No one likes the sight of mold. Unfortunately, the inside of your shower is the perfect breeding ground for mold spores.
The wet conditions provide mold with the optimal setting to spread and thrive. While this growth is rarely a direct threat to your health, it can reach other areas when left untreated.
Bleach or ammonia may help clean up some of the mess but these ingredients rarely provide a complete solution. They are also potentially harmful to the environment and your health.
Instead of using toxic chemicals, there are many safe ingredients. With the right home remedy, you will no longer need to shower surrounded by mold.
To keep your bathroom clean, sanitary, and mold-free, use the following natural mold removal solutions.
What Causes Mold in the Shower?
Moisture and humidity are the two main causes of mold growth. Unfortunately, bathrooms are constantly moist. The water from the sink, toilet, and shower increases the risk of mold growth.
Taking a hot shower raises the humidity in the room. The increased humidity also encourages the development of mold spores.
Mold tends to grow in the areas that remain moist, such as:
- Shower curtains
- Window sills
- Corners and crevasses
- Areas around fixtures and drains
Caulk and grout are also prone to mold growth. Caulk has a rubbery texture that is difficult to wipe clean while grout is porous, allowing mold spores to grow below the surface.
Natural Remedies for Dealing With Mold in the Shower
For decades, homeowners used bleach for cleaning the bathroom and disinfecting surfaces.
Using bleach may remove mold stains from non-porous materials such as porcelain tubs, showers, and toilets but does not help remove mold on grout or wood.
Bleach is also ineffective for killing mold, bacteria, and fungus. It neutralizes some harmful particles and helps remove stains but does not truly kill the mold.
Luckily, there are alternative solutions. You can make powerful cleaning agents that work on almost any surface, including:
- Tubs and shower surrounds
- Wood surfaces and cabinetry
- Metal fixtures
- Walls and ceilings
While the cleaning solution that you mix should work on everything, the way that you apply the mixture depends on the type of surface. You can wipe non-porous surfaces clean but may need a brush for scrubbing mold from grout and wood.
First, you need to create a cleaning mixture. These options require ingredients that you already likely have in the bathroom or kitchen, including vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, tea tree oil, and baking soda.
These are just a few of the home remedies for getting rid of mold but they are among the most effective.
Create a Vinegar Solution for Removing Mold
Vinegar is one of the most powerful mold killers, killing 82% of mold spores, bacteria, and viruses. It does not need dilution.
You can pour vinegar directly into a spray bottle. However, if you do not like the strong smell, a few drops of essential oils should help mask the odor.
To use vinegar for black mold removal, spray the affected area and allow to set for a few minutes or a few hours. Wipe porous surfaces clean and use a scrubbing brush or old toothbrush on grout.
Besides eliminating existing mold growth, vinegar can help protect against mold. After taking a shower, lightly spray the inside of the tub and shower curtain or doors. Allow the vinegar to dry to reduce the chance of mold development.
Use Hydrogen Peroxide to Kill Black Mold
Hydrogen peroxide is another safe ingredient for mold removal. It does not harm the environment and it is non-toxic but you should still wear gloves when removing mold.
Hydrogen peroxide also contains antifungal and antibacterial properties. While it is strong, it works best when diluted.
Another benefit of the ingredient is the cost. You can get a six-pack of hydrogen peroxide bottles for less than the cost of a new shower curtain.
Combine one part hydrogen peroxide to two parts water. Mix the ingredients in a spray bottle and cover the moldy areas.
While hydrogen peroxide is safe to use, it does have a bleaching agent. To prevent bleaching, use it on small test spots before coating a large area.
Make a Tea Tree Oil Mold Removal Formula
Unlike ammonia or bleach, tea tree oil is not corrosive. It also contains natural antifungal and antibacterial properties, making it another effective option for future mold prevention.
You only need a small amount of tea tree oil. Combine one teaspoon of the oil with one cup of water. Pour the ingredients into a spray bottle, shake thoroughly, and mist the affected area.
Tea tree oil is typically a very effective solution but these oils do not always provide the same mold-killing properties. When purchasing oil, look at the active ingredients.
The tea tree oil should contain at least 30% terpinene 4-ol and no more than 10% to 15% cineole. Naturenics Premium Organic Tea Tree Essential Oil offers the right combination, increasing the power of the oil for dealing with mold.
Disinfect Surfaces with a Baking Soda Solution
Baking soda is a great cleaner and disinfectant. You can make a baking soda paste for scrubbing grout or use baking soda to disinfect surfaces after removing the mold.
As a bonus, baking soda helps to get rid of odors.
To create a baking soda solution for use in a spray bottle, combine one to two tablespoons with two cups of water. This should dilute the baking soda enough for it to remain a liquid.
To create a paste for cleaning difficult areas, combine one part baking soda to one part water. Apply the paste to the surface and allow to dry before scrubbing.
Thoroughly Remove Excessive Mold From the Bathroom
Before you start applying one of these solutions, try to remove as much of the mold as you can using a scrubby brush and wash rags.
If the mold infestation is severe, it helps to get rid of large chunks first.
Fill a bucket with soapy water and put rubber gloves on your hands. In fact, use rubber gloves when following any of the remaining tips.
You should also keep the bathroom door open to help ventilate the space. If the bathroom has a ceiling fan with a vent, use it to keep air circulating and reduce the risk of breathing in mold spores.
Do not worry about completely getting rid of the mold. The goal is to get rid of large patches of mold and any other debris.
How to Remove Mold From Non-Porous Surfaces
After cleaning the bathroom, it is time to get to work with the homemade cleaning solutions. Start with the shower, tub, and other non-porous surfaces.
These materials are smooth, allowing you to wipe the surface clean with a rag after applying the solution.
Choose one of the cleaning mixtures discussed and pour it into a spray bottle. Spray the entire surface that you want to clean until it is evenly coated but avoid spraying enough to create pools of liquid.
You can spray every surface is in the bathroom, including the inside of the shower and the tub surround or walls.
It should also work on the grout and caulk. However, you may need to scrub those areas after cleaning the non-porous surface.
If you do not have a spray bottle, pour the cleaning mixture into a bucket. Use a disposable towel or old rag to apply the solution on the affected surfaces.
Allow the cleaning mixture to set for several minutes and then wipe clean with cloths or rags. As you wipe the surface, the mold should come right off. Replace or rinse the cloth or rag when it gets dirty.
In some areas, the mold may remain. To get the tough patches of mold, spray more of the cleaning solution and then scrub clean with an old toothbrush or scrubby brush.
When you are satisfied with the mold removal, use the baking soda solution to disinfect all the surfaces and kill any microscopic mold spores.
How to Remove Mold From Bathroom Grout and Caulk
Removing mold from smooth surfaces is relatively easy but grout and caulk provide a challenge. These materials are porous, allowing the fungus and bacteria to penetrate below the outer surface.
Use the previous technique of spraying the solution and then wiping it clean to remove the mold that appears on the surface. Next, respray the grout and scrub with an old toothbrush, scrubbing pad, or scrubbing brush.
If the mold remains, try using a combination of baking soda and water. Use the toothbrush to really get into the pores of the grout.
These steps should remove as much mold as possible. If the grout or caulk remains stained, there is one more option. You can re-grout and re-caulk the affected areas.
When adding new caulk, consider using Polyseamseal Tub and Tile Adhesive Caulk as it contains mildewcide, allowing the caulk to resist mold and mildew growth.
How to Deal With Mold on Shower Curtains
Shower curtains are difficult to keep clean. Soap and scum cling to the surface, increasing the chance of mildew and mold growth.
For minor mold growth on vinyl or plastic, scrub the curtains with baking soda and water. Spraying a little vinegar on the curtains afterward helps protect against future growth.
Washing fabric or cloth curtains in the washing machine with some detergent and a half cup of baking soda may remove mold. Soaking the fabric in a bucket filled with vinegar may also work.
For severe mold growth, toss the curtains. Even if you remove the mold, the stains will likely remain.
Health Risk of Black Mold
Mold is gross to look at but what is the real risk? It turns out that mildew and mold growth in the bathroom does not pose a serious health crisis unless the mold spores begin to spread through the rest of the house.
Some types of mold become a danger when allowed to spread on surfaces with cellulose, which is found in wood and wood-derived materials such as paper and fiberboard.
If the mold penetrates the walls, floorboards, and rafters, the toxic mold may develop.
In bathrooms, the mold is more likely to cause minor respiratory issues in some individuals. Potential symptoms include:
- Itchy eyes
- Skin irritation
During a severe reaction, you may also find it difficult to take deep breaths. If you detect these signs, remove mold and consider having your property inspected for the spread of mold through other areas.
While mold is rarely a danger, remove it before it has the chance to spread. It can easily travel through air ducts and settle in rooms throughout the house.
Tips for Preventing Mold Growth
Reduce the risk of future mold growth with a few simple steps. First, use a bathroom fan when showering or taking a bath.
If the bathroom does not have a ventilation fan, consider installing one. The fan helps draw warm, humid air out of the bathroom, lowering the humidity. As mold spores thrive in dank, humid conditions, a lower humidity level helps prevent future growth.
Installing a fan may not be an option for everyone. Alternatives include opening the bathroom window or placing a box fan outside the bathroom door.
Besides higher humidity levels, bathrooms are also more prone to mold infestations due to the moisture. While you cannot get rid of water in the bathroom, you can clean up puddles and splashes from the shower or sink.
After taking a shower or bath, dry up wet spots with a towel or cleaning cloth. You do not need to wipe everything down.
Spending just a minute or two eliminating moisture helps protect the bathroom from the mold.
Mold also likes to grow around shower drains and sink drains. The drains contain cellulose, the substance that encourages mold growth.
Make sure that you keep the drains clear at all times. Clean out the hair to keep the water draining properly, reducing the buildup of soap scum around the drain.
Mold is unsightly and grows quickly in bathrooms. Luckily, you can typically remove mold easily using natural remedies with ingredients found around the house.
Vinegar, baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, and tea tree oil are a few of the most effective solutions for loosening, lifting, and removing mold. These ingredients also contain antibacterial and antifungal properties, helping to keep mold from coming back.
If you need to get rid of mold, remember to spray one of these solutions, allow it to sit, and then wipe clean or scrub with a brush.