With moisture from bathtubs, sinks, toilets, and showers, the bathroom is often ground zero for mold and mildew. Mold in the bathroom is more than an unsightly issue—it presents significant potential for damage and health risks. Thriving in damp environments, bathroom mold can damage surfaces by causing discoloration and deterioration over time. Prolonged exposure to active mold can degrade your fixtures and walls.

Beyond structural damage, bathroom mold can lead to health problems like allergic reactions and respiratory issues. And while most household fungi are relatively harmless, some forms of mold can lead to health problems.

Let’s tackle those unwanted microbes to keep your bathroom beautiful, safe, and clean.

What Are Mold and Mildew?

We know mold and mildew are unsightly, stinky, and slimy, but what exactly are they?
Mold refers to microscopic fungi that grow nearly anywhere oxygen and moisture are present, especially in warm, damp spots.

Mildew is related to mold but is a separate fungus type. It differs from mold—mainly in its color and growth pattern. Molds grow in fuzzy or wooly clusters ranging from blue and black to red and green.

Mildew is usually white and grows in thin, flat patches on organic materials and other surfaces. Like mold, it thrives on shower walls, bathtubs, windowsills, and other high-moisture bathroom areas.

Why Is It Important to Remove Mold and Mildew in Your Bathroom?

In our environment, mold and mildew are essential because they break down organic matter like dead leaves and trees. Indoors, molds are not as welcome. Health issues associated with molds include:

  • Asthma attacks
  • Dizziness
  • Headaches
  • Red eyes
  • Runny nose
  • Skin rashes
  • Sneezing

Children, older adults, and individuals with pre-existing respiratory conditions are especially vulnerable to mold-related illness. Molds and mildew can also be dangerous to pets, especially black mold, which can cause serious illnesses.

Stachybotrys chartarum, or toxic black mold, is greenish-black and gives off an odor of decay or wet soil. This mold is hazardous to people and pets, so call a professional mold remediation company if you suspect you have it in your home.

mold & mildew

How to Get Rid of Mold in Bathtubs and Showers: A Step-by-Step Guide

Cleaning bathroom mold may not be your favorite way to spend an afternoon, but you might be surprised to learn just how easy and effective it can be with these simple methods.

Supplies you’ll need

  • Re-Bath approved cleaner
  • Warm water
  • Clean microfiber cloths
  • Gentle sponge or scrub brush
  • Old toothbrush or small bristle brush
  • Spray bottles
  • Cleaning gloves

1: Clear the space

Put on your gloves and remove everything from the area you’re cleaning—and we mean everything. You’ll need to get into those crevices and corners where fungi like to hide.

2: Prep and apply your cleaner

Next, decide which cleaning product to use for each surface. Re-Bath provides an extensive list of approved household cleaners for all our bathroom remodeling products. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions to protect your investment and prevent scratches or discoloration. Contact your Re-Bath design expert if you have questions about a product you don’t see listed.

3: Scrub away

Recent mold growth should be easy to clean. Larger areas may take a bit of elbow grease. Use a gentle scrub brush for countertops, shower bases and surrounds, and bathtubs. Use a soft cleaning cloth for glass shower doors, metal fixtures, windows, and mirrors. An old toothbrush or tile brush will reach the tiny areas that a larger brush cannot, like around the drain and fixtures or inside tub jets.

4: Rinse and Dry

After you’ve removed mold and mildew, rinse treated areas with a clean, damp rag or run the sink or shower over them. Use a new towel to dry wet areas and prevent future growth.

How to Prevent Bathroom Mold and Mildew

Once your space is mold—and mildew-free, you can do simple things to reduce moisture in the bathroom and prevent fungi from forming.

Reduce Humidity in Bathroom

Nothing beats a steamy shower or soak, but without proper ventilation, a hot, damp bathroom will cause mold and mildew to grow. There are several ways to reduce humidity in the bathroom to get ahead of mold:

  • Run the bathroom exhaust fan when bathing and showering, and keep it on for 15-10 minutes afterward.
  • If the bathroom is damp, and you live in a humid climate, open bathroom windows after your shower or bathe to allow humid air to escape.
  • Portable and whole-house humidifiers remove moisture from the air. They come in different sizes based on the size of the space, so check the product specs to find a model equipped for your bathroom.

Keep Bathroom Surfaces Dry

Wiping down surfaces every time you use the sink, shower, or bath is a good habit to get into. Use a shower squeegee for flat surfaces and an absorbent cotton rag to dry off other areas before you leave the bathroom.

Try a Daily Shower Spray

Spritzing down your tub and shower each day is another simple way to prevent mold and mildew buildup. Just be sure to choose a non-toxic cleaner that’s safe for children and pets, and designed for your bathroom surfaces. Re-Bath’s recommended cleaning products are tested and approved for our bathroom remodeling products.

Use a Shower Caddy

If bottles, soaps, and sponges are resting on a flat surface, water can easily get trapped under them. Install a shower caddy to allow products and accessories to air out. It’s a great way to stay organized, too! Easy-to-install bathroom shelves come in just about every shape, style, and finish to match your bathroom décor.

Launder Linens Often

We can’t forget about the soft surfaces in your bathroom: towels, shower curtains, window curtains, and bathroom mats. These items also collect moisture and can take a while to dry out. Launder and switch out these items frequently to prevent mold and keep your bathroom smelling clean and fresh.

Choose Mold and Mildew Resistant Materials

Drips, leaks, and cracks in your bathroom shower, tub, walls, or tile cause water to pool, creating the perfect environment for mold and mildew. That is why Re-Bath products and materials are non-porous, groutless, waterproof, and silicone-sealed to protect against moisture.

Contact Re-Bath Today!

Call or connect online with your local Re-Bath to schedule a free bathroom design consultation today.