How to remove bathroom mould
Black bathroom mould is an unsightly growth that most people will find in their homes at some point. But what is it, how can you remove it and how can you prevent mould from growing in your home in the future?
What is black mould?
Black mould, otherwise known as Stachybotrys chartarum, is a fungus that grows due to excessive water or humidity in your home. This is why it is most commonly found in the kitchen, utility room or bathroom.
Have you ever noticed that your windows steam up when you’re cooking? Or that your bathroom tiles have condensation on them when you get out of the shower? It’s this additional water that could result in black mould.
Black mould’s short term effects could include respiratory problems and flare ups for those with asthma. Long term exposure to this kind of mould could result in black mould poisoning. Symptoms could include coughing, wheezing, a sore throat, a runny nose or nosebleeds. Many people could mistake mould poisoning for a common cold.
How to remove mould from your bathroom
There are numerous ways you can try to remove black mould from your bathroom. You could try a bleach-based product or, if you’d prefer something less harsh, you could go for white vinegar.
Create a vinegar solution
White vinegar can be used to remove mould from your bathroom surfaces. You could dilute it with water if you wish but it may work better undiluted. The white vinegar should come in a spray bottle, however if it doesn’t, empty the solution into a spray bottle as it’s easier to spread evenly onto walls or surfaces.
Using a bleach solution
You can buy a pre-made solution that contains bleach to tackle your mould problem. If you’re using any products that contain bleach, you should wear rubber gloves to protect your hands from coming into contact with this chemical. You should also wear a face mask to stop you from breathing in bleach fumes or mould spores.
Applying the solution
- Step 1: Open a window and turn the bathroom fan on to keep the room ventilated as you’re cleaning
- Step 2: Clear the affected surface of any items before you start cleaning. For example, if you’re tackling a bathroom windowsill, make sure any shampoos, soaps or other items are removed first
- Step 3: Apply the product liberally to any mouldy areas. Aim for an even coating of the solution over the surface
- Step 4: Wait for ten minutes
- Step 5: Fold a dry cleaning cloth into quarters. Start to wipe away the mould. As the cloth begins to get wet/dirty, unfold it and switch to a clean side. Alternatively, you can use a sponge
- Step 6: Once the area is mostly free of mould, use a scrubbing brush or a toothbrush to remove any tough mould. This step is especially good for tile grout
- Step 7: Dry the area with a clean cloth and make sure to get in between the cleaned tiles too
- Step 8: Leave the bathroom window open for a couple of hours to allow air to circulate
- Step 9: If you haven’t removed all of the mould, you may need to repeat these steps another day. If you used a vinegar solution the first time, try a bleach solution
How to remove mould from silicone sealant
It can be much harder to remove mould from bathroom sealant. Otherwise known as caulk, sealant is a very rubbery substance which means that mould can become more deeply ingrained. Sealant can be found around your bathroom sink or around your bath. Before you resort to replacing the sealant entirely, you can try our simple method to remove the mould.
- Step 1: Sprinkle one tablespoon of baking powder into half a cup of white vinegar and stir. The solution should form a thick paste. Be careful when mixing the vinegar and baking powder - the solution will bubble up and could spill over the cup
- Step 2: Scoop up the paste using a damp cloth and rub it into the affected area. Wait for 10 minutes
- Step 3: Using a soft bristled brush, gently scrub the paste further into the sealant
- Step 4: With a wet sponge, wipe away the paste from the sealant
- Step 5: Combine four parts water with one part bleach into a spray bottle and apply to the surface
- Step 6: Use the wet sponge to wipe down the sealant for a final time
- Step 7: Repeat if required
How to stop mould from coming back
Once you’ve removed the black mould from your kitchen or bathroom, you need to put some measures in place to prevent it from returning.
You should make sure that your home is well-ventilated. This will allow the excess moisture to dry out or escape the property. If moisture cannot leave your home, it could be absorbed by cooler walls or surfaces, which may form black mould.
A dehumidifier could help to remove excess moisture. It should be placed in a room that’s subject to lots of water.
You should open windows where possible, for example when you’re showering or cooking and, where possible, set them to a ventilation setting. This means the window is open a couple of centimetres but can still be locked.
To stop moisture building up in your home, the NHS recommends taking the following precautions:
- Open the bedroom window for 15 minutes every morning
- Open the window whenever you’re cooking or showering
- Put lids on saucepans when you’re cooking to prevent the water from evaporating
The NHS also recommends getting a professional to clean the mould if it covers an area over one metre squared.
Black mould is a substance that can be tricky to get rid of, but we hope that the steps we’ve laid out will help you to remove it from your home, and prevent it from returning.