Bottoms Up: Surprising, and Natural, Remedies for Bathroom Mold
If you’re looking for something a little less harsh — and a lot more fun — than bleach to get rid of small mold problems in your bathroom, the solution might be right inside your liquor cabinet.
“Vodka offers relief not only from stress, but also from mold,” according to Home Remedy Hacks, a site that provides natural and herbal remedies for health and beauty-related problems.
Even better, you can save the good stuff for happy hour because the less filtered bottom shelf spirits are actually tougher on unwanted fungus than the more expensive distilled bottles of grain alcohol. To zap your bathroom mold, fill a spray bottle with half vodka and half water and a few drops of essential oils for an air freshener, Lauren Weatherford, families and health agent for the West Virginia University Extension Service, told the Chicago Tribune. Then just use a sponge to wipe away the dead mold.
Not sure you want to waste a drop of booze on your bathroom mold? Here a few more natural approaches to squelching minor mold and mildew issues:
- Tea Tree Oil: A powerful natural fungicide, you can add about 10 drops of the oil into a spray bottle filled with water and shake well before spraying on any small patches of mold in your bathroom. You might have to scrub a bit at first but over time, the cleaner will help prevent future outbreaks.
- White Vinegar: Another effective, all-natural cleaner, vinegar is antimicrobial and doesn’t need to be mixed with anything. Just spray, let it sit for a few minutes and wipe away with a cloth.
Back up: why is there mold in my bathroom, anyway?
Bathrooms are the perfect breeding ground for mold, which requires a damp, dark environment for growth. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the fungus has been on the planet for millions of years and can be found all around us. But mold is one of the most common causes of allergies and can cause fatigue and stress in those living in a home with a mold issue, so it’s something you want to address as soon as you notice it.
In fact, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) found there was sufficient evidence to link indoor exposure to mold with upper respiratory tract symptoms, cough, and wheeze in otherwise healthy people; with asthma symptoms in people with asthma; and with hypersensitivity pneumonitis in individuals susceptible to that immune-mediated condition. The IOM also found limited or suggestive evidence linking indoor mold exposure and respiratory illness in otherwise healthy children.
How can I prevent bathroom mold in the first place?
When it comes to mold in your home, prevention really is worth a pound of cure and takes a matter of minutes each day to keep the fungus at bay. Here are some natural ways to help keep your bathroom mold-free:
- All Dried Up: There’s nothing mold loves more than a nice, damp place to start setting down its roots, which means you need to do your best to keep your bathroom dry. Run the ventilation fan for 20-30 minutes to reduce humidity and don’t forget to keep shower curtains open to allow any remaining humidity to disperse. Give any moisture on shower walls, floor and door and good squeegee and leave a bathroom window open. Got a few extra seconds? Towel dry any leftover condensation from the area to really dry things out.
- Offense is the Best Defense: Two to three times a week, spray the shower with distilled white vinegar with a few drops of tea tree oil. Cleaning coach Leslie Reichert told the Today Show to add one drop of oil to every 2 ounces of vinegar and allow it to air dry. She suggest you follow the manufacturer’s directions for your particular surface and to never use vinegar on travertine or stone.
- No Grout About It: Getting rid of mold and mildew in your bathroom grout can be pesky so to prevent it from happening, once a week use a soft scrub brush and apply a mixture of one-part vinegar to two-parts water and “a little elbow grease” to your clean grout. Have you let mildew get the best of your grout? Tips Bulletin has a recipe for a more heavy-duty cleaner that uses ingredients you’re likely to already have in your pantry (super-safe but throw on a pair of gloves to avoid any stinging). Also, make sure your grout is sealed properly to prevent future growth as unsealed grout is an invitation for mold and mildew to grow.
While these are all effective tips for combating and preventing minor bathroom mold issues, if you discover a more pervasive problem in your home, call Stock Environmental Consulting to schedule important mold testing at (732) 383-5190. Let our experts use their over 20 years of experience to determine the severity of your home’s mold issue.