Mold! Ewww. The browns and blacks of mold growing in the grout, along the edge of the tub, or behind some bottle on the shelf is never a good thing to see. Not only is mold rather gross to look at, it isn't good for our health either. It is important to take care of it when you notice it because it can grow, spread, and cause health problems. Your bathroom is a high target for mold because it has everything it needs there. It is nice and warm, very wet, and has a steady supply of food (often in the form of skin cells!). Tackling that problem doesn't have to be that bad.
Reasons To Go Natural.
There are a million products on the market today that are said to kill mold, get rid of mold stains, and keep it from coming back. However, they aren't healthy for you! These toxic chemicals often kill mold, but they rarely get rid of mold stains, and they lack the power to keep it from coming back. Choosing green cleaning options will make a difference in your health and can still get rid of your mold problems.
There is no doubt about it that preventing mold is a great way to go. You should work on that before you notice mold and make sure that you are looking at that when dealing with mold as well. Check out the article How to Stop Mold From Growing In Your Bathroom for more information.
Tile and Grout.
The bathroom has a lot of places that water often sits. One of these is tile and grout. you want to make sure that you wipe these surfaces up whenever they get wet. When you do notice mold it is time to jump into action.
- Spray the area with vinegar or Listerine. Both vinegar and Listerine do an excellent job of cleaning mold. (Listerine smells way better, but also costs more so the choice is yours). Let it sit for a few minutes.
- Scrub it! After you have killed the mold you want to scrub it up and make sure that none of it is left behind. Use a hard bristled brush to scrub it up and a cloth to wipe up what has been scrubbed.
- Bleach it. If a stain has been left behind it is likely that you will want to get rid of as much of it as possible. Rather than using bleach (which is horrible for you, see the article Why You Should Stop Using Bleach for more information) you have two natural options. Try hydrogen peroxide. This has bleaching properties without the horrible smell and without the horrible side effects. You can also mix 1 part salt and 1 part baking soda with vinegar to make a paste. Apply the paste to the stain and let it sit. Then scrub it up.
Around the Caulking.
Grout looks terrible with mold, but it tends to be easier to clean than caulking. The caulk around the tub and even the base of the toilet can be prime spots for mold to grow. Cleaning up the mold should be done in the same way that cleaning the mold on the tile should be done. Using Listerine is a great way to have a great smelling shower as well. Instead of using a hard bristled brush an old tooth brush is often the better way to go. This will make it possible for you to get into the cracks.
If your caulking is coming up off the edge of the floor or tub there is one last step you should do. You should use a utility knife and cut off any caulk that is coming up. Then carefully re-caulk that area so that the mold can't continue to grow under the caulk. New caulk can also cover up stained caulk and protect the wall more.
No matter how often you clean and how often you make sure the water gets wiped up, the sink drain can still be a problem. To get rid of mold in the sink is a little harder, but it can be done. You don't have to brush your teeth over a smelly drain!
- Kill as much as possible. You want to pour a couple of cups of vinegar or Listerine down the drain to kill as much mold as possible.
- Remove stopper (if possible). Not all stoppers are ones that can be removed. If yours is then you should use a small brush to scrub the drain and the drain stopper. Get as much mold as you can. Rinse away.
- Add more mold killer. It is very difficult to get rid of mold altogether so it is a good idea to work hard to make sure that you are killing it. You should add a couple more cups of vinegar or Listerine to your drain. It may even be a good idea to add a whole bottle the first time you are cleaning the mold.
- Treat once a week. Often when mold grows in your sink it isn't something you can get rid of all at once. Instead you should treat it once a week by adding two cups of mold killing liquid to the drain. Try and splash it around so it touches all the sides of the drain pipe.
Some bathrooms grow mold in other areas as well. Using vinegar to clean it up will kill it anywhere that it grows. You can then bleach the stain out using hydrogen peroxide or using a salt and baking soda paste (moisten with vinegar). If there is carpet in your bathroom that is growing mold then you will want to check out the article Mold Removal: Clean Carpets.
Often times cleaning regularly and thoroughly is enough to keep mold away. However, every now and again it creeps up on us and we don't notice until it is too late. Avoid bleaching it and clean it with vinegar or Listerine! You will get great results and can have a mold free bathroom. These techniques are also good for getting rid of mold all over the house. However, if you have mold caused from a water leak, a leaky roof, or a flood it is important that you take more drastic measures!