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How to clean bathroom mould

Black, bathroom mould is a very common problem, particularly in areas around the bath and shower. Mould is caused by a build-up of moisture, so it’s unsurprising that a room with regular high levels of humidity and condensation should be such a popular breeding ground for stubborn mould spores. That’s one reason why proper bathroom ventilation is so important – where mould is concerned, prevention is always better than cure! Some easy strategies to prevent bathroom mould appearing in the first place include installing an extractor fan; opening doors and windows often; and hanging wet towels to dry immediately after use.

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Is bathroom mould dangerous?

It can be, so mould isn’t just an eyesore – it has health implications too. Prolonged exposure to damp and mould in the bathroom can trigger respiratory problems, allergies and asthma, and can also affect the immune system. Some people, such as babies, children, and the elderly, are more sensitive to the effects than others. In short, it’s vital to know how to stop this mould and how to remove bathroom mould if it’s already taken hold.

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There are hundreds of commercial mould and mildew products for the bathroom on the market. Many come in a convenient spray format, so you can target specific areas quickly and easily. However, they contain powerful chemicals (and often include bleach), so make sure you follow these safety precautions before you begin:

  • Always read the label! Only use the product as directed by the manufacturer
  • Make sure your bathroom is well ventilated during and after you’ve finished
  • Wear old clothes, rubber gloves and a mask
  • Spray the affected area with your cleaner of choice and allow to dry
  • Spray a second time, and scrub with a brush
  • Rinse and repeat as necessary
  • Wipe down with a damp cloth or paper towel, then discard, to avoid spreading mould spores.
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Natural solutions

Vinegar is the enemy of mould, thanks to its acidity. Simply pour a generous amount of undiluted, white distilled vinegar into a bottle, spray it onto the mould in your bathroom and leave it for an hour. Then wipe the vinegar away and allow the surface to dry. Baking soda is another effective, non-toxic (and inexpensive!) natural remedy. Just add around half a tablespoon of baking soda to a bottle of water, and spray the mould with this solution (or mix a thicker, spreadable baking soda paste, which also works well). Use a scrubbing brush or sponge to remove the surface mould, rinse then spray/spread again, and let the surface dry.

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How to clean shower grout mould

Unfortunately porous shower grout is a favourite place for mould to grow – and a tricky area to clean! Chlorine bleach, white vinegar, baking soda and hydrogen peroxide are all effective cleaning agents – just make sure before you start that what you use isn’t going to damage your tiles (and bear in mind that bleach products can fade coloured grout).

As before, if you’re using bleach/hydrogen peroxide products, wear gloves, a face mask and safety glasses. Work in small sections and use a stiff toothbrush to really work your cleaner of choice into the mouldy shower grout. Let it do its job for at least 30 minutes, then rinse, repeat as necessary, then dry. And don’t forget to keep the bathroom ventilated while you work!

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