Can bleach be used to sterilize potting mix?
I remember reading here a few years ago where someone recommended using diluted bleach to kill soil-borne fungi. The new bag of Miracle-Gro Potting Mix that I bought this spring has a white, fuzzy mold growing in it, and I was wondering if I could use bleach to kill it. I tried using some of the moldy mix to repot a spider plant a couple weeks ago, and within a couple days all the new soil was covered in a dense, white fungus which resembled that which you usually find on rotting wood. I've been keeping it on the dry side, and the mold seems to be slowly dieing off, but I would prefer to kill the mold before its growth takes off like that.
What I was thinking was that I could fill an empty pot with the mix, and soak it with the diluted bleach. After giving it enough time to kill the mold, I could rinse it out with plenty of water, and let it dry a few days before I try to use it. I was also thinking I could simply let the soil dry out before using it--would that kill the mold? Or is the mold even worth worrying about, meaning that's it's harmless to houseplants, and that if I ignore it it'll go away? One more question: Is diluted bleach harmful to potted plants? The other idea I had was using the moldy potting mix like normal, and then soaking it with diluted bleach instead of plain water.
(I think my mold could be the same thing described at the top of the page I've posted a link to.)
Here is a link that might be useful: Mold in the Lawn