Knowing how to get rid of mold in showers, and keep it from returning, can save you both time and money. It can also protect your family’s health.
How To Get Rid Of Mold In Showers
Fewer places in the home are as mold and mildew-friendly as the bathroom. Combine a small, usually windowless, space with moisture and warmth and you’ve got the perfect breeding ground for that nasty stuff.
Shower Mold Can Make You Sick
If you’ve got allergy sufferers or people with compromised immune systems in your home, you already know the dangers of that slimy pink or orange (and in truly bad cases, black) goop that grows on shower curtains and grout.
Symptoms of mold and mildew allergies include nasal stuffiness, throat irritation, coughing or wheezing, eye irritation, and even skin irritation or rashes. Even without an allergy, mold can cause infections or irritant and toxic reactions that range from flu-like symptoms to skin infections and pneumonia, according to the Mayo Clinic.
But how do you get rid of mold in showers and keep it away? It’s easier than you think!
Hard-Surface Mold Removal
Non-toxic mold removal is as simple as combining 1/2 cup of 3-percent hydrogen peroxide and 1 cup of warm water in a spray bottle. Now, spray it generously on every surface of the shower stall, including the floor. Allow it to sit one hour then scrub vigorously with a stiff-bristled brush and hot water. Don’t bother making up a batch of this stuff in advance; hydrogen peroxide can lose its potency over time, so you’ll need to make this fresh every time.
The bleach alternative is faster but some people find bleach fumes irritating. I’m one of them. If you’re fine using it, then simply mix equal parts of bleach and plain water and spray it on every surface of the shower stall, including the floor. Allow surfaces to remain wet for 10 minutes then rinse well. Be sure you’re running the bathroom fan when you do this, and take precautions to avoid breathing the mist or allowing it to come in contact with your skin. And never, EVER mix bleach with any other household cleaner!
Wash Your Shower Curtain, Too
In the machine: Put a bath towel in the bottom of your washing machine then add the dry shower curtain. Add a couple of washcloths to the load, too — these will act as “scrubbers” during the wash cycle. Use the normal amount of laundry detergent and add 1/2 cup of baking soda. Wash the curtain on the gentle or delicate cycle using hot water for both the wash and rinse. (Note: for fabric curtains follow the manufacturer’s instructions regarding temperature!) Hang the curtain outside to fully dry if possible.
In the bathtub: Fill the tub with hot water, 1/2 cup laundry detergent, and 1/2 cup baking soda. Lower the shower curtain into the water and, using a wash cloth or sponge, scrub the curtain on both sides. Drain the tub, lifting the curtain as needed to allow all of the water out. Refill the tub with hot water and add 2 cups of white vinegar. Allow the curtain to soak for 5 minutes before draining and rehanging the curtain, no rinse required.
How To Prevent Mold In Showers
Run your bathroom fans regularly. Yes, it’s nice to step out of a hot shower into a nice, steamy bathroom on a cold winter’s day. Unfortunately, that mix isn’t just cozy to humans: it’s the perfect environment for mold and mildew. Either run your bathroom fan while you shower, or make it a point to run it for at least 15 minutes afterward. (You can easily install a timer to run your bathroom fan.)
Shake the curtain. After your shower, give the curtain a good shake then close it most — but not all — of the way. This will allow the curtain to completely dry between uses, reducing the amount of mold that builds up.
Let the light shine. We had a skylight installed in our bathroom for this exact reason, but you don’t have to cut holes in your roof. Just leave the lights on when you’re using the bathroom, and consider installing a timer on them, too.
Hang the towels. Kids are notorious for tossing their damp bath towels on the floor. Not only is this an annoying habit, the towels can never dry so they just add to the moist environment that promotes mold growth. If your kids are too young to understand how to use a towel rack (or if, like mine, they broke your rack by using it to do chin-ups), consider installing simple wall hooks to make it easier for them to hang towels after each use.
Clean it regularly. Even with daily attention, you’ll still need to clean the bathroom regularly. Consider using the weekly bathroom cleaning routine or follow your own.
A few minutes of work to get it clean followed by regular daily attention is all it takes to get rid of shower mold and mildew and keep it away for good.