Most people have suffered a flood in their bathroom at some time. You’re running a bath and the phone rings. You answer it and your sister keeps you chatting for a half hour. The kids cause a mini-flood on the one occasion in three weeks they have a bath. The toilet cistern cracks.
It’s this type of flooding – small-scale and localized – that makes mold clean-up and prevention even more important. Of all rooms and areas in your home, the bathroom is one of the most inviting to mold spores. It’s warm and damp, with puddles of water – in the sink and bath, and on the floor after your teenager has spent two hours preening.
Steamy showers create condensation on walls. Wet surfaces take time to dry out in the typically humid conditions of a bathroom. A day or two is all the time mold spores need to grow. It’s not uncommon to return home from a week or two’s vacation to find black walls in your bathroom.
Here’s how to remove mold from bathroom walls:
Choose your mold removal product
There are several products that are effective at removing mold. These include:
- Baking soda
The product you choose depends on the surface you’re using it on. For example, bleach is a great product to kill almost any mold on non-porous surfaces. But bleach isn’t absorbed into non-porous surfaces, so doesn’t kill spores beneath the surface of wood and drywall.
How to use bleach to remove mold in the bathroom
On tiled walls, bathtubs and glass, you’ll find that bleach will do the job of getting rid of mold. Always wear gloves and make sure the bathroom is well-ventilated before you start the clean-up process:
- Use a solution of one part bleach to ten parts water
- Spot test on a small, hidden area of tiling
- Use a spray bottle to apply to the affected surfaces
- Let the bleach sit for 15 or 20 minutes
- Scrub with paper towels or rags that can be thrown away
It really is as easy as that! Except in grout. That’s a little more difficult.
How to get rid of mold on grout
Still using bleach, spray the grout and then put a little elbow grease into scrubbing with an old toothbrush. If all the mold doesn’t come off, you’ll probably need to cut out the old grout and replace with new.
Once the grout is dry, apply a sealer to help protect it in the humid bathroom conditions.
What other products are good on tiles, glass and grout?
Instead of using bleach, you could use hydrogen peroxide, or a specific product like OxiClean. OxiClean contains oxygen bleach, which is better to use on septic systems.
You might also use baking soda, by mixing it with water to create a paste. This is particularly good on grout (again, using a toothbrush to apply and scrub).
How to clean your bathtub and prevent mold
Bathtubs, sinks and shower trays are particularly prone to mold. Pools of water are like mini-floods, and as they dry, mold attacks. The mold spores also feed on soap scum and body oils.
Clean your tub regularly with a cleaning solution of your choice, and ensure that the tub, shower and sink are cleaned and dried after every use.
Shower curtains, shampoo bottles, and other sundries
As well as cleaning walls, floors, sinks and tubs, you will need to tackle other items. It’s often easier to replace a shower curtain than try to clean it. Shampoo bottles and other items should be cleaned. Once cleaned, don’t stand them on a wet surface. Throw away empty bottles, and keep the number of bottles and other bathroom objects to a minimum.
Keeping mold away in bathrooms
Now you’ve removed the mold in your bathroom, take actions to prevent it from returning:
- Keep the humidity below 55% by ventilating well
- Use bathroom fans when you take a shower or bath
- Open the window to aid air circulation
- Wipe down wet surfaces to help them dry faster
- Use an antifungal solution as part of a monthly cleaning routine
Bathrooms are notorious for harboring mold. Every day they suffer a mini-flood. It pays to be extra vigilant and put in place a regular cleaning routine that includes mold prevention tactics in the bathroom.
If you have a recurring mold problem in the bathroom, it’s likely that you have an issue that needs further investigation, before the mold build-up starts affecting the health of your family. Feel free to contact Porter's. We’re available 24/7 and we’ll be happy to help you resolve the problem of unwanted fungi sharing your bathroom.