This time of year is when we start battling mold in our bathrooms. Mold loves dark, moist areas and a bathroom is its perfect home. Mold is a living fungus that reproduces when it has enough water and food. Mold is not related to cleanliness but to moisture, therefore even the cleanest bathroom can have an ongoing mold issue.
Some mold is more dangerous than others, but most molds are just growing organisms that damage walls and tile grout. Mold growing on porous drywall is actually using the drywall for food and destroying it in the process.
Bleach will not kill mold. It will change its appearance but the mold will grow back. And, bleach is unhealthy and damaging to the environment. To kill mold you must use an anti-microbial.
This year, wage a different battle against mold. Use these few simple tricks and a green DIY recipe to keep mold from growing in your bathroom.
- Run the fan as much as possible – mold can’t grow without moisture. Run your ceiling fan for at least 10 minutes AFTER the steam has disappeared from the bathroom mirror. Moisture stays in the air long after you can see it, so let the fan run the entire time you are getting ready in the morning.
- Open the window even slightly so you have continual fresh air – Fresh air helps damp surfaces dry faster.
- Use a squeegee to remove water on the shower walls and glass doors – This will not only stop the mold but keep your shower clean. If you squeegee your shower, you’ll almost never have to clean it.
- Wipe down surfaces with a microfiber cloth – if you wipe down damp surfaces in your shower and sink with a microfiber cloth, everything will dry faster and you will stop mold in its tracks. Make sure to take the damp microfiber cloth out of the bathroom when you are done.
- Hang wet towels outside of the bathroom -Wet towels can take up to 24 hours to dry and create unwanted extra moisture.
- Hang wet bath mats outside of the shower area – Shower mats collect a ton of water. These carpets can take days to completely dry. Hang mats and throw rugs outside so that they can dry completely.
- Shake out your shower curtain– Shower curtains are a breeding ground for mold. Moisture gets into the pleats which are perfect a perfect breeding ground for mold. By shaking out the curtain you remove the excess water and help it to dry faster. Remember to keep the curtain completely drawn.
- Spray this DIY mix daily on dry tile grout and drywall –
- Vodka or witch hazel
- 20 drops of tea tree essential oil
Combine ingredients in a spray bottle and spray the mixture on dry tile grout and drywall daily (it’s important the grout is dry, so that the mixture will penetrate the grout pores to kill mold beneath the surface). The alcohol in the vodka will evaporate very quickly and the anti-microbial properties of the tea tree oil will work to kill the mold and mold spores in your shower area. This mix is great to use on ceilings too, especially textured ceilings that are difficult to wipe down.
- Clean your bathroom regularly or hire a cleaning service. Mold needs a food source to survive. It eats dead skin cells trapped in soap scum residue. Eliminating mold requires removing its food source. So a frequent, thorough shower cleaning will go a long way toward reducing your problem long term.
A bathroom is a very hospitable environment for mold, so the battle against it will be ongoing, but with these tips you can be more effective, safely.