Mold and Mildew in the Shower

I know this is a common problem but I cannot keep mold and or mildew out of my shower. I have a tub and a single unit wall surround that requires caulking between the two. I have caulked, removed caulk and re-caulked so many times all for not. Now I have a ceiling fan and two doors leading from my small bathroom and I always leave one door open (ceiling fan needs to be replaced as of recently) when taking a shower but I still have mold. Is there anything else out there that I can use? I'd used the caulk made for bathrooms/showers. Thanks
  10 answers
  • You have got to control the moisture - you should be turning on the bathroom exhaust fan while you are taking your shower & letting it run 15 minutes afterwards. You can not leave bottles, scrubbies, or washcloths near grout joints. You may also wish to consider using a squeegee to get the water off the walls after you are done. As for the caulking, it needs to be removed completely, areas cleaned, and then reapplied (preferably with one meant for high water areas)

  • SLS Construction Solutions is spot on with their advice. Moisture is the primary reason for moldy areas. I would suggest that you should as stated either squeegee the walls and or dry them with the bath towel once your done using it. Keeping these areas dry is the cure. If the grout is also becoming a bit moldy, you should consider after doing a thorough scrubbing re-seal it with grout sealer. Many times then not the grout becomes porous over time and begins to hold soap and soils, all that add up to future mold development. They make these auto sprayers that are hung on the shower head and spray once activated by a button a drying and cleaning chemical that is suppose to help prevent this build up as well. I have not personally used them, but have heard good things about them from those who use them. Sort of works like the drying agent you use in your dishwasher to prevent spots.

  • Linda D Linda D on Apr 04, 2013
    thank you all so much for the suggestions. The caulk I use is not grout though, Does that make a difference? I use a caulk gun with the solution for tub and shower and it only needs caulking around the top of the tub where the wall meets. I do have a squeegee and will use that in future. Thanks again, Linda

  • caulk for corners between tub and wall. grout everywhere else.

  • Andrea S Andrea S on Apr 05, 2013
    Squeegee the walls after you are done showering. There is a cleaner called Scrub free that I use between showers. Apparently it works. Before the scrub free I scrubbed with bleach and an old tooth brush. I also use a cloth by the sink for after we are done washing hands or brushing teeth, we wipe down the water around the sink and the edge of the sink. So we don't leave water on the counter to evaporate. The kids are learning too how to keep the bathroom dry. The caulk is not meant to be there forever. Eventually they all get mould and need replacing. I have read that with proper installation it could last 20 years, but I also found a recommendation to replace it yearly to prevent mould from forming on the surfaces under the caulk.

  • Thank you & spot on to @Woodbridge Environmental for catching the grout part, I missed that . @Andrea S - as for the caulk you should inspect it yearly (I recommend twice - Jan & July inside - spring & fall for exterior) but just replacing it willy nilly is a waste & can cause more issues if you damage areas. A good caulk or sealant can last for many years easily.

    • See 1 previous
    • @Susan Bechamp Yes it should & that is because while many caulks are good with contraction, they are terrible with expansion past their original set point - so by filling the tub you have now set it so that it should not just peel away

  • Designs by BSB Designs by BSB on Apr 05, 2013
    advice spot on thus far... to help you be more accountable? consider spending $15 and install a timer so the exhaust fan stays .. after you leave, and you dont have to worry about shutting it off! Home Depot has one.. If these do not do the trick? may need to consider doing the math to find out if your fan is sized right for your bathroom. Knowing what the CFM (Cubic Feet per Minute) rating is key. This site has a quick calculator to help you:

  • Linda D Linda D on Apr 05, 2013
    I love Home Depot. They have everything including Do It Herself Classes.

  • Andrea S Andrea S on Apr 08, 2013
    Thanks I will do that. We didn't check it, we didn't know either how often we had to do it and learned from the mistake. We were told to just run the fan for a half hour after showers. But since we replaced it we check it and also use a squeegee and the fan and try to wipe dry where we can.

  • Capernius Capernius on Feb 11, 2016
    after your shower or bath, wipe it down with a towel & then spray it with NOT wipe the vinegar, leave it sit. The acid in the vinegar will kill the mold & mildew & if you do this on a regular basis, you will never have mold or mildew again.