How to treat bathroom mold

Updated April 17, 2017

Bathroom mould is a common problem. Mold grows in areas that are wet or damp. The dirtier and less ventilated the bathroom tile, tub, sink or shower doors are, the faster the mould will grow. Mold can cause health problems such as rashes or respiratory problems. Regular and frequent bathroom cleaning can eliminate mould growth, but mildew may occur anyway, requiring treatment. Bathroom mould can often be treated with home cleaning, but in some cases, such as extensive mould growing behind walls or under bathroom surfaces, a professional will be needed to remove it.

Move all items away from the area being cleaned. For example, if cleaning the bathtub, remove shampoo and conditioner bottles, soap and loofahs to avoid getting cleaning product on them.

Put on cleaning gloves and a face mask if using bleach or a mould and mildew cleaner. If using vinegar, still use gloves to avoid contact with any mould, but a face mask is not necessary unless the smell of vinegar is too offensive. Ventilation is important. If the bathroom has a window, open it, and if there is a venting fan, turn it on. If there is no ventilation in the bathroom, use vinegar because bleach products are dangerous in enclosed spaces.

Choose a cleaner and stick with it. Combining cleaners can be dangerous because there is the possibility they will emit toxic fumes from a chemical reaction. If using bleach, combine one part bleach to 10 parts water. Most mould and mildew cleaners come in a ready-to-use spray bottle. If it is a concentrated solution, combine it with water according to directions on the bottle. If using vinegar, fill an empty spray bottle with any kind of inexpensive kitchen vinegar.

Apply cleaner or vinegar to the mouldy area and let it sit for a minute or two.

Use a sponge or cleaning brush to remove the mould. Do not use a stiff bristled cleaning brush on delicate bathroom surfaces that can scratch. For corners, crevices or delicate surfaces, use an old toothbrush.

Rinse the area that was just cleaned. Rinse thoroughly if using a product with bleach. Rinse the cleaning gloves and sponge and let them dry completely before putting them away.


Women who are pregnant should never use a bleach product or cleaner with harsh fumes. People with pets should not use bleach products if the pet tends to lick or lay in the area being cleaned unless they can keep the pet away from the area for a day.

Things You'll Need

  • Cleaning gloves
  • Medical face mask (optional)
  • Sponge or cleaning brush
  • Old toothbrush
  • Mold and mildew cleaner or bleach or vinegar
  • Water
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About the Author

Laura Rico has been a journalist for more than five years in Michigan and California. She began her career as a staff writer at two community newspapers before accepting an assistant editor position in Northern California. She currently works as a page designer/copy editor and freelance writer in Holland, Mich.