What Is Black Mold?
Black mold, commonly known as Stachybotrys Chartarum is the discoloration of bathroom tiles, floors, Shower grouts, etc. Black mold is one type of fungus that is a host for various microorganisms There are other kinds of mold that are in white, orange, purple, or green color.
You must have witnessed some kind of molds in your bathroom at some point of time or other. The more flooded a portion is, the more formation of black mold.
Formation of the black mold is common in showers and we can get rid of it, while those created at corners and places that are flooded for a long time can only be removed by professionals trained in mold removal.
Some of the instances of mold formation in the shower grout and the methods to get rid of them are discussed in this article.
Places That Are Prone To Black Mold Formation
Some of the places where the black mold formation is easily possible are listed below.
Main Causes Of Black Mold
Black mold is a fungus that is common in the outside environment. If a place is closed; flooded with water often; or with less ventilation, it can be a welcome room for the black mold.
The main agent for the creation of black mold is moisture.Some of the other factors causing a black mold formation and their removal methods are explained here.
Moisture Is The Monster
The main reason and the necessity for black mold to grow is the presence of moisture. If there is no moisture at a place, no mold will grow at that place. So, the very first method of preventing the growth of black mold is to reduce the moisture in the interior surrounding.
The reduction of moisture can be done using some equipment. Dehumidifiers and air conditioners are the best examples of moisture reducing equipment. We can use these at places where it is possible. The humidity inside the house should be under 65% to prevent any growth of black mold.
Keeping the area cold will reduce the moisture since air cannot hold moisture at low temperatures. Cold surfaces that have the possibility of moisture condensation should be well insulated. The usage of exhaust fans in the kitchen will help in moisture removal during cooking, dishwashing, and cleaning.
Can Black Mold Affect Your Health?
Although it is rare to get affected by mold spores, people with allergies can be affected. They can develop rashes, sneezing, runny nose, red eyes, and similar allergic reactions by touching or inhaling the black mold spores.
It can also be a risk factor for people with asthma. People with any diseases like lung disease, cancer, and the likes are also prone to allergic reactions from black mold spores. It is not a fear factor if the mold spores are there only in tiny spaces like shower grouts, however, it will be one if they are dumped in large spots.
Methods Of Removing The Mold
Although the common black mold on the shower grout and walls won’t cause serious health issues, they can make the wall to be repaired. So we need to employ some cleaning methods to get rid of the black mold in the shower. Some of them are listed below.
Using Bleach – Spraying bleach on the shower grouts, sinks and other areas followed by wiping.
Using Vinegar – Similar to bleaching, here vinegar, also known as Acetic acid is used.
Using Tea tree oil – It is a natural essential oil that can act as a very good fungicide which can be used to remove black mold.
Using Bleach To Clean The Shower
The bleaching technique is a common method employed to get rid of black molds in the shower. The process of bleaching is detailed below. You may need some extra components to perform bleaching such as a pair of hand gloves (Protective gloves); a respiratory mask; Spray bottle, and a brush.
Step 1: First, you have to mix the bleach powder in water in the ratio 1:2.
Step 2: Pour the mixture into the spray bottle.
Step 3: Spray the bleach mixture on the areas affected by the mold formation and let it be for 5 to 10 minutes.
Step 4: Take the brush and clean the area once after you recognize the mold getting faded away.
Step 5: In the case of smaller and intricate spaces, you can use a tiny brush such as an old toothbrush.
Step 6: Pour clean water on the spots to remove the mixture and you can notice the mold being removed completely.
Preventive Measure (PM) While Bleaching
PM 1: Use a pair of protective gloves while bleaching to avoid direct contact with the powder.
PM 2: You can wear an old dress or an overcoat to prevent your costume from getting spotted with the bleach that can cause the color of the dress to fade out while washing.
PM 3: Have adequate ventilation while cleaning the mold.
PM 4: Wear a respiratory mask.
The same process can be done using vinegar if you are resistant to the use of bleach powder. Vinegar is a natural alternative for bleach which is a chemical. Tea tree oil can also be used, however, that will be the last choice for everyone because of its high price. Using Tea tree oil is the costliest method of Black mold removal.
Bleach-Free Natural Alternatives For Shower Grout Cleaning
Since bleach is irritable for some people, some natural alternatives are needed for the cleaning of black mold. Two of the main alternates are listed below.
White vinegar – Acetic acid commonly known as vinegar is an acid capable of killing the microorganisms in the fungal formation and hence removing the black mold totally similar to what bleach does. Since vinegar is natural, it won’t create any allergic issues or other effects on the user.
Baking Soda – Another natural alternative for bleach is Baking Soda (White crystals of Sodium bicarbonate). You can mix the baking soda with water to apply and clean the mold away from the shower grouts without any side effects. For better results, it can be mixed with vinegar also.
Borax Solution – Borax is another natural alternative for bleach that can act as a fungicide and help in the removal of the black mold. It is a white solid of sodium borate that is completely natural. It doesn’t release any toxic fumes like bleach. It can be safe even in the proximity of children and pets.
Chemical Cleaning Products Used For Shower Deposits Removal
Apart from bleach, vinegar and other natural fungicides discussed earlier, there are some cleaning lotions and gels available in the market that can be used for getting better results in the shower grout cleaning, especially to remove the calcium deposits apart from black mold.
Those liquids will be consisting of all the necessary chemical agents required to kill the microorganisms and make the shower grouts and the sinks clean. Some of them that can be used for the removal of Calcium deposits in the shower are listed below.
Calcium remover liquids; pastes; and scouring sticks.
CLR cleaners (Calcium, Lime, and rust).
These calcium deposits can also be cleaned by the methods used for black mold removal, however, better results can be provided by these products.
Removing Mold From Shower Curtains
Not only the grouts and floors get affected by the black mold, but also the shower curtains. The plastic curtains that are always wet due to regular bathing become host for fungus easily. These curtains are washed normally in the washing machine as usual.
Along with an addition to the detergent, baking soda, vinegar, and bleach are used for the washing of shower curtains. Just put the curtain in the washing machine and start the cycle.
After that, add either the mix of baking soda and vinegar or some bleach along with your detergent and let the cycle begin. The mold from the curtains will be removed in the process.
Preventing The Future Growth Of Black Mold
The black mold formation can be prevented if we follow some practices to keep our bathroom clean. Some of the practices are listed below.
Regular Cleaning Of The Bathroom – Every bathroom should be cleaned regularly at least once a week. Using anti-fungal cleaners will help to prevent any formation of black mold. Regular use of vinegar on walls, sinks, and the likes will prevent fungal formation.
Wiping After Use – Once you are done using the shower or a sink, try to wipe them out with a cloth or towel so that the moisture content will be removed or minimized. If there is no moisture accumulation, there won’t be any fungal development and so the black mold will not form.
Humidity Reduction – As said earlier, if the humidity is low, moisture won’t get deposited and so the black mold cannot be formed. So make use of an exhaust fan in the bathroom and kitchen to reduce the humidity.