How to Remove Mildew from Showers With Household Items
By Jacquelyn Nause
How can you get rid of mold in shower areas, which is often stubborn and hard to clean? Mold and mildew are unsightly fungi that grow in damp areas, particularly in bathrooms due to the heat and moisture that accumulate in tubs and showers. These microorganisms can eventually become a health hazard. Here are all the tips you need to keep this problem at bay, using just a few household items.
If your bathroom has recurring mold and mildew issues, be sure to check the ventilation and plumbing in the room to ensure there are no issues or leaks. Clean your shower often, using a spray that prevents mildew growth. Vinegar is known to kill up to 82 percent of mold species, making it effective in preventing mold growth from the start.
Common Household Cleaners
To keep your bathroom mildew-free, take advantage of some common and inexpensive items that you may even have laying around the house. While there are many bathroom cleaners on the market, simple baking soda, vinegar and bleach are some of the most effective agents you can use against mold. Will vinegar kill mold entirely? If used properly, yes—vinegar can fully remove and kill mold in your bathroom.
Baking soda is an inexpensive, fume-free powder that is an effective cleaning scrub when mixed with hot water. Mix one teaspoon of liquid soap with one cup of baking soda and enough water to form a thick paste. Use this mixture to scrub away as much of the mold and mildew as possible with a stiff-bristled scrub brush or toothbrush.
Then, mix a solution of 1 part bleach to 2 parts water. Spray onto the area and allow it to dry. Spray again and scrub with a brush, rinsing and repeating until the mildew is gone. If you prefer not to use bleach, vinegar is an affordable, non-toxic cleaning agent that is also successful in treating mildew. Spray undiluted vinegar onto the area and allow it to sit for an hour. Then, clean the area with hot water and dry with a towel.
Focused Cleaning Solutions
If stains are especially stubborn in grout or sealant, shift to a more focused solution. Use damp paper towels, cotton balls or cotton coil (used for hair perms) to be sure the cleaning solution stays on the affected area. Soak the cotton or paper in vinegar, or carefully apply bleach using a small squirt bottle. Press the cotton into the corners or the grout, keeping it moist so it sticks. Let this sit for hours or overnight, reapplying vinegar or bleach if needed. Over a few hours, you should be able to easily scrub away the mold spores.
If you have tried cleaning your surface without success, consider removing and replacing the grout or caulk sealant. Prevent regrowth by cleaning your shower every two weeks or more often, properly ventilating the area, and leaving any shower curtains or doors open so the tub or shower can dry after use.
Be sure to keep the exhaust fan running in your bathroom during and after use. Avoid leaving wet towels or clothing in the bathroom. Use a squeegee after bathing to help keep water off walls and doors in the shower. These tips can help keep your bathroom clean and sparkling, making mildew a distant memory.
Jacquelyn Nause is a contributing writer with specialties in real estate, parenting and wellness. She enjoys traveling with her husband, being a doting mother to her two incredible kids and enjoying the beautiful Pacific Northwest playground.