Bathroom mold—usually black mold—is one of the most common problems in a home. It’s also the easiest problem to cure and prevent…unless you’ve let it get out of hand. Mold can be far more prevalent in humid and muggy regions and bathroom mold loves dark, damp places and surfaces. Taking a hot, steamy shower and then turning off the lights, for instance, might just be the perfect invitation for mold to creep into your bathroom.
Identifying and combating mold is a vital thing to know as a homeowner. Keep your bathrooms squeaky clean; check out how you can prevent and remove mold below:
Common Causes of Mold in Bathroom
- Leaky plumbing like your toilet or sink, or other pipes
- Lingering moisture due to lack of ventilation
- Damp materials like wood, wallpaper, grout, drywall or even fabric
Preventing Mold in Bathroom
The only thing better than getting rid of mold is ensuring it never visits in the first place! Prevention is probably the best defense against mold. Here are a few tips to keep mold out of your bathroom:
- Always use an after-shower spray such as Tilex to spray down your shower stall or tub after bathing.
- Use a squeegee on your shower stall walls to help get rid of water and moisture faster.
- Check that your wallpaper isn’t peeling or cracking anywhere and repaste any spots that need it.
- Try to always run an exhaust fan or keep a window open when bathing or showering. Keep the ventilation going a good 30 minutes after bathing. Open the doors and leave them open as soon as you’re done in the bathroom to allow fresh air in to help any lingering moisture dry quicker.
- If you’re repainting your bathroom, consider a bathroom-specific paint such as Kilz. This kind of paint helps prevent any moisture and mold buildup on your walls an ceilings.
- Use a mildew-resistant shower curtain. Be sure to wash or replace it often.
- Wash your bathroom rugs often, and never leave wet towels on the ground
- Keep your household humidity below 50%; a dehumidifier or air conditioner can help.
- Don’t leave bottles of body wash or shampoo, loofahs or toys in the shower. They are great places for mold to grow.
Finding Existing Mold
Mold isn’t always easy to spot and you may find it in more places than just your shower stall or tub. It’s smart to check anywhere moisture can sneak into, including under your sink, around exhaust fans, and even in basements and crawl spaces underneath bathrooms.
Mold spores can start in a bathroom but quickly form in another room, especially if there is poor ventilation. Check behind toilets and around bath and shower fixtures, and don’t forget to check the ceiling above the tub or shower.
How to Get Rid of Mold
In general, these are the steps to take to get rid of mold in the bathroom:
- Always use mold-killing products when cleaning like vinegar, bleach, or hydrogen peroxide.
- Strip and replace moldy caulking or sealant.
- Keep windows and doors open while cleaning to prevent moisture buildup that can lead to mold. If possible, keep a window cracked or fan on while bathing or showering.
There are also specific steps you can take depending on what kind of bathroom walls you have.
For tiled walls:
Use a chlorine bleach cleaner specifically created for bathroom mold. Allow it to sit for at least 30 minutes before scrubbing it off. You can do the same with vinegar.
Another great way to get mold out of tile grout is to use a paste made from baking soda and water. Spread the paste over the grout and let sit for at least 10 minutes. You can then scrub with a brush and rinse with water.
For painted or wallpapered walls:
Painted and wallpapered walls are one of the most common places you can find mold in your bathroom. Old wallpaper with cracks allows moisture to get trapped behind it—the perfect place for mold to grow.
Use a natural remover made from borax, vinegar, and hot water, then pour the mixture into a spray bottle and apply liberally to your painted walls. Using a brush or washcloth, scrub, wipe clean and then spray again. Let it sit for at least 10 minutes before finally wiping the walls dry.
The final defense is to consider investing in a home warranty, which covers systems and appliances in your home that aren’t insured by your homeowner’s insurance. Learn more about home warranties at HSC, the Home Service Warranty Club.