Prevent Mould

Mould is formed from airborne mould spores, which can attach themselves to pretty much anything and find their way into your bathroom. The moist and warm conditions created in bathrooms are the ideal place for mould to grow, creating ugly specks of brown and black that can become a health hazard if left for too long1. Thankfully, there’s plenty that you can do to prevent mould in the bathroom.

Knowing how to get rid of mould in the bathroom is important, but what’s even more important (and easier) is preventing it from building up in the first place. In this article, we’ll provide some expert tips on how to prevent mould in the bathroom, so that you can keep the room looking immaculate, and encourage good hygiene.

Use the ventilation fan

Ventilation fans are great at sucking warm, moist air out of the room, which deters the buildup of mould. Reducing moisture in the room also protects a bathroom’s walls, floor, and bathroom fixtures from breaking down.

The best time to use the ventilation fan is while you’re having a shower or bath, and for 30 minutes after you’re done, so that it can continue removing excess moisture from the air.

Also, the fan won’t work as well if covered in grime and dust, so regular cleaning is important to help reduce moisture levels in your bathroom.

Open windows

If you’re finding mould on places like the bathroom ceiling, your air circulation is likely to be poor. When cool, fresh air circulates through your bathroom from an open window, it’ll pick up moisture and carry it back outside. If privacy permits it, open your bathroom windows while you take a shower, and leave them open for half an hour after you finish.

Remove water with a squeegee

A squeegee is one of the most effective ways to prevent mould in the shower. When you’re finished, quickly wipe any excess water away from the walls with the squeegee, to keep it as dry as possible. This can feel arduous at first, but once you get into the habit, it’ll become a part of your regular routine.

Keep your products out of the shower

The bottles of shampoo, conditioner and body soap that sit in the corner of your shower usually remain damp for a long time, making them prime targets for black mould in the bathroom. Wiping them down and placing them in a cupboard when you’re finished with them will help to prevent the buildup of mould in the shower, and while this is another task that can be irritating at first, you’ll quickly get used to it.

Check your grouting

When grout is consistently wetted, mould can form inside and on the surface, and start to break it down. If areas of grout have cracked or started to peel, there’s a good chance you’ll need to re-grout those sections to prevent the mould from regrowing.

Regular dusting

Dust is a food source for mould, so by regularly dusting your bathroom, you’ll be destroying a source of mould spores and discouraging further growth. The ideal way to dust is with a damp microfiber cloth, starting high and working downwards2.

Use an dehumidifier

Dehumidifiers remove moisture from the air, which discourages the growth of mould. If you already have air conditioning installed in your home, it’s likely to have a dehumidify mode which will remove the moisture from your bathroom. Alternatively, you can purchase a small portable dehumidifier that can be placed in the bathroom itself, which may be more effective.

Mildew-resistant shower curtain

Shower curtains are a pain to dry, and a prime place for mould to grow. Thankfully, you can purchase mildew-resistant polyester shower curtains which repel water, and prevent mould from growing on them. You can also make your current shower curtain mildew-resistant by applying a store-bought product, or making your own solution. Check out the link at the end of this article for more info.

Hang your wash mats and towels, and wash them regularly

Bath mats and towels can take a long time to dry, and when combined with humid climates, are a suitable place for mould to grow. To quicken their drying, make sure to hang them up after using them. Washing them regularly will help to remove mould buildup too.

After showering, leave the shower door or curtain open

A hot shower feels gorgeous on a fresh winter’s day, but leaves behind a ton of warm moisture which is loved by mould spores. To expend the excess moisture with better air circulation, keep your shower door or curtain open for 30 minutes after you’re done.

Fix leaks

If large patches of mould are growing in your bathroom, you may have an unidentified leak that needs to be fixed. Some common signs of a water leak include:

  • Consistently damp or wet patches
  • Stains or discolouration
  • A musty smell
  • Soft of flexible areas
  • A larger bill than usual

Check out the link at the end of this article for more info on how to identify a water leak.

The moist, warm environment of a bathroom makes it an excellent place for mould to grow. By using these techniques, you can prevent those loathsome specks of brown and black from forming, keeping your bathroom an unblemished, gleaming example of perfection.

Useful Links

References

  1. 2012, Mould – Fact sheets, NSW Government
  2. Michelle Driscoll, MPH, 2019, 3 Ways to Prevent Mould in a Bathroom, WikiHow