Table of contents
1 | What you'll need
2 | How it's done
3 | Expert tips
4 | That was easy!

When you're looking for ways to remove mold and mildew, you can find a lot of conflicting information. Many sites recommend using bleach, but you don't have to expose yourself to that! Cleaning the bathroom—even mold and mildew—can and should be a non-toxic endeavor.

Why is the bathroom such a magnet for bathroom mold and mildew?

Think of all the reasons you like the bathroom after a shower, especially in the winter—it's warm, it's humid, and it's comfortable. That's why mold and mildew thrive there, too. They like it for the same reasons you do! Once you notice a problem, it's important to get it under control as soon as possible, especially when it's black mold, which can contribute to a whole host of respiratory issues and allergies.

Mold and mildew are types of fungi that release spores into the air. It happily exists outside and in most cases is relatively harmless. However, once some of those spores find a way into a nice humid area with a little standing water in your home, they can reproduce and thrive, potentially wreaking havoc on your allergies, or worse, when they release spores of their own into the air.

What mold and mildew need most is moisture, and there's usually more than enough in the typical bathroom, especially one that doesn't have very good ventilation or where fans are rarely used.

1 | What you'll need

  • Gloves
  • Spray bottle
  • White vinegar
  • Baking soda (optional)
  • Water (optional)
  • Borax (if dealing with mold on bathroom ceiling)
  • 1 gallon jug or larger
  • Goggles (optional)

2 | How it's done

  1. Spray MildewOption 1:

    1. Close vents so mold spores won't spread as you clean.

    2. Fill a spray bottle with straight white vinegar.

    3. Spray the contents on the walls and floors of your tub, shower stall, in your sink, and on any other surfaces where you see mold and mildew beginning to develop

    4. Leave the room for about 10 minutes to let the vinegar do its job.

    5. Scrub the areas with a toothbrush before rinsing with water.

    6. Dry the surfaces to discourage mold and mildew from growing in leftover standing water

    Options 2:

    1. If your toothbrush didn't do the trick...Combine equal parts white vinegar and baking soda in a bowl.

    2. Apply the mixture (using a sponge, not the spray bottle this time) to the areas that need more attention. The baking soda is more abrasive than the average toothbrush.

    3. Let the mixture remain for a few minutes before scrubbing it down with the sponge, rinsing, and drying the space. Bonus: vinegar and baking soda aren't just mold and mildew removers—they will both help with mildew smell.

    4. Wipe away any mold you've scraped off the surface.

    5. Mix together a 50/50 mix of water and vinegar to store nearby in a spray bottle for regular cleanings to keep the mold and mildew from returning.

    6. If you're concerned about mold on the ceiling, use an all-purpose cleaner and warm water to clean the area, then move on to the next step.

    7. Once it's dry, mix one cup of borax with one gallon of water. Apply the mixture to the ceiling where the mold is an issue (this even works on black mold in bathrooms) and leave it there to dry. Do not rinse it off.


3 | Expert tips

You can create air circulation and allow light to stream into the room to prevent mold and mildew from coming back with a vengeance. Yes, some may still creep in, but by running a fan or cracking a window while you shower and a few minutes after you're done, you'll slow their return.

Dry up the standing water. Is there an area where water always seems to drip out of your shower and onto the floor? Make sure you clean it up when you get done in the bathroom.

Spray down the tiles and around the tub with vinegar when you're done showering. If you can't remember to do it after each shower, at least try to do it a few times per week. Leave a spray bottle of vinegar in the shower at eye level (if possible) so it's easier to remember. You can also use our All Purpose Cleaner to help keep mold and mildew at bay, though following up with vinegar is also a good idea.

A toothbrush is your secret weapon when it comes to how to get rid of mold in bathrooms. Use one to get mold off of hard to reach places.

If your shower curtain is stained with mildew, mix enough lemon juice and salt together to make a paste and apply it to the stained areas. Leave it in the sun until it's dry, and repeat as many times as necessary for the stain to disappear. Be sure to try this in an inconspicuous spot on the shower curtain before applying the mixture to larger areas.

If the vinegar didn't do the trick, Mother Nature Network has a recipe featuring tea tree oil that may do the trick. Tea tree oil is more expensive than vinegar, of course, so trying to use straight vinegar first could save you money.

Apartment Therapy has some tips for getting mold and mildew out of your grout and keeping it away, hopefully for good.

If you find that you have mold in the walls, insulation, or over large areas, you may need to seek the help of a professional, or talk to you landlord if you're renting, according to House Logic.

4 | That was easy

Getting rid of mold seems like one of the most intimidating things you could possibly ever have to do, but in most cases, you can handle it yourself without worrying about toxic fumes or hurting the environment.

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