Asked on Mar 20, 2017

Bad case of mold in the bathroom - CLEANED!

Leah Deverett
by Leah Deverett
A while ago I posted a discussion asking how I could get rid of the mold in my bathroom. Your answers were so helpful! The mold spread and got really bad (see pictures) and I finally decided - I'm getting rid of it! Some clorox spray, a mesh sponge, protective gloves, blasting music and one hour later - it was gone. icon Next I'm planning on fixing up the wall with some mold resistant paint. Any other suggestions on where to go from here? Thanks for all your help!!

q bad case of mold in the bathroom cleaned

Before... icon

q bad case of mold in the bathroom cleaned

After!!! icon

q bad case of mold in the bathroom cleaned

Really did the job!

  28 answers
  • Dorotheaprine1968 Dorotheaprine1968 on Mar 20, 2017
    You need a bathroom exhaust fan and run it when taking a shower or bath. Once you have mold like this it will continue to return even after using mold resistant paints. Ben there and done that with an outer wall in a bedroom. I used a strong spray of Zitz designed to stop staining and prevent mold from bleeding through from the dry wall. But until you get that fan in your bathroom you are just wasting your time trying to keep mold at bay. Good luck.

  • 2dogal 2dogal on Mar 20, 2017
    I would be concerned with the mold growing on the back of the wall board without first killing it. I'd use bleach and soak the wall board - in a well ventilated room. Then I'd use Kilz or another paint product to keep the stain from coming through. And yes, you'll have to ventilate the room. Even if it's just keeping the door open.

  • Familyfound Familyfound on Mar 20, 2017
    You only killed the surface mold, I hate to think what is behind and on the back of your drywall. If you want to be safe and not expose anyone to that, I would say rip that old stuff out (safety first, wear a face mask) and replace the drywall with the appropriate product...and definitely add a good ventilation fan.

  • William William on Mar 20, 2017
    I agree with all the comments. Mold grows from inside out. The surface mold means there is a bigger problem, probably behind the drywall. If the mold returns it means the insulation and drywall are compromised within the wall. Of Course, ventilation is needed to prevent mold.

  • Leah Deverett Leah Deverett on Mar 20, 2017
    Guess I got a little too excited! I'm looking into solving the ventilation issue. Thank you all for your help!!

  • Shevy.gale Shevy.gale on Mar 21, 2017
    I had a really bad case of mold on the ceiling in one area of my kitchen, the ceiling was not part of the original apartment and was added by the previous owners, and they did a real bad job, it wasn't isolated well etc, every winter the ceiling would get literally black and I was very annoyed, I kept on cleaning it with mold resistant cleaners, and it kept on coming back, I brought a few professionals and they wanted a lot of $ to add isolating. out of frustration one day after cleaning it I decided to paint it over with a special paint I had against mold, I didn't really think it was going to help long term, but I wanted it to get a fresh look till I get a professional to do the isolating job, it's been a few mos. now, and the mold isn't coming back!! so I sugg. when it is clean you should use a mold resistent paint, otherwise it will be coming back, also you have to make sure to open the window after you shower.

  • Dorotheaprine1968 Dorotheaprine1968 on Mar 21, 2017
    Install one that has a really strong pull to it as it will need to move air at a high rate. Usually you can get good advise at Lowe's or Home Depot as to size and capacity. Once installed have the duck work well covered and sealed with insulation to keep condensation from forming on the outside of the duck. Often the duck work will come with a vapor barrier wrapping it. We added a layer of bat insulation over the top of ours as it ran through the attic space. We bought a home where they just ducked it into the attic and the underside of the roof was covered in mold from the condensation. A mess that we had to clean up and do mold abatement on the underside of the roof and replace all the attic insulation in the area. Something that our home inspection did not catch.

  • 9530106 9530106 on Mar 21, 2017
    You may just have surface mold-this article is very informative.

  • Diana Deiley Diana Deiley on Mar 21, 2017
    I'd call a professional for the expert opinion. Do it right the first time. Best of luck.

  • Nancy Cate Barnes Nancy Cate Barnes on Mar 22, 2017
    The only thing that really eradicates mold is Hydrogen Peroxide Full Strength. Once you see the mold is gone, rinse with warm water. Hydrogen Peroxide gets rid of blood on clothing also.

  • Dennis Ryan Dennis Ryan on Mar 22, 2017
    I have had that problem 4 or 5 times, and now I am going to clean with bleach as you did, apply Kilz brand primer and next I am going to put Formica on the walls about where your tile area ends instead of painting again. A contractor friend of mine believe it or not put Formica on walls and ceiling which solved his issue with mold completely! Other suggestions I have for you are to avoid creating an environment favoring mold.1. Install a very powerful exhaust fan and duct it outside. 2. Take shorter showers.3. Don't allow back to back showers4. Leave the bathroom door open to allow more circulation of air. 5. Paint walls and ceilings with a gloss or semi-gloss enamel instead of a flat paint. Mold prefers flat paint as there is more surface area for it to grow on and it is harder to clean a flat. When my 3 kids grew up and moved out I immediately had less mold because of less number of showers.
    Sorry girls, but women take very long showers which leads to more mold! Unless they had previously spent time in the armed forces!🇺🇸😊

    • See 1 previous
    • Dennis Ryan Dennis Ryan on Apr 10, 2017
      I know you ladies do! I have a wife and daughter. We have two showers in our home and the downstairs one started leaking when shut off. After I had it repaired the plumber said we had to use both showers to eliminate the same issue in the future. Now my wife showers upstairs while I used the downstairs one. This also reduces the mold issue.
      I noticed your pup in the photo. Is your pooch taking very long showers secretly while you are at the grocery store?

  • Ellen Ellen on Mar 25, 2017
    ventilation is key as mentioned in the other comments. But also key with a fan is let it run long after shower is over !!! i even leave my window open a little as well.

  • Banjojane66 Banjojane66 on Mar 25, 2017
    The only way you can remove mold is to bleach it first, dry it with a fan, add a small cup of baking soda on your shelf, in the bathroom. Baking soda works great in the fridge, you can use it in your bathroom too! Then pour the used amount after a month, to freshen your tub or sink. Baking soda can be used to whiten your teeth(only the fresh baking soda) and sweeten your breath! I love baking soda! It has other uses, I will leave that up to you. Happy baking soda discovery!!!

    • Margaret r Margaret r on Apr 11, 2017
      My dentist told me not to use baking soda -it's too abrasive for your tooth enamel.

  • Deb Mahre Deb Mahre on Mar 25, 2017
    HI. That darned bathroom mold!
    MOLD KILL: I read on the internet, once/recently, that different products will attack the mold at different levels. Bleach, for instance, hits the surface, giving the visual appearance that the mold is gone. There are other products that attack deeper, penetrating to the root of the problem. Sadly, I didn't put that info into the 'retention' part of my brain. But I'll bet a simple WWW search might produce info on products that have a better mold kill efficiency. There were natural remedies, too...
    FAN: A few years ago, when remodeling bathrooms, I found effective and attractive ventilation fans at a large chain hardware store (first letter, L) . I just looked on the website of the store (5 letters, 2 vowels) and they are still available. The star rating does not look great on the site, but I really like my fans and have not had problem. I would give them 5 stars. The other chain hardware store (2 words, first word starts with H) in our area also has nice options.
    TIMER: We replaced the fan switch with a 1 hour time. Set it and forget it...
    Good luck with the battle with the mold milieu.

  • RV RV on Mar 25, 2017
    Bleach just whitens the mold.
    Bleach does not kill mold.

  • Dol7382879 Dol7382879 on Mar 25, 2017
    Also be sure to check the roof for leaks that might wet the insulation and contribute to the spread of mold in/on the ceiling.

  • Bleach does definitely not kill mold we had a flood in our basement and the city told us to clean our basement entirely with Pine-Sol and it is the only cleaner that kills mould .

  • Skrizzo Skrizzo on Mar 26, 2017
    I've read (probably on this site) that a 5 watt bulb (nite lite) left on continually will dry out the area enough to prevent mold. It's worked for me.

  • Twyla J Boyer Twyla J Boyer on Mar 28, 2017
    Let me preface this comment by saying I am a huge fan of DIY and of saving money and I get that cost can prevent us from doing things the right way sometimes. That said, if you're going to do it right, even if doing it yourself, mold is one of those things you want to do right. It's dangerous to your health and damaging to your home.

    I hired someone to remove the basement mold that came free with the house I bought last summer. (I can't DIY mold stuff as I am super allergic to it.) The young man who took care of it for me was very willing to answer questions, even though I ask a lot of them. Turns out that, at least in NY, mold abatement requires the same training as for asbestos abatement. Bleach kills only surface mold, but there are products that will kill it and special paints that will seal it. It's worth asking at a good hardware store for the right products.

    I was also told by FIMA experts that bleach along was not sufficient when I lived on Long Island post Super Storm Sandy and that mold penetrates things like drywall and wood, so they really need to come out if at all possible. (If not, they need to be sealed super, super well and a plan to remove them down the road when you can afford to needs to be made because the mold will be growing behind the walls, which is disastrous.) That drywall really needs to come out and be replaced with an appropriately rated product (like green board for regular walls or cement board if it's part of the shower area) that can handle the moisture of a bathroom.

    You definitely need a bath (exhaust) fan. Bath fans from any major chain will be very similar. The big issue is how much draw you need. I have a fairly tiny bathroom (about 7x5.5 feet) and was told to get one that was rated for 100 cubic feet at least. That was the largest they had at the chain store, and it wasn't super cheap ($130 plus another $150 for installation), but it was totally worth it. It must be vented outside the house to be truly effective, though. Otherwise you're just transferring the mold problem to the attic. I was also told to always leave it on for at least 10 minutes post shower. They do make switches that are timers so you can have it stay on for a while and then turn off automatically after you're gone if needed.

    • Leah Deverett Leah Deverett on Mar 29, 2017
      Thank you SO much for your thorough response! I really appreciate the help and feel I now know how to properly handle the situation.

  • Shareene Stenhouse Shareene Stenhouse on Mar 28, 2017
    Mold Control is a good product, but like some of the other comments it is better to remove the drywall and fix the problem properly. Mold can cause serious health problems. As well install a good exhaust fan. Shorter showers don't make a difference. Once mold takes hold especially behind the drywall, it will return.

  • Lynn Butler Lynn Butler on Apr 03, 2017
    I have mold on my bathroom floor, i am going to try concrobium mold control it says it eliminates and prevents mold coming back. I bought it at Home Depot.

  • Kristen Mcilrath Kristen Mcilrath on Apr 10, 2017
    I have the same issue in my bathroom. My husband installed a exaust fan and it didn't help. So we are gong to install a window that opens. The previous homeowners had those square glass windows that don't open, I'm going to knock those out asap.

    • Linda Hillyer Linda Hillyer on Apr 11, 2017
      I love what you did to your valance on the shower curtain. Can you email me a better picture and tell me how you did that? I know this is off the subject, but I'm into decorating. My email is Thank you!

  • Cool Grammaw Cool Grammaw on Apr 10, 2017
    I read that just dabbing or pouring bleach or other cleaner on the moldy area is not adequate; it has to be scrubbed in. Obnoxious, naturally - LOL! It's very stubborn. I am also super allergic to mold. I strongly suggest at least a consult with an expert professional to be sure you're doing this just right so that not even a tiny detail is missed. We can give you anecdotal tips but this is serious, so take care.

    • Laura Skaggs Laura Skaggs on Apr 11, 2017
      A Quat or antimicrobial cleaner is better to use then bleach. HEPA vacuuming is a must to lower spore count. But most mold growth you see in homes actually have short roots. Usually less than 1/4 inch deep. A simple bristle brush is usually good.

  • Laura Skaggs Laura Skaggs on Apr 11, 2017
    All that you did looks great, but only cleaned the surface mold. Every house has some mold with damp areas being most prone. (bathrooms, kitchens,basements) I work for Servpro (company that handles disaster clean up and mitigation; fires, flood, sewage, mold, biohazard....etc) And I cannot stress enough that although it's a very common occurrence to have visible mold, it will come back after cleaning if the source isn't taken care of. Usually the source is an area where excess moisture is. Ventilation fan is a must and if needed, air samples can be taken to find out what type of molds are present and how high the spore counts are. The samples are compared to a sample of outside air. So if it is minor, use a vacuum with a bristle brush attachment that has a HEPA filter to vacuum the room before you wet clean the mold. Repeat vacuuming after area drys. This significantly helps remove the spores you can't see. Less spores=less chance of growth. Then paint. But please check to make sure you don't have a larger mold problem hidden from sight as some types of mold can cause medical issues. And please, when vacuuming is complete, remove and wrap HEPA filter in plastic for disposal- you don't want all the spores you trapped to get out again- replace filter and clean up vacuum. Bleach does work but an antimicrobial cleaner is better to use for mold situations.

    • Laura Skaggs Laura Skaggs on Apr 11, 2017
      And Please, please, please.. if you decide to clean it yourself, wear gloves and a respirator!!!!!! At least a paper mask. Just make sure the mask is rated for organics. A normal one is for particles (like for drywall, dust) but won't trap the spores as they are too small

  • Banjojane66 Banjojane66 on Apr 11, 2017
    You might want to follow your dentist's advice. I'm not a medical professional. I do know that baking soda helps you get rid of extra moisture, from poor ventilation in a room, put out fires and get rid of stains on carpet with just a sprinkle. I used it on my teeth in a small amount and it removed the stains of tea and coffee, from mine. My teeth are fine. I don't mean, very often, just occasionally.

  • The only cleaner that killls mold is pinesol, that is what we were told to clean up with after a flood. And it worked like a charm.

  • Vimarhonor Vimarhonor on Jun 13, 2020

    Congratulations finding your solution thank you for sharing the secret of your success

  • Chas' Crazy Creations Chas' Crazy Creations on Aug 01, 2022

    I have several cleaning tutorials that might help you