If you’ve discovered a small colony of mold in your bathroom, you can probably kill and remove it safely with a few household products. However, if the mold is toxic or covers 10 square feet or more, you’ll want to call in a professional.1
Before beginning, put on protective eyewear and a mask, and work in a well-ventilated area. You’ll also need a scrub brush and bleach solution (never mix ammonia with bleach, as it produces poisonous gas), as well as towels and rags to clean surfaces and remove spores from the air.
Start by removing any traces of visible mold, then scrubbing the surface of the wall with an antifungal cleanser or detergent. Rinse thoroughly and allow the surface to dry. If the wall is painted, be careful not to damage it.
Next, spray a cleaning Bathroom Mold Removal solution (or bleach) on the affected areas. Be sure to read the labels carefully and follow all safety instructions. For example, if you’re using a cleaner with chlorine bleach, it should be diluted at least 1:10. If you’re working on painted drywall or ceilings, a non-toxic alternative is hydrogen peroxide. The product is available at drug stores in a 3% solution; just be sure that it doesn’t contain surfactants, which could damage the paint.
Alternatively, you can buy ready-made cleaning solutions and mold removers in most supermarkets. They usually use vinegar as their base and have added ingredients that help the solution cling to surfaces for longer. Bleach is a heavy-duty option that will kill mold on showers and other surfaces, but it’s a dangerous substance that should only be used as a last resort, especially if you have children or pets in the home.
A final tip: If you find that the mold returns after you’ve removed it, it’s probably because there is a moisture problem in the room. Fix the leak and keep humidity levels low to prevent further growth.
To reduce the risk of mold growth in your bathroom, install an exhaust fan and leave it running after you’ve taken a bath or shower. It’s also a good idea to wipe down surfaces after each use and to keep them dry. Finally, make sure that you have a vacuum with a HEPA filter in your house to trap mycotoxins and other allergens when they’re released during cleaning. HEPA filters can be bought online and at most hardware stores.