3 Tips for Removing Bathroom Mold
There is no doubt about it; mold is a health hazard. And the myriad symptoms can be subtle and build up over time, leaving you wondering why you have been feeling so terrible. Typically, it hides in the dark and damp places, proliferating out of sight. But did you know that mold, and its evil cousin mildew, can also grow on exposed surfaces in your bathroom? Common bathroom mold species such as Chaetomium and Mucor, names that sound like an evil nemesis from a sci-fi movie, can grow on the wall or floor tiles, and even the shower curtain. Add to that the possibility for leaky faucets or drains to seep into dark spaces between walls and floors and you have a recipe for mold disaster. Today we will discuss ways you can combat this toxic build-up and give you tips for removing bathroom mold.
Symptoms of Mold Exposure
The symptoms of mold exposure can vary from person to person. Some people may have only mild, subtle symptoms, while others may be afflicted with symptoms that rob them of the quality of life. The latter, usually have a mold allergy to contend with, which makes the symptoms of mold exposure that much more severe. For these individuals, removing bathroom mold is even more important.
Some common symptoms that could indicate mold exposure are:
- Weakness and Fatigue
- Issues with memory and concentration
- Joint pain
- Strange skin sensations
- Shortness of breath or sinus issues
- Stomach problems, like pain or diarrhea
- Blurred vision
- Vertigo or dizziness.
These symptoms may be subtle, and you may only have one or two of them, or they may come on rapidly, and you could experience several. It all depends on the individual. One thing is for sure, because none of them are pleasant, removing bathroom mold needs to be a priority.
Removing Bathroom Mold
So, now that we have a little background on what mold can do to our bodies and where it is likely to be found let’s look at ways you can get rid of it. It isn’t complicated, and you may already have many of the products already in your home.
The smell of this liquid is instantly recognizable, and you probably have several different varieties in your spice cabinet. For our purposes here, I recommend distilled white vinegar. An artisan balsamic, though delicious on salads, would be a bad idea for this application.
You will need an empty spray bottle for this. Fill it with the vinegar at full strength and spray all of the surfaces you suspect harbor mold. Make sure you get the wall and floor tiles, and any cracks or crevices you can see in the caulking. Additionally, make sure you spray down the shower curtain or shower doors if you have them.
Once you have doused your bathroom in vinegar, let it sit for an hour. But, because the odor will be strong, now is a good time to open up the windows and doors and allow the bathroom to air out a bit. There is no danger of toxicity with vinegar fumes, but the smell can be overpowering. Also, studies show that vinegar kills up to 82% of mold species, so it is a safe and natural way to clean or prevent mold build-up.
Baking Soda and Bleach
This method is a sort of one-two punch. First, you are going to take a mixture of baking soda, liquid soap, and water and make a paste out of it. You could even add a scented oil if you want to make this mixture smell nice. Use this mixture to scrub down the areas that are moldy. The baking soda is a mild abrasive, making this mixture an excellent cleanser even for regular use.
After you have scrubbed everything down, you will then fill a spray bottle with a combination of 1 part bleach to 2 parts water. Spray the entire area, and allow it to dry, Then, spray it again, this time scrubbing the surfaces with a brush. Rinse it all off, and viola! No more mold. You can repeat this is many times as needed. The bleach spray also makes an excellent ‘after-shower’ spray to prevent a mold comeback.
Hydrogen Peroxide is relatively inexpensive and very effective at killing mold. You can even mix it with a little vinegar to increase the effectiveness of this solution. Make sure you use 3% hydrogen peroxide, and the spray bottle should be dark or opaque. Exposure to light will decrease the effectiveness of Hydrogen Peroxide.
Spray your surfaces with the solution and allow it to sit for 10 to 20 minutes. Then spray another coat and leave it for an hour or two. When you return, you will wipe the surface clean, and any mold should also be gone.
Well, there you have it. Three cheap, natural, and safe ways of removing bathroom mold. And remember, prevention is the best medicine when it comes to mold. Use one of the above solutions regularly after showering, keep humidity levels low and be sure always to fix leaks as soon as you notice them. If after you clean up the bathroom, you are still experiencing symptoms of mold exposure, or believe you may have a bigger mold issue, be sure to contact the Mold Remediation folks at SunCoast!