How To Get Rid Of Bathroom Mould

You’ll find “Mold” in Wales – and anywhere else on Earth that opts for the US spelling of the word – but at Big Bathroom Shop we deal with “Mould” and “proper English” (sic), so let’s look at how to deal with that bathroom nastiness in a little more detail.

How to get rid of bathroom mould

Bathroom mould is a nasty and unsightly thing that should be dealt with as soon as its seen.

Not only is it ugly, but it can be harmful to your health, sometimes causing breathing difficulties and damaging your immune system.

Thankfully, most mould can be easily removed with a simple cleaning solution.

In this ultimate mould removing guide, we show you how to spot it, get rid of it and prevent it from coming back!

What is bathroom mould?

a close up of a mouldy wall in a bathroom

Bathroom mould is a fungus that loves to grow in the damp and warm conditions of your bathroom.

As one of the most common problems in any bathroom, it can grow on almost any surface, including –

  • Walls
  • Showers
  • Grout
  • Tiles
  • Wood
  • Wallpaper
  • Sinks
  • Toilets

Once there, bathroom mould can spread very quickly and even be present without any visible signs.

What causes bathroom mould?

Mould begins to grow due to excess moisture and poor ventilation – why else do you think most bathrooms have an extractor fan?

In a hot and steamy bathroom, condensation can begin to build up over time.

As the warm, moist air meets the cold surfaces in your bathroom, it will cling on much like it does on your windows in the winter.

But it isn’t just a lack of ventilation that causes bathroom mould.

Poorly insulated bathrooms, leaking pipework, and excess condensation – that is not removed following a bath or shower – can all contribute to ugly black mould taking hold.

the cause of bathroom mould condensation on a glass shower screen

How do I know if I have mould?

There are several ways to identify if you have a bathroom mould problem.

If you can already see it, the issue is probably already quite advanced and will need addressing as soon as possible.

It is important to know what you are looking for, so here are just some of the tell-tale signs that you may have a mould problem in your bathroom.

A musty smell

The spores that make up mould are decomposing materials, so they can give off quite a pungent aroma.

If you find that you have a persistently damp smell in your bathroom, even when the bathroom is clean and completely dry, it could be that you have a leak or some moisture accumulation somewhere.

This may rapidly develop into a bigger mould issue and, if left unchecked, could ultimately mean an expensive repair bill is on the cards.

Wall & Tile Damage

Crumbling plasterwork, paint that blisters and cracked or loose tile work with gaps in the grout or caulk, could all mean that moisture has found its way into your walls.

This means that mould is silently growing behind your tiles and can be very bad news if your walls look warped and tiles move with the slightest touch.

If you have reached this level of mould damage, it is probably best to contact a trained professional to come and take a look at the problem – playing around with it could cause more damage than you think!

Visible Mould

As stated above, if you can see mould already, the problem is already at an advanced stage.

To be sure you know what sort of mould you are dealing with, you can purchase home mould test kits that can help determine how dangerous a mould is to you and your family.

Again though, if you’re not sure, or if you have an existing condition that may be exacerbated by mould, steer clear and call in the professionals!

A Slight Muddy Look

Often, black mould can grow on tiles and if your tiles look a little muddy and feel slimy and damp, it may be that black mould has taken hold.

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of really deep cleans, if you find that your tiles have this sort of a look, try using toothpaste and a toothbrush to get in-between the tiles.

Just a little scrubbing should shift most of the debris, but be sure to wear gloves and a mask to be on the safe side and rinse down afterwards.

How to remove mould from bathroom tiles

There are several ways in which to remove mould from a bathroom, some more easy than others.

The trick with them all is to ensure you kill the mould off.

This is the best way to keep it at bay and be sure it won’t make an unwanted return.

However, before you tackle any mould, it is important to identify the source and only remove it if is caused by condensation, as explained by the NHS website.

So, if you’re certain condensation is the cause of your problem, let’s look at the best things to use and how to make your own mould killing solutions to get rid of that nasty stuff that’s spoiling your bathroom ambience.

Kill it with bleach

A simple way to start when getting rid of mould is with a chlorine bleach.

There are plenty on the market and many of them are designed to specifically kill bathroom mould.

You will have to be careful with this method, however, particularly if you have coloured tile grout or caulking, as the bleach can make both fade considerably.

For this method, simply follow these instructions:

  • Spray the cleaner directly onto the mouldy grout
  • Allow it to sit for 20 to 30 minutes
  • Scrub with a stiff bristled brush (like a toothbrush)
  • Rinse with warm water

The vinegar solution

a bottle of vinegar on a white background

For a simple, non-toxic mould killer, white vinegar is a fabulous alternative to more harmful chemical cleaners.

Grab yourself a spray bottle and pour some white vinegar in to use it.

It does not need to be diluted – in fact, it is at it’s most effective when it is just pure vinegar being sprayed.

Follow these steps to use vinegar as your solution to bathroom mould:

  • Spray the solution onto the offending mould
  • Leave it for the 30 minutes
  • Scrub with a brush
  • Spray the solution on again and leave for a further half an hour
  • Rinse with warm water

Top Tip – Vinegar doesn’t smell the best, so leave a window open or turn on your extractor fan to avoid your bathroom smelling like a chippy!

Use Borax – like the big cleaner do!

Borax – or Sodium Borate – is found in all manner of domestic cleaning products.

This white mineral powder can be bought from most supermarkets and hardware stores and is found in laundry detergents and personal care products and is sometimes used for balancing the PH levels of some toys.

One thing it is definitely good for, is getting rid of black bathroom mould.

Mix about 200 grams of Sodium Borate with about 4 litres of water and then pour the solution into a spray bottle.

Spray this magical solution onto your mouldy tiles or grout work and you’ll notice a big difference.

You usually won’t need to rinse off after – as Borax is great at keeping mould at bay – but if you suffer from skin allergies or are pregnant, it may be a good idea to rinse it just in case.

Borax is sometimes highlighted as a “green” cleaning agent, but it can be quite toxic, so be sure to check if it could make an impact on you and your family before using it.

How to remove bathroom mould from walls

Whether painted or wallpapered, removing mould from bathroom walls takes a little more care than with tiles – obviously, it is best to avoid scrubbing paint and wallpaper with a brush!

Try using the more natural removers like white vinegar or borax but dilute it a little more than you would when cleaning tiles.

A few different methods can be used to effectively remove mould from walls.

Soap and water is a good place to start, and simply using a sponge or cloth to scrub the area lightly will likely make a difference.

If this fails, one part bleach to nine parts water with a little washing up liquid could get the job done. Be sure to test it in a less conspicuous part of the wall first, if possible.

Try not to get papered walls too wet, as they can bubble up, so be sure to dry the area completely after cleaning.

When removing mould – do so safely

Scrubbing away surface mould can be done in a matter of minutes with any of the methods above, but often the problem can be a little deeper seated.

Mould can spread and grow in places that go unnoticed and until you have spotted surface staining, mushy stud walls or a musty smell, you may not know that it is there.

If you do intend to remove mould from a space that is covering more than a few square feet, we suggest you take extra precautions.

Being a little more careful will avoid contaminating the rest of the house with the problem and prevent you from breathing in high concentrations of mould spores, which can be extremely dangerous.

Now, we’re not suggesting that you need to wear a full hazmat suit to get the job done, just for you to take a few extra precautions.

A man wearing a ventilation suit and protective mask

Avoid the dangers

To avoid any danger, it may be best to contact a professional to do the job safely, but if you insist on doing it yourself, be sure to consider the following:

  • Wear old clothes that you don’t mind throwing away.
  • Wear goggles, gloves and a respirator facemask (like an N95 or P100).
  • Control any airborne mould spores by wetting mouldy areas with a sprayer as you work.
  • Double bag anything you need to remove in durable bin bags.
  • Set up an old (or newly bought cheap) fan in a window to ventilate as you work – you’ll need to throw this out when you’re done.
  • If you have it, switch off your air con while you work to contain any spores in the one space.
  • Most of all, work slow and be careful.

Please note: The above is merely a guide and to be sure you are doing the right thing, we would always recommend seeking the advice of a professional, or just having them do the job to ensure it gets done safely and correctly.

How to prevent bathroom mould

To ensure you don’t continue to have a mould problem in your bathroom – or in any other room for that matter – you have to control and reduce the level of condensation in the space.

The best way to achieve this is to improve your bathroom ventilation.

Proper ventilation is the most effective way to control bathroom condensation, eliminate and prevent mould infestations.

There are several ways to do this.

The most common way is with an extractor fan, which is usually mounted on your ceiling and employed to suck moisture and other elements through a vent and out of your bathroom.

Using an extractor fan and opening a window should go a long way to preventing moisture build up and ultimately lead to less chance for mould to take root.

You should look to wipe down surfaces after a shower or a bath. This includes windows, window sills, tiles and bathroom units, and avoid leaving damp towels lying around to fester.

You should also consider the ambient temperature of your home. The colder your home is, the more condensation you can expect to deal with.

Always look to keep your home’s temperature at around 15 degrees Celsius, as this will prevent moisture gathering on external walls.

And finally, check your insulation.

In your loft or in your walls, ensuring you are properly insulated will help to keep your home warmer, increasing the temperature of cold surfaces and reducing the chances of damp and mould developing – this is especially important in the colder months of the year.

Beating bathroom mould

To deal with and prevent mould try to keep your bathroom ventilated and well-lit with natural light.

Clean regularly and treat tiles with any of the options above to reduce the chances of an infestation developing.

Wipe off surfaces following a bath or a shower and don’t leave damp towels lying around.

If all else fails – and we obviously hope it doesn’t – you can always tear it apart and start again, and we have all the inspiration you need to renovate your bathroom from scratch!

Good luck getting rid of the nastiness, and don’t forget, it is MOULD and not that lovely place in Wales!

Thanks, and remember to think BIG, but dream BIGGER!

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