The area around the bathtub contains substrates that encourage the growth of mold and mildew. Not only can mold grow around the bathtub, but it can also grow in the drain and on the tub surround. The most common area where mold is typically first noticed is on all the caulking around your bathtub. Mold and mildew are not only unsightly to look at, but this toxic fungus can also cause respiratory problems, allergic reactions and create a slipping hazard. However, there is good news! With just a few household products and little elbow grease, you can have a clean, mold-free bathtub.
What You’ll Need
- Spray bottle
- Baking soda
- Liquid dishwashing soap
- Scrub brush
Disinfecting the Drain
The biggest mold colony in your bathtub is probably going to be down the drain. You may not be able to see the mold in the drain, but you should be able to detect a musty odor. To begin the mold cleanup, remove the stopper; they can usually be twisted off or if you have a strainer, use a screwdriver to remove it. Thoroughly wash the stopper with liquid dishwashing soap and water. To clean the drain, pour ½ cup of baking soda down the drain, and then pour in 1 cup of vinegar. The mixture will create a bubbling effect, which disinfects and deodorizes the drain. Allow the foam/bubbles to dissipate, then flush the drain with hot water and replace the stopper/strainer.
Cleaning Mold Around the Bathtub
Although the myth claims that bleach is the best way to clean mold, you can accomplish the same cleaning and disinfecting process by using vinegar. The first step is to thoroughly scrub the bathtub and the surround, using an abrasive sponge, dishwashing liquid and water. Once all of the blackened areas have been scrubbed off, make a paste of baking soda and water or if you prefer, use hydrogen peroxide. Use a toothbrush or a scrub brush and the baking soda mixture to scrub the caulking, around the edges of the tub and the fixture. If the mold is severe, leave the paste in place for a few hours before continuing to clean the tub. Rinse the entire bathtub with hot water and towel dry.
Be sure to wear gloves and turn the bathroom fan on while cleaning the bathtub, especially if you choose to use bleach or hydrogen peroxide to disinfect the tub.
Mold grows in the bathroom because of the moisture, so the best strategy for preventing mold is controlling it. If your bathroom has an exhaust fan, check it to make sure it is in good working order and remember to turn it on each time you are in the shower or bathtub. If you do not have an exhaust fan, open a window to help circulate the air. It’s also beneficial to squeegee the shower surround and wipe the bathtub dry after taking a bath or shower. About once a month, spray the shower surround and bathtub with a solution of vinegar and water to help kill mold spores that may have landed in the bathtub.
All of us here at Desola Glass, Art & Frame Gallery are thinking of our customers and their families affected by the flood. Please reach out to us if you have any concerns about your bathroom upon returning home.