Within our homes, there is one place more mold prone than any other – the bathroom. The bathroom is the most moisture laden place in our homes and because of this, mold can grow and reproduce with ease. Add on things like fans or vents, and you now have a highway for mold to move around and settle on virtually everything. No we will show you how to properly clean mold from the various items and materials within your bathroom.
Before we proceed, we want to get two things out of the way. All materials are either porous or non-porous. Porous materials have tiny holes on the surface that can collect air and water. Non-porous materials on the other hand are completely smooth and have no tiny holes at all. They cannot trap air or water.
KNOW THE BASICS: SURFACE TYPES
Depending on the surface type of the object/material you are working with, the cleaning method will vary. In general though, all porous materials/objects will share a similar, if not the same, cleaning method while all non-porous materials/objects will do the same but in a different fashion.
BEFORE YOU START
Prior to cleaning mold of any kind it is always recommended to have the mold tested. This is to determine the species of mold you are dealing with. This is encouraged because you must know whether the mold is toxic or non-toxic. Toxic mold species should always be handled by a professional mold remover.
PREPARING YOUR BATHROOM
The key to a successful clean up job is in the preparation. Before you lay down any cleaning solutions, you should do a few things to ensure that you are not removing one mold infestation and creating another. Mold spores when disturbed will become airborne. They eventually settle, grow and reproduce under the right conditions. To avoid creating a mold colony somewhere else in your bathroom, you should purchase plastic sheets and lay them on or over any objects or surfaces that you are not cleaning. This way, any mold spores that settle elsewhere can be more easily removed when you are done cleaning.
Before taking on mold, you will want to ensure your health and safety. Be sure to use/do the following;
- Safety glasses
- HEPA approved breathing mask
- Latex gloves
- Tuck loose cloth ends in (sleeves, shirt etc)
CLEANING NON-POROUS MATERIALS/OBJECTS
Start by mixing a cleaning solution of your choice (see options here). For most all cleaning solutions, you will want to spray the mold colony directly and let the solution sit for the appropriate amount of time. DO NOT spray a cloth and wipe the mold as this will surely send mold spores elsewhere in the room. Once enough time has passed, use a throwaway cloth to gently wipe away the saturated mold.
Non porous bathroom items include;
- Window glass
- Porcelain floor tiles (these are low porosity items)
- Ceramic floor tiles (these are low porosity items)
CLEANING POROUS MATRIALS/OBJECTS
Porous materials are more difficult to clean. In fact, in many instances, it is not possible to effectively clean porous materials as the mold spores can reside deep within the material. The best and most sure fire way to clean/remove mold from porous materials is to remove the affected area completely and replace it with new materials. For small mold infestations though, using the non-porous method above will work to some degree. Most of the cleaning products that you can use in your home should not damage materials like wood or drywall.
Porous bathroom items include;
- Any wood items (cabinets, window sills, floor trim)
- Any fabrics (carpet, shower curtains, window curtains, towels, cloths)
Once you are done cleaning, you will want to do a few basic things. Carefully bundle up and throw away all the plastic sheets used during cleaning. Next you will want to use a vacuum with a HEPA filter to collect any loose mold spores that may be left behind. Finally, discard all cloths or protective gear that was used during cleaning.
FUTURE TIPS TO STAY CLEAN
To protect yourself from mold returning, a few basic things can be done.
- Routinely clean your bathroom
- Reduce the humidity by turning on bathrooms fans or by keeping a window opened when showering
- Dry wet surfaces as soon as possible to avoid moisture from getting into porous materials
- Check drains and water pipes for blockages and leaks to ensure water is not puddling
DETAILED CLEANING GUIDES
For detailed cleaning guides on specific items in your bathroom, check out bathroom mold removal from Black Mold Tips.