Does Boiling or Cooking Kill Mold? (in Water, Food & on Items)

If you have noticed mold on some of your items and are looking for an easy way to kill it then look no further!

Boiling is a good way to kill mold and mold spores on most items.

In this article, you will learn:

  • Does boiling kill mold and mold spores?
  • How to effectively kill mold using the boiling method.
  • Dangers and health risks when it comes to salvaging moldy items.

Does Boiling Actually Kill Mold And Mold Spores?


While yes, boiling does kill mold and mold spores on food, it does not make it safe to consume. The toxins produced by the mold that make it dangerous in the first place are usually heat resistant.

Meaning that boiling a moldy potato may kill the mold, it will not kill the dangerous toxins created by the mold, and eating it is still quite dangerous.

There are, however, certain foods that may still be safe to consume after small amounts of surface mold have been carefully cut away.

But if there are larger amounts of mold on these items then it would be best to throw the item away.

Food items that may be salvageable after cutting away small amounts of surface mold include:

  • Hard Vegetables (Carrot, Squash, Bell Pepper, Turnip, etc.)
  • Hard, Cured Meat (Hard Salami, Dry-Cured Country Hams, etc.)

Be sure to always cut no less than 1 inch off around every part of the item that contained mold. Be careful to avoid touching the knife to the mold so as to not infect other areas of the food item.


Believe it or not, water can be infected by mold too. Water above freezing and below 140 degrees Fahrenheit can develop mold.

It will form a mat-like texture on the surface of the water.

But water is pretty much in the same boat as food.

Yes, boiling water with mold in will kill the mold. But it will not kill the toxins produced by said mold. Not to mention there is really no effective way of taking the physical mold fungus out of the water without leaving any particles or remnants behind.

So yes, boiling moldy water will kill the mold but it does not make it safe to consume or use.

On Clothes

Yes! Boiling can and will kill mold on your clothes. It won’t be able to fully remove the mold, however. Using a high-quality cleaning agent along with the boiling should do the trick.

After you use a separate cleaning agent on the infected areas, fill a large pot/bucket full of water and heat until the water reaches boiling point.

Once the water is boiling, insert your clothing into the pot and let them boil for no less than 30 minutes.

Make sure you don’t put too many articles in at once. The clothes need to have adequate room to move around with the water. Be aware of the kind of fabrics you are dealing with and if they can sustain any damage from high temperatures.

Lastly, if you need to re-use the pot for another batch of clothes then make sure you throw away the used water and wash the pot multiple times before using it again.

On Dishes

Boiling water is very efficient in killing mold on dishes. Use a soft-bristled brush and scrape off any surface mold you can.

Put the dishes in a pot/bucket of boiling water. Let them boil for no less than 15 minutes.

Again make sure you don’t overcrowd the container. Discard the contaminated water and then thoroughly wash the dishes as you normally would with soap.

Completely dry the dishes before putting them away.

On Metal

Water at boiling temperatures is quite effective at killing and getting rid of mold on metal items.

Simply place your mold-infected metal item in boiling water.

Leaving the item to soak in the boiling water overnight usually works best, but you can leave it for longer or shorter times to best suit your needs.

After the item has adequately soaked, thoroughly wash and scrub the item with soap. This will remove any lingering remnants or stains.

Completely dry the item before putting it away or storing it.


Although boiling water is effective in killing mold on plastic items, you do need to be very careful which kinds of plastic you will be exposing to hot temperatures.

Some plastics will be fine, while others may melt or warp. Tubberware containers are usually safe, but to be sure check what kind of plastic it’s made out of and how high of temperatures it can withstand.

Plastics that contain Polyethylene(PE) and Polypropylene(PP) will soften or deform when exposed to these high temperatures. Polystyrene(PS), Polycarbonate(PC), and ABS plastics should not be affected in boiling water.

Put the moldy plastic in boiling water and let boil for about 10-15 minutes. Remove and wash thoroughly with soap. Dry before putting away or storing.

How Does Boiling Or Cooking Kill Mold?

Mold spores die at temperatures of around 140-160 degrees Fahrenheit or at temperatures below freezing. Water boils at 212 degrees Fahrenheit

So, naturally, boiling water is at a sufficient temperature to kill mold spores.

Cooking in an oven, pressure cooker, or any other cooking machine will kill mold spores as long as it reaches at least 140 degrees and is given enough time to heat through the entire object that is contaminated with mold.

It doesn’t kill all the toxins produced by molds, however. Some of the toxins will evaporate along with the water vapor from the boiling water, while some are heat resistant.

That’s why in the above-mentioned methods of using boiling water to kill mold, following up with a good washing is recommended.

Another alternative to boiling water is boiling vinegar. Boiling vinegar to kill mold may be more effective than boiling water when it comes to killing those pesky toxins.

Although, it probably still won’t kill all of them it may be more efficient.

White distilled vinegar is best for this because it contains mild acid that can exterminate 82% of known mold as well help prevent future mold from growing. 

Does Hot Water Kill Mold?

As mentioned before, mold spores die at temperatures around 140-160 degrees Fahrenheit.

So as long as the hot water reaches a temperature of at least 140 degrees, then that should be adequate enough to kill any mold. Using a combination of hot water and a cleaning solution should solve your mold problem right up!

Does Cooking/Baking Food With Mold Make It Safe To Eat?

NO. Cooking or baking food with mold on it does not and will not make it safe for you to consume. Molds can produce toxins and sometimes even carcinogens that are incredibly dangerous if consumed.

And most of these toxins are not killed by the heat of cooking or baking something.

If you have a food item with mold on it, the best practice is to simply throw it away.

It’s best not to take any chances with mold, especially when you are considering putting it into your body as it can cause significant health risks.

How Long Do You Have To Boil Or Cook Mold To Kill It?

If you are planning on using the boiling or cooking method to kill mold on your food items, below you will find the appropriate times to do so.

Although, consuming anything that has been exposed to mold is considered unsafe and is not recommended.

Moldy Water

If you are going to try to use water after it has contained mold, boil it for at least 45 minutes to be most efficient.

As previously mentioned, boiling the water will kill the mold but not all of the toxins produced by the mold.

Be aware that using previously moldy water is risky and you should remain cautious.

Fruits And Vegetables

To boil or cook fruit or vegetables to kill any mold they may be infected with, it’s recommended to do so for at least 2o minutes at the appropriate temperatures.

Be sure to cut any moldy areas away before attempting to cook or boil.

Again, some hard vegetables like carrots or squash may be safe to eat if the mold is properly cut away and the item washed but the same cannot be said for other softer vegetables.


It is only safe to try to salvage moldy cheese if it is a hard cheese. So no shredded, crumbled, spreadable, or cream cheeses.

This is because those kinds of cheese can be contaminated in more areas than you can see. So for hard cheeses, baking or heating them at the appropriate temperature for at least 20 minutes should kill the mold. But again, not the harmful toxins produced by the mold.

You should cut the moldy areas off 1 inch around the area before heating. Boiling would not be a good method for cheese as the cheese will melt when heated.


Heating the bread to the proper temperature in an oven, toaster, or microwave will kill the mold. For about 10 minutes in the oven and 3-5 minutes in the microwave and toaster depending on how hot they run.

Cut the moldy areas away before cooking. Boiling is not a good method for bread as it will absorb all the water and most likely not be edible afterward.

It is not safe or recommended to eat any food items that have been contaminated by mold, even if the mold is killed by heat or removed.


Rinse well before cooking or boiling. Then boil for at least 1 hour to kill the mold and any other killable bacteria. Or you can cook them in the oven for at least 45 minutes at a high temperature. Yes, this will kill the mold, but will not make them safe to eat again.

Safety Tips And What To Look Out For

Always be sure to wear protective gear when dealing with molds such as gloves, eyewear, or facial coverings.

If possible, it is best to perform the boiling method outdoors or away from living areas as the toxins and bacteria from the mold will be released into the air along with the water vapors from boiling water.

Be sure to stay away from the boiling water until it has significantly cooled and completely stopped boiling.

Dispose of the used-moldy water immediately as well as rinse any and all pots/buckets/tools that were exposed to any mold thoroughly and efficiently.

Be sure to dry all items before storing them away again as moisture is a breeding ground for mold.

Consuming anything that has been previously contaminated or exposed to mold is not recommended and is considered dangerous and poses health risks.

Apart from a few select food items(which are listed above), all ingestable items should not be attempted to salvage for consumption. Neither should you attempt to eat cooked or heated mold or salvage moldy water for consumption.



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