We all love a hot shower or a long soak in the bath, but hot water leads to steam and steam can lead to mould and mildew. A kind of fungus that develops from airborne spores, mould loves damp, warm conditions, especially if your bathroom has restricted airflow. If you've noticed black patches developing on your walls, on sealants or around your shower and sink, then you'll need to get rid of it as quickly as possible, as not only does it look unsightly, but it can develop into a health risk.
So, if you'd like to know how to combat mould and mildew in your bathroom, here are our tips for eradicating the black stuff, and how to stop it from growing in the first place.
Stop mould in its tracks by keeping your room clean and dry
To stop the growth of mould you need to keep your bathroom clean and dry and eliminate any excess moisture. Use cloths or a squeegee to soak up any water on the bath, shower cubicles, walls or windows and, if you don't have an extractor fan, always open a window to let out any steam.
Try not to let items that soak up water easily, such as fabrics, wallpaper and wood, get wet when you're showering or bathing, as they'll take a long time to dry out, and can prove to be a welcome breeding place for moulds and mildew. Always hang towels to dry afterwards, and open up shower curtains to give the water a chance to evaporate.
The traditional way to get rid of mould
If mould is affecting your walls and windows, the traditional method of using detergent, hot water and good old elbow grease is a very effective way to get rid of pre-existing mould and mildew. You may prefer to dilute some bleach into your water (one part bleach to three parts water), or use a proprietary cleaner. Once you've cleaned away all the noticeable mould, check behind the toilet and other hard-to-see areas, as mould is sneaky and can build up undetected for months or even years. A stiff-bristled brush will help to remove the spores.
Use specialist products
If the traditional method doesn't work then you may want to try a product that has been specially formulated to remove mould and mildew, such as anti-microbial sprays that work by preventing the spores from settling again. However, if you do choose one of these cleaners, don't mix them with any other cleaning solutions as they may cause a chemical reaction.
Paint the walls with anti-mildew paint
Available at most DIY shops, this will stop mould and mildew spores developing on walls and paintwork.
Install a de-humidifier
Ideal for long-term mould prevention, remember to get these professionally installed in rooms where there's water.
Check for leaks
If you're a stickler for keeping your bathroom dry and aired, and you're still seeing evidence of mould, then you may have a leak in your plumbing. If the leak isn't obvious, you may need to seek the help of a plumber to help track it down.
Once it’s established, mould and mildew is likely to return, so if you see signs of its reappearance, simply follow the advice again to keep your bathroom mould free.