How to Clean Mold and Mildew from Bathroom Tile
Hate to clean the bathroom? Join the crowd!
I may be a professional house cleaner, but I don't like to clean the bathroom either.
Cleaning tiles that are covered in soap scum or mold and mildew isn't anyone's idea of a good time.
But, clean them we must!
The best way to tackle cleaning tile is to know where to start and what to do once you are faced with all of those dark and dirty stains in the cracks, crevices and corners of your bathroom.
Let’s get one thing straight; Dark colored stains on your tile are hard to clean and chances are they will just keep coming back.
The grout in between the bathroom tiles are the most common breeding ground of mold and mildew because of the prime conditions such as warmth and moisture in an enclosed room.
Many people don’t realize that tile grout is not naturally water proof. Because grout is porous, soap scum, grime and body oils can settle in the grout.
Now we have a perfect environment for mold and mildew in the bathroom; dampness, low light, low air flow, high humidity.
If you are looking for a way to effectively clean your bathroom tile, you've come to the right place. These are my best cleaning tips and hints to keep your bathroom tile clean and mildew free.
Are you ready then? Let's get busy cleaning!
Regular Cleaning Tips:
Tile and grout can be cleaned with a variety of things, and I've listed many cleaning solutions below to remove soap scum, mold and mildew. When you choose your solution to clean your bathroom tile, keep these handy tips in mind!
- If you find that you can’t get in certain corners, try using a Q-tip, old toothbrush or even a cotton ball soaked in cleaner. Leave it in the corner several minutes and the goo will come right out.
- In addition to regular tile, you will want to make sure you are keeping the runners along the shower door very clean as well. If you can’t reach inside the runner with your handy old toothbrush turned scrubber, then use a Q-tip dipped in cleaning solution.
- Another trick to clean the runner is to just pour the vinegar in the runner, wait several minutes and rinse well with water. Usually that will flush out most of the dirt and accumulated grime.
- Shower curtains are notorious for collecting all sorts of soap scum and mildew and spreading it to the tile and grout. If your shower curtain is grungy, run it through the clothes washer with hot water and one cup of bleach to make it look like new.
NEVER mix any other cleaning product with bleach or ammonia.
If you use bleach, vinegar or ammonia, make sure to use them separately and not mixed together in a solution. The combination of chemicals can create toxic fumes. Rinse the tile completely before trying another cleaner. Ammonia, bleach, vinegar and many other cleaning chemicals can produce toxic fumes when mixed together.
Vinegar is a great cleaning product on it's own. don't add it to bleach, however as toxic fumes may develop due to a chemical reaction.
Using a 50-50 mixture of vinegar and water will often do the trick to remove soap scum and stop mold and mildew.
You can use a toothbrush, or other type of small brush for this task. Spray the dirty area with the water/vinegar mixture, and scrub with the brush in circular motions.
Don't ever mix bleach with ammonia as toxic fumes will be created when the chemicals combine.
Bleach will instantly remove mold and mildew. There are also many inexpensive and effective homemade mixtures that you can use to clean your grout.
- 1/4 cup bleach
- 3/4 cup water
The basic and easiest method is just to spray this bleach solution onto your tile and grout, and then rinse it off.
Be sure to rinse the bleach off completely as it is very slippery on floors and corrosive to your skin.
Don't ever mix ammonia with bleach as toxic fumes will be created when the chemicals combine.
Ammonia works well to clean and remove soap scum, mold and mildew.
Mix a cleaning solution of;
- 1/3 cup of ammonia
- 2/3 cups of water
Spray or sponge the cleaning solution onto your tile. Let the mixture sit for about one hour before scrubbing off.
No Scrub Bathroom Tile and Grout Cleaner
Tired of scrubbing that dirty tile and grout until your arms are numb? This bathroom tile cleaner will remove soap scum, mold and mildew.
A great way to make a no scrub grout cleaner is to mix:
- 1 cup plain white vinegar
- 1 cup salt
- 1 cup hot water
- 2 Tbs. dish washing liquid
Spray or sponge this mixture onto your tile and grout, and let in sit for about ten minutes. After the time is up wipe the mixture off your tile and rinse thoroughly.
Preventing Mold and Mildew on Bathroom Tile
These are simple ways to help keep your bathroom clean, reduce soap scum and prevent mold and mildew from taking hold.
- Leave lights on whenever possible to reduce humidity and create a less comfortable environment for mold and mildew.
- Decrease humidity by leaving door cracked when showering, blow drying hair in bathroom and installing a ceiling fan that sucks the air out of the room.
- Keep everything as dry as possible. Use the used towels to dry up anything left wet, take out wet towels, and consider hanging wet towels in bedrooms or other closet.
- Apply rain-x to the shower walls and floors. Rain-x will cause the water to come off in sheets. Your tile will be dry which stops mildew and mold from growing.
- Try to dry the tile after every use. Do not allow standing water to sit on the tile.
- Spraying the tile regularly with straight white vinegar will cut down on the mildew.
- Switch to liquid soap to stop mold and mildew from forming.
These are great and effective ways to clean your bathroom tile and grout.
No longer will you have to spend time and money at department stores looking for bottles of toxic specialty chemicals. All you really need is a few things from around your house and you can have your bathroom tile look sparkling clean.
Image courtesy of Daniel Rothamel, CC-BY.