foot away from the wall. Be sure you are wearing your goggles before working with your lamp. Leave the lamp in one place for one to two hours.

  4. Turn off any other lights and close the door while waiting. Return to the room after the appropriate time has passed and reposition the lamp so that it faces another part of the stain and leave it for another hour or two. Make sure the lamp stays one foot from the wall.

  5. Repeat this process as needed based on the size and number of mould stains.

  6. Tip

    Leave the lamp on in a darkened room overnight to act as an added measure for killing any airborne mould spores and other parts of the room that may be at risk for developing mould.


    UV light kills only surface mould, so if the mould is on a porous surface, it will need to be cleaned more thoroughly with a product like bleach.

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Things You'll Need

  • UV-C lamp
  • Protective eye glasses or goggles

About the Author

Bailey Shoemaker Richards is a writer from Ohio. She has contributed to numerous online and print publications, including "The North Central Review." Shoemaker Richards also edits for several independent literary journals and the Pink Fish Press publishing company. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in creative writing from Ohio University.

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