Mould in the bathroom is both unsightly and unhygienic. In this article, we’ll show you how to prevent it from forming, how to check for it and how to remove it. Yet more Little Bathroom Victories…
Bathrooms are the perfect breeding ground for mould. It can grow anywhere—walls, ceilings, floor coverings and tile grout. All mould needs to thrive is moisture and a lack of ventilation, and once mould has taken hold in your bathroom, it can be difficult to permanently remove it.
Not only that, but black mould can be actively harmful to health, especially for people who suffer from chest complaints or allergies.
The ideal solution is to prevent mould taking root in your bathroom in the first place. Read our handy guide to the best way to prevent mould and what you can do if it does appear.
How to prevent mould forming in your bathroom
1. Keep your bathroom well ventilated
- Leave the door and any windows open as much as possible, especially after a bath or shower.
- Fit a ventilation fan to an outside wall or ceiling and make sure it’s switched on whenever the bathroom is in use.
- Air conditioning or a dehumidifier can be used to keep humidity low.
- A more low-tech solution, place a container of damp control crystals in the room and replace regularly (can be bought from any good home supply store).
2. Get rid of excess moisture after bathing or showering
- Clean and dry the bath, sink, shower and all other wet surfaces.
- Hang towels and bathroom rugs to dry immediately after use.
- Pull out the shower curtain to its full length to allow it to dry.
- Clean and dry the shower screen or curtain regularly.
- When re-painting the bathroom use mould-resistant gloss paint.
- Replace the seal around the bath and sink with mould-resistant sealant.
Keep your bathroom looking pristine with our advice on preventing mould
Check for mould regularly
Sometimes, mould can creep into your bathroom without you noticing. This often occurs in areas which aren’t regularly checked, like behind toilets or under-sink units.
Leaky toilets and taps are a breeding ground for mould, so if you start to notice a damp, musty odour, take action straight away. Look for leaks around the base of the toilet and around the bottom of taps where the seal may have deteriorated. Take off the bath side panel and check underneath for leaks around pipes which may be dripping onto the floor.
Areas which can be missed during regular cleaning include shower fixtures and fittings or tile grouting and sealant, so make sure you check these for those tell-tale black stains.
How to remove mould
As soon as you spot black mould anywhere in the bathroom act fast to remove it and stop it from spreading. You could use white vinegar or bleach but, for a serious outbreak of mould, a dedicated commercial mould removal product is a better solution. These are sprayed or wiped on, left to work, then rinsed off. Use these carefully and always cover your clothes and hair, especially if using sprays on ceilings. Keep the room well ventilated while you use them.
Wear rubber gloves as the stronger mould removal products can harm the skin. Strip away any sealant or grout which is mouldy, clean the area with a removal product or bleach then re-grout any tiles and re-seal when totally dry.
As the old saying goes, prevention is easier than cure—so it’s always best to protect your bathroom from mould in the first place. However, if it’s already there, you should now have a fair idea of what to do about it.
Regularly cleaning down surfaces, like shower enclosure glass, will help keep mould at bay in your bathroom
Is bathroom mould dangerous?
This is a question that is often asked. Bathroom mould can potentially be dangerous, although the level of risk depends on various factors such as the type of mould, the extent of the infestation and an individual's sensitivity or allergic reactions to mould. Here are a few points to consider:
Allergies and respiratory issues
Mould releases spores into the air, which can trigger allergic reactions in some people. Symptoms may include sneezing, coughing, congestion, skin rashes or irritated eyes. Individuals with pre-existing respiratory conditions like asthma may experience exacerbated symptoms.
Certain types of mould, such as Stachybotrys chartarum (commonly known as black mould), are considered toxic. Exposure to these moulds may lead to more severe health effects, including respiratory problems, headaches, fatigue and, in some cases, neurological symptoms. However, it's important to note that toxic mould is relatively rare, and not all black-coloured moulds are toxic.
Weakened immune systems
People with weakened immune systems, such as those undergoing chemotherapy or individuals with HIV/AIDS, may be more susceptible to the health risks associated with mould exposure.
Mould can deteriorate the surfaces it grows on, including walls, tiles, grout and other materials in the bathroom. Prolonged mould growth may lead to structural damage and the need for costly repairs.
To minimise the potential risks, it's important to address bathroom mould promptly following the steps set out in this article.
More expert advice for your bathroom
No matter how big or small your bathroom issue may be, we have plenty of expert advice that will help keep your bathroom in great shape. Check out all our latest bathroom tips and tricks and achieve your own Little Bathroom Victories.