Cleaning mold from your bathroom or wet room walls, tiles or grout is never an easy task, however large or small the room. Because of this, cleaning the bathroom can often get neglected, paving the way for the build-up of nasty mold and mildew. If you have noticed the build-up of mold, here’s a quick guide on how you can both remove it with ease and prevent it from returning in the future.
What is Mold?
Mold is a type of fungi which is usually black in color. Mold will grow when there is moisture present in an environment with little or no sunlight. As mold grows best in damp, poorly ventilated areas, it will often be found in bathrooms. It’s important to note that once present, mold spreads incredibly quickly and can still remain present without any visible signs. Prolonged exposure to mold can cause health problems so it's important to remove it before it has a chance to spread.
What Is Mildew?
Mildew is a more specific kind of mold that can come in two forms. Downy mildew typically appears as yellowish spots that quickly turn to brown whereas powdery mildew appears as white powder that slowly turns to a dark black colour. Both types of growth occur when the area contains a high level of moisture and little ventilation.
How To Clean Mold From Bathroom Tiles
There are many ways, both natural and chemical, of removing mold or mildew problems from within your bathroom. As mold is a living organism, the key is to not just remove the visible signs of mold build up, but to kill it completely and stop it returning in the future.
The most important things to note when using vinegar to remove mold is that you should always use mild white vinegar and make sure that you don’t dilute it within the spray bottle.
- Spray the vinegar on the affected surfaces
- Leave the vinegar for an hour, ventilate the room.
- Wipe the surfaces with warm water
- Dry with a towel to prevent mold re-growth
You’ll be able to find borax in your local shopping centre’s cleaning aisle and it has the added benefit of being a lot cheaper than other mold cleaning alternatives.
- Mix 1 mug full of Borax with 4 litres of warm water
- Work solution into affected areas with a brush or cleaning pad
- Wipe up the solution
- Allow the areas to dry naturally
Bleach & Baking Soda
This has always been reported as one of the quickest and best methods for cleaning mold or mildew from grout, tiles and walls. Make sure you wear gloves.
- Mix 1 part bleach to 2 parts water & transfer to spray bottle
- Spray the solution onto the affected areas and allow to dry.
- Give it another spray and scrub with a soft brush
- Rinse the area & repeat until mold is removed
First and foremost, never mix ammonia with bleach. The chemical reaction between the two creates dangerous fumes which can be damaging to your health. Ammonia comes in three varieties from DIY shops – clear, cloudy or sudsy.
- Transfer Ammonia into a spray bottle
- Apply to affected areas in the bathroom
- Scrub the areas with a soft brush and leave for 2 hours
- Ventilate the room during the cleaning process
- Once areas are dry, wipe away the ammonia
Hydrogen peroxide can be bought in various degrees of strength. For cleaning mold from the bathroom, it’s best to use a fairly mild 3% hydrogen peroxide solution. You will be able to purchase this from most DIY suppliers and some high street supermarkets. The cleaning effectiveness of hydrogen peroxide will diminish if it is exposed to direct light so make sure you decant it into a dark spray bottle. If you want to increase the effectiveness of the hydrogen peroxide solution, you can add a little vinegar into the spray bottle.
- Spray the solution directly onto affected areas
- Leave for 2-3 hours
- Keep the room ventilated whilst cleaning
- Wipe surfaces clean
Specialised Mold Sprays
If you don’t want to make your own cleaning solutions at home, there are plenty of specialised mold removal sprays on the market today. Always be sure to research the effectiveness of each product and read customer reviews to avoid making mistakes. We recommend using ‘HG Mold Spray’ as it is specially formed for cleaning the bathroom and bathroom tiles. Try to steer away from high strength cleaners such as ‘Cilit Bang’ as these have been known to eat away at grout and cause damage to bathroom fittings and surfaces.
Grout & Caulking
Grout and caulking around the tiles or bathtub can be a common place for mold and mildew to build up and can give people all around the globe some of the biggest headaches when coming to remove it. If mold has worked its way into the caulking or grout and stained it permanently, there’s a strong chance that the methods mentioned above aren’t going to be extreme enough to remedy the situation. If you’ve tried everything and the mold just isn’t budging, it might be time to remove your grout or caulking. To remove grout between your bathroom tiles, you will need a Grout removal tool, old paint brush sponge & diluted bleach solution, grout, grouting squeegee and gloves
How To Clean Mold From Bathroom Grout:
- Prepare the surface
- Scrape away old grout
- Clean joint lines
- Apply new grout to tiles
Step 1: Prepare the surfaces
If you haven’t already, try using a toothbrush to work in a strong solution of bleach and water or bleach and baking soda on the grout to bring back the whiteness before resorting to removing it completely. If this hasn’t worked, prepare the area by covering any bath or basin plug hole with and old cloth or large piece of material. This will stop any pieces of grout falling down the drain and causing a blockage.
Step 2: Scrape away the old grout
Using the grout remover tool, pull the tungsten tipped blade across the joint lines to start raking out the grout. It’s important that you work at a small area at a time so ensure that every last mold spore is removed. This will ensure that the mold does not return in future. Be careful not to push too hard on the removal tool as there’s always a chance you could slip and cause permanent damage to your tiles.
Step 3: Clean the joint lines
To make absolutely sure that there is no remaining mold within the joints, use an old paintbrush and some diluted bleach solution to clean the grout lines. This will also make re-grouting the joint lines much easier when it comes to step 4, given that the space you’re working with will be smooth and clean.
Step 4: Apply new grout to the tiles
Before applying new grout, make sure you’re using the correct grout for your tiles and the location of the tiles. A tiling or DIY store will be able to offer advice on the best grout to use. Using your grouting squeegee, re-grout the tiles and ensure that any remaining residue on the tiles is cleaned off properly before letting it dry. Removing dried grout from tile facings is an incredibly difficult task so it’s a good idea to take preventative measures during the re-grouting process.
Sometimes, mold can be a sign that there are concealed problems within the bathroom walls or within the bathroom itself. Burst or leaking pipework is a common example of a problem that can go unnoticed for long periods of time, leading to long term damp problems that can allow mold to build up time and time again. If, after removing mold multiple times, the problem still persists, it is suggested that you hire a specialised mold remediation expert who can diagnose and fix more complicated and serious mold issues within the home.