How to Remove Bathroom Mold
When you see dark, mildewy spots around the bathroom that look questionable, you might have a problem on your hands. Unsightly bathroom mold is primarily successful because it loves damp and dark places. Bathtubs, showers, and sinks remain damp enough for mold to grow just from showering.
It can be very challenging to remove black mold, especially once it begins to spread. And mold spreads quickly –– sometimes within 24-48 hours. Being able to identify the signs of mold in your bathroom early on will give you a fighting chance in its removal.
1. How to Recognize Mold
Did you know that molds are the most common fungi found on earth? Mold has a negative effect on your (and your family’s) health. This is why you should keep an eye out for mold in your bathroom, a place that retains moisture is the perfect breeding grounds for mold.
Before you begin treating your bathroom mold, try to identify if it is mold or dirt. Mold can be unmistakable for the most part, but sometimes growth can make the surface look dirty. If you can clean the area with some diluted bleach, and the spot quickly lightens or comes back in the same spot, it is most likely mold.
Mold can also produce a very foul and musty smell. Other tell-tale signs of mold in your bathroom comes hand-in-hand with symptoms you or a family member may be experiencing.
Health effects of mold exposure can include:
Cough & Congestion
Dermatitis / skin rash
You can also probe the area with a sharp tool, such as a screwdriver, to test if there is any damage done to your bathroom walls. Some types of mold can cause rot. If you feel that the wood is soft or starts to crumble and collapse, the fungi have already begun to rot.
2. How to Clean Bathroom Mold
Although there are many commercial products that can treat the mold in your bathroom, most of them contain harsh chemicals that can be just as dangerous as the mold itself! A healthier alternative is to use “green” household cleaners while omitting toxic chemicals.
It is recommended to wear a mask over your nose and mouth so you are not breathing in mold spores. Do not touch mold with your bare hands – using regular kitchen gloves that extend to the middle of the forearm is good protective gear.
Baking soda is a non-toxic alternative when it comes to cleaning mold. It is safe for your family members and pets. An added bonus of using baking soda to kill mold is that it also absorbs any moisture that can potentially attract more mold. To clean using baking soda, you can dilute it in water (add about half a tablespoon to spray bottle of water and shake well). Spray the moldy area, scrub the surface to remove the mold. Spray over it with water to rinse away all residue.
Using a mildly acidic product–such as white vinegar that has a pH of 2.5–will clean, disinfect, and deodorize. Studies have shown that white vinegar can kill 82% of mold species. Make sure not to dilute the vinegar (you don’t want to make it less effective by adding water). You can add it to a spray bottle for easy application. It’s recommended to leave it on for about an hour before wiping it clean with water. For areas with really resilient mold, here is a mold cleaning mixture you can try: mix 2 parts baking soda, with one-part white vinegar, and one-part water. The recipe recommends to mix until it becomes a thick mixture. Spread onto the mold generously and leave it to dry. Scrub and spray it down with water.
We all know that lemons are acidic, but did you know that they are a superpower cleaner? Not only do they deodorize, remove stains, and are an antiseptic–but they are also a natural bleach as well. In order to clean with lemons, juice a few into a bowl and pour over the mold (or use a spray bottle for easier application). After a few minutes, you can wipe the surface clean with a towel.
For a mild case of mold, you can mix tea tree oil with water for a simple spray solution. Mix 1 teaspoon of tea tree oil per one cup of water. Shake well and spray mixture on mold. Leave to dry for one hour minimum. Scrub and repeat if necessary.
If your mold is stubborn, and you do need to use something stronger, consider chlorine bleach. Please do not mix bleach with other cleaning products that contain ammonia. This will result in a highly toxic chlorine gas being produced. Look for a cleaner that says it’s specifically meant for bathroom mold and/or mildew.
3. Preventing Mold Now and in The Future
The best way to prevent mold is to make sure you clean frequently and minimize humidity and dampness. The worst manifestation of mold and mildew happens in damp and dark places. Make sure you attend to leaks as soon as possible.
If you have a serious mold problem in your bathroom, don’t try to remove it yourself as it could cause serious, adverse health effects. Call a professional to help, better safe than sorry! Here at Baxter Restoration, we are here to help. For more information, download our water and mold eBook: “Everything You Need to Know” or get an estimate now.