A hot and humid bathroom is the perfect breeding ground for mould, but how do you get rid of it?
Unfortunately, our bathrooms are susceptible to mould formation because they provide the ideal conditions for it to grow. Mould thrives in damp and warm environments, so a room regularly getting hot and steamy, with wet surfaces and drying towels, is a fungus’ dream home.
Condensation is one of the most common causes of mould issues, and this occurs when moist air comes into contact with and condenses on a colder surface, such as a window, wall or mirror.
We’re all probably familiar with stepping out of a hot shower or warm bath to find the mirror or windows steamed up. Condensation can also be exacerbated by a drop in temperature, which is all the more common in the autumn and winter when our bathroom is typically colder than the hot steam from a shower or bath.
You may have spotted the first signs of mould on your shower curtain, bathroom walls or even your bathroom ceiling, but don’t panic. There are various ways to get rid of mould, and below we’ve covered some quick and easy measures to stop it from sprouting up again in the future.
Failing to address mould can leave your bathroom looking unsightly, and it can cause respiratory and health issues if left unattended. So, here’s our guide to how to get rid of mould in a bathroom.
What causes mould in bathrooms?
One of the most common causes of mould in bathrooms is lingering moisture combined with a lack of ventilation. In most bathrooms, you’ll find that moisture is the culprit. From steamy showers to long baths, you may want to install a bathroom extractor fan, which you should use every time you shower or bathe, and for around 15-30 minutes after you get out. If your bathroom has a window, open it while you take a shower or bath, and leave it open afterwards to help ventilate the room.
Mould grows on moisture-rich surfaces, of which there are plenty in our bathrooms. So you’ll want to dry down any wet surfaces. These could be your shower wall or floor, and simply wiping them down with a towel creates a less hospitable environment for mould to grow. Mould can also appear on grout or even wallpaper, so don’t forget to wipe these surfaces down, too.
It’s also worthwhile getting into the habit of not leaving damp towels or clothing in your bathroom.
If doing all this doesn’t help, it may mean that there is a more serious reason that mould has sprouted up in your bathroom, and it isn’t a solely superficial problem. For example, it could be that you have a leak that has caused water to seep into plasterboard or wood. Check your pipes, taps and toilets for any signs of an issue with leaking water. If you find anything untoward, you’ll need to repair the leak as soon as possible and dry out the affected areas.
It’s all well and good cleaning mould away, but it’s sure to return if you don’t determine and address the source of the mould in the first place.
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How to get rid of mould in a bathroom
Mould can be especially dangerous for those with respiratory conditions such as asthma and various allergies. It’s therefore important to get on top of it as soon as you see it appear in your bathroom.
Whether you have one of those health conditions or not, it is essential to protect yourself before you even consider tackling mould in your bathroom. Pop on a pair of gloves and a mask, as cleaning mould away can release mould spores into the air, which can be especially harmful if breathed in.
You can buy a dedicated mould removal spray. However, for a more cost-effective option, you probably already have the items you need in your home and, more specifically, your kitchen cabinets.
This cheap and easy solution is one of the best for breaking down mould. You don’t need to dilute it with water, as you want it at its full acidic strength to work on the spots or areas of mould.
Simply transfer the white vinegar into an empty spray bottle and spray it directly onto the affected areas. You don’t need to scrub or rinse the vinegar off straight away. Instead, let it sit on the mould for at least an hour to absorb the particles and spores.
Just be careful when using vinegar on certain types of tiles because it can cause damage to their finishes.
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While baking soda is typically milder than vinegar, you can use it to scrub mould away from grout and other areas that need some more TLC. Create a thick paste by mixing equal parts baking soda and water in a bowl and apply it to the mould before letting it dry. Then you can scrub this away.
Alternatively, combine two tablespoons of baking soda with two cups of water in a spray bottle. Shake it thoroughly until the baking soda has completely dissolved, then spray the solution directly onto the areas of mould and scrub it away. In both scenarios, you’ll need to let the affected areas air dry when you’ve completed your scrubbing.
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Other ways to prevent mould in the future
Unsurprisingly, prevention is often better than a cure, and there are a couple of quick and easy steps to take to prevent mould from reappearing in the future.
In addition to opening your bathroom window or switching on an extractor fan, you may also want to invest in a dehumidifier to help draw moisture out of the air. There are several dehumidifiers to choose from, and we’ve put a vast array of them to the test to determine the best dehumidifiers you can buy.
If you do notice mould in your bathroom, keep on top of it with our cleaning methods above and don’t give it the chance to grow or spread.