What Are the Causes of Mildew Inside a Toilet Tank?

Written by amanda williams
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What Are the Causes of Mildew Inside a Toilet Tank?
Prevent mildew growth in your toilet. (Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images)

While cleaning your bathroom one day, you possibly noticed some black or white speckles growing in your toilet tank. Appearing harmless, you wipe away the spots and continue with your cleaning routine. What you saw growing in your toilet was mildew. Mildew is typically a harmless form of mould, but it can be toxic. Mildew grows in your bathroom so long as environmental conditions are right.

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Description of Mildew

Mildew is identified as a white, green or black growth that is produced from mould. It appears powdery or damp, and usually grows in clusters. Mildew is able to grow on various surfaces, provided the conditions are right. Mildew often has a musty odour and causes allergy-like symptoms if inhaled. If not treated, the inhalation of mould spores causes serious illness, especially in those with pre-existing respiratory or immune conditions.

Causes of Mildew

Mildew grows in conditions that are damp, dark and have little air circulation. Such places include basements, crawlspaces, closets, in walls, rugs and bathrooms. Their growth is caused by occurrences such as plumbing leaks, humidity and condensation. Mildew growth is optimum between 23.9 and 29.4 degrees Celsius. It grows easily in toilet tanks due to the constant access to water and lack of ventilation and light. If not intervened, mildew will continue to grow in your toilet tank.

Preventing Mildew Growth

Prevent the growth of mildew in your toilet tank by cleaning out the tank frequently with a mildew remover product or bleach. It is important to keep your bathroom dry, so use the exhaust fan or open a window while showering or when the room is humid. As long as you keep air circulating in your bathroom when moisture is present, mildew will have a difficult time growing.

Mildew Removal Methods

If mildew grows in your toilet tank, scrub it off with bleach or mildew remover. Even though you may not be able to kill the sometimes toxic spores that mould creates in order to reproduce, you can prevent the spread of living mould and mildew with such products. While cleaning, wear rubber gloves, a face mask and goggles to prevent inhalation of the mildew.

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