How to Clean Bathroom Mould

Close up image of mould between bathroom tiles
Published: 28th May 2019
Author: Des Roberts

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 your bathroom can be a popular breeding ground for stubborn mould spores. Common bathroom fungus includes Stachybotrys, more commonly known as black mould, which thrives in damp, wet spaces with high humidity.

If you find mould in your bathroom, have no fear, there are plenty of easy ways to get rid of it!

How to Clean Mould Off Bathroom Sealant

Close up image of someone cleaning mould off the edge of a bath using a toothbrush

Sealant, also known as caulking, is the stuff that forms a seal around the edge of your bath and bathroom sink. It often stays wet longer than other areas of your bathroom, encouraging common bathroom fungus and mould to develop. Follow these steps to clean mould off your bathroom sealant:

  1. Pour bicarbonate of soda into around 250ml of white vinegar and mix until it forms a thick paste.
  2. While wearing rubber gloves, take a damp cloth and rub some of the bicarb and vinegar mix on to it.
  3. Use the cloth to rub the paste onto the affected area of sealant. Leave the paste on for five minutes to let it soften the mould.
  4. Scrub the dried paste with a cloth or stiff bristle brush to remove it and the mould.
  5. Rinse the affected area with cool water to remove any residue and wipe dry.

Using a paste for this part of the bathroom is a great idea, as it can be difficult for sprays and thinner solutions to have an effect.

How to Remove Mould from Tile Grout

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, but some may be more suitable to your tiles than others. Before you start, ensure what you’re going to use won’t damage your tiles (and bear in mind that bleach products can fade coloured grout).

Choose the cleaning agent of your choice, and make sure you are wearing appropriate protective material (including gloves, a face mask and safety glasses if you are working with bleach/hydrogen products). The trick to cleaning this area is to work in small sections and use a stiff toothbrush to really work your cleaner of choice into the mouldy shower grout. This is the best way to tackle really intricate bits. 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!

How to Clean Black Mould Off Bathroom Tiles

Close up image of mould between bathroom tiles

Common bathroom fungus can make bathroom tiles look dull and unattractive. There are a variety of natural and chemical methods you can use to clear mould off your tiles and bring a new lease of life to your bathroom:

  1. Borax: A natural mineral, borax is a lot cheaper than many mould-cleaning alternatives and can be found in cleaning supply aisle of your local supermarket . Mix a cup of borax powder with four litres of warm water. Wearing rubber gloves, use a soft cleaning pad to work the solution onto affected areas. Avoid dampening areas not currently showing signs of mould to prevent spread. Wipe the walls after and leave to dry.
  2. Vinegar: Put some mild white vinegar in a spray bottle and apply to the affected surfaces. Leave for an hour and then wipe the area with a warm, wet cloth and then towel dry.
  3. Bicarbonate of soda and washing up liquid: Make a solution of bicarbonate of soda and washing up liquid and rub on affected areas with a cloth. Similar to how you would tackle mould on sealant, leave this to dry and rub off with a stiff brush before rinsing. If these natural solutions do not work, it might be time to try chemical alternatives.
  4. Hydrogen Peroxide: This is a strong chemical. A fairly mild solution of around 3% should be okay for this job, but to maximise effectiveness add a little vinegar. Put the solution in a spray bottle and spray on the affected area. Keep the room well-ventilated, leave for two to three hours, then wipe surfaces clean.
  5. Ammonia: A chemical method, ammonia is available from DIY shops. To clean mould off bathroom tiles, you will need to get the clear variety of ammonia. Before applying, make sure you are wearing a mask, rubber gloves and safety glasses and put the ammonia in a spray bottle. Spray on the affected areas and scrub with a soft brush before leaving for two hours. Leave the windows in the room open as the smell can be overpowering. Once dry, simply wipe down the affected areas. It is important to never mix ammonia with bleach, or use them one after the other, as the chemical reaction between them creates dangerous fumes.

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.

How to Prevent Mould in Bathrooms

Where mould is concerned, prevention is always better than the cure. Some easy strategies to prevent bathroom mould appearing in the first place include:

1. Keeping Your Bathroom Ventilated: 

Do everything you can to make sure air is always flowing through your bathroom. Keep windows and doors open after having showers and baths and consider the installation of an extractor fan if you don’t already have one.

2. Preventing Build-up of Moisture

Look out for areas that might stay damp for long times and try to eliminate them. Always hang wet towels up so that they are flat and can dry. Also, make sure to stretch your shower curtain out so moisture doesn’t lead to mould growth in creases and folds.

3. Cleaning Regularly

Clean your bathroom on a weekly basis, including a wipe down of the walls. Cleaning surfaces that are susceptible to mould growth should help prevent it from becoming a problem.

Following the guidelines above should help you make your bathroom a happier place to be. The steps described will help keep mould at bay and give you a bit of know-how of what to do if you do see growth in your bathroom.