Don’t Skip These 14 Habits to Save Your Bathroom from Mold

published Nov 7, 2019
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Credit: Sarah Crowley/Apartment Therapy

We all have cleaning battles we’d rather not talk about, for fear of seeming gross. But the truth is, our problems are more universal than we think: Each of us is fighting the same home-keeping difficulties—as well as the embarrassment that surrounds them.

Bathroom mold is one of those cleaning struggles we tend to keep in the dark.

Mold is so prevalent in the bathroom because that environment is its perfect breeding ground. With a steady supply of moisture from steam and water left in showers and tubs and even from the toilet, mold is just waiting to grow if you don’t take preventive measures, most of which involve curtailing moisture and humidity.

If you want to keep your bathroom mold-free, implement these 14 habits:

1. Always switch on the bathroom fan.

Leave it running for half an hour to an hour after you shower. If you don’t have a built in shower fan, get a fan and do the same same thing—run it for half an hour to an hour after every shower.

Credit: Ana Kamin

2. Open windows after a shower, if you have them.

If your bathroom has a window, open it up to allow fresh air and sunlight in.

3. Hang your wash rag, loofah, or sponge to dry.

Don’t leave them sitting on shower surfaces—they’ll trap water and take longer to dry out.

4. Put your shower products on a soap dish or rack.

Water can become trapped under and behind your bottles of shampoo and body wash if you leave them sitting on a solid surface. Keep air circulating by putting your shower essentials on a soap dish or storage rack.

5. Squeegee after every shower.

Squeegee your glass and tile after you shower to remove excess moisture.

6. Use a daily shower spray.

Rinse-free formulas make it easy to spray and go at the end of your shower, and keep mold and mildew at bay.

Credit: Sarita Relis Photography

7. Keep the door or curtain open after each shower.

Open the stall up after each shower to allow air to circulate. If you prefer to keep it closed for aesthetics, you can close it when you go in to turn off the fan.

8. Wash your towels frequently.

You’re probably not doing it enough. Every two to three days is what microbiologists recommend.

9. Wash your shower curtain and curtain liner regularly.

10. Wash bath mats regularly.

A hotel-style one (that’s more like a towel than anything) can go right in the wash. Rubber-backed mats can be hand-washed in the sink, or machine washed every once in a while.

11. Run a dehumidifier, if you have one.

Use a dehumidifier if you need to in order to keep your home’s humidity below 50 percent.

12. Wipe up water when you see it.

Wipe up standing water as often as possible, including wiping down the counter if it gets wet from hand-washing.

13. Replace cracking bathroom grout.

Water and moisture from humid air can leak behind it and lead to mold growth behind the tile or even rotting wood.

14. Pass on these tips to all members of the household.

Keep everyone in the loop on these best practices, and you’ll be able to keep mold away for the long haul.