Have you ever walked in your bathroom and noticed tiny black spots on the grout or on the caulking in the shower?
What’s the best thing to do in this situation?
My hope is that you’ve decided to act and properly remove it because this is one of the most common signs of active mold growth in your bathroom.
Left unattended, these relentless organisms can cause numerous complicated issues in the home.
In short, those little black spots pollinating in your bathroom walls are a sign that your bathroom either has poor ventilation.
Or some other concern that allows moisture to linger for long periods.
It’s a well-known fact that humid and wet environments cause mold to grow.
The minute it starts growing act fast to remove it or you can have a big problem on your hands.
Mold in your bathroom can be tricky to remove if you don’t have the right tools or know how to remove it.
So Why is Mold in Your Bathroom A Big Issue?
Being exposed to damp environments like a moldy bathroom can have adverse effects to your health.
Even still, some individuals who are more sensitive to mold can have worse life threating symptoms.
Individuals have noticed nasal irritations, throat irritations, coughing or wheezing, itchy eyes, and skin rashes from exposure. If you are one of those individuals with mold allergies, you may get severe reactions without even realizing that mold was the cause of these effects.
But how exactly does mold cause all these health concerns?
While mold grows in your bathroom, it releases microscopic spores into the air.
These tiny spores can reproduce and spread to other areas of your home creating unhealthy air quality in your home.
Some molds, not all, found growing in your bathroom can also produce toxins that will spread through your home and cause health issues for sensitive individuals.
Black Mold or Stachybotrys loves moisture rich areas.
This is one of the most well-known molds that come up in the news frequently. It can grow behind tiles, on grout, and under the subfloor in bathroom locations and other areas.
Bathrooms that remain damp for long periods or have unnoticed leaks can cause mold to grow after a week or two.
So, it’s important to act fast when you see any mold growth in your bathroom or anywhere in your home.
Mold growing in bathrooms can also signal other possible issues.
It can be a sign your exhaust fan in not working or signal that there is a leak somewhere in your bathroom.
Either way, you should act quickly to find and get rid of the mold and its moisture source.
Keep this in mind the next time you see mold in your bathroom, what you’re looking at it at the surface.
Mold tends to spread behind shower walls when the conditions are right. When you see mold growing, don’t ignore it, get rid of it.
Shower Mold Symptoms: How To Know It’s Really There
If you think you have a mold issue in your bathroom, there are some simple steps that you can take to find out for sure.
You just have to know the signs and smells that can alert you to the fact that you could have a mold issue.
- Look For Water Damage
One of the first things you want to look for is any sign of water damage.
This could be soft walls, peeling paint, loose wallpaper, discoloration on the walls, cracked or loose tiles falling from the shower wall.
Even gaps in the grout lines, if the bathroom surround looks warped, or you can see crumbling drywall around the shower.
- Checkout The “Mold Prone” Areas
The next thing you may want to look for is any signs of mold growth on ceilings, and around the base of the shower and toilet.
Often when you have a moisture problem or a leak, these areas will look discolored and feel soft to the touch.
Often you will be able to see visible mold on the grout between the tiles and the caulking within the shower compartment.
- Use Your Nose To Detect
A smelly musty odor in your bathroom is another way to find mold problems as well.
Sometimes you may mistake this smell for wet musty towels or damp clothing laying around in the bathroom.
Especially if there is a dirty laundry basket in that bathroom.
When you smell musty odors in the bathroom, find out where it’s coming from. This smell is a dead giveaway that some form of mold growth is taking place.
If you smell a persistent musty odor even when the bathroom has been cleaned and completely dry, this means there is a hidden leak or excess moisture accumulation that resulted in mold growth.
Don’t make the mistake of not fixing the problem.
The mold can spread and lead to costly repairs.
Also keep in mind that some molds release toxins that can cause health problems, especially if you are sensitive or allergic to mold, or your immune system is weak.
How To Get Rid Of Mold On Silicone Sealant
Silicone sealant is a rubbery material often used in bathroom showers to prevent water from getting behind the walls and joints.
Frequently, these sealants can get moldy and look unsightly.
This usually happens because the surface of the sealant stays damp in your bathroom causing mold spores to settle and begin to germinate.
When this happens, you can either attempt to clean the mold growth or remove and replace the sealant.
It is possible to remove mold from silicone sealants at the first sight of mold growth.
Below are some items that can be effective in cleaning mold from silicone sealant.
- Mild detergent
- Household Mold Remover
I usually don’t recommend using bleach.
But in this situation, it can be effective in removing and killing the surface growth.
Before you attempt to use bleach or any other chemicals, make sure you read the instructions and NEVER mix bleach with other chemicals when cleaning.
Another important thing is to use protective equipment such as gloves, goggles and long sleeve shirt – one that you don’t mind if it gets bleach stains.
Ventilation is also important, always open windows and use exhaust fans.
These steps below can be used to remove mold from silicone or caulking in your bathroom shower.
- Fill a large bowl with water.
- Put on gloves and mask vapor-based respirator-if working on large areas, open a window, and turn on the bathroom exhaust fan.
- Add a small amount of bleach to the water usually 10:1 mixture.
- Take a piece of paper towel and roll it about the diameter of a pencil
- Holding both ends, dip the rolled-up paper towel in the bleach solution
- Place it on the silicone caulking and let it sit for about an hour or two.
- After an hour, remove the paper towel, rinse the area, and allow to dry.
In a situation where the mold has completely covered the sealant or cleaning was not successful, the only thing that you can do at that point is the remove and replace the affected sealant.
One thing you can do to help prevent the mold forming is to apply mold resistant silicone.
When this kind of sealant is used, you can avoid having to clean or re-caulk unsightly joints in your bathroom constantly.
These forms of sealants are designed to prevent mold growth and can be effective in stopping water from seeping behind shower walls.
Always follow the manufacturer’s installation guidelines when applying these products.
NOTE: To help prevent mold growth, make sure you use a mold resistant based silicone caulk.
They can be found at any home improvement store.
- Remove the moldy caulking with a five in 1 tool or other tools.
- Make sure you remove all the residue and old pieces of caulking.
- Use a towel or cloth then dry the area thoroughly.
- Apply the new caulk following the manufacturer instructions.
- Allow the caulk to dry.
The Best Homemade Grout Cleaner For Mold (A DIY Solution)
It’s a fact that mold loves moist and humid environments with poor air circulation.
Think about it.
Where in your home gets hot, humid, and wet most of the day?
That’s right your bathroom shower.
Whenever you take a shower, the air becomes humid and filled with moisture.
This is the perfect condition for mold to grow if it can find a suitable food source. The tile grout on the shower walls is most often where you will find mold growth.
You can prevent and get rid of mold in these areas by taking a few simple steps.
Most of the time preventing the mold growth is the best cure. However, sometimes that’s not always possible.
The best remedy for this problem is to deprive mold of what it needs to grow.
If you can keep the tiles dry after each shower, you can avoid the mold growth altogether.
All you have to do is wipe down the shower walls with a hand towel or absorbent cloth after each shower.
Doing this will help to make the grout get dry faster.
You can even use a use a squeegee.
No one method is better than the other. The key is to remove the excess moisture from the tiles and the grout lines.
Also, you should run your bathroom exhaust fan for at least 30 minutes after you take a shower. This will help to remove the damp, humid air and help to dry the tiles and the grout.
If you have mold growing on the grout, you can take some simple steps to fix this issue.
All you need are some simple everyday household items like, over the counter 3 percent hydrogen peroxide, gloves – optional, small brush, cloth.
And safety glasses – to avoid the peroxide from getting in your eyes.
3% peroxide is a safer alternative to bleach and other harsh chemicals for a couple of reasons.
Chlorine Bleach is not recommended for cleaning molds, because it releases harmful gasses, and it doesn’t kill mold at the roots.
Other harsh chlorine or ammonia-based chemicals produce unsafe chemical vapors that can cause headaches, burning eyes, and other health issues.
3 Steps To Removing Mold in Shower Grout
Here is a safe, simple, and quick way to get rid of black mold growing on the grout in your shower.
- Just pour some peroxide on the mold itself, or you can apply the peroxide to the brush and then begin to scrub the molds growing on the grout.
- When the molds have been removed, wash and dry the area. Washing the wall will remove all the residue from the cleaning process.
- The last thing you can do is to wipe the wall down and run the bathroom exhaust fan for about 15 – 20 minutes. Running the fan is proven to be effective at removing the excess moisture from the grout.
If you really want to stop the mold from coming back, you can apply a grout sealer.
The grout sealer provides a water-resistant barrier.
Also, the sealer prevents water from seeping through the grout and getting behind the tiles, so the annual application of sealer is recommended.
The Best Anti Mold Tile Grout
Let’s face it, even if you clean your bathroom’s shower tile and grout regularly, chances are that you will still end up with some form of discoloration, soap scum, and dirt in the grout.
When this happens, mold will most likely begin to grow in these areas when the conditions are just right.
Why does this happen?
The grout used in most showers is simply a mixture of cement, sand, and water.
This makes it porous and absorbs water easily. When the grout is not sealed correctly, it will absorb water, dirt, and other liquids like a sponge.
When this happens, mold will begin to grow on the surface of the grout because it has a food source and moisture
Mold will generally grow in the grout and not on the surface of the shower tile.
This is because the surface of the tile itself is sealed during the curing process.
As a result, it’s hard for any mold growth to take place on the tile.
Mold grows between the tiles where the cement-based grout is applied. It grows in these locations because of the availability of moisture, soap scum and other dirt particles stick to the surface of the grout.
This is when you can have a mold problem that can sometimes be difficult to remove.
Getting rid of mold on grout can be time-consuming and difficult.
Not to mention it can become costly if the mold growth is bad enough where you have to get the grout replaced.
How To Prevent Mold in Grout lines
The most effective way to prevent mold growth on the grout lines is to have it sealed the right way.
There are many grout sealants on the market, and some are better that others.
If you plan to apply a grout sealer on your bathroom shower wall, look for a penetrating sealer.
These forms of grout sealers use a water or mineral base that allows small latex or silicone particles penetrate the grout.
When the porous grout absorbs the sealer, the compound fills in the tiny granular spaces that are designed to keep moisture out.
These types of penetrating grout sealers are ideal for shower locations. Avoid using membrane forming grout sealers in showers.
Membrane sealers will trap moisture behind the tile which can lead to a mold problem.
If you want to prevent mold from forming on the grout in your shower, you should ensure the tile is sealed with the right sealer.
If you have a mold growing in the grout, its best to first remove the mold growth with peroxide, allow the grout to dry out, then apply the sealer per manufacturers recommendations.
Use more that one application if necessary.
Grout lines in moist areas such as bathroom shower locations work best with when applied yearly or as needed.
If you use the right sealer and apply it the right way, you’re sure to prevent unsightly stains and mold growth. Most likely, you’ll never have to scrub the grout in your shower for a long time.
Here’s a video quick demonstration below:
4 Proven Methods To Prevent Mold On Shower Walls And Grout
It’s no great mystery that any source of moisture mixed with the right conditions will cause mold to grow quickly.
Your bathroom and shower walls provide an excellent habitat to promote mold growth because it stays wet and humid most of the time.
Not to mention its difficult to get the right amount of ventilation in the bathroom that often have no windows.
So How do you prevent mold growth on bathroom shower wall and grout?
The trick is to make your bathroom environment unsuitable for mold development.
This can be done by eliminating the excess moisture sources in your bathroom.
Bathroom mold prevention can be simple when you take these simple steps:
- Proper Air Circulation
Run the bathroom exhaust fan while you take a shower and allow it to run an additional 20-30 minutes after.
This will help to reduce the amount of hot humid air in the bathroom and will enable the shower walls and the bathroom to dry-out quickly.
If you live in an older home that doesn’t have an exhaust fan, consider having one installed.
Also, If you have no window in the bathroom to provide fresh air, the best alternative is to have an exhaust fan installed.
Any intake of fresh air will help the bathroom to dry-out. Most exhaust fans come with a built-in timer that allows you to set the length of time you want the exhaust fan to operate.
Also, some fans come with a built-in humidistat that will allow the bathroom exhaust fan to activate automatically when it detects high humidity levels.
These options make operating the bathroom exhaust fan simple, quick and easy.
- Get Rid Of As Much Water As Possible After Taking A Shower
After each use, get into the habit of drying your shower walls. You can easily use a squeegee to remove the excess water from these areas.
Also using a dry cloth to wipe down the walls will easily do the trick.
In extreme cases and in high humidity climates, placing a portable dehumidifier in your bathroom can help to remove the excess moisture and cut down the humidity levels.
This will also help to dry out the bathroom quickly.
When using dehumidifiers ensure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the unit to work effectively
- Try To Make Walls Moisture Resistant
If you have tiles on the shower walls and on the floor, get the grout lines treated with a grout sealer.
This will help to cut down on the amount of debris and other particles that can get trapped on the grout which leads to mold development.
Also, inspect the tiles for cracks and any missing grout that may allow water to seep behind the surface.
Fix these types of minor items as soon as you find them.
Don’t wait until it becomes a big problem.
Paint the bathroom walls with semi-gloss or gloss type paint. This will create a surface that is easy to wipe off if condensation that accumulates on the wall areas.
Install a fiberglass shower surround. This helps to reduce any mold issues in the shower greatly.
Fiberglass showers are constructed of non-porous materials so there is little to no risk of water getting trapped on the surface that can lead to mold growth.
Also, they are easy to wipe down and maintain.
- Clean regularly
Frequently clean and disinfect the surface areas in the bathroom. Regular cleaning will prevent mold growth.
Clean areas such bathtub, shower walls toilets, and sinks.
Wash bathroom rugs frequently, especially if they get damp quickly. It’s best to wash them every 2-3 days. Clean shower curtains by wiping them down or washing them frequently.
Mold tends to grow faster on the bottom of the shower curtain because it remains wet constantly.
After each shower, remember to stretch out the curtain across the shower rod to prevent any mold development between the creases.
A certified Environmental Health & Safety professional who has performed successful mold investigations and remediation projects for years.