About this Recipe
Did you know that there may be millions of different species of mold on planet earth? Most of the mold spores on earth are not harmful and live in a peaceful co-existence with humans, having no ill effect on human health. There are however, some species that can can trigger allergies, asthma and hypersensitivity usually related to long work or home exposures to certain mold species. There are many people worried about the dangers of mold in your home and so this article is all about black mold and how to remove black mold from your shower area in particular. It is important to clean black mold from your shower and also from other possible damp areas in your house on a regular basis, even if you do not see signs of growth.
Reports from a current 2017 study in the Clinical Reviews of Allergy and Immunology (1) says that that there are actually no real scientific basis for "toxic black mold", or "toxic mold syndrome", and that toxic mold scares are no more than media scares and mass hysteria. This report says that there is no scientific evidence that exposures to visible black mold can lead to previous thought of symptoms such as memory loss, inability to focus, fatigue and headaches.
This is good news, but it does not account for my own personal experience with mold in the past, having been quite sick from some heavy exposure with the severe symptoms of vomiting, nausea and respiratory complications. Ever since that experience, I am extra careful with black mold and avoiding exposure. I have even lost money on travel house rentals that smelled moldy and reminded me of that very unpleasant experience.
Aside from all health debates, it is undeniably a very good idea to clean your home for mold and take precautions to keep it from growing.
How to Clean Black Shower Mold Permanently:
If you end up only having to scrub with the cleaner recommended below, then this will only take 20-30 minutes tops, but if the situation is more serious it make take 2-3 hours from start to finish, but will be well worth the time and effort.
If you are not on a regular cleaning schedule with your shower or bath tub than you are very likely going to have some black mold that builds up and becomes very hard to clean. I have seen it in bathrooms all over the world. If this happens in your shower or bath tub it is good to get into a better cleaning schedule for mold and hard water so that things do not get out of hand.
Important Health Note: No matter what cleaning product you use, it is definitely a good idea to open up the windows, turn on the vent, and even consider wearing a mask or bandana so you are not breathing in the bleach and also the mold spores. Avoid breathing in mold or mold spores. You may want to wear a respirator available at hardware stores and on the internet.
Should I Use Bleach?
According to the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), bleach and other chemical biocides should not be used for regular mold clean up, and in fact will not even kill all the spores anyways. The best way is to manage the humidity and water damage to the area being affected. If you do use bleach, never mix it with any other cleaning solutions which can be very dangerous to breath in. The EPA recommends that you scrub mold off hard surfaces with detergent and water and then dry the surface completely.(3) We personally like undiluted white vinegar for the job, and baking soda to help with the scrubbing. Several home repair type website services recommend vinegar as one of the best products for this purpose.
Directions: With your chosen cleaning product, and a stiff bristle brush, get busy with some elbow grease to see if you can remove the mold through simple scrubbing. This may work in some cases that are not too far gone with mold. If this doesn't finish the job, and you still have mold build up and residue than a good idea is to replace the caulk where the mold is latched onto. You can use a razor cutter and score the caulking and usually you can then easily peel it away. Make sure that you remove all of the caulk that was touched by the mold or discoloration. You may find that some of the caulking has hardened like grout, in which case it can be helpful to use the flat head of a screw driver and be careful not to damage your tiles. If you are in this deep, make sure you have some safety goggles or something to protect your eyes. Be careful with all of this.
When the caulk has been full removed from the damaged areas, you can prep the new caulk. Clean the working area fully with the Tilex (to remove any spores), and make sure it is very dry. It is VERY IMPORTANT that the area is full dry or the caulk will not stick. Since bathrooms and and showers require that you use a silicone caulking, it can be much easier if you use some painters tape to tape off the section that you plan to caulk, like you see in the image gallery. Again, the tape will not stick if it is not dry, so make sure things are dry before you begin.
Once the painters tape is finished, use a high quality silicone caulking (some of them are specific for the bathroom and for preventing mold) for the job. Likely, once this is done, if you stay diligent with your cleaning for mold prevention, you will not have to do this process again. When applying the caulk, you can just put a thin bead and then use a finger (we like to use gloves) to smear it in between the painters tape. Go for a seamless look by pulling your finger along the line until you get to the end. Once all of the caulk is smooth you can pull off the tape, resmooth any parts that need it and then let it dry based on the directions on your tube of silicone.
What is Black Mold?
Black mold (Stachybotrys chartarm) is usually black/green in color and from my experience holds a bit of an off smell. It can grow in your home on drywall, in the shower, around the floor boards, on windowsills, under carpet and under tiles to name a few. The most ideal temperature for black mold to grow is around 70F (20C).
Why To Clean Black Mold from Your Shower
1. It is ugly and just gross having to shower in a shower stall covered in black (or any color) mold.
2. Although some health reviews rule out black mold as a health concern, there are many people who believe that it is very toxic and should be dealt with immediately.
3. Molds will grow quickly when their spores land on a damp material and can spread very quickly through damp places in the house.
4. For most people, mold can be a big problem before they even know it is there, so it is best to stay on top of cleaning habits.
Tips To Prevent Black Mold
1. Ensure there is proper ventilation in your home and particularly in your bathroom or anywhere there is moisture that settleds on the walls, windows or floors.
2. Keep an eye for any leaks in the house and deal with them quickly if you see any.
3. Clean and maintain your home regularly to avoid the growth of mold. Use undiluted white vinegar and baking soda to scrub, and then dry completely, particularly if it is a problem area.
4. Watch for condensation around windows and clean regularly to avoid mold growth.
5. Even if you do not see black mold with your naked eye, it is still a good idea to clean potentially contaminated surfaces
(1) Mold and Human Health: a Reality Check. Clin Rev Allergy Immunol. 2017 Jun;52(3):305-322. Borchers AT1, Chang C1, Eric Gershwin M2. Read more.
(2) Mold exposure and respiratory health in damp indoor environments. Front Biosci (Elite Ed). 2011 Jan 1;3:757-71. Park JH1, Cox-Ganser JM.
(3) Environmental Protection Agency. Mold. Retrieved April 15, 2019 from https://www.epa.gov/mold Read more.