Bathroom Mold Removal
If mold has begun to grow in your bathroom you need to remove it immediately. You can use a sponge, cloth or scrubbing brush to clean mold off most bathroom surfaces and an old toothbrush to get into hard to reach places where mold has begun to grow.
The How to Kill Mold page describes solutions you can use to kill mold in the bathroom including:
Once the mold has been removed, mold inhibiting solutions such as vinegar can be used to regularly clean the bathroom to prevent the mold’s return.
If mold is growing in sealer and you cannot get rid of the mold then the sealer may need to be removed and replaced. Walls which you cannot seem to remove the mold from may also need to be cut out and replaced as a last resort.
A complete guide to removing large areas of mold growth from your home is at the Mold Removal page.
Removing Mold From Tiles and Grout
Mold often grows on tiles or in the grout around them. You should be able to easly remove mold from tiles by scrubbing or wiping with a cloth. Mold growing in grout can be more difficult though. Bleach can often be useful for killing mold in grout and fading away mold stains. The grout may require a good scrubbing with a toothbrush or scrubbing brush.
Applying sealer to the grout can also be helpful. If you can’t get all the mold off grout you can remove and replace the grout. Use a flat screwdriver to scrape out the old grout and then apply the new grout mixture.
A more detailed guide to dealing with mold on tiles and grout is at the How to remove mold from drywall, wood, carpet, tiles and grout page.
Causes – Why and How Mold Grows in the Bathroom
It’s very common for mold to be found in bathrooms. One obvious reason why is that there’s lots of water and humidity in the bathroom.
Frequently running water in the bathroom basin, the bathtub and the shower creates wet surfaces and puddles of water. If you don’t dry this moisture out quickly it can easily lead to mold growth.
On top of this, when the water in the bathroom does dry out it evaporates into the air and increases the humidity. Steam from the shower or a hot bath also makes the bathroom more humid. Since bathrooms are often not well ventilated the humidity tends to hang around and wet surfaces take a long time to dry out.
For more about what causes mold in the house visit Causes of Mold.
Mold in Shower and Bathtub
Mold can often be found in the shower and the bathtub. Grime from body oils and soap scum which is washed off and onto the shower or tub create a food source for mold to feed on. And of course there are abundant water sources for mold created by the running water and steam.
To prevent mold growing in the shower or bathtub regularly clean both with a cleaning product of your choice. After cleaning, wipe the shower and tub dry to minimize left over moisture. You can also buy plastic inserts for the shower and bathtub to prevent mold growth. These inserts can be easily taken out and cleaned.
There are more ways to prevent mold in the bathroom and the home at Prevent Mold.
Mold in Bathroom Basin
Mold can frequently be found in the bathroom sink or basin for the same reasons it grows in bathtubs and showers: soap scum and grime provide a food source for mold and the running water from the tap provides a source of moisture. Again, the basin should be cleaned regularly to prevent mold beginning to grow.
Mold in Bathroom Drains
If there’s mold in your bathroom drain you might be able to remove it by scrubbing it away with a brush or cloth. Remove the grate of your drain if possible and scrub the mold growing inside the drain pipe. You might be able to unscrew the drain pipe underneath (if it’s the bathroom basin, for example) if you have trouble reaching the mold.
Pouring drain cleaner or a mold killing solution like bleach or vinegar down the drain is another thing that might kill mold inside a drain. You might not be able to kill all the mold this way though if the solution doesn’t come into contact with all of the mold for long enough.
Mold Caused by Blocked Bathroom Drains
Drains which do not drain water properly can also contribute to mold growing in bathtubs, showers or basins. Any water that doesn’t drain properly and sits in the drain creates a moisture problem. Any environment like this where water is collected and stands for long periods can easily grow mold.
If there is a build up of water in the drain, ie. the water is not drained as fast as you can run the water from the tap, then there is a problem with your drain being clogged. You can buy chemical products from the supermarket to unclog your drain or call a plumber if the problem persists.
Mold on Objects in the Bathroom
Keeping a large numbers of items in the bathroom such as shampoo bottles, beauty products, old soaps can lead to mold growth, particularly if the bottles and items are frequently getting wet. Wet surfaces sitting on other wet surfaces such as bottles on the bathroom basin take longer to dry and can trap water.
You should make sure items in your bathroom don’t sit on surfaces which are often wet. Store the items somewhere up higher, ideally on a shelf which remains dry during showering.
Also the less items you have the less likely it is for them to cause mold growth. Minimize objects in the bathroom by using up any nearly empty shampoo bottles or other products, throwing away any empty bottles, or storing things not frequently used somewhere else. When you clean the bathroom remove all extra objects. Clean them separately before returning them to the bathroom to prevent mold growth.
Mold on Bathroom Tiles
Another place mold likes to grow is in the grout between bathroom tiles. Mold often also grows in corners of tiled surfaces, such as the corner of the shower, or in cracks and will spread along seals and joins.
To remove mold from tile grout use a brush to scrub it along with a mold removing solution. Non-tiled walls can be painted with semi-gloss paint which creates a hard non-permeable surface on the walls. You can also buy mold and mildew resistant paint to use in the bathroom.
Where Mold Grows has more information about mold growing on walls, the ceiling, windows and more.
Reducing Humidity in the Bathroom
Ideally the humidity in the bathroom should be kept below 55% to prevent mold growth. You can maintain this by ventilating your bathroom well, especially after you’ve had a shower or bath. Turn on the bathroom fan while you shower and leave it on for about five minutes afterwards to remove the steam and dry out the air. If you don’t have a bathroom fan, or as well as using the fan, open the window to let steam out and circulate the air.
Besides leaving the window and door of the bathroom open after having a shower or bath, if you are concerned about the moisture levels you can also wipe down wet surfaces so they dry faster.
Regular Bathroom Cleaning
Regularly cleaning the bathroom will prevent mold starting to grow. Once a month wipe down the bathroom with an anti-fungal solution. Remember to include the ceiling when you do this as it is a prime area for mold growth. The floor can be mopped with mold inhibiting solutions such as vinegar.
Another good tip is to spray the bath and shower once a month with undiluted vinegar which prevents mold and deodorizes the bathroom. You don’t need to rinse the vinegar away, instead let it dry on its own.
Drying Wet Surfaces in the Bathroom
Drying wet surfaces manually will reduce moisture sources as well as the humidity level of the bathroom since the water on these surfaces would otherwise evaporate into the air. After you have had a shower or bath wipe down the tiles, glass, mirror, walls, window or any other wet surfaces with a towel or squeegee. It’s also a good idea to minimize the number of potential wet surfaces by removing any objects from the bathroom you don’t need.