Body oils, hair and soap scum buildup are common cellulose materials on which mold feeds and survives on.
It is impossible to keep all of the moisture away. However, you can keep its food source and humidity levels to a minimum with a sound shower mold removal plan.
Remember, it is essential to correct any water leaks or other moisture issues first before beginning any shower mold restoration project.
Removing shower mold can be a beast! You can bring humidity levels down, maintain good housekeeping duties and even keep the pipes and shower drains operating efficiently.
At some point; you get a musty whiff of a bad smell coming from the drains or worse.
It is unsightly, gross and simply embarrassing (especially with guests inbound)! Worse, it can cause serious health issues if not cornered and conquered as quick and as safely possible.
However, with consistent mold prevention practices on a weekly and or monthly basis (dependent upon your humidity levels), you can beat back shower mold and work less at removing mold from your shower.
Table of Contents
Shower Mold Removal
Take a good look around (high and low) and see what you are up against before ripping out any ceiling tiles, drywall or baseboards. A strong odor of mold could indicate large areas of mold growth behind walls, under flooring (including carpet and padding) or behind baseboards.
Fanning or disturbing the mold can aerosolize it into the air and duct systems, further contaminating the rest of the household. Therefore, it may be necessary to seal off the work area with visqueen (plastic sheeting) and close and seal your HVAC (ventilation system) as well.
If your mold removal project appears to be larger than what your experience level or comfort level is, then professional services may need to be consulted before proceeding (depending upon your experience, of course)!
Qualified mold remediation contractors will often give you a free estimate and a detailed report of what services would be performed if called out to your home or business.
And, larger restoration jobs may require quality mold testing, independent black mold analysis and negative air pressure setup at the job site.
If the above doesn’t fit your situation OR you are already a DIYer.., And this project is eating into your personal R&R, then let’s get going on getting rid of shower mold right now!
Removing Shower Mold
- For small cleanup jobs (ten square feet or less), dampen the mold stained areas with a borax or baking soda and water solution.
- A quart-sized spray bottle works great for this small job. This will minimize the number of mold spores from being released into your airspace and spreading throughout your home.
- Spray away and allow your mold killing mixture to sit for five to ten minutes.
- Scrub away with your favorite (old) toothbrush.
- After scouring the mold, wipe any excess away and discard. Rinse and Repeat.
- Here are many more ways to get rid of shower mold.
Types Of Shower Mold
There are many different types of mold that may have taken up residence in your bathroom or shower area. They may have different colors and not all are toxic.
However, any type of mold can be a potential hazard and should be treated and respected as such until properly identified. When attempting to remove mold from anywhere within your home, wear the appropriate protective clothing, gloves, and masks needed for the job at hand.
Some molds are black or white and feature different shades of gray everywhere between. Others may exhibit shades of red, pinks, blues and or greens.
One thing that all of these molds have in common is the requirement for a warm (dark) and moist environment in which to survive and thrive in.
And remember, mold and mildew fungus is not always easy to properly identify. Here is a list of the most common molds that you may find within your bathroom and shower or tub area.
Pink Mold In Shower
Pink mold is not related to toxic black mold or in the “ Stachybotrys chartarum” genus of molds. Pink Mold is not a fungus; but, rather is an airborne organism also known as “Serratia marcescens”.
What Is Pink Mold
Pink mold is a bacteria more commonly found in bathtubs, showers, bathroom tile, and grout.
It can also be found in and around the commode, bathtub, baseboards and even along the commode water line and its basin.
Pink mold can pose a health risk to anyone coming in contact with it. It has been found to cause respiratory illness among the elderly.
And, is the cause of urinary tract infections among hospitalized adults and in the gastrointestinal sub-structure of children.
Green Mold In Shower
Green molds are among some of the easiest to see and equally as tough to properly identify.
A Certain genus of green molds are typically found outdoors and love decomposed vegetation and spoiled foods. Green molds are also found on citrus fruits.
What Is Green Mold
Others, absolutely thrive alongside “toxic black mold” in areas of continuous dampness. If you have a basement that has been flooded or has a leak of some sort; then you know what I mean.
Wet cardboard and carpet, damaged wainscoting or particle board are all super food sources for more than just termites. Green and Black molds alike will absolutely flourish and colonize super-quick in this environment.
There are green molds which will be very green to the naked eye and under a microscope contain Aspergillus niger (usually found growing on damp walls and appears black on the surface and white or yellow on the bottom side).
Other green molds of the Aspergillus genus and within a different species of that genus, have been reported by the medical community to grow in human tissue.
There are many different types of mold that will appear green and/or black and sharing the same food source.
And, it is entirely possible that you are seeing one and the same mold colony; just in different life stages (toxic black mold usually takes a week or so to get its act together and get going towards colonization).
So, you can really get down in the weeds for which genus or species a particular mold may come from. But in the end, it is important to get rid of the mold as safely as possible.
Continuous exposure to green mold can lead to many different health problems. Some of them quite serious.
Aspergillosis is a lung disease and serious condition brought on by breathing in large amounts of its mold spores.
Some species of the Aspergillus produce very harmful mycotoxins which can cause upper respiratory illness, asthmatic symptoms, neurological ailments and so much more.
The elderly and those with weakened immune systems are especially susceptible to this fungus.
Always take precautions and wear the appropriate safety equipment when removing green mold from the shower.
White Mold In Shower
White mold will often appear feathery or have a powder like texture to it. Sometimes, you will see what looks like tentacles or roots spreading outward and away from the main growths.
What Is White Mold
Many of these lighter colored molds belong to the Aspergillus or Penicillium genus and are capable of producing readily airborne toxic pathogens by way of their spores.
It is also more difficult to detect because of its light color and can blend in fairly well with the surfaces on which it is growing.
Many people do not even know that they have white mold growing in their bathroom or shower area until the spores of the growths release into the airspace and begin causing health issues.
Some of the health effects can include elevated allergies, respiratory infections, headaches, eye irritations and nausea. And, depending on the species, some of the light-colored molds can be more dangerous to your health than the well known “toxic black mold”.
Red molds are commonly found on bread for sure. But, they are also found in the bathroom shower due in large part to the relative humidity present. Specifically, the tile and grout area.
Red Mold In Shower
What Is Red Mold
It has a range of colors that vary from pink to bright orange, dark red and all shades in between.
Red molds and yeasts can be difficult to spot on some surfaces because they are often found among the darker green and black molds. And, they can be tough to identify properly without the aid of a mycologist – who studies fungi professionally.
It is not as common as some of the green and black molds. However, it needs to be treated with the same respect when eradicating or removing the mold from your shower.
Red mold can still cause general health issues to more advanced health concerns if not removed as quickly and safely as possible. Always, use personal protection when killing mold.
Black Mold In Shower
Not all black molds are toxic. However, they may still be hypo-allergenic in nature to those living in the household. To be sure, Stachybotrys can be identified properly by a trained professional, a microscope, and a test lab or mold kit.
What Is Toxic Black Mold
If you have black mold in your shower it is most likely NOT “Toxic Black Mold” or of the Stachybortrys genus.
The Stachybortrys contains about fifty species in its genus. And, the species of black mold that most homeowners are concerned with is known as Stachybortrys chartarum.
In many cases, you are not likely to find toxic black mold in the immediate shower area due to a number of conditions in which toxic black mold needs to survive.
- Black Mold needs cellulose to feed on and normally takes at least a week or so to colonize (if moisture conditions are ever-present).
- Black Mold requires a consistent water table (not just elevated humidity) in which to grow.
- Black Mold will absolutely flourish behind a wall (with a small water leak), on wood, paper, and cardboard items (that are subject to consistent water). It will also thrive behind wet wallpaper or paper backing on drywall (sheetrock).
You may see mold in your shower growing primarily along bathroom caulk lines, in the tile and grout or on metal window sills or frames.
If this is the case, then the mold that you see is most likely not Stachybotrys or Toxic Black Mold. And, while not as dangerous as toxic black mold, it still needs to be removed as soon as safely possible.
Molds represent many colors of the rainbow, and there are inexpensive solutions to get rid of shower mold without breaking your bank. Here are some effective and natural ways to remove black mold from your bathroom and shower.
Mold In Shower Drain
Moisture is inevitable in the shower and bathroom areas of your home. And, mold growth in shower drains will certainly follow at some point.
To keep it to a minimum, there are a few Eco-friendly and preventative measures that you can take now to keep mold from taking over your shower drain.
Soap scum, body hair, and oils provide the cellulose material for the mold growths to feed on. Consistent water run-off and through the drains provide the other ingredient (moisture) in which black mold and other fungi need to survive.
While it is impossible to stop the water flow; you can negate how much moisture remains in place for extended periods of time.
Simply, keep your drains open and free and clear of cellulose (hair and soap scum) buildup.
Periodically treat the drain with a vinegar or baking soda and water solution to keep mold spores from developing into colonies.
How To Clean Mold In Shower Drain Naturally
Fill a four to six OR eight to ten-quart stockpot with water and bring to a good rolling boil (be very careful when transporting hot liquid to bathroom and shower drain).
Prepare your mold inhibiting solution by combining a paste mixture of equal parts borax and water or baking soda and water.
Apply paste to the outer rim of drain opening and let sit for 5 to 10 minutes.
Scour and scrub mold stained areas of outer drain area to loosen any mold debris. Rinse and repeat if necessary.
Pour boiling water down the drain (keeping arms, hands and face clear of rising steam from water exiting stock pot).
Mold loves moisture; however, the boiling water will kill any mold spores that it comes into contact with.
Now, pour a cup of white distilled vinegar down the drain. And, immediately pour a ½ cup or so of baking soda down the shower drain.
This will bring about a small and very safe – bubbling reaction. This effervescence will also gently clean mold spores from the inside of the shower drain.
And, it will also expand into other areas of the shower drainpipe that the hot water did not come in contact with.
Repeat the process of adding baking soda and vinegar to your shower drain a couple of times a month, and this will go a long way in keeping your shower drain smelling good and mold free.
Good Stuff and Very Green!
Shower Mold Prevention
Here are some useful tips for shower mold prevention:
10 Ways To Prevent Shower Mold
- Reducing humidity levels in the bathroom to 30-50% will greatly prevent mold growth in your shower, tub, and sink (often enough, this will require using a small humidifier).
- Open any adjacent windows (if applicable) during and after showering. This will help minimize humidity and prevent mold from taking root in tile grout, caulk, and drains.
- Keep the shower and tub area, clean and free of standing water. Especially, shampoo bottles and soap bars allowed to rest in standing water.
- Get that sticky “whoopsie mat” off of the bottom of the shower or tub. The semi discolored one with all of the suction cups wrapped in hair – ugh!
- And, soap scum-ugh-yuk!
- Cleaning this one item on a weekly basis will do wonders for keeping your shower free of mold.
- Soap scum, body oils, hair and the rest are organic materials that get trapped between the bath mat and shower floor on a regular basis. And unfortunately, shower molds of all colors will make a home here.
- Scour and sanitize the bath mat on a regular basis and you will be way ahead in preventing mold growth in your shower area. Remember to allow it to completely dry before placing it back on the shower floor.
- Regularly mist a 50/50 solution mix of vinegar (or straight while diluted vinegar if you can handle the smell) and water to your shower curtain, glass doors, tile grout and inside shower walls.
- Also, spray the caulked corners, and all cracks and crevices around the spigot, spout, drain and shower nozzle.
- Do not rinse and allow all treated areas to dry completely.
The vinegar solution has a slight odor but will dissipate soon thereafter. And, will help with deodorizing while the acids in the vinegar continue to eat away and kill any remaining mold spores; as well as prohibit future mold growth.
Shower mold removal is much easier when a sound prevention plan has been put in place. A few well-placed applications of tea tree oil, hydrogen peroxide OR even white distilled vinegar; will absolutely do wonders for your shower mold prevention and shower mold removal projects.