How to Prevent Mold in a Bathroom – The Ultimate Guide

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Finding mold in your bathroom can be shocking and disturbing! What is it? How did it get there? Will it go away on its own? The best people to answer these questions are professional mold experts. That’s why you should trust Cleaner Guys for your answers. We’ve been highly-rated professional mold removers for more than 20 years, and we can answer all your questions about how to prevent mold in a bathroom.

Table of Contents

“Why does my bathroom get moldy?”

Mold is a fungus that can grow anywhere there is moisture, oxygen, and organic material to feed on. That makes bathrooms one of the most common places mold grows because they’re one of the wettest places in a home! Mold spores are always floating around in our air, both indoors and outdoors, just like dust particles and bacteria. But once those mold spores find an area that has excess moisture and food, they can take root and grow within 48 hours!

Mold eats almost any organic material, including drywall, wood, textiles, and dirt and crumbs. It takes a while to absorb enough food to grow, though, so it usually lasts the longest in places you don’t notice for a while. That means the most common places you’ll find it are inside sink cupboards, in grout and caulk, and inside AC or fan vents.

Click here to read more about all the places that mold can hide and grow in your home.

What Does Bathroom Mold Look Like?

Mold typically looks like small clusters of dots, usually black, green, grey, or brown in color. Some mold species grow in clusters of large patches or spots. Some mold species can be white, pink, or even red (although these are less common). Most molds are fuzzy in appearance, and feel fuzzy or slimy to the touch. Below are some examples of what different species of molds look like.

Skip to this part of the article if you already see mold, and need to know how to clean it, not prevent it.

Top 5 Ways How to Prevent Mold in a Bathroom

There are 5 simple, easy things you can do to prevent mold growth in your bathroom. These 5 things will make all the difference, so don’t be fooled by their simplicity! Each one can make a big difference, but all 5 combined will make it extremely difficult for mold to grow in your bathroom.

1. Ventilate humidity

Mold grows in bathrooms because they are regularly filled with humidity and moisture when you shower or bathe. Everyone loves a hot shower, but all the steam it creates will form condensation on the walls and ceiling, creating a nice damp, warm environment for mold! The solution is to create ventilation and air movement while you shower. You can do this by turning on the bathroom fan, opening a window, or setting up a standing fan or dehumidifier.

2. Check for leaks regularly

Another common way a moist environment is created for mold is when the plumbing under a sink starts leaking, and the leak isn’t noticed for a long time, leaving puddles and dampness under the sink. That is what mold grows in. The solution is to check under your sinks every month at a minimum, to make sure there are no leaks, or to catch one early.

3. Clean regularly

Mold feeds on organic material, which can include dirt, dust, and crumbs. Thoroughly cleaning your bathroom at least once a month (preferably every week) will greatly decrease the chance of mold growth in your bathroom.

4. Squeegee

A common type of mold called mildew often grows in the grout lines between the tiles in your shower. Squeegeeing the walls of your shower after you bathe is a simple, 30-second, very effective way to prevent mold in your shower. By removing the moisture collected on your shower walls, you remove the main thing mold needs.

5. Keep grout and caulk sealed

The grout between your tiles and the caulk along the base and edges of your shower will eventually wear thin and crack. This can allow moisture to penetrate past the grout or caulk and into the wood and walls behind your shower! This is very bad, because mold can grow behind your shower walls unnoticed for a very long time. At Cleaner Guys, we got a call just last week from a couple remodeling their shower, who discovered the walls behind it were completely covered in black mold. It will cost over a thousand of dollars to thoroughly remove and clean it. Avoid this fate by recaulking and regrouting your bathroom whenever it needs it.

Is the Black Stuff in My Shower Mold?

The black stuff is probably mold, but lucky for you, it is probably mildew, a less invasive, easy-to-clean form of mold! Most species of molds need to root deeply into whatever material they grow on, so they grow best on wood or drywall. But mildew does not need to have deep roots in order to grow. That means it usually grows on hard, non-porous surfaces, like shower tiles. Cleaning mildew is usually as easy as scrubbing it with a basic cleaner.

Want to know how to tell the difference between mildew and invasive mold? Read this article.

(Left image: actual Cleaner Guys job. Right image: iStock/Ileerogers)

Is Mold in Bathrooms Toxic? Is Bathroom Mold Dangerous?

Most species of mold that grow in bathrooms are not good for your health, but they are not dangerous or toxic to most people. However, there are a couple of species of molds that are extremely toxic and dangerous. Click here to read about toxic mold, and how to spot it.

Besides the couple species of toxic mold, most varieties of mold that we deal with in bathrooms are just mildly unhealthy, not dangerous. Most molds cause mold sickness symptoms, which can include headaches, persistent congestion, sneezing, or coughing, and other respiratory issues. Mold sickness affects everyone a little differently. Some people suffer virtually no symptoms at all, while those with compromised immune systems, such as children, the elderly, asthmatics, and those with other forms of immuno-compromising diseases, can suffer severe symptoms.

To learn more about the symptoms of mold sickness, how to spot them, and what to do about them, click here.

What is the Best Mold Remover for Showers and Bathrooms?

If you find mildew on hard, non-porous surfaces of your bathroom, like on your shower tiles, cleaning it is usually simple and easy to do yourself. You can safely soak and scrub it with any household cleaner, a fungicide, or vinegar. We strongly advise against using bleach for any mold.

However, if you find mold on a porous surface in your bathroom, like drywall, wood, or textiles, it is much more difficult to successfully remove 100%. Mold roots deeply into whatever material it grows on, spreading quickly beneath the surface. This means that usually, however much mold you can see, there is far more you can’t see.

Click here to read our full guide on what to do if you find mold, and how to determine whether you can safely treat it yourself or not.

Do I Need a Professional Mold Removal Company?

Typically, we strongly recommend that you do not attempt to clean mold yourself if it covers more than a 1-square-foot area. As previously mentioned, there is probably a lot more mold under the surface that you can’t see, and attempting to clean it yourself will not remove all of it. We often get called to mold removal jobs where the homeowner or apartment tenant had previously attempted to clean the mold themselves with vinegar or bleach, but the mold came back later. This is because once mold spreads a certain amount, DIY home remedies like these will not penetrate deeply enough to kill the mold down to its root.

So if you have mold that covers more than 1 square foot, we highly recommend that you call a professional mold removal company. They are the only ones with the training, the equipment, and the chemicals to remove the mold completely.

Unsure how to choose a trustworthy mold removal company? Click here to read our handy guide to finding the right company for you.

If You Need Mold Removal in Mount Vernon WA or the Surrounding Area

If you reside in Western Washington State and you need mold removal, give Cleaner Guys a call! We’re the only certified mold removal company in the area that boasts award-winning customer service and workmanship, and we also have some of the most honest prices around. Call (360)757-4300 today, or tap the phone number in the menu icon at the top of your screen.

water damage restoration, fire damage restoration, mold removal, Cleaner Guys
A photo of some of our technicians here at Cleaner Guys! We’re here to help you with mold.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. No part of this article is medical or legal advice, and may not be used as such. For all serious medical matters, consult your doctor. For all serious legal matters, consult your legal advisor. This article contains Cleaner Guys’ experience and opinions only.

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