Weekend Projects

March Is the Best Time of Year to Check Your Bathroom for Mold—Here’s How

published Mar 1, 2019
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(Image credit: Nancy Mitchell)

Apartment Therapy Weekend Projects is a guided program designed to help you get the happy, healthy home you’ve always wanted, one weekend at a time. Sign up now for email updates so you never miss a lesson.

The change of seasons also signals a change in the interior conditions of our homes. “Spring cleaning” isn’t just a catchy phrase to guilt us into washing our curtains and vacuuming our mattresses; it’s a way to stay in tune with the rhythms and changing needs of our homes as the weather turns.

As winter ends, so does the hunkering down in our cozy lairs shut up against the cold. Now is the time to address the effects of months of tightly closing our homes. Mold and mildew growth can be one of these effects, and this weekend, we’re going to check for it and clean it up.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)
(Image credit: Bethany Nauert)

This Weekend: Check your bathroom for mold and mildew.

When it’s too cold to open windows, adequate ventilation in bathrooms is hard to come by. Couple that with a probable increase in hot, steamy showers and baths to warm cold bones, and you have ideal conditions for mold and mildew to proliferate.

Before you inspect for mold, get your supplies ready so you can clean anything you find before it becomes a bigger problem. Gather the following:

  • A face mask
  • Gloves
  • A spray bottle filled with a cleaner that kills mold, such as a hydrogen peroxide solution, distilled white vinegar solution, or bleach solution
  • Rags
  • Small scrub brush

Once you have your supplies, you just need to examine certain areas of your bathroom looking for mold and mildew. Mildew is gray or white, and usually flat and powdery. Mold can appear in a rainbow of colors, most often appearing as a fuzzy cluster of gray, black, green, or white spores with a telltale musty smell.

Check these spots in particular when you’re examining your bathroom for any mold issues:

  • Grout in your shower
  • Corners and crevices where water collects in both bath tubs and showers
  • Shower door tracks
  • Shower curtain liners
  • Vent grates
  • Under the sink

To clean mold when you find some, wear your mask and gloves, spray your solution, let the solution sit for a bit, and scrub if you need to. Then wipe clean.

If you suspect that your mold is indicative of a larger problem, you should plan on having a professional check it out, especially if you also see evidence of leaks or other water problems.

You can catch up with weekend projects right here. Share your progress with us and others by posting updates and photos on Instagram and Twitter with the hashtag #atweekendproject.

Remember: This is about improvement, not perfection. Each week you can either choose to work on the assignment we’ve sent you, or tackle another project you’ve been meaning to get to. It’s also completely okay to skip a weekend if you’re busy or not feeling the assignment.