It's summer time also known as family vacation time! And while you may be off enjoying yourself, do you know what might be waiting for you at home? Moldâ€¦in your toilets.
"But wait a minute!" you may say, "The toilets at my house are always clean. Why would there be mold growing in them when I get back?"
Unfortunately, mold doesn't care if your toilets are clean or not. What it does care is how long you will be away from home. You see, mold needs humidity to grow. The toilet is a vessel that holds water. Mold also needs organic matter to feed on. As water stands, especially during the heat of summer, it will become stagnant and the perfect incubator for bacteria. In addition, it will attract dust and particles. Bacteria & Dust = Food Source + Water = Mold.
If you are one of the unlucky homeowners to come home to an unsightly toilet bowl mold problem, there are ways to remedy it. The first step would be to perform a serious scrub down with bleach. While bleach does not kill mold on porous surfaces, it should help do the trick in your toilet bowl. Alternatively, you could use white vinegar to remove the mold as it has been clinically proven to kill over 84% of all mold species. Always use protective gloves when dealing with mold or bacteria. Use a scouring brush to help scrape the mold off and flush.
Unfortunately, mold in a toilet will often leave an unsightly stain. One option would be to leave bleach to soak in the toilet for as long as possible. However, as many homeowners will attest to, often the stain will form above the water line. Add some more water if you have to and just let it sit.
If your mold problem appears to be reoccurring, you might have another problem on your hand. You should have your water tested for mold as well as the air (you can purchase both kits at major hardware stores or online). If mold is found in your water source, you will want to call your water provider to discuss this problem. If your airborne mold spore count tests high, you will want to take steps to discourage mold growth immediately such as using a dehumidifier to maintain a less optimal breeding ground for mold. If nothing else, you can always call your local certified mold specialist for expertise. Alternatively, your water source may be high in minerals which are causing a mold colored staining.
One should also consider that the water might be high in iron or hydrogen sulfide. Using a water filtration system will help alleviate this problem. Also, homeowners should note that there are types of waterborne bacteria that will actually produce black mold-like waste, so it is important to test your water if your problem will not go away.
In the future, if you plan to be away for an extended period of time, have someone stop by every couple days and flush your toilets. In addition, clean your toilets before leaving, keep a chlorine tablet in your tank and keep lids up to permit as much light into the bathroom as possible.