Everyone wants to have a clean house, but most importantly everyone wants to be sure that their bathroom is the cleanest room in that house (aside from maybe the kitchen). Your bathroom is the place where you go to get cleaned up after a long day’s work; if it’s dirty, you’re not truly clean after being in there. The bathroom is also one room in the house that your friends and neighbors will judge you on. Not everyone is judgmental like that, but it’s hard to want to go somewhere when you know that their bathroom is worse than a truck stop and you’re afraid of catching something from being in the same vicinity as those mold/mildew ring around the bottom of the toilet or tub. So here’s the skinny:
Mold or Mildew?
Mold and mildew are often mistaken for being the same thing because they tend to grow in similar environments; this, however, is not the case. Mold and mildew are more like cousins. Mold is darker in color (usually green/black) and a bit slimy. Mildew is lighter in color (gray/white) and less slimy and harder to spot, especially for those who are unaware of these differences.
How To Get Rid of It –
There are many products available today that will help eliminate mold and/or mildew from brands such as Lysol, Zep, Tilex, Krud Kutter, Kaboom, and Scrubbing Bubbles (just to name a few). If you, however, are not a fan of using strong chemicals, there are a few other things you can try. Tea tree oil, grapefruit seed extract, and vinegar are all completely natural “chemicals” that will rid you of your mold and mildew worries. Tee tree oil is expensive and strong smelling; grapefruit seed extract is slightly less expensive and doesn’t have a strong odor; vinegar is very inexpensive and is probably already in your kitchen cupboard somewhere. So whatever your cleaning preference – pick one and get to work! Mold and Mildew can be dangerous for your home and your family.
Prevention is Key!
Now we get to the good part. For those of us who don’t have mold or mildew problems and want to avoid that situation at all costs – here’s a few prevention tips.
- Use the exhaust fan during and after taking a shower. If you don’t have an exhaust fan, crack a window to let the steam out. If you don’t have either of these options, do a little remodeling and install an exhaust fan in your bathroom. This will pull the moisture out of the room. We suggest leaving the exhaust fan on and the bathroom door open for 10-15 minutes after leaving the tub.
- Leave the lights on. Mold/Mildew do not appreciate light, so open the blinds and throw back the shower curtain (or simply leave the light on during the time you leave the exhaust fan on) to discourage these fungi.
- Do a little more remodeling. If you were planning on repainting your bathroom anyway, be sure to use a paint that already has a mold/mildew preventative as part of the recipe. In other words, don’t use all purpose paint instead of bathroom paint. Ask your paint expert to make sure and add that little ingredient or at least show you where to get the right kind of paint.
- Keep the area CLEAN! If you leave standing puddles in the tub or on the bathroom floor, you are sure to be plagued by mold and mildew. Also, don’t leave wet clothing or towels laying around – hang them up so they can dry.