Showers are of course designed to get you squeaky clean, but what happens when your shower gets dirty? You can’t very well expect to get clean in a shower that is itself dirty, stinky, and moldy. And yes, mold is a real problem in showers. That humid and dark environment is perfect for its growth, particularly on the caulking or grouting.
In this article, we’ll talk about how to deal with that problem.
Is It Possible to Prevent Mold from Growing on Shower Caulk?
Mold is a very common occurrence in showers, particularly on the caulking and the grouting, and the reason for it is moisture, as well as a lack of sunlight, to a certain extent. Seeing as mold loves limited airflow, low light levels, and humidity, it, therefore, indicates that it is possible to prevent mold.
Let’s go over some of the easiest tips to help prevent mold from forming in your shower, even if it doesn’t have a fan:
- Wipe the shower down with a dry cloth after every use to prevent residual moisture from staying behind.
- Open up the windows in your bathroom during and after your shower, or turn on the air fain if you have one. This will help suck out moisture and will replace wet air with dry air.
- Keep the curtains in your bathroom open whenever you can. Mold does not like UV light, so the more sunlight can get into your bathroom, the better.
- You may also use a filtered shower head, as shower filters serve to remove mold spores and other contaminants from water, thus preventing mold spores from adhering to and growing in your shower.
How to Remove Mold from Shower Caulk
There are various methods at your disposal for removing mold from shower caulk, and today we will talk about a few of the most effective methods out there in great detail.
Method #1: Using Ammonia
Ammonia is a very strong chemical with the ability to kill virtually all fungi, bacteria, mold, and more. Using just a little bit of it can kill massive quantities of mold, and it works perfectly for shower caulking and grouting alike. Just remember that ammonia is fairly dangerous, so there are a few precautions that you need to take.
Step 1: Prepare Your Gear
To follow this method, you will need a spray bottle, some ammonia, and some water, along with a little brush. Seeing as the fumes released by ammonia are poisonous, you will also want to use a face mask, or even better, a real respirator. A respirator that can be found in any painting, hardware, or home improvement store will do the trick.
Step 2: Ensure Proper Ventilation
Since you don’t want to be inhaling ammonia fumes, you need to open up the door and the window in your bathroom, if possible, just to create some ventilation. If your bathroom does not have a window, the next best option is to turn on an air fan.
Step 3: Prepare the Area
Before you get started with the mold removal, you need to prepare the caulking by dusting it off. You do not want any dust and debris to be present, anything that might get in the way of the ammonia making direct contact with the caulking and the mold.
Step 4: Mix the Solution and Apply
In your spray bottle, mix onepart ammonia with one part water. Give it a little shake to mix it up. Spray the solution onto your showering caulking and all moldy areas. You can be quite generous with your application. Let this sit for 10 to 15 minutes.
Step 5: Scrub and Rinse
Come back with a small brush and scrub all of the mold off the caulking. Thanks to the ammonia, it should come off quite easily. Rinse the shower down and then dry it all off. If you notice that there is still mold leftover in some places, either repeat this process a second time or try one of the other methods that we have listed here today.
Method #2: Using Vinegar
If ammonia is too much for you, and you don’t want to risk using harsh chemicals in the same place that you shower, then another solution at your disposal is some good old vinegar. Vinegar is as safe to wash your shower with as it is to consume, which is very safe.
It’s natural, and although it may be a bit stinky, it’s not harmful in any way. Plus, it’s really easy to use. On a side note, vinegar doesn’t just remove mold from showers, but actually kills it too. Vinegar kills most types of mold with ease.
Step 1: Gather and Prepare Your Materials
All you need for this process is some vinegar, a brush, and a spray bottle. Pour a bunch of vinegar into a spray bottle. If the smell is too strong for you, diluting the vinegar with water is an option, although a diluted solution will not be as effective as pure vinegar.
Step 2: Prepare the Area
Dust the affected area off to ensure that there is no debris present. Anything that will get in between the vinegar and the mold needs to be removed from the equation.
Step 3: Apply the Solution
All you need to do now is to apply the vinegar to the moldy caulking. Spray it on generously and let the vinegar soak into the caulking for about an hour.
Step 4: Scrub and Rinse
Using your little brush, give the moldy caulking a good scrub, and then rinse it all off with some hot water. If there is still mold leftover afterward, repeat the process a second time, and if this still does not work, choose one of the other methods that we have listed here today.
Method #3:Using Bleach
If ammonia is way too harsh for you, or you don’t have access to it, and vinegar does not seem to do the trick, then another good solution for shower mold removal is bleach. Now, do keep in mind that ammonia is stronger than bleach, so if you have already tried ammonia and it has not worked, then there is not much sense in trying bleach.
That said, this method is quite easy and quick.
Step 1: Gather Your Gear
For this process, you will need a spray bottle, bleach, water, and a sponge, as well as some protective rubber gloves, such as those you would use to wash dishes.
Step 2: Take Safety Precautions
Bleach is not great for your skin, and it’s not good to inhale the fumes either. Therefore, make sure that your bathroom is properly ventilated before trying this method. Moreover, wearing rubber gloves and a respirator is recommended as well.
Step 3: Prepare the Area
Dust the affected area off so there is no debris present. You don’t want to end up making mud when you spray the bleach solution into your shower.
Step 4: Mix and Apply
Mix one part water and one part bleach, put it into the spray bottle, and then generously apply the mixture to the affected area. Let the mixture sit for about 20 minutes.
Step 5: Scrub and Rinse
After about 20 minutes, use a sponge, one that is also soaked in the bleach solution, and scrub down all affected surfaces. If need be, you may need to scrub, rinse down, reapply, and scrub again, which may be the case if you did not let the bleach soak in for long enough the first time around. Rinse everything off, dry the shower, and the mold should be gone.
Mistakes to Avoid, Tips, and Tricks
There are a few additional tips and tricks that you should be aware of when attempting to remove mold from your shower, as well as to prevent it from building up again:
- Beware that when mixed, ammonia and bleach release extremely hazardous fumes, more or less mustard gas. Never mix these two chemicals together!
- Don’t try to do this right after showering, as you would first have to dry the shower off. You don’t want to spray any kind of anti-mold solution onto water, as this will dilute the solution and limit its efficacy.
- Removing mold from showers is much harder than preventing it, so your first objective should be prevention.
- If all else fails, and the mold issue persists in spite of your best attempts, your only solution may be to replace the caulking.
The bottom line is that there are many ways to both prevent mold from forming in your shower, as well as to remove it. The easiest thing you can do is to turn the fan on after getting out of the shower.
With a bit of vigilance, this really should not be much of a problem at all.