Mold loves moisture and dark places, and the bathroom is the perfect place for all kinds of mold to grow and thrive. In the shower, black mold is commonly found on the grout or tiles, and it's not just unsightly, but it's also bad for your health.
The most effective way to remove mold from growing in your bathroom is with bleach and baking soda, which kills the mold spores and cleans the mold away. This guide will show you how to get rid of black mold and keep it away for good.
What is Black Mold?
Mold is a type of fungus that can grow where there's excess moisture, lack of sunlight, and minimal ventilation. There's a variety of mold types that come in different colors, textures and require a variety of growing conditions. Some are commonly referred to as black mold.
Black mold is possibly the most common mold found in American households and bathrooms, but surprisingly there's actually no such thing as black mold. Rather, the term is often used when discussing a variety of different types of mold that are black.
The most common household mold in the United States is Stachybotys chartarum (S. chartarum), and is what many people find growing in their bathrooms. Stachybotrys chartarum is a dangerous mold variety which can pose a serious health risk to people who ingest and inhale the mycotoxins it produces.
If you have this type of black mold in your home or bathroom, it should be dealt with as soon as possible.
Why is Black Mold Growing in My Shower?
You may have noticed black spots of mold growing in your shower or bathtub. Admittedly, this is not what you want to see and it may make your skin crawl when you realize you have black mold!
The truth is, this type of black mold can grow anywhere, but it's especially fond of the conditions in the average bathroom. Most types of molds require a few things to thrive, including moisture, a lack of air or ventilation, and the lack of direct sunlight. All of which are commonly found in showers.
Taking fast action to get rid of mold in your shower will reduce the time it has to spread, and therefore make it easier to remove. Plus, the sooner you get rid of the mold the less exposure your family will have to the health risks.
How to Remove Black Mold from the Shower
Although the CDC recommends cleaning mold on hard surfaces with soap and water or a diluted bleach solution, this isn't super effective for mold in the shower. This is because showers are frequently installed with white silicone to provide a waterproof seal between surfaces.
Unfortunately, the silicone can be a breading ground for mold. But the good news is you can kill the mold on the silicone relatively easily and inexpensively.
If you don't own a respirator, we highly recommend purchasing one for this project. They're reasonably priced and something that you can use for many different projects in the future.
Tools and Equipment
- Baking Soda
- Plastic Wrap
Step One - Mix Solution
- Put on your respirator, and it's a good idea to wear rubber gloves too.
- In your mixing bowl, mix baking soda and bleach to form a wet paste. Be careful not to use too much bleach.
- Add soda until the consistency of the paste is spreadable.
Step Two - Apply Solution
- Generously spread the baking soda-bleach paste over the moldy silicone sealant using a small brush. A small paint brush, or cleaning brush, or even an old tooth brush will work.
- Don't worry about applying too much of the soda-bleach paste on the silicone, the more the better.
Step Three - Cover with Plastic Wrap
- Cover the silicone with strips of plastic wrap. This will prevent the bleach from evaporating too quickly.
- Wait for one hour.
- If the silicone is still moldy, use a spray bottle with bleach to spray the area above the plastic wrap. The bleach will travel down the wall and land on the silicone.
- Let it sit for another hour. Repeat if necessary.
Step Four - Clean Area
- Once you're pleased with your results, remove the plastic from the silicone.
- Rinse the walls and silicone with a shower head or water from a spray bottle.
- You're finished!
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How to Prevent Mold Growth
Bathrooms are particularly prone to mold growth because of the moist environment. They also often don't have windows, so they tend to be darker than other rooms in your home.
But bathrooms are not the only part of your home where mold can grow, and taking precautions throughout your house is an important step in keeping your living space free from mold. Here are some tips to prevent mold growth in your home:
- Ensure that your kitchen and bathroom fans vent outside, as well as the clothes dryer.
- Repair plumbing and roof leaks as soon as possible to eliminate moisture. After the repair, frequently inspect the area for mold growth and take quick action at the first signs of mold.
- Your home's humidity level should be no higher than 50%. You can run an air conditioner or dehumidifier to help reduce the humidity level when needed. Purchasing a humidity meter will allow you to easily and inexpensively check your household humidity level, so you'll know when you need to take action.
- Use mold-killing products when cleaning your bathrooms.
- Apply a mold killing primer, such as the Kilz Mold & Mildew Interior/Exterior Primer to your walls when painting. These types of mold inhibitors won't kill existing mold, but they'll prevent mold from growing in the first place.
- If your house has flooded, be sure to clean up and dry out the area within 24 to 48 hours. It's often best to hire a service to handle this task as they'll have the equipment and knowledge to get the job done quickly and efficiently.
- Do not use carpet in locations that have a lot of moisture, such as bathrooms and basements.
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Last update on 2022-11-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API