How to get rid of mold on bathroom walls
Unfortunately, even the cleanest of bathrooms can fall prey to mold. This is because the bathroom is an extremely humid and warm environment, the perfect breeding ground for mold buildup. Thankfully, you can get rid of your mold problem by knowing the type of mold growing and selecting the right cleaning products.
You may not realize it, but you probably already have cleaning products on hand for mold removal. There are several simple cleaning solutions you can make using everyday household products, such as bleach, white vinegar and baking soda. These solutions can also help with removing mold stains.
This article will explain the different types of mold that can show up in your bathroom and how you can get rid of your bathroom mold problem by using the proper cleaning solutions.
What is bathroom mold?
Mold thrives in wet environments with a lack of proper ventilation, making the bathroom a prime location for mold spores to live and grow. That’s why it’s important to understand the different types of mold you can encounter. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the most common indoor molds are Aspergillus, Cladosporium and Penicillium. However, you should also be aware of Stachybotrys, which is known as black mold.
Mold typically appears as spots on your bathroom walls, but it can make an appearance on your bathroom ceiling, in the grout between tiles or on your shower curtain. It can also take on different colors; you’ll usually see it appear as dark brown or green. You may have even noticed that your bathroom drain smells like mold — it sometimes gives off a musty, earthy smell in the affected area.
Does mold pose a risk to homeowners? The answer really depends. Some people may experience no symptoms when in contact with mold while others may feel a variety of symptoms after being exposed. People who are sensitive to mold may experience a stuffy nose, wheezing and itchy eyes and skin.
For those with asthma or allergies to mold, they may experience more severe allergic reactions when it’s inhaled or touched. However, no matter how you and your family tend to react, it’s important to remove mold once you see it.
What causes bathroom mold?
Moisture in the air and damp surfaces can cause mold growth. Areas of high humidity are ideal spaces for mold to grow. That’s why the CDC recommends keeping humidity levels between 30% and 50% all day long. Running your air conditioner or using a dehumidifier can help maintain low levels of humidity. Switching on an exhaust fan also helps remove moisture from the air, helping to reduce the growth of mold.
It’s not just humidity that causes bathroom mold, however. Leaky pipes, damp shower walls, standing water and even condensation create the perfect environment for bathroom mold. Therefore, fixing leaky faucets or pipes and cleaning and drying wet, damp areas will help control and limit the growth of mold.
Cleaning products for bathroom mold
There are many household products that can effectively kill mold. In fact, you may already have some on hand. If not, you can easily purchase them from almost any store.
Though the solutions are considered safe and effective, as with any cleaning solution, take caution by wearing a mask and gloves when using and remember to always follow the manufacturer’s directions.
Distilled white vinegar
You may be familiar with distilled white vinegar due to its distinct smell. It’s also an inexpensive way to treat bathroom mold growth. The highly acidic nature of distilled white vinegar kills mold spores and can help slow down mold growth.
You may use white vinegar on a variety of surfaces but avoid using it on stainless steel, aluminum and copper. You also don’t want to use white vinegar on wood or carpet flooring. White vinegar works best on non-porous surfaces.
To make a white vinegar solution, simply use 100% undiluted strength and apply with a spray bottle or pour directly on the affected area.
Bleach is another effective solution for eradicating bathroom mold growth. When using bleach, though, wear protective gloves and goggles to protect your eyes. Never mix bleach with other cleaners, as this could potentially create harmful fumes. If your bathroom has a window, open it to allow fresh air to circulate. Be sure to wear old clothing you don’t mind messing up or wear a covering, as bleach will remove color from fabric.
Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using bleach. The CDC recommends combining no more than one cup of household laundry bleach in one gallon of water. Apply the solution to the affected area and gently sweep away with a bristled cleaning brush or towel.
We know how fizzy hydrogen peroxide works for cuts and scrapes, but it may also be used to help get rid of bathroom mold. Found in many grocery stores and pharmacies, this is an effective and inexpensive solution.
When using hydrogen peroxide, avoid getting the solution on clothing or other fabric. Although it doesn’t contain chlorine like bleach, it can discolor clothing. Be sure to wear an apron or older clothes you don’t mind ruining.
Apply full-strength hydrogen peroxide to the affected area, let it sit and scrub with a bristled cleaning brush or towel. Wipe dry when done.
To make a solution, pour peroxide into a spray bottle or pour directly onto the affected area. Don’t dilute it with water.
Borax is another inexpensive option for removing bathroom mold and can be found in the laundry aisle at most stores. It’s also a natural solution and doesn’t release toxic fumes like bleach does. Although commonly used in laundry, Borax has several household uses, including removal of stains, mildew and even ants. Its high pH creates an inhospitable environment for mold and can help reduce moisture.
To make a solution, you’ll want to mix one cup (204 grams) of Borax with 1 gallon (3.8 liters) of water and pour the solution into a spray bottle. Spray on the affected areas and scrub with a bristle brush or rag to remove the mold.
Although a baking staple, baking soda also works as a natural disinfectant. It is mild and scentless, making it ideal for sensitive people to use while cleaning. Because of baking soda’s unique chemical makeup as an acid neutralizer, it is effective at withdrawing moisture and odors.
To make a solution, add one-quarter of a tablespoon of baking soda to a spray bottle of water and shake until it’s dissolved. Spray directly on the affected area. Scrub to remove and dry the area thoroughly.
How to get rid of mold on bathroom walls
With a few supplies and one of the mentioned cleaning solutions, you will be on your way to cleaning and getting rid of bathroom mold on your walls. The following is a list of recommended supplies to get started on the project:
- Eye goggles
- Apron or older clothing
- Spray bottle
- Hard bristle brush or towel
Mix your cleaning solution
The first step is mixing your chosen cleaning solution. You can make the cleaning solution by using the household cleaners listed above, dilute if instructed to do so and pour directly into the spray bottle.
Apply the solution to the mold and let it soak
Apply the solution by thoroughly spraying the entire affected area with the solution and letting it soak for 10 to 15 minutes. Some of the solutions, such as vinegar, do not require dilution.
You can also pour the solution directly onto the affected area of the bathroom, if preferred. Be mindful of the type of surface you are working with, though. Some solutions are not ideal for porous areas, such as drywall, while vinegar solutions may damage some metals.
Scrub the mold with a brush or towel
After the solution has soaked for 10 to 15 minutes, use a hand towel or brush to scrub the mold (or use an old toothbrush), applying more solution as you scrub.
Rinse and repeat
When done scrubbing, rinse off the area and wipe it down with a dry cloth. If necessary, reapply the solution and soak for another 10 to 15 minutes. If mold still remains, repeat the steps with one of the other solutions. Always be sure to dry the area thoroughly after treatment.
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