It's not uncommon to find mold spots growing in a bathroom, especially on the grout between the tiles. Not only is mold unsightly, but exposure to it can cause several health issues to both humans and pets. So, how exactly do you remove mold from your shower grout? We've answered this question for you to provide an inclusive mold removal guide for you.
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Mold can be cleaned from shower grout using the following steps:
- Gather your equipment.
- Remove all visible dust and debris.
- Mix your cleaning solution (if not store-bought).
- Treat the area with a mold removal solution; let the solution sit.
- Scrub the grout as needed.
- Remove the solution from the grout; clean the area.
- Repeat the process if needed.
Removing mold can be done in as little as 5-minutes, or as long as a few hours, depending on the infestation level. However, the good news is that it isn't that complicated of a task (especially if you're a DIYer). Below, we'll discuss how to remove mold from shower grout in more detail. We'll also suggest natural cleaning products and explain how to stay healthy while working near mold.
Breaking Down The Steps To Removing Shower Grout Mold
There are a few ways to get rid of mold, and you can do it yourself for the most part. Let's take a closer look at how to remove it.
1. Gather your equipment
Be sure to have all of the tools and equipment you need in the bathroom for easy access. Then, put on a dusk mask, eye protection, and cleaning gloves. (Note: The dust mask doesn't have to be medical-grade or a professional respirator, just something to protect you from the effects of inhaling the mold spores.)
The tools you'll need for this task:
- Dusk mask or respirator
- Eye protection
- Bleach or other mold stain remover solution
- Disposable gloves
- Tap water
- Portable vacuum (or vacuum with a hose)
- Grout brush (or toothbrush)
- Cleaning sponge
- Spray bottle
- Cleaning bucket with measuring marks
2. Remove all visible dust and debris
Next, take your portable vacuum or vacuum hose and vacuum any visible loose dust (you can also just use a broom) and debris from the shower floor. Doing this helps you avoid spreading the dirt around and creating a muddy area when applying your wet mold removal solution.
3. Mix your cleaning solution (if it's not store-bought)
If purchasing a store-bought mold removal solution, spray it directly on the grout, making sure to cover all of the affected grout areas. If you are using diluted bleach to remove the mold, you can create the solution by adding bleach and water to an empty spray bottle in a 10:1 ratio (1-ounce bleach to 10-ounces water) and spraying it on the grout.
4. Treat the Area and Let the solution sit
Allow the removal solution to sit on the grout and tile anywhere from five to 30-minutes. If you find that the mold is still present after the 30-minutes, allow it to sit for another 30-minutes and even up to an hour if necessary.
5. Scrub grout as needed
In some cases, you may need to take the grout brush or a toothbrush and gently scrub the grout or caulk located between the tiles to help loosen the mold.
6. Remove the Solution and Clean the area
Once the mold has been eradicated, rinse the shower floor with water, making sure to remove all of the cleaning solution. Next, wipe down the grout or caulk as needed with a clean towel or cloth.
7. Repeat process if needed
If you still find visible signs of mold after applying your solution, reapply it to the areas and let it sit for up to 60-minutes. Then simply repeat the same process.
How To Remove Mold Using All-Natural Products
There are also natural, non-toxic alternatives available to help eradicate mold from your home. So if you are looking for a safer or non-chemical-based way to get rid of it, here are a few options.
Baking soda is renowned for having a multitude of uses around the home--including mold removal. To make a mold-removing baking soda paste, start by adding 5 to 8 tablespoons of baking soda to a cup of tap water. Mix the baking soda in the water until it reaches a paste-like, spreadable consistency--add more if needed. Take your grout brush or toothbrush and carefully apply the paste to the stained grout and tile, applying heavier layers to the more affected areas.
Allow the paste to sit anywhere from 10- to 20-minutes, or if needed, up to a couple of hours. Be sure to check on it every 20-minutes or so as it may need to be re-moistened to stay effective. Scrub away any loosened dirt or mold. Once it's completely gone, rinse the shower floor and walls with warm water to remove any residue. Repeat if needed.
Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree (a natural fungicide) is another safe method that can help rid your shower of mold and keep the spores from coming back. You can begin by adding a single teaspoon to one cup of water in a spray bottle. Next, throw on a pair of protective gloves, as tea tree oil can irritate the skin. Spray the areas of the grout and tiles that are covered in mold. Be sure to heavily saturate the areas where there are large patches of mold. Next, allow the spray to dry for anywhere from one to two hours, and then wipe it away with a soft cloth or towel.
Wine vinegar is another non-toxic ingredient that can assist with mold removal. Start by adding vinegar to a spray bottle (undiluted) and spread it on the affected grout areas, allowing it to sit anywhere from 30- to 45-minutes. Next, scrub the area with your grout brush to remove any loosened dirt or mold. If needed, freely saturate the area with the vinegar and allow it to sit for an additional 30-minutes. Once the mold is eradicated, rinse the area with warm water. Repeat these steps as needed.
Because of their highly-acidic makeup, lemons are natural stain removers and deodorizers, and they also work great for getting rid of mold spores. To get rid of mold using lemons, start by juicing four to six and pour the juice in a spray bottle. Next, spray the juice directly on the infected areas on the grout and tiles. Let the lemon juice sit for anywhere from five to 10-minutes. If necessary, use your grout brush to scrub away any loose and mold or dirt. Lastly, wipe the areas with a damp cloth or towel. Re-apply as needed.
Hydrogen Peroxide and Baking Soda
Combining baking soda with hydrogen peroxide is another great way to help break down patches of mold on your shower grout. To make the paste, add several tablespoons of baking soda (4-8) to a cup of peroxide. Mix the ingredients in a bowl until they make a soup-like paste.
Using your grout brush or toothbrush, apply the paste to the grout, spreading it over the affected areas. Let the paste sit on the grout for about 30-minutes to an hour depending on the mold's severity, making sure to re-moisten the paste as needed. When the grout appears clear of mold, use warm water to rinse the remaining paste away. Repeat the steps as needed.
What causes mold in shower grout?
The grout material used for most showers is mostly comprised of a mixture of sand, water, and cement. This makes for an especially porous surface and one that absorbs water fairly easily. Whenever shower grout isn't sealed properly, it will pretty much absorb anything (like a sponge), including dirt, water, as well as other liquids. This causes its surface to become extremely moist, which creates an ideal perfect environment for mold to grow.
What is the difference between mold and black mold?
According to the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention), black mold ( or Stachybotrys) will grow on any material with low nitrogen, high cellulose content, or any surface exposed to excessive and constant moisture over a period of time. The concept of "regular mold" is actually somewhat of a myth, as the CDC (and mold removal experts) agree that any household mold should be treated with the same respect to possible health risks--this means that the type of mold doesn't matter. So to say, any mold can spread enough and become a serious health hazard.
What kills mold instantly?
Bleach is usually the fastest chemical solution for eradicating mold on contact, and though hazardous, it's the safest option for instant mold removal. There are also two contractor-grade mold removers known for quickly getting rid of mold stains, RMR-86 (which contains Hybrid Ultrapure Sodium Hypochlorite), and Mold Armor FG502 (a bleach-based solution).
Should I wear a mask when cleaning mold?
Yes, you should always wear a ventilation mask when cleaning the mold in your home. Exposure to mold spores causes various allergic symptoms, including a runny nose, watery eyes, coughing, headaches, and itching. When these airborne spores are present in households, they can also cause respiratory problems, asthma issues, and potential health effects.
Does Pine Sol kill mold?
Pine-Sol, while it is an effective disinfectant, it's not an anti-fungal agent. The cleaning agents used in Pine-Sol are mainly degreasers and are not effective against mold spores. It's also not recommended that you add Pine-Sol to any mold removal solution (bleach particularly), as it can create hazardous fumes.
Will Dawn dish soap kill mold?
Like Pine-Sol, the ingredients used in most dishwasher soaps are mostly degreasers (and anti-bacterial, depending on the type of dish soap). While they may have antibacterial and disinfectant properties, it is not quite strong enough to break down the tough outer layers of mold spores alone. However, it can help to dislodge the dirt and debris that may accompany mold accumulation.
How do I stop mold growing in my shower?
The best way to prevent mold from growing in your shower is to minimize the moisture level in your bathroom and keep it as sanitized as possible.
Here are a few easy steps that you can take to prevent mold accumulation in your bathroom:
- Apply grout sealer to the grout on your shower floor and in between the wall tiles. The sealer will create a non-porous sealant on top of your grout, reducing its ability to hold moisture.
- Make sure that your bathroom is properly ventilated with a working moisture extractor fan.
- After each shower, take a separate towel and wipe down the shower floors and walls. You don't have to wipe them completely dry, just enough to remove the sitting water on their surfaces.
- Keep a spray bottle of diluted vinegar or diluted tea tree oil in your bathroom. After you shower (and wipe down the towels tiles), spray the areas with the sanitizing solution to help keep potential mold at bay.
- During and after your shower, keep a window open to allow some of the moisture to escape.
Wrapping Things Up
Mold can be effectively removed using several methods. If you suspect that you have mold growth in your home, it's best to find a homemade solution or contact a professional mold removal service so that it can be treated immediately.
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